Monday, February 23, 2015

"How is it going?"

We've been on the roller coaster ride of big family changes with our two new littles moving into our home the end of January (almost exactly a month ago) but having moved into our heart weeks before that. Ever since the transition began, I've heard the question "How's it going?" (or its sister question "How is EVERYTHING going?") so many times.  The questions don't bother me in the least.  I know so many who care about us just want to know how the transition going - family, friends, neighbors, etc - but I struggle to know how to answer.

Pretty Good.
This is my default answer because it is both true and easy.  In reality there are so many parts of the transition that have been so smooth.  The three kiddos get along well considering they only met a few weeks before Christmas and now are sharing toys/house/PARENTS.  A lot of other logistics fell into place as well (both of our new littles have great preschool classes and teachers that they love).  We have also been incredibly blessed by family and friends.  For example, I open my freezer and see LOVE in the form of frozen meals to feed my family.

Good but... 
To family and fellow parents, sometimes its easier if I answer with the immediate hard that others can relate to.  Which child has a cold or is having trouble sleeping or struggles getting everyone out the door for school in the morning or whatever...  Know that while my concern may seem so very normal, there are worries underneath that run much deeper.

(On a related note: I had not considered the impact on our immune systems adding two new family members that each interact with a different preschool class.  Prayers for some time of good health would be greatly appreciated).

HARD but Good
A bit more honest but when someone asks for an example of the hard, I'm unsure what and how much to share.  There is so much of the day-to-day hard that may seem like normal kid stuff - not sleeping great, tantrums, siblings not getting along, or just frustration - yet this adoption transition adds a whole layer on top of it all.  Is each child feeling secure in our love for them and their place in the family?  Are we providing enough structure yet being flexible enough to nurture and build family connections?  Is this tantrum just hunger/tired related or a deeper worry that we need to be sensitive to?  So often I feel like we need to be 110% on this parenting gig all the time right now (which is hard to do if we are short on sleep -- see above).  Even just a night out of town can throw everything off for days.

We really and truly are so incredibly blessed.  Our home is filled with more laughter, happy noise, busy kiddos, and smiling faces around the table.  There are more hugs, silly songs, pretend picnics, and crazy super hero fun.  Our entryway is always full of coats, shoes and boots that remind us of going places now as a family of five.  We've prayed years for this hard and wonderful journey we are walking right now.  God in His infinite wisdom brought these kids to our family and our family to these kids for a purpose.  We are so glad we are not on this journey alone!

Thank you to everyone has been praying for us, reaching out via text and email, sending encouraging notes and those local friends that have supported us from your kitchens as well.  (Seriously the frozen meals have been amazing and somehow they've continued to show up.  For the first week, I had tears in my eyes each time I opened my freezer - because LOVE).  Thank you for being patient with us as we've stepped back from commitments, completely forgot to respond to emails, missed a few family events or had to say no to things as we focus on home for now.  We are blessed but change, even good change is hard.  Here is one of the fun changes on the back of our bathroom door:

Now there are 3 kids' towels: Ninja Turtle, Purple Owl and Batman

Monday, January 19, 2015

Happy Sixth Birthday!

Happy birthday to my special boy!  It has been a fun and eventful year.  

It has been such a blessing to watch you grow this year, taking so many new things in stride and xxxx

Some highlights of your year as a 5 year old, as told by Mom include:

* Your creativity and imagination continue to amaze me.  Your stories during play, your lego creations, the questions you ask, and the way you ponder the books we read remind me both how much you are listening all the time as well as how much God has blessed you with an intensely creative mind. 

* You have tackled some big new things this past year and showed us how brave you are.  Starting Kindergarten was the biggest change and you are thriving being in school full time, enjoying new friendships, and the routines of the classroom.  With Dad's help, you've started wrestling this winter and have wrestled in two tournaments, displaying good sportsmanship and handled defeats with strength.  You also recently started riding the bus home from school which is a whole different adventure (especially when the bus driver forgot to stop at our house the first day).

* You continue to care about your friends, talking about those best buddies even when we don't get to see them as often as you'd like with school full time.  You always tell us what kids you saw at recess or when you saw an older friend in the hall at school.  You've done a great job making new friends in school and wrestling.

* You've loved legos and games for quite a while but this past year it has been the focus of so much play.  It is so fun to see how you improve or adjust sets you build or unique creations you come up with when you play legos.  You've also become quite a game shark - often beating us at Sorry or Monopoly Jr.  At Thanksgiving you played regular Monopoly with your Dad and uncles, having tons of fun and winning.

* You continue to love books and are super excited to on the road to reading yourself.  You've mastered Hop on Pop and love reading it to us.  I pray you continue to love books and work hard at your reading skills so you can build a lifelong enjoyment of reading.

* You are the beginning stages of figuring what it means to be a big brother.  Even though its hard, you are doing an amazing job.  You've been sharing toys, finding things you can do with them, and sharing stories about their new schools, our extended family, summer plans etc.  When they are not here, you come of with new things to do at their next visit and pray for them.  As your new siblings move in about a week from now you'll be faced with a lot of challenges: sharing Mom and Dad, finding the time alone you need in the chaos, and figuring how to get along even when you don't agree to name a few.  We pray you find the good and wonderful in all the changes as well as you are blessing your younger brother and sister in being a big brother to them.  This is such a huge shift in our family, we're praying for you in all the transitions ahead.

Happy Birthday blessings!  Dad and I love you so much and pray your year as a 6 year old is full of new adventures, special memories together, lots of learning, and the experiences that will continue to mold you into the young man God intends for you to be someday.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Merry Christmas (belated) and Excited about the New Year

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!  Praying you have a happy and healthy New Year!

So, I took an unplanned break from blogging this month :)  December is always busy with getting ready for Christmas and this year was no exception.  But we've also had some adoption things happening at the same time...

And our son has some news to share (enjoy the kindergarten inventive spelling):
"I'm getting a little brother and little sister."

We are working to adopt siblings (age 4 and 3).  We're in the "get to know each other phase" and working to figure out what this transition will look like.  They are so precious and we are head over heels in love.  There's not a lot more I can share in this public space :)  It looks to be that 2015 will be an exciting, challenging and wonderful year as we figure out how Life on the Gravelly Road works as a family of 5!

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