Year 2013. I am scared. 2012 was amazing, busy, shocking, sad, happy and exhausting all while giving me energy to keep going. I got 3 new kids, bringing my "little" family to a whopping family of 12, a new son in law and my first granddaughter. How can 2013 all top that? Well, I guess we will start off in Jan with a baby shower for grandbaby #2 - due in May. Then a big move for my oldest child and her new husband...just before the baby is born. =( My son in law is in the Navy and is being transferred. I know that he will take good care of my daughter and granddaughter. I am very proud of who they are and the family they are starting. I just wish it was a little closer to home.
What else will happen in 2013? My god-daughter is also pregnant and so we will be welcome another baby into this crazy family! Oh how I love teasing her mom (my unofficial sister) about being a grandmother - just as she did to me this past year! And just to keep me busy, I think I will start an adoption support group in my community. Yes, we had tried to do this before in our church. Unfortunately, that fell through when leadership deemed "support" not a part of their vision for an adoption ministry. That was our sign to find a new church. We haven't found the right church yet but we will keep looking.
We will also finalize the adoption of K8, 9 and 10. Probably around April or May. The state requires that children live with the perspective adoptive family for 6 months before they will finalize the adoption. I look forward to that day. That is the day that ends the 4 visits a month from various social workers and guardian ad liteums. Don't be me wrong...these are great people and we have been blessed with very talented workers in this adoption. But it IS an intrusion into our home on a nearly weekly basis to visit the kids and view their rooms. I am no different than most women in that when I have a guest in my home, I want to be on top of my chores! On the up side, it does mean that my house gets a top to bottom clean more often than when I DON'T have so many visitors.
But it also means rearranging schedules to accommodate the busy schedules of social workers and lawyers. For instance, I feel like I have lost touch with a lot of friends at my dojo since I frequently have K1 drive the kids to class so that I can clean house or meet with a worker. I know my friends are still there, but some of those friendships are "dojo friendships" and don't really extend to the rest of the week. I still have my "girls night girls" - thank goodness for my Sunday nights - and the group of us still grab middle of the night movies when when we can. So it isn't really that I am lonely.
The day is so busy dressing kids, doing K8's hair (watch for future blog on white mom/black daughter's hair) picking up after the kids, finding structured time to work gross and fine motor skills, therapy appointments, doctor appointments and dental appointments that I feel like I am out of touch with the rest of the world. I get my news from facebook! Even just sitting down to talk with my dear husband sometimes feels like a chore. Doing the type of work we do with these kids can be hard on a marriage and so we make ourselves find this "talk time" and try to stay connected. But reality is that we are not as young as we used to be and we get tired. We have also been married so long that we sometimes easily fall into the zone of "sit comfortably for a couple of hours and not say a word to each other." So...date night is often more a quiet break from the kids. I think it is good that we don't always need a lot of words with each other and we no longer need to impress each other for attention. But at the same time, I wish I was younger/more energetic and that our life wasn't so ... well...boring. Ok, I even made myself laugh at that one! How can life be boring with 10 kids? Honestly, I don't know. I don't really have time to be bored. I am too busy cleaning, organizing, managing, chasing, planning and driving! It is all a balancing act...
But what IS fun, is snuggling with my little ones, watching their faces light up when something THEY perceive as exciting happens. Chuckling when a sad child in time out yells "I want to come downstairs and tell so and so I sorry!" and of course, listening to their little voices when they whisper "Mommy, I lub you" in my ear. Then there are the moments in life when your child or husband says something that just makes you laugh. These frequently show up on my facebook wall as a "kid quote of the day." I am raising a bunch of comedians I tell ya! I might be bored with the daily grind of chores...but I could never be bored with chubby little arms tightly squeezing me and asking for tickle time. 2013... I am ready for you! Armed with the love of my children and the support of my family and friends.