Yesterday, our homeschooling group had a year-end picnic. The girls had too much fun. We have a homeschooling dad in the area who runs a homeschool gym program. The group had him out to organize the games for our kids. It was such a nice time. The kids played hard, the moms had an opportunity to talk with only little ones underfoot. It was the perfect celebration of the start of summer.
Here are the kids with the parachute. Who doesn't love playing with a giant parachute? Bophie found her best buddy and the hula hoops... Juliana, sporting a Donald Trump comb over, tasted (I really mean wore) her first popsicle... Here's a group picture of all the kids. Don't they look tired after playing so hard... I know I was quite tired.
Today, I saw one of the most beautiful sights a person can see. I didn't travel far, just a few miles down the road. I wasn't there long, only about half an hour. It wouldn't have looked like much to many, just a small screen with black and white fuzz. But, on that screen, through the fuzz, I saw the tiny heartbeat of our newest child-- and it was beautiful.
My doctor agreed it was an awesome sight, especially for someone who has the history I have (six miscarriages, three since Bophie). My wonderful dh could only say "Praised be God now and forever!" My darling children jumped up and down. I, of course, cried. Right now I cry at everything.
I am still apprehensive (we saw the heartbeat with the last miscarriage as well). I am a little overwhelmed (the thought of going from 3 to 6 kids in a year, am I really up to it?).
For today though, I am only thinking of that beautiful heart beating-- the rest is in God's hands.
When dh and I talked about the difference in the adoption process when choosing a special needs child, we knew the most difficult thing for us would be to have a child matched with us and have to be waiting for the paperwork. It turns out this is exactly what we have been asked to do. We have seen little Joseph's pictures, we know a little about him, and we know he is just waiting for us.
One consolation has been that he is in an absolutely amazing foster home in Beijing. His local state run orphanage transferred him there so that he could prepare for cleft repair surgery. It turns out the surgery was cancelled because of an outbreak of chickenpox, but he remains there awaiting our adoption trip. Another advantage to him being in this home is that they have a great website where I could take a virtual tour and keep up with what is happening at the home. Somehow it makes me feel a little closer.
Please keep Joseph in your prayers. This weekend we filed our petition to adopt a foreign child with the U.S. government. Once we get this approval, we can get our dossier prepared and sent to China. In the meantime, Joseph is waiting for us...
We went to a lobby on the 30th floor of our hotel in China and little Juliana was placed in our arms. She was quiet and reserved. I see now she was in shock, not really sure how to respond. This same quiet girl is the one who this morning woke me up by climbing over me to get between dh and I. She was full of smiles, and kisses, and wanted nothing more than to have the attention of her parents.
In a short six months she has gone from barely sitting up to walking, running at times, always on the go. She is full of energy and the quietness has gone out the window at home. She is still shy with others, but with us she is full of all types of new noises. She has a head of crazy hair, and has finally learned to eat solid foods.
Last night she was dancing with her sisters. She was laughing and trying to twirl in circles like the older girls. Soon we were all laughing at her attempts to dance. What joy she has brought our family. It is hard to believe it has only been six months...
Everytime I share the news of our pregnancy with someone I immediately follow it up with a comment about miscarriage. I want to share my excitement at this new little life. I want to be happy about this pregnancy. I don't want to dwell on my chances of miscarriage, but inevitably I feel the need to add some caveat that with my history there is a good chance I will miscarry.
Even with total strangers I feel the need to add this note. Banana had a doctor's appointment a few weeks ago. I was asking the doctor a quick question about some allergy problems I have been having. I asked if eye drops were ok in early pregnancy. She seemed surprised I was expecting and asked about the due date. Instead of giving her the answer, I made some comment about taking it day by day.
I am elated about this new life. I am so thankful I have been given the gift of this child no matter how long our time together may be. I want to joyfully share the news with friends and family. Why is that so hard to do?
I know I do this as a defensive mechanism. I am trying to set my own expectations as well as those of family and friends. The thing is, I know how much this doesn't work. I am excited, I am overjoyed, I am attached to this little life. Dwelling on the fact I might miscarry doesn't lessen that.
Today is our first official day of summer. The breakfast dishes are cleared and the girls have a few minutes to play before we get ready for Mass. You'll never guess what they are playing. They are pretending it is the first day of-- SCHOOL!
I am amazed at this because they have been absolutely dragging this week wanting to finish. I am one of those crazy homeschooling moms who require we finish all the lessons in our schoolbooks before quitting for the summer. You can blame that on my overly active perfectionist tendencies, but my girls acted as though they were going to explode if they had to do one more math page. Now here they are pretending they are back in school. They are practicing their state capitals and geography, and fighting over the flashmaster.
The flashmaster was a new purchase this week. Another homeschooling mom suggested it when I told her how much trouble I was having with flashcards. This little machine has them all so I can't lose them, and I can check the girls' previous sessions so I don't have to monitor them. What really sold me though was when this mom told me what a great drinking game the little machine makes. Goodness knows I am always up for a good drinking game. Truly the thought of dh doing multiplication facts after a couple gin and tonics makes my summer.
This year we made the switch to a virtual school in February. I have been really pleased with their curriculum and asking myself why I waited so long. We only enrolled Banana, but Bear wanted so badly to join in on her lessons we enrolled them both for next year. It seems as though next year is going to be pretty busy for us, so I am thankful the school decisions are made so early this year.
I am not pretending this is the first day of school. I am too happy it is finally summer. There is so much to do. We are changing around all the bedrooms in preparation for Joseph. I have some major weeding out of stuff to do (hopefully before our parish rummage sale). VBS, preparing for next years Little Women's Hospitality Program, a few small trips, and spending some fun time with the girls. Here's to the lazy (I hope--OK I am dreaming) days of summer.
The List: 3 spoons, 2 sippy cups, a stuffed animal, a pretty pink shirt, the remote, and 4 dish towels.
What do they have in common? These are the items I have found in the trash can. The follow-up question is, what did I not find that made its way out of the house? My keys, you know the one with the expensive fob that opens all the doors to the minivan, are still missing. For over a week now I have had to resort to the valet key. It is no fun!
The Offender: a cute 16 month old girl who recently aquired the ability to walk.
The Accomplice: her father who encouraged her to pick up the things she found on the floor and put them in the trash can. He thought he was teaching her to help her poor overworked mother :) A decision that has backfired.
The Proposed Solution: Do you think I can convince dh, who is already seeing dollar signs in his sleep over our second adoption in a year, to fork over the small fortune for one of these?