Friday, May 13, 2011

Spreading the News

Yesterday I had the pleasure of telling Joseph's speech therapist that we are in the process of adopting another little one from China. We have shared this news with friends and family who are for the most part pretty supportive. They think we are a little crazy, we have already gone from three children to six in a very short period of time.  I think we are a little crazy too, but in a good way. It was difficult to bring this up to the speech therapist, though, because the reaction I get from most is that we are really truly crazy, and not in a good way.

I mentioned before that I am overwhelmed. Some moments are very difficult. You know those moments. A few months ago just minutes after I finished the monumental task of making every bed in the house (after washing every piece of bedding we owned), Joseph got a bloody nose while going down for a nap-- ten short minutes after I made his bed.  I thought I was going to cry. Then Juju had an accident and pooped in her bed, pooped in the bed I had just finished making, hospital corners and everything. All that work and I was now going to spend the afternoon re-washing more bedding, not to mention bathing two toddlers who should be napping. It had taken a week to get the original bedding done and I did cry then.
That moment is by no means isolated either. I have several a day. Moments where I feel as though I could use ten more hands, I need to change a diaper, wipe a nose, refill a sippy cup, help someone diagram a sentence, and answer a question about the periodic table of elements. Moments where my patience is strained from bickering, and sometimes it breaks from the sheer volume, there are six of them--one of me. Moments where I just want to scream "Calgon, take me away!" Moments where dead birds land on my back porch and I think to myself this isn't what I signed up for.

One could mistake those moments of chaos for unhappiness. I admit, sometimes I let them get the better of me. Then I get a wake up call. A little one who wraps both arms tight around me and "kisses" my cheek, a toddler who learns to say "MMMMommy" after so much work to get the sounds correct, a girl who wants nothing but to hold my hand, another girl who learns to make coffee so she can surprise me in the morning. Yesterday, one of my girls told me I was definitely going to heaven because all mothers of six children must go to heaven. Sometimes just a smile from one of them changes my whole outlook on life.

Yes, with six little ones and another in the works, life is more hectic. I have less "me" time. I never seem to accomplish that daily To Do List. I often feel frazzled. Conventional wisdom would leave one to think I must be unhappy,  but the truth is I am happier than I have ever been. With each little person, made in the image of God, we bring into this house we invite another piece of heaven. Each little one gives me the opportunity to grow closer to God by loving and providing for them. They provide an opportunity to grow holier, and therefore more peaceful and more joyful. Not in the worldly sense of peace and joy, rather in the heavenly sense.

We have soccer games every night this week, difficult appointments, a grueling school schedule, and my house is already in shambles from last week. There has also been a streak of all my best laid plans going awry. For two weeks now it seems my will has been thwarted at every turn, I'm not sure why I bother with a calendar.  Still there is peace, there is joy that material things and "me time" could never bring. Each child brings a unique joy to our home and family, the extra work is a blessing and a small price to pay for that joy.

When dh and I began discussing another adoption, we both were struck with the thought that in as little as ten years from now, we might regret not having done all we could to bring home another little one, but we would never regret having adopted one more. One of dh's favorite memories of his grandfather is of him at many family gatherings looking out at all the children and grandchildren saying something like, "Look what Lil and I started!"  Sure the work might seem overwhelming now, but God has always given us the graces we need and we will count on them again. In a few short years, this difficult season will have passed and we will have the lifelong blessing of another child.

Joseph's speech therapist politely offered her congratulations. I'm pretty sure she thought we were crazy though... I'll choose to think it's crazy in a good way and continue to count my blessings.

These thoughts were prompted by two fantastic posts: 
It's Never a Good Time to Have Kids
Life Doesn't Have to be Easy to be Joyful

Both well worth a read.


kim said...

well i have been having some overwhelming moments today too. one of mine, as soon as i got him dressed perfectly for the doctor appt we were going to, went out and ran in a mud puddle and needed a complete change. i was so mad at that moment!

i once read somewhere that JPII said-if you are going to make a bed, make it right! hospital corners and all. Who sees? God sees. i always think this when i make a bed.

anyway--i can't wait for you. How exciting to welcome a little one. how awesome.

Anonymous said...

We all have overwhelming moments. I believe that there is one and more than one, and it all just adds to the joy. God bless you for what you are doing.

Shelly said...

Nikki, that was so beautifully said! It is such a trial to be misunderstood, especially by other pro-child families, but know you are probably quietly admired for your virtue and heroism. You are showing what you can do if you are called. If you were heading a major corporation instead of a large family people would marvel at it all and you could edit out all but the posed moments. So rqw honesty about the challenges and joys of Motherhood and being truly real, is such a witness to the fact that the best things in life are the hardest things, that require the most of ourselves. We are praying for your beautiful family as you prepare for the next little treasure.