the one about adoption

Every night it is a little tricky for me to fall asleep.  Every morning I wake up before my alarm goes off.  My mind is filled with wonderful thoughts of children, to-do lists, ideas, etc.  Sometimes I’m thinking over a potential problem challenge and how we will best face it as a family of 10, with 5 under 5.

As a preschool teacher, I count my kids several times each day.  It’s not likely that I have lost one, but I like to count them so I know where each child is and what he or she is doing at that moment.  If someone is not engaged in an activity or needs to be redirected to something a bit  more educational, I can find out easily when I scan the room and count them.  This past week, I’ve implemented a new way of counting.  When I’m working with a group of children, I count them and realize that soon I will have 5 of my own.  I happened to be reading a story to a group of 5 in my classroom the other day, and I just couldn’t help but think that I’ll have that many children.  Is it too possessive to say that I am excited that they will be mine? I think that sentiment comes from the fact that I spend a lot the majority of my life with children that are not my own.  And soon, I’ll get to have some of my own, a fact that makes me very happy.

I’ve been thinking about things I could put on a registry, if I decide to do one.  People at work are already planning a shower for us, our friends at church want to throw a shower and my sisters have been talking about it, too.  We are so blessed to have so much support.  My kids are loved by hundreds of people and they don’t even know it yet.  I don’t know specifics about some of the things we will need–carseats, clothes, diapers, etc–but I do know some things.  I know that every plate in my house is breakable.  I also know that we’ll likely need 5 booster seats for our kitchen table.  I’ve looked at some bedding options and know that Target has a cuter selection than WalMart (although they have plenty of character choices, if that’s what floats your boat).  I wonder what kinds of cups the kids drink out of–sippy, straw, open.  I wonder if they have favorite colors or characters they love.

I scanned the picture of the kids that was in our adoption book.  Partly because I wanted to email it to my immediate family (did I even remember to do that?) but mostly because I wanted a copy for my desk at work, one to keep inside my bible and one that is propped up next to my bed.  I also have their picture as my wallpaper on my computer at work and my iPod.

I’m thinking about a deep freezer and possibly a pantry for my kitchen.  I’m thinking about packing 5 lunches each night and cooking breakfast for 5-7 children and 2 adults each morning.  I’m thinking about paper plates and wondering if all the little kids can wear the same size of socks.  Are white sheets a good idea because I can bleach the stains out of them?  Or do I go with dark sheets so the stains will blend?  Little ones should take a bath at night, but what if they wet the bed in the night and we have to do baths again in the morning?  What time will we get up?  Should I cut my hair or grow it long?  Which is easier to fix?  Should I take time each day to fix my hair or settle for a ponytail for the next 3-5 years.

Rob and I are discussing the best vehicle for our family and whether or not it makes sense for he and I to carpool to work when we have kids.  Who should keep the car and who should do the drop-off?  Can one adult get 2 kids to one daycare and 3 kids to the other?  Will I end up unloading 5 in order to drop off 2?  Load up the other 3 to unload again at the final destination?  Can Duncan’s part-time job be helping me get kids in and out of carseats all day?

What progress is being made with their paperwork? How close are we to our disclosure meeting?  When my out-of-state brothers and their families are visiting in June, will they be able to meet the kids?  Will my kids be a part of the fishing trip and campout that is being planned?  When will I take time off of work?  What day will be my last day to teach class?  *Will I ever teach again?

Are my babies happy?  Do they know how much they are loved?  Does Jesus whisper in their ear to let them know they will soon be together forever with a family?  Are their foster parents anxious about the transition?  Is it bittersweet news to know they will be placed in an adoptive home soon?

I think about my three stepsons and what great big brothers they will be.  I’m thankful that Calvin will be staying nearby after graduating from high school so that his youngest brothers and sisters will have a chance to bond with him.  I’m thankful that Riley loves to play outside and will have three more brothers to throw a football.  I’m thankful that Duncan has spent a year with some of the best preschool teachers in the world and that has given him invaluable experience in relating to little ones.  I’m also thankful they will have some time at their mom’s house, so that they have some space without little ones around.  I’m glad that Rob and I are already thinking of ways that he can spend time with the boys, doing things without the little ones on a regular basis so that the big boys still have plenty of attention from their dad.

And…I miss the kids a little.  We met them (4 of 5) last weekend, so it’s been a week of thinking of them and not seeing them.  It’s a very busy time at work and I have plenty of other things to occupy my mind.  It just doesn’t take too much for them to pop back into my head. I have such a peaceful feeling about everything.  I am so thankful for a God who not only blesses me in abundant ways that I never expect, but a God that also secures every little detail according to His will.  In high school, I memorized the verse “Cast all your anxiety on Him, for He cares for you.” 1 Peter 5:7  This week, I’ve been reminded of that verse.  But not only to cast anxiety or worries or burdens on Him…but that even before situations become stressful or worrisome, He has taken care of them.

How great is our God, indeed!

*I don’t think I’ve ever really written about my job change. I’ll dedicate an entire post to that subject in the near future, because God really did some good things in that situation as well. The short version: I am changing positions at The Little Light House, from a classroom teacher to an office job.  The move was decided in November, but will take place in June.  It’s the best thing in order for me to serve my family as well as LLH in the best way possible.

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