In a few weeks we'll be expanding our home by two feet, but there will be no major construction--just a lot more noise...we're adding a little girl to our family.
K is 5 years old--she's just a few months younger than Jon. Over the past few weeks she's been spending time with us. It's a welcome transition, but it will definitely be a challenge for all of us. The kids already bicker like siblings, and Nate and I are slowly learning how to juggle two kids.
K is a fiery, sassy girl who loves dresses and playing dress up, having her nails done, wearing high heels, playing with Barbies and dolls, and carrying a purse. These are all things I'm slowly coming around to :) I did buy her a dress the other day...it is a Grateful Dead concert dress, but a dress nonetheless.
Both kids are unique with different personalities, but what they do share is trauma from their past. I'm hoping that as they grow and mature, they'll be able to talk about their pasts and help each other work through some tough emotions.
In the meantime, Nate and I feel like we're hanging on by a thread. We're ready and excited for this new opportunity, but it has all come about so fast, that we feel like our wheels are spinning but we're not moving. I'm overly committed this semester and am searching for ways (and coming up short) to lighten my load. I'm planning on taking some maternity leave to acclimate. What's hard about being a new mom through adoption is the general public views my entry into motherhood as an easier one that doesn't require as much help. For example, when babies come, people bring meals and offer to come over and stay for a time with the kid so the parents can sleep. People squeal with delight when a woman announces her pregnancy. Parents have nine months to plan and prepare for their little one's arrival. And, teaching moms have nine months to plan for their six week leave without the immediate presence of said little one. Because five year olds seem pretty self-sufficient, few will offer to bring us meals or watch the kids while we nap. My announcement of adopting a second child has been met with a few sympathetic smiles and some polite congratulations--far from elation. We've had exactly six weeks to plan for K's arrival, and I'm scrambling working all hours trying to create lesson plans for my "maternity" leave while I parent both children--including the one I'm planning to take leave for all while bracing myself for judgemental questions (What will you do when the kids are in school?) and opinions of my decision to take time off. I understand that parenting a newborn is different than parenting a five year old (each has its own struggles), but the acclimation to a new child is no different. It's hard, and we're struggling with it right now. I don't know if we'll make it out alive. Okay, that's a bit dramatic...but it really will be survival mode until May! If you're the praying type, throw a few up to the big Guy on our behalf for patience, a sense of balance, and a closeness with God as we walk this new path.