Monday, May 22, 2017


I feel that in our last placement of a sibling group of three children, with four originals in the home, we garner a lot more attention and reactions from those we encounter on a daily basis. Part of me gets it...I even think I'm a little out of my element some days. But the other part of me is like, dude, I have seven kids, big whoop. Cuz they're all in bed right now and I find as the dust settles, really, everything is ok.

In the end, isn't that what you want for your family? The feeling of peace as everyone is settled into their beds that all is well? It's hard, I'll give you that. But it's doable!!

Rewind 9 weeks and a few days, just for some perspective. Just hours post placement. Like 5 maybe. Terror. What have we done??? Anxiety like a giant elephant, positioned on chest. Why did we think we could do this???

As each day passes, more and more peace settles into the cracks and crevices of our souls, and the souls of 7 littles ones who live here.

Somehow, we make it through the first week and realize it's getting easier. Then another week goes by. Then another. Pretty soon, like a baby standing playing with a toy, not realizing he's balancing on his own, we are going hours and days without wondering how we're going to do this. We're just doing it.

Yes, there was a bit of paperwork. A few meetings. A court date, with more to come. Uncomfortable moments that you just get used to.

But somehow we still manage to homeschool (we're always a bit behind) and run a household (it's 100% clean 0% of the time.)

And the reality is just that there's a lot we have to say no to. During this season of cocooning and bonding that means no even to some family events, which is emotionally difficult as we have wonderful extended families, but so necessary, both for our sanity and for our kids emotional well being.

A window into my day, let's take today for example. This is how we do.

6:30 get up for a few moments of reading, prayer and coffee.

7:00 make a bottle and a big ol pot of oatmeal, set out bowls, spoons and cups, maybe empty the dishwasher quick...

7:20 wake up hardest sleeper, Sleeping Beauty, who happens to be the first to leave for school

7:30 allow the early risers to finally get up, do Sleeping Beauty's hair, feed baby, feed hungry hoard, keep peace at table of 6 wild banshees wonderful children.

8:00 cajole first leaver into coat, hat, mittens, boots and backpack, while keeping peace between the other six, all the while keeping an eye out for the wily bus that shows up mercurially in a 20 minute window

8:13 deliver said child to bus, hope my hair doesn't reveal too much of inner state, as I have not looked into the mirror yet today, later realize day-old make up and hair both reveal inner state

8:15 take a bite, grab baby before he pulls that thing down that he shouldn't touch, take another bite break up boy fight, take another bite, remember I should check K's backpack, forget I was eating and start washing dishes, remember, take another bite, jump up to remove object from baby's mouth, etc...

8:30 load dishwasher while running after baby constantly, finally put him in exasaucer...peace reigns for 7 seconds

8:45 have you ever tried to get a 6 year old to get ready for school when he just wants to stay home and play with his brothers??

8:55 bribe Conscientious School Objector into his ride to school
get ready to leave with one year old to go to a meeting with teachers and staff at school

9:10 chat with babysitter, leave

9:30 meeting with important school people, pretend to be calm and in control of everything while wiping spit up off my shirt and the floor and drool from their table...

10:10 arrive home

10:20 start homeschooling

11:30 run outside to get Sleeping Beauty from the bus, make lunch, read science

12:30 do dishes

1:00-4:00 homeschool, have afternoon coffee survival ration, sneak chocolate when kids aren't watching

4:00 make a bottle for baby, turn on the TV for the kids that will actually sit and watch it....because I'm human, that's why

4:10 make dinner

4:15 check what time it is to see if hubby is off work yet

4:18 check watch to see if it's 4:30 yet

4:23 check watch, still not 4:30...

4:25 resign self to the fact that he will NEVER BE HOME

4:30 at least he's on his way home now

5:05 check phone for text from hubby

5:10 look longingly at empty driveway

5:12 (I'm ashamed to admit)

5:17 (Stop reading crazy lady post)


5:23 (Plotting revenge)

5:24 Cute little gold car pulls into driveway, get off couch and pretend I haven't been scanning the region directly in front of the house like a veritable eagle of desperation

5:30 Dinner, aka training feral
sweet and rambunctious children to eat like human beings that were born into civilization with good manners.

6:15 clean kitchen, but wonder why I bother, in twelve hours it will be a disaster, remember oh yeah, we won't have anything to eat on if I don't...

7:30 happy dance, bed time;)

Life is relentless. Stuff keeps coming at you. Appointments, decisions. It gets complicated dealing with all the legalities, wondering what if and remembering that they're not mine yet. There is risk and there is the cost. But the fact is that regular life would bore me to insanity. Literally. Challenge is good for me, and I daresay, good for most of us. Push yourself. Say the hard yes. If God be for you, who could possibly be against you? I mean really, who???

Because mixed in between the crazy is "mom I love you" and quietly playing for 30 minutes with no brawls!!!! And stick figure moms with heart shapes. Teachers amazed at good behavior after so much trauma. And God bless this stingy Midwest Spring because if it's sunny (about every 10 days or so) and above 45 degrees they think it's summer and ride their bikes around as happy as could be, with no shirts on (the boys I'm talking about here.)

And walks in the woods in the rain, with cold fingers but warm hearts.

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