So our life as a soon to be family of seven from the outside may seem like any of the following depending on the day: organized, pulled together, stupid, crazy, fun, busy, joyous, blessed, stressed, and perhaps even insane. I am here to confirm all of the above. It varies hour to hour really. However, as with any family, life is never perfect and we are smart enough to accept the things we cannot change and embrace with full heart all we have been blessed with and choose this _____ (fill in the blank by the hour) life. It is ours and we would not change it for a minute.
I don’t know exactly why some people have a problem with large families or look at us like we have four eyeballs when we tell them we want another child. HELLO……. have you met my kids?? They are pretty awesome if I do say so myself. I can’t wait to add to that crew! It’s almost like telling me something must be wrong with us for wanting more or something is wrong with my children because how dare I have more of them. Our children bring us joy that is unimaginable! It is that simple! We want more joy, more love, more fun, more little giggles, more lifetime support network, more snuggles, more bedtime kisses,…. You get the picture. That is why we want another child. We are choosing to adopt because we chose not to have more biologically for a variety of reasons including health risks (my uterus threatens to kill me each time in various awful ways.) We also cannot wait to embrace a multiracial family, give a family to a child that does not have one when we so desperately want one, and biological or adopted really does not mean a hill of beans to us to quote my mother.
Some think we are a bit crazy because we are busy. Well yes, that we are. This weekend alone looked like…take a deep breathe…. take 5 extra boys home with us on Friday after work for birthday sleepover, create games and activities, cook dinner for the crew, bake cupcakes and decorate (the oldest helped here), take photos and do the hosting gig into the night for the precious group, realize 10 kids is totally awesome and scare myself a little with that thought, wash all their clothes that got wet during a water gun fight, call all their mommas for good nights (hey I’m a mom I know what it’s like to miss your littles) encourage bedtime (routinely up until 3am), wake up early, start food, clean up a bit from the night before, dry their clothes I washed, get the boys up and get each one dressed in their ball uniforms, locate each child’s belongings and have them place in their chair at the table (organization is key), feed them, double check for belongings, send off the two oldest boys and the oldest girl and her teenage friend who also spent the night with Adam to the boys game photos and to drop off the extra friend, pack up the rest of the crew including a grouchy three year old, go drop off one boy, meet up with rest of my family at the ball park, watch the game (and little boys), pack up again, head to second child’s ball game 30 minutes away and pick up snacks to recharge the little ones who partied too hard, meet parents there to give back belongings and children, watch that game and take photos of cutie, send off husband and oldest daughter for their golf tournament, pack back up myself, take boys and Lilly home, cook dinner, clean house, work on adoption paperwork and start educational course work, bathe the kids, play with kids, get all to bed, celebrate when husband and daughter come home with a net win at the tournament, work more on the adoption, review my reports for work, then sleep by around 1am. Get up Sunday for a quick jog with the dog but first throw in the uniforms for the boys so they would be clean before picture day at this game. Come back from jog to start breakfast, bake the brownies for the basketball banquet, figure out outfits for three kids, fuss at fourth for outfit choice, bathe Lilly, get all teeth brushed, hair done, shoes matched and find the missing ones, tell one child to change to appropriate socks, realize uniforms were never dried, panic, place them in dryer, get a shower and get myself ready, get bibles, baseball bags, picture envelope, and snacks in car, print the invocation prayer our oldest daughter will read at church for youth Sunday, get the uniforms out, get them all dressed and encourage to eat quickly. We then discuss schedule and plan of action (POA) for the day between Adam and myself. This POA thing is daily and NECESSARY! We make it to church on time (boom), listen to a wonderful sermon about loving others and what that really means. We run quickly to grab lunch in town to go, drop off Adam, Taylor, and Baron at the house so they can go to the basketball banquet followed by Baron’s ballgame where he will have pictures made. I take Isaiah and Lilly to another ball field 30 minutes in the other direction for his game, get him there on time (boom again), watch the game with a three year old which looks like run to a far away potty in the best part, try not to be knocked over the hill as she climbs on me, and enjoy every snuggle she is ready to give and there was lots. You see in those moments she is the only one with access to me and it gives her one on one time even if I am watching her brother in the field simultaneously. Field phone calls including one from the husband informing me I had the picture form he needed for the other son’s pictures…oops. Have a little moment of worry followed soon by my motto of not sweating the small stuff and moving on to solutions. I will bring it when I can and that is all that can be done. No worries. As soon as we win we pack up again and travel to the other field to watch Baron’s game. Have a blast watching that one and catch up on how the banquet went. Then we packed up, headed home, cooked dinner, prepped book bags by checking over work, signing forms and more forms, writing out checks for field trips, packing snacks, and checking the school calendars, we bathed them all, read some books, and called it a night…for them. I then worked more on adoption education courses, prepared for my case work on Monday, etc. etc. This was our weekend in a nutshell.
So… you know just a little busy and to some that may be crazy but to us it is awesome! We get to do all this, experience all this, and enjoy in sharing these moments with our kids. Bringing them joy gives us joy. We love our busy sometimes crazy life! I am not superwoman as some have told me but I will take that compliment. I have moments of self doubt, many times we are late everywhere, full on freak out moments happen due to the amount of stuff going on and the need to accomplish so much. However, it is always outweighed by the benefits of parenting our crew. We rely on POAs, organization systems, schedules that are synced via electronic devices, amazing friends and family to help carpool, supervise, etc. and alarms that go off for everything. We also are aware when it gets to be too much and schedule date nights, no activity evenings, and always prayer. We also schedule regular one on one time with each of the kids and strive to spend quality time with them daily.
That is how we succeed in a typical day in the life. We have struggles and triumphs but doesn’t everyone? We know it is too much for some to understand and this life is not for everyone. We are not asking you to live our lives. We are however asking everyone to reserve judgement about our choice to bring another child into our family and recognize what blessings these children are. Be happy for us. Celebrate with us. Leave the worries to us because we got this. You can borrow our mustard seed though ;)