It’s been a while since I’ve written here. Wow. There has been a lot going on, and now I’m not quite sure where to start in sharing. I could tell you about the end of Matt’s semester, write the promised post about Madeleine CaiQun’s name and what we call her and why, share with you some of my thoughts about ethics in international adoption, tell you about our trip to Kansas City for a wedding this weekend, give you general updates about how we feel like we’re doing with our transition to a family of four and all of the attachment and bonding that has accompanied that transition, including the development of the sister-bond, write about CaiQun’s progress and development and what she’s been doing as part of the First Steps program, or any number of other things. Check back here soon for anything in that list that interests you that I don’t touch on in this post!
First, as I said, Matt’s semester has ended! Hallelujah! Being the planners that we are (or rather, that I am – Matt, not so much, though he humors me), when we were trying to get pregnant, we knew there were no guarantees, but we figured it would be ideal to try to get pregnant such that our baby would be born in the spring just after Matt’s semester finished up, and then we’d have the summer to bond as a family. Though God does not seem to be interested in my plans much of the time, in this instance He humored me, as well, and Miranda was born with just one week of classes left in the semester. Just about perfect – my mom was here for that week of classes, and then we just had to make it through finals week before Matt’s schedule – and consequently all of our lives – got a lot simpler. That summer really was a sweet time of bonding together.
This whole traveling to China and adding a child to our family mid-way through the semester was a bit more of a challenge! I certainly don’t mean this as a complaint, because these past 3 months have been wonderful, and we have gotten a lot of time together as a family, but still, our family is very tied to the academic calendar year, and summers are glorious. Praise God that we’ve made it through to another one! Even though Matt has had a lot going on, it has felt like there is more space, room to breathe, time to read and laugh and take walks and do puzzles, time to comply with little girls’ requests to pull them around in blankets. Good stuff 🙂 We are enjoying this more laid back time.
I’m also trying to take more time to really be with my girls. I realized something about the feelings of loneliness and occasional sense of malaise I was experiencing – I could actually do something to combat them. It took me a little while to see it – I’m almost embarrassed about how long – but that’s often how this life works, right? We’re blind to what is plainly going on in our own lives and hearts while it would take us next to no time to identify the same in a friend. Eventually, through the prompting of God’s Spirit I am sure, I saw it. I was focused on entirely the wrong things. I wanted a full calendar, friends to entertain me, adult conversation, places to go and people to see. Not that any of those are bad things, but they certainly weren’t the things I really want to focus on in this stage of life. I want to be and live my life like I am, first and foremost, a child of the living God, then a wife to Matt, and then a mom to Miranda and Madeleine CaiQun, and all else ought to fall into place far behind those 3 roles. I really do feel called to focus on being a mom during these years that we have kiddos at home. There are definitely other interests I have, and I want to pursue those, but if being a mom is truly my calling, then surely I could be more thoughtful and intentional about how I am doing that. What if I really lived like my job right now was to love and guide and teach these two little girls that God has placed in our family? What if I took it as seriously as other people take their careers? And instead of worrying about where I’m going to get my desired quota of adult conversation for the day, what if I looked for ways to engage my kiddos in good conversations? What if I read more books with them, did more puzzles, and included them in more of the activities I was doing? What if I spent less time looking at Facebook? What if I prayed with them when they were having a hard time doing what I asked instead of just getting frustrating with them? What if I really started to research home-schooling options for the fall? I realize that the stakes for pre-school curriculum choices are not particularly high, but still, I could do more to learn about our options and make an informed choice about what could be best for our family. And I could actually start to plan my time with the girls more, not just wait to see which toys they gravitated toward, but be pro-active and seek to engage with them in different ways.
It’s been good – I feel like I’m getting more time with the girls, and more of it is real quality time. And I think they’re benefitting from it, and I’m definitely enjoying it. My girls are two pretty cool little people 🙂 Here they are reading together after we’d all spent some time reading books on the couch.
And here we are watering the grass seed that a neighbor surreptitiously put out for us. Don’t even ask.
Miranda could not have been happier when I sprayed her after we finished.
She’s such a fun kid. They both are. I know I’m biased, because I’m their mother, but really, I think that’s kind of the point.