The Five of Us, Spring 2014

The Five of Us, Spring 2014

Invasion of the In-Laws

I talked to my sister-in-law yesterday about the In-Law Invasion and now I feel a little better about the whole thing. See, Aaron's Grandma, Grandpa, Auntie, Mom, Dad, Sissy, and our Niece and Nephew are all coming on Tuesday and Wednesday and staying until Sunday. Gma and Gpa are looking for a senior living place to live out the remainder of their days near family. Boise has quite a selection of such places and is similar to their current Arizona climate (I know you think the winters here would be much worse than in AZ, but really they're pretty mild here in the valley--the mountains get all the snow). So, everyone is coming to help make the decision and to see each other. It's been two years since we've seen Gma and Gpa, and Auntie Joycie has never met Punk.

So, I was feeling a lot of pressure to make everything wonderful and ensure that everyone has a wonderful time while they're here. I love to have people in my home and enjoy doing what I can to make them feel comfortable and cared for. People often tell me they feel at peace in my home and that I have a gift for hospitality. BUT, every strength has it's shadow and I'm prone to overdoing it or getting stressed out by these kinds of things. I think a lot of people relate to the in-law pressure. It's kind of unfair to even call it that because I know most of it is self-imposed, but I want to make a good impression and to accommodate everyone's needs and desires for their time here. Especially with those we don't see often, I want them all to know what a great kid Punk is and for them to approve Aaron's choice of wife!

I was explaining to Aaron the other day that part of my stress comes from not really knowing the rules of the game. We've only been married 6 years and none of the in-laws live closer than an 8-hour drive. The first Christmas we were married, we spent with the in-laws. My family are game players so I suggested we play a round of Taboo after Christmas dinner. I had no idea at the time that they didn't really want to play, they were just being nice to the blushing bride. I also had no idea that Dad would get terribly frustrated at his inability to avoid the "taboo" words and would wind up yelling at me! I didn't know the rules of the family game (like, don't make Dad mad!) and I got my head bit off.

The longest I've ever spent with any of this family has been a week at a time. I've only met Joycie once or twice. I just don't have a great grasp on what's expected of me or how this family operates. Am I supposed to come up with meals for all 11 of us?! Gma and Gpa and Sissy's family all have dietary "oddities" so how do I accommodate everyone? Will I be spending all day every day in the kitchen just to get all the food on the table? Will I be able to "escape" if I need to get some time away? Will they approve of my discipline of Punk? What will we do for all this time together? On and on, I'm just not sure how to play the game. I don't want to disappoint anyone or cause them to think Aaron's made a poor choice.

Aaron's answer, of course, is to just relax and be yourself. That's very much his style (and, besides, this is his family--he already knows all the rules!). That just doesn't really work for me.

So, anyway, I talked to his sister yesterday. She reassured me that they're all just visiting and can relax on their dietary stuff for a few days. They're also bring a couple of casseroles to help keep us out of the kitchen. Anyway, after talking with her, I felt a little better.

Then, I got the mail. In it was the Mother's Day card she'd been meaning to send for a month! She wrote a really sweet note inside saying that she really admires me as a mom and as a person. She also affirmed that I am a good wife to Aaron and have "enriched his life." It was so good to hear those things--it just came against all the fears I was having and made me feel so much better.

Well, Punk's having a breakdown and my cramps are about to make me throw up. Plus, that's pretty much the end of my story. Uuugh. See you after the invasion!


Tarah said...

Dude, you are now at the "sharing cramp pain level". Truly opening up!:) If you are at ease, so will be the fam. Be honest, if you are stressing, say so. It really helps. I have some great casseroles (breakfast, lunch and dinner) that you can make ahead. Let me know if you want recipes!
Love ya

Brandi said...

Bummer. . .I was going by the timeline on AoH website. . .that's ok, I'm planning on not traveling until next summer anyways! I'm just glad to get the one section almost done and settle in for the long haul. BTW, any news on when you'll go? I know you'll get more news when Patty gets back, right? I couldn't remember when that was?

Ginger said...

Sounds exactly like my in-laws. I grew up playing games all the time too, at every get-together. Kyle's family prefers watching tv. I was bored for the first several years of get-togethers. Now, I pray for grace and look for ways to meet them where they are.

Anonymous said...

HAAHAH! I have inlaws here this week too, and cramps!!!!(two separate items! ) Right there with you!!! Love, Denise

My Man and Me

My Man and Me
married 7/7/2001


ours through biology, born 7/25/2004, home 8/1/2004


ours through adoption from Liberia, West Africa, born 7/15/2005, home 10/25/2007


ours through domestic adoption, born 1/15/2011, home 2/10/2011, final 8/3/2011

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Round Two Timeline

  • 9/24/08 Home study update home visit for Ghana adoption
  • 10/15/08 Dossier sent to AOHG
  • 10/15/08 I600A application sent to USCIS
  • 10/30/08 First heard about possible domestic private adoption
  • 11/18/08 Last spoke with contact about possible domestic adoption; expected to hear back about meeting with birthmother
  • 12/3/08 Withdrew application from AOHG
  • 1/6/09 Found out another family had been chosen for possible domestic adoption
  • 1/21/09 USCIS fingerprinting appointment
  • 1/8/09 Received USCIS fingerprinting appointment notice
  • 4/11/09 Sent Pre-Application to Covenant Care Adoptions for Domestic Infant Adoption program
  • 6/8/09 Social worker visit to update home study from International to Domestic
  • 7/24/09 Received completed home study update
  • 8/25/09 Went "on the list" for birthfamilies to choose from
  • 4/28/10 Found out a birth mom had chosen us
  • 5/8/10 Met the birth mom
  • 5/11/10 Got the call that birth mom changed her mind
  • 5/19/10 Birth mom's scheduled c-section
  • 11/30/10 Visit from DSS sw about foster parenting
  • 11/30/10 Got the call that another birth mom had chosen us
  • 12/21/10 Met with the birth mom
  • 1/15/11 @1:42 PM BB was born!
  • 1/19/11 ICPC (interstate) paperwork sent to GA for approval
  • 1/31/11 ICPC Clearance Approved
  • 2/10/11 Placement Ceremony and Pup comes home!!!!
  • 8/3/11 It's Official! Pup's Adoption Decree was issued