The Five of Us, Spring 2014

The Five of Us, Spring 2014

One of THOSE Days

We all have 'em. Those days when things do not go as planned. Sometimes we manage to make the best of it--some of us through true Christlikeness and death to self, others of us through the sheer power of our own wills. Sometimes, though, we choose the flesh over the Spirit and just compound things. Today, for me, was of the latter variety.

I used to be very self-composed. My entire life was run on the raw power of my will. Even for several years after I began my real relationship with Jesus. I had great self-control, and I even inflicted it on others. Until a daring and wise mentor reflected to me how unhealthy and damaging this was. It was one of my most heart-rending, gut-wrenching, soul-humbling times. And, a moment in time I remain most grateful for. However, it wasn't like the issue was all resolved in that day. A lot changed immediately, but there has been a continuing learning curve. Though the rigidity is largely overcome, it is still very difficult for me to respond appropriately when plans change.

This afternoon, I was expecting Aaron to come home and help with the kiddinkidinks' doctors appointments. Punk was in for a kindergarten physical and Pea for her annual well-child check (which we normally do around birthday time, but we were moving, blah, blah, blah). I had some concerns I wanted to run by the doc and I knew both kids were due for shots. I really didn't want to do it all on my own. Aaron had assured me that it wouldn't be a problem for him to escape from work to be there to help with everything. And, he took the car.

Shortly before we needed to leave, I gave him a call. Things weren't going well and he simply couldn't leave. I was assaulted by all kinds of feelings (which, as you know from the first few paragraphs, I stupidly indulged): abandonment, disappointment, resentment, anger, loss of trust. YOU screwed this up and now I have to do it all myself AGAIN! Ugly stuff. I let him feel the icy discomfort of all that was welling within me (as much as I could over the phone) and even sorta hung up on him.

Then, I couldn't find my wallet and was certain it was in the car. With Aaron. So, I bundled up the kiddinkidinks (it was 40 some degrees this afternoon), threw on self-reliance like the cloak of a queen and began the 20 minute walk to the doctor's office. A twenty minute walk through our neighborhood seems like such a pleasant thing now, but at the time it looked like a grueling trek for a self-important, offended queen and her 3- and 4-year old mini-subjects.

We arrived (without incident) at the doctor's office and I filled out reams of paperwork, fuming that I had to remember EVERYONE's SSNs and keep the peace at the same time all by myself. I held each of my precious ones during their injections (2 for Pea, 3 for Punk). I conducted the difficult conversation with the doc with alacrity and aplomb (whilst breaking up a wrestling match, correcting vulgar language, and preventing a relay race). I held each kiddinkidink again when zhe had a finger prick to draw blood. I carried 3 coats, 3 hats, 4 gloves, 2 mittens and the ever-growing ream of paperwork from room to room all around the office. And, with each feat of super-human motherliness, my ugly cloak of pride grew and grew.

Until, as I was preparing to rebundle for the walk home, Pea cried, "Look! It's Daddy!" And, there before me stood my knight, sorry for missing everything, humbly awaiting to carry us all home, and perfectly poised to slay all my accumulated pride. But, before I had completely thawed, he announced he'd be heading right back to work and was already late for a meeting I didn't know about. Every bit of ice I'd shed came right back to me, heavier, sharper, uglier than before.

I put the kiddinkidinks into bed for their much-needed naps and sat down to collect myself. I let myself reflect on how far out of his way Aaron had gone to save us from walking home (which almost certainly would have been disastrous--what with the injected thighs and sleep-deprived souls of my "subjects"), and it thawed me again. It really wasn't his fault that he couldn't get away sooner (even though he had assured me it would be no problem last night). And, he was probably having a pretty lousy time of it too.

When he came home again, I greeted him with a hug and kiss and a big apology. I'm really glad I was able to get my self in check and fix my attitude. Because right after he got home, I started making dinner--brown rice enchiladas with black bean sauce. I poured the hot sauce into the blender and it poured right out the bottom!* Had I still been wearing my ice-queen's cloak, this might have been disastrous. Instead, I was able to calmly ask for help, get it cleaned up, and come up with a wonderful, spontaneous Plan B.

Sushi and plum wine. Mmmmm! The kiddinkidinks split a turkey burger (how glad I am for sushi bars that understand that not EVERYONE eats sushi!) and Punk learned to use chop sticks to eat his cut-up burger! He's better with them than I am!

I'd like to say, "Lesson learned!" but I'm more tempted to think, "When will I EVER learn?!"

*For the curious: This was because an essential part was missing. We found it in the bottom of the dishwasher, melted and mangled beyond use. Thus, I couldn't finish making the recipe (the sauce NEEDED to be blended) and by this time in the day I really was a little frazzled and not excited about continuing to cook, feeling that something ELSE was bound to go wrong!

3 comments:

Tanya said...

Thanks for your vulnerable post. I'm right there with ya..

Tarah said...

Great lesson! Hmm, maybe I should read the story a few more times.
hugs.

All 8 of Us said...

Rachel,
Thanks for sharing so transparently...I have often said the 'crucible of the home' is the greatest training ground for sanctification and I can so relate to your description of the day!

Blessings,
Kathi (AOH adoptive mom)

My Man and Me

My Man and Me
married 7/7/2001

Punk

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

Pea

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

Pup

Pup
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