Becoming Mine {foster adoption}


Excerpt of a typical day in my house:

The four- and five-year-old have begun to pester me about the next meal. It’s been roughly a half-hour since breakfast. I venture into the kitchen to make a cup of tea (a frequent occurrence in this house) but since I’m in the kitchen, they think there is a slight possibility I might be getting ready to feed them again. They hover at the door of the kitchen, staring. I tell them to please STOP STARING at me because it makes me feel like an animal at the zoo. I then demonstrate the staring rather theatrically and they think I’m hilarious.

“You’re a silly Mama!”

While relieved I haven’t come across as mean, I wonder if they got my point.
Probably not.

Jem has just told me for the 867th time today,

I love you, mom. I love you a lot more.

More than what? I have no idea.

After the 868th “I love you,” I tell him he needs to come up with something else to say. That I love you’s are nice, but there are all sorts of other things he could say during the day. He tells me,

“We don’t know how to talk a lot all the time like you always do.”

Lindsey, on the couch nearby, nearly falls on the floor laughing. When I tell Ken this story later, he laughs so hard he can’t catch his breath. {Apparently I talk a lot.}

After lunch, Jem is hovering near my desk, staring. Again. I urge him to find something to do. He says he doesn’t know what to do. I threaten to put him in time out if he can’t find something to play with. He disappears and I soon hear dirt bike vrooming noises that indicate he has indeed found something to do.

All day long there is so. much. noise. I’m unable to think with all that noise; every train of thought de-rails before it gets far. So I’ve instituted afternoon room time where the kids play by themselves in their rooms. They still manage to make noise, but less than when they are together. Usually they’re happy to have room time, but when they balk I remind them that Mama needs room time in order to be a nice Mama. They agree and into their rooms they go.

After room time, Jem announces [again!] how many meals are still left in the day. All day long he states the obvious. “LacyDog is wagging her tail!” “My dirt bike makes noise!” “There is a bird outside!” “You are making a shake!” “Lindsey is on the couch.” “Kathryn is reading a book!”

Ken and I believe he may have a career in sports announcing.

I can’t read more than a sentence of anything unless I hide away in my room, but I decide to venture out to the living room — which has turned into more play-room than living room. My Little Ponies and plastic dinosaurs and dirt bikes and stuffed animals and stickers and Hot Wheels litter the room and I remember why I don’t try to hang out in here much anymore.


A “good-enough” mom.

These kids drive me batty every day, but I am seeing progress in them. Perhaps even more crucial to my mental well-being, I see progress in myself. The fog of overwhelm is beginning to lift. Right now, I’m a good-enough mom: I give hugs and make meals and answer 300 questions a day and trim toenails and wash peed-in pants and make more meals and tuck them in and say bedtime prayers with them. And I do it all again the next day.

One day soon, I believe I’ll have the soundness of mind to do more. Take them to the playground and do messy art projects and let them help bake cookies and be a Fun Mama. For now, it’s okay that I’m a good-enough mom. I’m giving myself much-needed grace. It’s been a hard year.

They’re becoming mine.

Legally, we’re one step closer to making these children ours; last week we signed “intent to adopt” papers. All we wait on now is the required time period to pass before we may finalize their adoption, which should happen by October.

The kids are becoming mine in a more important way, too: in my head and my heart. Four months into this adventure, I finally no longer feel like this is one never-ending babysitting job. As crazy as these kids make me feel some days, they are my crazy-making children.