Friday, October 15, 2010

Family Update.

So, it seems adoption is a never ending state of change :) When we think we've got it nailed, we realize, we don't.

The nutshell version, Homeschool is out. Traditional school in.
Hayden at the Apple Orchard






I thought what would be best for us this year, was to simply be together. In July, we decided to go for it, to homeschool. We were 2 months into our new adjustment with Lucy. Things were going super duper well. Matt was home full time (being a teacher, we enjoyed the luxury of a summer home this year, instead of his usual picking up a summer job). We got to know Lucy, and she got to know us.

What we didn't realize, was the impact of Daddy-o going back to work full time, and back to school himself (as a student) two nights per week would have on us. We dove into homeschool. Matt started back at work. It seemed good. THEN, Lucy began to get a little "high maintenance". Demanding my attention every moment she was awake. Shreiking and screaming at me, literally, if she didn't have it. Homeschool + shrieking baby= unproductive education. This past week, it all really caught up with me. It was already a challenge to get Hayden to want to "do school" with me. He really just didn't understand that learning sometimes takes priority over bike riding or lego building. So, when I finally could pull him in for some learning time, Lucy, would instantly start DEMANDING my attention. I'd go to change her or put her down for a nap, and I'd end up with butt cracks drawn on my garage door in sidewalk chalk.  It seems this mama can't meet all the demands of homeschooling a kindergartener and preschooler, and a *needy-recently internationally adopted-turned her life upside down 14 month old.

After a melt down Tuesday and some heart to hearts with some wise folks in our life, we prayed about what we needed to do.  I began to think back, when did Lucy become so needy and demanding? Why do I feel like she's changed? Oh, right. She had two full time parents for the first 3 months home. We pretty much had one parent on baby duty, and one parent on big boy duty all summer. She had constant attention of one adult. I began to realize that it's ok for me to not homeschool. That maybe being together every waking moment isn't what we need. Maybe we all need some breaks and changes of scenery. Maybe it's okay to let Lucy have high priority attention right now. She's still figuring out how to be a part of a family, even though she's done incredibly well adjusting. It's not done. And, it's ok. And, Jack, former baby of the family, just might benefit from some one on one time with mommy while Lucy naps, and Hayden is at school.

So, today, I enrolled Hayden at the neighborhood school. I met his awesome teacher. I am SO excited for him to GET to go to school, I know he's going to love the stimulation there, that I just can't give focus on right now. He starts Monday. He doesn't know it yet, but I know he's going to be thrilled.

Turns out, the best plan is to be okay with the plan changing. (You would think that I'd already learned that lesson this year, international adoption and all). To do your best to parent your kids, and when you realize it's not working, be willing to adapt. Be ok with admitting you don't have it all figured out and nailed down...heck, even that you made a bad call. I hope my kids will learn that it's okay to be wrong and mess up, as long as you are willing to try and make it right.

Lucy girl at the pumpkin patch
* Hope I'm not making my sweet girl look bad. She  IS doing incredibly well. She's so smiley, loving and really blossoming in so many ways. It's just really easy to take that for granted and forget that life is still super different for her. Her little life has been majorly shaken up every few months HER WHOLE LIFE. That's traumatic--even for the sweetest of babes.

I forget sometimes, that this time of pouring our attention into her, is healing her wounds. Her need to be the focus of our attention is her way of making sure we're not going away, not leaving her behind. It's so easy to loose sight of how many scars her tiny heart has. How every day of her hollering at me, is her asking me to love away her hurts. It's so easy to just want to move on to "normal" and forget the major losses of her life. That those months of a mother naturally focusing 24-7 on her newborn  baby and being totally attached...didn't exist for her? She's still trying to catch up, sweet girl.
Wow. I haven't really pondered that in a while. Still brings tears to my eyes when I do.

Lord, give me your grace. Give me patience. Give me unending amounts of unconditional love to fill up this little wounded heart. Let your love, through us, heal her scars. Let me see what you see. Let me hear those demands for what they are...
Lord, let us find the balance. Let us continue to build a safe home and confidence in all of our children. Help us find ways to nourish each of our kids hearts with the kind of love they each need.  Give us wisdom to know when were screwing it up and to try something new. Thanks for blessing us with these 3 amazing little humans as our children.
Jack with his pumpkin

16 comments:

Mara said...

I have heard such great things about R Elementary, is he doing half or full day t1? For the record, you didn't screw up, you changed your mind and you are entitled to do that! Wow, a very big weekend followed by a very big Monday! THanks for taking time out tonight for us! Hope we all behaved ok!

skippynscoop.com said...

Oh man, girl you sure know how to bring me to tears!

I love this post. I love the realness. I love that you are willing to see that change was needed and make it happen. There is only success to be found in that!

Love you and am so proud of the mommy and wife that you are!

skippynscoop.com said...

ps.

you know we abandoned our homeschool plans too? I know it's for the best right now, but it still makes me sad. Maybe that's why this post made me cry....

Heidi said...

You didn't screw up, Sweet Friend. Quite the opposite. You should be commended for recognizing what's best for your family and adjusting your plan accordingly. And you didn't make Lucy look bad at all! She sounds like some 14 month olds I know who weren't adopted from hard places! Hugs to you all...

P.S. I wish you didn't live so darn far away!

P.P.S. The butt crack crack (for lack of a better word) me up!!

Gayla said...

"Turns out, the best plan is to be okay with the plan changing."

This totally confirms what an awesome mommy you are! Can't wait to hear about Kindergarten adventures. He will love it and so will you.

Denise Crawford said...

See, I think you DO have it figured out. You have figured out that you can try things and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't, and you recognize the difference and are willing to adapt and adjust. And you always have the very best for your family at heart. As your mom, I'm so proud of you for all you are doing and learning on this new journey. The boys are incredible, loving, fun, smart fellas, and Lucy is perfection and your love for her brings me to tears, She's a perfect fit for this family. It's not always easy, but you and Matt are doing an incredible job!! (PS...thanks for a really fun day yesterday!). I love you!!

Katie Morris said...

You are not making her look bad at all. She is so sweet and precious! You are openly sharing what your family is going through and that is a good thing. I know I often forget what Sophia has been through in the first year of her life. Thanks for reminding me. I love the pumpkin patch pics!!!

Julie D. said...

So beautifully written, eryn. Definitely not a screw up. Just a change of plans....props to you for realizing what was going 'wrong'. You are such an incredible mom and sounds like school will be awesome for Hayden. Lucy is lucky to have you two has parents. And the butt crack thing??? I can't stop laughing about it!!! You rock, eryn.

Amy said...

Wow. You are more wise than you realize. Your insight to Lucy and remembering all those "tiny scars on her heart"... I can totally imagine how easy it would be to just try to forget all that and focus on helping her embrace her new life with you guys. But the fact that you recognize that about her, just makes you her perfect Mama. God knew that Lucy needed you and Matt to be her parents and this post on your blog is one piece of proof of that.

Can't wait to see ya for dinner tonight!!

nateandtraci said...

oh eryn! in the words of my son, "i'm crying and i have water in mine eyes"! you're such a great mom, well done on knowing what your family needs and being able to be flexible to the fact that it is always changing. i love you!! xo

Belleme said...

I'm proud of you for making the best decision for your family! It's OK to change your mind! It takes humility to do so! :) Way to go Mama!
And I agree with several of yoru other comments- You dind't make Lucy look bad at all! She is adorable! It was a good reminder for me, too! :)

Audrey said...

thanks for sharing that, eryn! i think it's great that you're willing to change plans and move forward in the best interest of your family. i'll be praying for you guys as the adjustment continues!

dawnette said...

Eryn, you are beautiful, amazing, in tune, vulnerable, wonderful, sensitive, aware, loving, and so very much more.

I love this post. I love your honestly. I love that you're willing to share. And, of course, I simply love you.

Thanks for blogging. love you tons - d

Christy. said...

I love how open you are and how you do what's right for your family no matter what!!

You are a wise Momma and I am so excited for Hayden!!

Shay said...

Your doing whats best for your family- that is what counts! Cheers to you! I bet Hayden will do great in school! There is always next year- right?

Karen said...

What a beautiful post Eryn. I love that you painted what you are going through in such a loving way. I pray schooling goes well for your son and that you feel relinquished and at ease with this choice.

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