In case you can't quite figure out what the heck they were doing, after a project in Sunday School this morning where they made windsocks out of file folders, they asked me if they could make a project at home...so for $4.49 at Target for a box of 100 file folders, they spent an entire afternoon creating their own version of "Ironman"...or should that more correctly be "Fileman"?! Hahaha! They were going to make a set for each of them but it took longer than they thought so they made one outfit and dressed Matt in it, complete with jetpacks on the back. They had SO much fun with files, a stapler and Christmas ribbon!
We have also been fulfilling a childhood dream of mine, if you can believe this. It is sort of silly, but when I was young I LOVED the Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I would save every penny until I could buy another and would beg for her books for Christmas or birthdays. I must have read them all 4 or 5 times each, at least. I actually still have the entire original set, some marked with notes in them from my Dad..."Cindy Roehrman, age 7, bought with her own money...Little House book for a little girl". I saved them all in the hopes that one day I would read them to my own daughters. Yea, I was definitely tied to traditional gender roles back then, wasn't I? Hahaha! Well, we started reading the series last week and the boys are SO HOOKED on it, they are begging me every night to read a couple of chapters. So we are snuggling up on the couch each night just before bedtime, reading about my old friends Pa and Ma, Mary and Laura and Baby Carrie. I wonder why I never imagined reading them to my sons instead of my daughters when I was a little girl?
We all have certain things we carry as dreams when we think of our life with children prior to ever having them. At one point, I had 2 of the original Cabbage Patch dolls put aside for our children...they were from the first year of issue when everyone was getting into fist fights in the stores over them. Somewhere along the line during those 13 years pre-adoption I got rid of them. I don't recall it, and I know it wasn't a traumatic moment or a letting go of a dream of a family or anything, it just seemed silly to keep them around when it looked like it wasn't ever going to happen...
I remember imagining reading to the kids, just as I do today and have for years. I always thought I would find myself hanging out on ballfields much as my own parents did for years and years but that was dropped as we realized that none of the boys are really all that into the Big Three sports. I have been spared thus far one of the visions I had of breaking up bickering, pestering children as our boys get along so well that is thankfully something that doesn't happen often at all around here but my poor mom was driven to distraction by my brother and I nitpicking at each other! I thought of sitting in front of Christmas trees with lights aglow, of trips to the library, of long talks, of bear hugs and good night kisses. But interestingly, I never imagined what my children would look like...I never saw pictures in my mind of kids that looked like mini-me's. That was one thing I didn't have to relinquish with adoption.
Somewhere along the line though, I found myself letting go of those thoughts. The longer we were married, the more years that passed with no pregnancy, the more distance I put between myself and my dreams of life as a family. It wasn't painful really, it was just reality. You gradually find your mind drifting in different directions and one day you wake up and realize that you aren't even really thinking about it anymore and it is time to make some decisions to determine if you are indeed going to let go of the portrait of yourself as a mom or if you are going to get it in gear and start looking at alternatives. We almost shoved that portrait aside for good, we were [[thisclose]] when suddenly our thinking shifted, and those images started flooding back...thinking of warm and fleecy footed pj's and quietly whispered "Night Mommy" 's.
The longer it takes the easier it is to find myself distancing a bit more from our current adoption plans. I am not looking at photos much, I am not thinking ahead to what it will be like, I am not thinking much about Girl Scouts or raging hormones or what to do with girl's hair. There comes a point where, for self-preservation, you speak about it in practical terms as if plans are still on the move but when it seems there is such an incredible distance between desire and completion of the dream, you have to let go, to turn your mind away...or you'll never make it. I am not really depressed over it, although at moments I guess I might be...I am more resigned to the wait, and continuing on with the business of living. But it gets admittedly tiresome after 2 years to say "I don't know if we can go on that camping trip...we might be here and we might not" as you sit in anticipation of extended adoption travel which may or may not be happening in the coming months. I look forward to the day when I get that signal from God that it is OK to start thinking of a future, to imagine sitting at the kitchen table doing ...oh my gosh I can't believe I am saying this...crafty things with my daughters (not TOO crafty, mind you! Hahaha!) or to think of buying a prom dress or two.
What does happen with the passage of so much time is doubt begins to creep in, and you try and whisk it right back out the door but often that proves very hard to do.
So, as is usual about this time of year, we are proceeding to register the boys for church camp, to think about summer adventures we will have close to home, we continue to make our every day plans...all the while hoping that those plans will be destroyed with a phone call giving us a couple of weeks to get on a plane. It is actually quite a weird little place to be in. With each passing month, with each delay you readjust your thinking...first it was "I am not sure if we should sign the boys up for soccer as I don't want to pay for the season and be gone for most of it" then it becomes "Maybe we will miss the first part of school next year". And still we wait.
I have changed and evolved a tremendous amount over the past few years...in many ways I am hardly recognizable to myself, at least in terms of my internal thought processes. Patience is something I was never good at, it is something I am learning to be VERY good at.