Today I am full of doubt.
What am I thinking!? Why would we think we could add two more kids to this circus?
I look around at my house and see disorganization. Toys on the floor. A mountain of clean laundry has amassed yet again, because I can’t seem to fold it all and put it away with my tornado baby helping. The kitchen has crumbs on the floor, and the sink is filled to the brim with dirty dishes even though I just washed them all yesterday. The dishwasher is full of clean dishes waiting to be put away before I can tackle the mess in the sink.
My head hurts. I feel sick at my stomach from allergy drainage today. I just want to lay down and close my eyes, but I can’t because my children are arguing and fighting over something trivial, and the baby is getting into something yet again. The baby seems to have allergies too and he kept tossing and turning all night long in discomfort.
I try to go to the bathroom, but I have to take the baby with me. In the two seconds I sit on the toilet he manages to flip over the cat water dish, knock over the trash can, and bang his head on the side of the toilet. While I reach for the toilet paper he rolls in the floor crying, and my four year old yells through the antique door knob’s key hole that she is watching me and I’d better wash my hands. With soap.
Then it’s past noon and I haven’t even brushed my teeth yet today. Homeschooling. We’re supposed to be doing school work right now, which consists of reading books. A lot of books, which are very enjoyable except when the baby won’t quit yelling over top of us and the four year old won’t stop interrupting with questions every few lines. Then there’s the math, where my 7.5 year old suddenly cannot remember what 2+2 is and my four year old answers for her, and then there are angry tears.
The baby needs another diaper change, and another nap, but he wakes up every time I try to get out of bed and sneak away. The four year old is yelling. She’s always yelling.
I would like to take a shower and run errands, maybe plant my garden.
Wait, the baby will eat dirt if I try to work in the garden. I’ll have to wrangle three kids into the car and through the store if I want to get the few gardening supplies I need. The thought feels overwhelming, and I give up on that idea.
I need to do the dishes before I can make supper, but the baby won’t quit crawling into the dishwasher or screaming hysterically when I try to move him out of the way with toys. I still feel sick from allergies. I don’t really want supper anyway.
Hang on, did we even eat lunch?
The money for hosting these two sweet kids is due in twelve days and we don’t have it. This is causing me stress. Maybe that’s why my stomach feels sick. The baby certainly wasn’t the only thing keeping me awake last night. My thoughts do a pretty good job on their own.
It’s too hard, I think to myself. It’s too much to add more children. I’m tired.
But then my thoughts counter: They didn’t ask to be orphans. It’s too hard for them too.
Ok fine. Good point.
Great, now I’m talking to myself. Either that or I’m hearing voices. Neither of which could be construed as a good sign for my wobbly sanity today.
Surely there is someone better than me, isn’t there? Someone whose house is cleaner. Someone whose children are better behaved, whose baby doesn’t cry so much? Maybe someone with more money? Someone without anxiety and IBS perhaps? Or maybe someone who is older and wiser than we are?
I’m making a box of Annie’s mac and cheese while the baby screams at my ankles. My mind wanders.
I’m reminded of Esther. The Bible character.
I don’t know why. While the baby is screaming and throwing noodles (don’t tell seven-years-ago me that I let a nine month old eat macaroni and cheese) I looked up the story of Esther. I’ve read it before, but I decided to read it again.
Did you know that Esther was an orphan? I never paid attention to that before.
She was an orphan, and a Jewish girl in a time when Jews were not so popular. Yet she somehow became favored by the king and ended up saving all of her people despite being terrified that she would lose her life, despite the fact that she was just a Jewish girl without any special skills or talents.
That made me think of multiple other Bible characters who did amazing things despite being less than qualified. It seems there is a track record of imperfect, unprepared, and unqualified people who have stood up and changed their world. I even read once somewhere that Moses had a speech impediment!
I guess it seems that God doesn’t look for the well equipped to do the heavy lifting. He uses regular people. Regular, boring, people who could probably use a long vacation on a tropical island and a delicious fruity drink with a little umbrella in it.
And really truth be told no where does God promise that everything will be easy. In all of these difficult moments I sometimes think to myself that life is not about making it as easy as possible for yourself, is it?
So I press on, and I know there will be plenty of wonderful moments to counter all of the bad ones. While I’m writing this the girls are outside playing, waiting for me to come out on the porch to read the last few chapters of Sarah Plain and Tall.
I happened to see this pop up in my browser as I was writing this entry…
“…let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”
I can do that, right? Yes. I can certainly do some loving…it was easy to love Igor. I still love Igor, and mourn for lost opportunity to have him as mine forever. I’m ready for new little ones too, ready to keep on loving.
I am haunted by this face. She really, really needs some love.
Funny isn’t it? How you start onto this journey thinking you’re helping orphans and then find that the love and blessings, and the whole amazing thing has been returned to you tenfold, causing you to grow and change for the better in ways you would never have expected.
Can’t help but wonder how it will be with TWO. Twice the love! Two little voices yelling in Ukrainian. I will get to show them bubble bath for the first time, times two! First time they will taste popcorn and go to the movies, to the public pool, the zoo, the children’s museum, and to the big park by our house.
It’s so thrilling to see the joy on their faces when they experience all of these things for the first time. And watching them blossom, from closed shells, pale, and pinched looking into robust glowing children–that’s probably my favorite part. Each snuggle, each kiss goodnight, every moment they are safe with bellies full of good food fights away that pale, pinched look. The transformation is amazing.
I cannot wait. Our whole family is counting down until their arrival. June 26th!