Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Grace Upon Goodness

I'm prone to only telling 2/3 of the story.

When I get excited about something or feel any kind of urgency, I start spitting information out at rapid speed, realizing later that I left out key details.

I'm sorry I was so vague about our newest house guest.

When I started getting texts and emails from friends saying things like, "Why do you only have one of the twins?" and "Is Robert taking care of the baby, or are you?" I knew I'd left some critical information out of the equation.

Her name is Avery, and she does not belong to Robert, but it's complicated, because one of his twins is also named Avery. Life is hilarious and strange. Remember?

The family under our roof is cobbled together without a stitch of shared DNA, seven of us making our way through the day with the high hopes that we'll still be singing when the evening comes.

So far, so good.

The change happened swift but sure, her blending seamlessly into the rest of us. Cory and I get hit now and then with waves of PTSD from the last time we parented a 2 year old, because this is nothing like that. This is one million times easier. She's easy-going, funny, compliant, happy, and chill. You'll find us with a look on our faces that says, "Oh, yes. I remember this..."

That's the thing about parenting, though. The hard kids and the easy ones still occupy the same space in our hearts. Our hard baby keeps getting easier, and he's loving his new role as Big Brother, as you might imagine. Just last night he made a potty chart for her from an old Scrabble score-pad, one check for pee and two checks for poop. Naturally.

Which brings me to this observation: Parenting a toddler is SO DIFFERENT when you have smallish, able-bodied citizens ready and willing to help. Ruby has basically earned allowance for life through her eagerness to help out. The two girls share a room, and after they all pile in after school, Avery likes to cuddle with "her Wooby" on the couch.


This is hard, folks. It's just louder and wilder with extra clothes and dirty dishes and food and drop-offs and DIAPERS. There are toys (a toddler who plays with actual toys!!) but no toy room. There's sleep-related angst and so many things. Evenings usually find us hiding out in our bedroom, too exhausted to even speak actual words to each other.

But this is the good stuff.
This is the unplanned-for stuff that rocks life into an ever-sweeter spot.

We're committed to Avery and to her Mama, because we love them both dearly. We have no hopes that she'll be with us forever. Our focus is on loving her well while we have her, just as I imagine Calvin and Silas's foster families did.

For the millionth time, we beat our heads against "this is not about us". It never is, no matter how hard why try to believe otherwise.

But God wastes nothing, so regardless of how wonky life and the future may be, we've been handed a blessing today, so we hold it.

** We've dug out our very favorite kids bedtime book and Miss Avery is loving it just as Calvin and Ruby did. The cover is warped and torn, but the words inside are magic. AND the pictures! So much to look at. I take decorating cues from the homes Eloise Wilkin brings to life inside the pages. It's really the best book ever.

***That ^ was an Amazon affiliate link. :)

Photo credit :: Cory