Guest: Rachel Vander Wall –Raising Olives
Often people ask me how things are going. I can honestly answer, “good.” I am pretty sure that most people translate that to mean “easy peasy.” Truth is, this is hard work. Relentless, non stop, and requiring more patience and energy than I have on my own. Sometimes I feel like there is no way that I can do the same thing all over again.
Get up, shower, try to have devotions, get “interrupted,” oversee breakfast, clean up the mess, teach, go outside to make sure nobody goes in the street while they play, make lunch, clean up the mess, teach, go outside again, make supper, clean up the mess, get kids ready for bed, crash, sleep, repeat.
Sometimes I CRAVE a few minutes of QUIET, uninterrupted time. I get up at 5:30 am everyday so that I can shower and have some time in the Word before the children get up. Technically they aren’t allowed up until 7 am, but there’s a new kid in the house and he happens to be an early riser. I let him sit by me and look at a book- it’s good one on one time for us, but it gets super tricky when one of the girls gets up to go potty and discovers that Teshome is up. Then the “not fair” talking starts and I suddenly find myself surrounded by messy blonde heads and the whole idea of praying for the world goes out the window.
Sometimes I feel like it’s a vacation to walk to the mailbox by myself.
Sometimes I am pretty sure I’ll go crazy if I don’t get to go somewhere without anyone else.
At those times I have to think big picture. Stop feeling sorry for myself and think about my God and King and all He sacrificed to adopt me. I deserve nothing more than eternal death and punishment, but by His GRACE I am free, I am a child of God, I have life, I have 6 beautiful children who need me everyday. Yes, it’s messy and there’s lots of poop and laundry and fighting and I can usually think of a million things I’d rather do than push kids on swings for an hour. Yes, the house is crowded and cluttered and I can barely keep up to make sure people have clean underwear, and we always run out of spoons, and there’s toothpaste all over the girls’ bathroom counter all the time and gas costs too much for me to go anywhere even if I could hire a babysitter. BUT, do I really have any right to complain? Not so much. God is good and continues to supply my needs and enable me to get out of bed each morning.
Still, I don’t want people to think that in my answer of “good” I’m painting a rosy picture of the adjustment a family goes through after an adoption. I wouldn’t want you to be inspired to adopt because of how easy it is. It isn’t easy. It is a blessing and it is wonderful and there are beautiful moments. There is laughter and fun. But there’s also the grief of a little boy who has left behind everything normal and comfortable to start a new life in a foreign land with no language skills. There’s the challenge of five children who have to give up the level of activity and attention they are used to and sacrifice for a brother they don’t really know. There’s the fact that we don’t feel comfortable with the idea of leaving him with any other care giver until we believe he confidently knows that we are his parents and family forever. So, when I say good, please know that’s the short answer to an essay question. I’m just usually not sure if people are ready for the long answer. If you are, I’d be glad to share more. Otherwise, things are good.