Our 10 year anniversary was September 1st. We dropped kids off in the morning and then headed to the airport for a flight to Chicago. Before we went through security, we sat at Starbucks waiting for a social worker. She so kindly offered to meet us at the airport for our first homestudy interview so we could get it in before our trip. I joked with friends that it was a reflection of my love for multi-tasking and taking advantage of every spare moment.
While we waited for her to arrive, we watched families saying ‘goodbyes’ at the security check point. There was one family…a mom, dad, daughter and son…that I couldn’t stop watching. My best guess is the son was boarding a plane for his first year at college. He was the oldest. The mom was a wreck. She kept hugging him and crying. He finally got in line, went through the checkpoint and turned to give one last wave at his mom. That is when I lost it. I’m not a crier, but I was sobbing…SOBBING at the airport Starbucks waiting for a social worker to interview me for an adoption. I tried to pull myself together. Moments later our interview began.
She asked me something related to our journey to adopt. I began sharing and eventually started talking about all our dear friends who have adopted…and then I lost it again. I had to apologize and tell her the whole story about the mom and her oldest son leaving for college…and saying goodbye to my kids that morning…and finally getting to point of our first home study visit. She was so gracious and understanding. Chris, whose sensitive nature is known by many to cry all the time, was all too amused with me.
She gave us some paperwork to fill out. We took advantage of the short flight to get in done. Me = realist, Chris = optimist….that really came out in how we answered questions!
The next visit was scheduled at our house with the kids. I had great ambitions to clean and actually dust the house for once. Ambition is where it ended. It is impossible to clean a house when Thing 1 & Thing 2 are running amok.
The dusting didn’t happen, neither did the mopping…but I did get things picked up. My new rug…maybe if the kids weren’t acting so cute she’d be distracted by the cuteness of my rug. And back up plan #2 – chocolate chip cookies in the oven. I figured even if light sabers were crashing in the middle of the interview, I could win her over with chocolatey goodness.
Well, the second home study went reasonably well. Our five year old was in tears before it even started. Really, today…right now? As the doorbell rang, I realized FireCracker tried to wash her own hands and in the process drenched her cute outfit. I was changing her clothes as Chris was opening the door. This is not the pulled together family welcome I had in my head. The boys colored at the table. At one point I thought a paper airplane zoomed past my head only to hear my oldest declare, “I almost got you with my flying paper knife.” Yes, my boys like to attack me with handmade weapons, I take whatever crafting I can with them. FireCracker decided not to make it to the restroom and graced us with an accident in the middle of the room. Good thing I didn’t get around to mopping earlier. When asked what the rules in our home are, my oldest said, “We don’t have rules.” Hmmmm….not even sure what to say about that. We were 3/4 of the way through when I realized my fly was down. Nice, Ashley.
All in all, it went great when you consider 4 wild cards were involved. She was gracious and even commented at the end how peaceful our house felt. My house is not peaceful in the sense of quiet and serene, but there is a different kind of peaceful going on around here. I was so grateful that despite all the real life that can turn some off…she saw what I see in my home. A peaceful that covers the battles, the accidents, the dust, the flying objects and a mom with her fly down.
If you’ve ever been pregnant, you know once you get that positive test result…your every thought and future plan involves that growing baby. For me, it is exactly the same with an adoption. Though my sweet one is not growing inside me, I see us as a family of 7. When I think of my kids…I think of 5. Four are here in Oklahoma and my youngest is in China…so far from me. Have I mentioned that before…China…my little one’s home. Just like when I was pregnant, I don’t know details about appearance, personality, health…but I know our family is growing.
We had grilled corn this week. As I was getting it ready to throw on the grill, I realized there was one extra. Unlike a pregnancy, where others are very conscience of your growing family, adoption isn’t so noticeable at this stage….but it is so real for us. It is real enough that at the grocery store I was thinking, I need 7 ears of corn – one for each of us.