We went away for four days. Just DH and I - and, well, 360 or so of his closest work associates. But, the point here is that we went sans children. So, I spent four days without having to say:
*Maybe you can try again with the truth this time.
*Who tracked dog poo on the carpet?
*Yes, when I asked you to help I actually meant it.
*No, this look does not mean I'm happy with your decision.
But, I also didn't get to say:
*Give me a big hug.
*I'm really proud of you for that.
*How was your day at school?
*I do love you, even when you don't want me to.
So, the trade offs were there. I needed the break - and I enjoyed it. I also found that adoption permeates my conversation a lot. These people all know us - at least by name or reputation (the good kind...) and stories pass through companies like small towns. Most folks there know we adopted since we were with the company then as well. Even if they don't know, it's a big time of telling stories about your kids and I often find myself thinking that I need to TELL THEM...like if I'm bragging about my daughter tumbling skills...I joke about not giving her the talent, just the drive. Some of my funny kid stories may not sound funny if you don't know our story - I guess, to some, RAD isn't funny! Once the topic comes up - there are a few questions that tend to be asked:
*Not to be personal, but...can you tell me more about xxx... - I have NO problem with these questions. I'm not a real 'personal' person. I'll answer almost anything...that sometimes leads to...
*But, of course, you'd do it all again even knowing what you know, right? - this one is tough. Would I? Honestly, no. If I really knew then what I know now...I would have been too scared of my weaknesses, too unsure of my ability to continue to parent and love in the face of adversity. I would have been worried to death about the health and welfare of the three people in my family already...so, no - I probably wouldn't have done it. When I tell them that, it comes to...
*So, I know these friends/neighbors/siblings who want to adopt. Would you tell them not to do it? - hmmmmm...I had people tell me not to do it and I didn't listen...so no, I would not tell these prospective adoptive families to not adopt. I would ask them to hear my story (especially if they are adopting older children), I would ask them to read with the mind-set of 'this can happen' and I would ask them to really look at what they are doing this for...
I was happy to get home, although I brought the flu home with me. I've been blessed to sit or lay in basically one spot for 48 hours. Thankfully, it was still school days...thinking I can enter the weekend with a little more energy (maybe a whole hour sitting up!). It was great to see the kids and hear about the fun they had while we were gone. And, it was nice to see that while I was gone...things here were just in a holding pattern. Within minutes of getting up our first day home, the wheels feel off the bus. Since this driver is sick, I just let it careen down the road...it must have righted itself. There, that's the lesson I've really learned.