They say there is a honeymoon period in adoption. I think there is a honeymoon period with just about anything...new jobs, new houses, new routines, new anything. I think it is the natural course of things and should be expected.
The thing is, I didn't go into this with rose-colored glasses. I didn't go into this with my eyes half shut. Apply whatever cliche you can think of...I didn't do it.
I'm a worrier. I went through every possible horrible scenario imaginable and prayed my way through this whole process. In Ukraine, I forced myself not to think beyond getting them home because the idea of homeschooling two more children who don't even speak our language was overwhelming, honestly. I knew if I looked beyond what I needed to do right then, I would lose focus and possibly lose faith.
Now, before you think that I was afraid or crazy or both, it is important to remember that our faith is what brought us to this process in the first place. If you, dear reader, don't have your own faith in God, this may not be understandable...especially considering my tendency to worry and the possible problems we could face adopting teenagers from another country. All I can say, after challenging you to gain your own personal faith, is to try to imagine when you have felt, to your core, that you were meant to do something. Now, if you put all of my musings in that perspective, it might not seem so crazy. So, knowing that we were meant, even called, to do this made it easier to put aside my fears, which are really just a lack of faith anyway.
Back to my point...I had pretty much run the gamut on concerns about what we were doing so I'm not sure there is a honeymoon period going on here. There has been no euphoric feeling of "finally being together", no Christmas-morning-like moment of utter joy, no "new baby" excitement...it has been what it was supposed to be. And it feels very much like they've always been here...a phenomenon we have pondered with every newborn we have welcomed, too.
Life on the Farm
As I write this, or rather finish it, it is almost two weeks since we've arrived home. I started this post on Friday night imagining I might just be so on the ball to post at the "week mark" but, just like every other night in the last week and a half, I got too tired to finish it. And the days are too full to lend themselves to writing...especially since I can't keep my thoughts short enough.
We have spent the days since we came home orienting Ruslan and Nastia to their new lives and the expectations of living in our family and on our little farm. We aren't raising animals or food here, we're raising kids. The animals and gardens are for the purpose of training the children and just happen to have the little benefit on the side of providing much of what we consume.
The children all have daily chores, most of which must be done twice a day because of the heat and the need the animals have for water. They all have chores inside the house to keep things running somewhat smoothly, maintain some level of cleanliness and make sure Mom doesn't wear herself completely out.
We decided long before bringing the kids home that they would begin right away with responsibilities. No vacation, no acclimating, just rip the band-aid off as quickly as possible. :) The other kids had all helped with the planning and preparation of what each of the two new kids would be doing, so as soon as they were here, they just slid right into their roles.
You know, come to think of it, there probably is one honeymoon that has gone on. I think Nastia has had a level of newness and excitement that is wearing off now. Ruslan knew exactly what it was like here and nothing much has changed since last summer except his bedroom. He's been planning for a year what he was going to be doing here and what it would be like, anticipating what his new life would be. But, for Nastia, it's been an adventure...until the last couple of days. I won't go into that here, but I can assure you that reality is sinking in for that girl. :) It's okay, though. We all go through that with something new and she'll be fine...and stronger for it, too.
There is so much to share, so many new experiences, so many fun things that have happened and watching the kids see and do things for the first time. I compose the posts in my head, but lack the time to get them down. I'll try to be better...I even take pictures of potato digging, peach canning, bean snapping, garden weeding, corn shucking, kids on the swings in front of the sunset, Nastia teaching herself how to ride a bike. I mean to post them...I just need to make a time to do it.
There is so much to talk about, too, for the adopting families in the future...bumps we've run into (like hygiene issues...washing hair does not mean just getting it wet and YES we wash our hands after using the bathroom), traditions they aren't used to (the fact that the TP can actually go into the toilet...and down), paperwork that needs to be accomplished (registration with the embassy, putting the kids on health insurance...all within the first 30 days...which seems like a long time but it isn't when life takes over) and the list goes on.
So, I'm off to bed...which, after a full day of peach canning and laundry with a toddler, four middle kids and two that don't speak the our language, is REALLY inviting!
(In case you're doing the math...my oldest is at a conference at BYU all week. This gives Ruslan the joy of being the man around the house...a reality that he got to experience today while he hauled peaches up and down stairs for a few hours this afternoon...no wonder his scrawny arms are starting to show some muscle definition! Gotta a love a farm.)