Monday, February 28, 2011

Adoption does not make me look glamorous

I have written a post about adoption and how it seems some couples adopt to gain a "brown baby accessory". Today, I write to explain how my life has changed since going from three kids to five; and becoming an inter-racial family with special needs kids. It has not transformed me into the glamorous A. Jolie. But... I would say I am a better woman because of it.

BEFORE: I used to buy gymboree, carters, gap and old navy. New, in the box, never opened.
TODAY: I buy resale, thrift store and garage sale clothing. The kids sport hand me downs. I don't think they look much different though, since I have scored some great finds and brand names on the bargain shopping trips. And we have been blessed with some great hand me downs too!

BEFORE: We would go out together as a family and people would smile and comment about our beautiful family, or our well behaved children.
TODAY: We go out and people say "Are all these kids yours? You sure have your hands full!"
Or they just stare.

BEFORE: We would enjoy going on fun outings like the movie theater or the science museum.
TODAY: We stay around home a lot more or split up the family. It's just a lot of chaos and work to chase around the young ones and some of us have very short attention spans.

BEFORE: I would go get my hair cut and colored at a professional salon every six weeks or so.
TODAY: It's been over a year since I colored my hair and six months since my last hair cut (which is a long time for someone with a short style!) I also cut J's hair and the kids. I recently botched C's haircut and she was treated to a salon cut, so much better!

BEFORE: We would all go to church and everyone was well behaved and quiet.
TODAY: I miss most of worship having to sit in the hallway with a loud, wiggly, or disobedient child.

BEFORE: I did not like confrontation.
TODAY: I have learned to speak up for myself and my children. Their rights are important to me, no matter what.

BEFORE: The house was somewhat peaceful and calm, most of the time.
TODAY: There is never a dull moment and it's only quiet on a rare occasion.

BEFORE: The kids had more room in the mini-van.
TODAY: The van is full, and if a family trip to Costco, Walmart or hardware store is planned, we have to consider every purchase, just to be sure it can make it home!

BEFORE: I would let little things annoy me.
TODAY: I let the little things go. I try to think "Is this really worth the effort to make a deal over this?" Sometimes they still annoy me. I pray more. I bite my tongue. I count to ten A LOT.

BEFORE: I had a social life.
TODAY: We rarely get invited to dinner. Our first dinner invitation in many months resulted in:
one broken window curtain rod, a spilled root beer, and a p*op accident on the bedroom carpet. We will see if we get invited over again!

BEFORE: I knew nothing of how the special education system worked. I didn't know how to care for many special needs.
TODAY: I know a lot, and am learning more everyday.

BEFORE: We could go grocery shopping and spend $100 on four days of groceries.
TODAY: We go grocery shopping and spend just under $200 on four days of groceries.

BEFORE: It bothered me to have people stare or make comments, especially regarding my sons' ethnicity.
TODAY: I find humor in little things. During our dinner out, S. was referred to by our friend's son as "that black kid who p*oped in my bedroom".
I found it endearing!

BEFORE: Our house was clean, with no stains on the carpet or couch, and it smelled nice. I had time to cook and bake. We had time to play more, read more, and work on projects.
TODAY: Our house is not clean, there are stains on the carpet and couch, and it smells a bit off. (with a scented candle burning to mask the odor!) I don't bake, and the meals I cook are simpler. I don't find as much time to play, read and work on projects, although I have a lot of desire and ambition to do so.

BEFORE: I had a self centered, "it's all about me" lifestyle and mindset.
TODAY: I rarely have time to even think about myself. I live for others, God and my family. And I am happier because of it.


Eva Geranton said...

I love this!! Girlfriend, how much I would love to sneak away from our broads early on a Saturday for coffee.

Your family is wonderful and I'm encouraged by your love and willingness to live out the words written in the Bible to take care of the orphans and the widows. That is very glamorous to me!! You are beautiful!

Momto16 said...

what a wonderful post