Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My So Called Life

Andy, Sam, the boys and I are all adjusting to our new normal. Our so called life is delightful so far. I know that this is the honeymoon period, but we are having a great time. We had a pretty low key weekend at home while we unpacked and got some schedules in place. We did splurge on Saturday and went to lunch at Chick Fil A (my choice) and to see Star Wars in 3D (the boys' choice).

We had a fun and sugar-filled Valentine's Day. Sarah showed up at 6:30 a.m. with Krispy Kreme for everyone. Now that is true love because she isn't a morning girl! We had doughnuts and waffles and Valentine's cards all around. Then last night we had a fun fondue night for dinner.

I can't use names on the Internet, so I will refer to the boys by their birth order. Here are a few updates.

Our #1 son is every single bit a 13 year old boy. He is obsessed with getting a cell phone or an iPod touch or both. He is having some academic challenges, so we will spend a lot of time on that. He is a big hearted, sweet and very helpful boy. While he isn't very motivated in school he is very respectful and likes all of his teachers. The same attitude translates to home where he will help with anything that is needed and he is very kind to his little brothers. He is the peacemaker of the group. He came home from Valentine's Day at school with a new girlfriend. Oy vay.

Our #2 son is 12 years old and is one sweet heart of a kid. At least once a day he calls for "Hug Time"! Which starts out as a hug, but usually ends with him trying to crack my back. We are about the same size, so he usually does a pretty good job! #2 has some special needs and is in Special Ed at school. He has a great teacher that is helping me learn to navigate the system. Due to his special needs he is an immature 12 year old, but he is super sweet and still wants me around so I will take immature for awhile. He has a stuffed animal cow that he loves named Moo Moo. I used to love cows and had a stuffed cow in his room when he came for his first weekend. I know it sounds silly, but I considered it to be something of a sign that we should adopt the boys. We are learning his triggers for bad behaviors and working on ways to prevent bad behaviors and correct bad behaviors.

Son #3 is 9 years old and the charmer of the group. We made school Valentine's for for his class and since he is still in elementary school he had a class party. Another mom whom I met invited me to attend, but I didn't want to bust up on his boundaries and make him feel uncomfortable. I asked him over the weekend if he would like me to attend. He decided that he would like me to come and I was overjoyed. I seriously almost cried! He came home on Monday and said, "Don't forget the party is at 1:30 p.m. tomorrow." Apparently, last week he announced to his class that he was getting adopted last weekend. I have been most concerned about him emotionally during the transition, so that was very encouraging to me. Andy also got to go to Cub Scouts with this week and they are building a Pinewood Derby Car. He is at such a fun age and I am hoping having two supportive parents is really going to help him blossom.

So, that is the big update. I am pretty worn out and yesterday felt pretty hectic, but at the end of the day Andy said, "Our life is so fun now." I have to agree.

(Sorry for the lack of pictures, but I can't show off the boys until they are ours legally!)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Today, I Become a Mother

I woke up this morning with a giddy excitement because today I become a mother. Our three boys move in after school today. Last night, Andy and I had our last supper with just two people (Sam was out). Last weekend, we celebrated our second anniversary by going to Chattanooga, so I guess that was our "babymoon." This morning instead of grabbing my hospital bag and munching on ice chips I brewed up a pot of Peet's coffee, tried to read my Bible (but I couldn't focus) and then hit the YMCA for a run to get the jitters out (it didn't work). Then I made a quick run by the store to get some essentials like 2% milk and "normal" salad (the boys will eat iceberg lettuce and carrots with ranch, but my exotic blends of field greens, chickpeas and feta do not go over well). Sweet friends are filling my freezer with meals to use on the days that cooking doesn't seem feasible. I am trying to make homework stations and plan morning routines as well as decipher doctors and boy scout leaders. Eager grandparents are making plans for their weekend visits to meet the newest family members.

Who knows what our coming months hold? We are praying for a smooth emotional transition for our boys. We are praying that they will find joy by being in our family. We are praying that we bond and attach to one another. We are praying that laughter fills this place as much as the stinky boy smells will.

So, I won't spend today in a hospital checking vital signs, but when I go to bed tonight I will be a mama to three precious boys. This morning when I couldn't read my Bible, I finally just flipped open and this is what I saw, Psalm 127. Perfect.

 Unless the Lord builds the house,
those who build it labor in vain.
Unless the Lord xwatches over the city,
the watchman stays awake in vain.
It is in vain that you rise up early
and go late to rest,
eating the bread of anxious ytoil;
for he gives to his zbeloved asleep.
Behold, bchildren are a heritage from the Lord,
cthe fruit of the womb a reward.
Like arrows in the hand of da warrior
are the children1 of one's youth.
Blessed is the man
who fills his quiver with them!
He shall not be put to shame
when he speaks with his enemies ein the gate.2

Monday, February 06, 2012

On Being a Mrs.

I received this coffee mug as a wedding gift. I was sipping my morning brew from it a few weeks ago and it struck me how much I love being a Mrs. and not just to anyone, but I adore being married to Andy.
 Two years ago today, I became  Mrs. Andrew Nack.  I realize that is a pretty old fashioned title and I do not go around calling myself by my husband's name. However, years gone by there was a sense of honor in marrying a good man and taking his name. I feel that sense of honor today and feel so blessed to be married to Andy.

The past two years have opened up the world of marriage to me. I know that Andy loves me securely through all of my meanness, emotional instability and critical nature. Honestly, Andy brings out the best in me and even when the worst of me comes out I have not doubted his deep love for me even once. I have seen the way he has decided to put aside the easy road to follow God's call for us to open our home to Sam and now to our three boys. I have learned to be a team united in heart and purpose. I have learned what it is to be cherished. Andy brings me flowers every week. It started as a joke early in our dating relationship and he has missed very few weeks since then. Andy opens my door getting in and out of the car. It drives some of our friends bananas, but he loves to give me the place of honor and treat me with special attention. Andy holds my hand all the time. It is so sweet to me and we plan to be that cute, old couple that is still holding hands at 90. 

Last week when we met our boys' mom she mentioned one reason that she was supportive of our plan to adopt was because there was a man in our house. With tear filled eyes, I told her that Andy is the type of man that she wants her boys to grow up to be. I told her that he is faithful, honest, hard working and treats women with the utmost respect. He is tough, he is tender, he is smart and he is funny. I am so excited that Sam and our boys have Andy to look to as a male role model. 

So, with a man like that, I gladly take the title of being his Mrs!  Happy Anniversary!

Friday, February 03, 2012

Jumping In With Both Feet

Over the course of a three day weekend we fell in love with three boys. We had been thinking about and talking about the boys for almost six weeks when we finally met them. We had a great weekend with them watching movies, playing basketball, playing board games and generally laughing. Over the course of the six weeks of waiting to meet them, I was warming to the idea of adopting them, of giving them a forever home. When I thought about myself, my ideas and my plan I always said no. But, when I thought about the boys and what they needed my heart had to say yes. From our first hours together, I knew that we would say yes to bringing them into our home and family. On the technical side, there are still some legal issues to resolve and we will not be able to petition for adoption until the boys have been in our home for six months. Until then they will technically be foster children in our home.

We have been sharing our news with family and inner circle of friends and have begun the preparations for becoming full time parents to three adolescents. I have started meeting teachers, filling out field trip permission forms and planning chore charts. We have been test driving mini-vans. I have been researching attachment in adoption with older children and praying almost constantly for help. In essence, I am in the adoption nesting phase. We are thrilled, exhausted and anticipating our future with our boys.

The boys were told by their current foster mom and case worker that they will be moving in with us on February 10 and that we will be adopting them. Though they have been told before that they cannot return to their birth parents, they are truly understanding and accepting that fact for the first time now. They are understandably sad. Our boys have (and will continue to have) a relationship with their parents and they love them very much. We were able to meet their mom this week. She is sweet, precious and loves her children so very much. What she wants most for her boys is that they grow up to be productive and happy people. She is giving us the opportunity to help the boys achieve that. I cry every few hours as I ponder the reality of pain, loss and grief in adoption. Our great joy is coming from someone else's great loss. While we are very excited about adopting the boys, as are our friends and families, the boys are not able to express those same emotions yet. I pray that they will come to a place of joy of being in our family. I pray that they are able to see what they are gaining and not only what they are losing.

So, starting next week, I ask that you treat me like the mother of a newborn. (Newborn triplets, maybe!?!?) While my nights won't be sleepless and I won't be trying to schedule feedings, I will be buried in figuring out school schedules, driving to boy scouts, helping with homework and laying the foundation of a new family. If you don't hear from me, it isn't because I don't love you or want you to know what is going on. It is probably because I am exhausted and confused. Please send me texts and emails. I may not respond, but I will be so happy to hear from you.

A new life is waiting for us and we are jumping in with both feet.