Friday, October 20, 2017

Adoption & Home

For the past year or so I’ve had this theory that in a different house, our two children who (much to their frustration) need constant adult intervention in our current space, could safely have the independence they’ve been longing for.

My theory has gone largely untested because we live in the city, and, by city standards, we have a generous amount of space.

However, my theory isn’t completely about the amount of space. It’s about layout, where the house sits on the lot, distance to neighbors, how wooded the lot is, and even the size of the driveway. I’ve had a suspicion that an ideal space could greatly lower our sons’ stress levels so they could use more of their energy to enjoy life. According to my theory, every relationship in our family could be positively impacted by the right space. The right space (again, theoretically) could lead to more community for our family as we could be less isolated and better friends if only we had the right space to invite them into.

A few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to test my theory. We attended an open house after school on a Thursday- a time my children typically have difficulty interacting with each other because they’re exhausted. We all are.

While two of our children need adult direction at least once every five minutes when they’re at home, they played for an hour and fifteen minutes in the yard at this open house without needing us once! All four brothers were creative, collaborating, and calm in that space. Matt and I walked around the property as if we were on a date.

If you look back over our past few years and consider our choices, we shouldn’t be in the position to rent a two bedroom apartment in zip code, and yet, miraculously, our children are having their most urgent needs met in a house much nicer than we ever imagined living in. Knowing the miraculous events that led us to our current housing situation, I’ve felt guilty even considering moving on...

...until I saw how well my children could manage in a different space.

The theory has now been tested. Now I know there are some settings that lower our children’s stress so significantly they’re free to function at a much higher level. In a more ideal space, our children don’t have to use all of their energy just to survive. In an ideal space, our children exude joy. In an ideal space, our children have a greater capacity to connect with others.

Our journey to that particular open house was first motivated by our general curiosity about the area. We also hoped for an opportunity to test our growing theory. At a glance, the property was far beyond our reach.

After we saw how healthy our family was there, we put the highest offer we could put on the house and submitted a detailed letter (complete with family photo) with the offer.

And...we didn’t get it.

While I have moments of grief and anxiety over the whole ordeal, I have more moments of gratitude and hope. We now know what our children need! We may not currently have the means to meet those needs, but that’s always been part of our journey. That’s where we have to pray, hope, and wait.

So that’s where we currently are.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Conversation with a Friend

Since adopting our children, I've met wonderful friends in unlikely places (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Group Therapy). I'm constantly challenged to become a better parent and a better person by these courageous friends. Honestly, I don't wish to imagine where I would be without their honesty, support, and wisdom. 

One of these lovely friends is Melissa from The Cork Board. She recently began a Podcast and I was honored to be her guest. 

Although I don't see myself being motivated enough to begin my own podcast, I greatly appreciate the depth that accompanies our conversation. When I blog, you hear what's going on in my heart, and what works for our very unique family. In the conversation with Melissa, you hear that while many of our experiences are similar, our problem solving looks different- and it has to because our families are different.

You can listen to the Podcast HERE.  

I'd love to hear if you can relate (and, in some instances, hope you can't). 

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