So, we’ve had Patrick with us for a couple of weeks. We’ve taken a trip to Tennessee, we’ve had futuristic talks, I’ve refereed arguments, I’ve promised him an allowance, and I’ve hugged him a lot. There are so many different things that I want to tell you about. But, before all that, we had the moment that made it official for me.
On his last visit before he officially moved in, we all pretty much knew what was happening, but I still found it hard to verbalize. I don’t know if it was the fact that it was scary, I didn’t want to jinx how well it was going, or if I just didn’t know how. But, while others around me were making comments, I stayed silent. I never disagreed, I just didn’t say anything.
I was freaking out if we’re going to be honest about it. I knew that I wanted it. I knew that it was the right thing to do. But, no one could blame me for being scared.
I sat there, one night, arguing with myself. I was feeling weighted down by the hugeness of the decision. The knowledge that so much was about to change. And, let’s be honest, annoyed that he had been moody that day. Logically, I know and accept that teenagers are moody. I also know and hope my family accepts that I can be moody. But, emotionally, I was irrationally annoyed and not looking forward to dealing with it. When I talked to Brian about it, he told me that we could stop it. If I wasn’t on board, we could stop it. He wasn’t suggesting it, but he didn’t want me to feel pressured into it, either. But, even in my panic, I knew that wasn’t what I wanted. I think I just wanted to panic a little. Brian told me that no one would blame us. But, he added….except for one person. Brian has a way of reminding me of the big picture and giving me perspective. 🙂
And, that was when I knew that it was too late to turn back and that I didn’t really want to. I remembered that I don’t live my life for myself anymore. I wholeheartedly and willingly, live my life for my children. Ok, buying myself the Batman shirt with a cape, the other day, may not be evidence of that. But, it’s not my fault that there weren’t any in their sizes! And, come on, there was a cape!
But, Batman shirts, notwithstanding, I am totally devoted to my kids.
Then I remembered how scared I was when we agreed to take Lizzie. I knew that we were doing the “right” thing, but I didn’t know for sure if it was the right thing for us. I was excited about having a baby, but very aware of how much life was going to change. And, it did, not only did we have to adjust to life with a baby, but we had to deal with the drama, case workers, and visits that surround foster care. It was hard, it was crazy, and it was exhausting.
Do I have any regrets?
Would I do it all over again?
I think we all know the answer to those questions. 🙂
So, it was that moment that I completely jumped in feet-first, for lack of a less used cliché. That was it, he was mine. The judge and his gavel would catch up in 90-ish days, but he was mine. And, I wanted him.
So, now that my little crisis of faith was out of the way, it was time to have the moment. The big moment that would make me want to cry and make me feel complete.
I don’t remember how it started exactly. I think he asked about when he’d be moving in. I knew from a conversation with Jennice (long-time friend/babysitter) that he had said that he was ready whenever, but WE hadn’t had the conversation. So, I said something about how he could move in during the summer and I would have to check official dates. Then I was keenly aware that he had never said to me directly that he wanted us to adopt him. To caseworkers, his Guardian Ad Litem. But, not me. This wasn’t his fault, I hadn’t said it to him, either.
So, I looked at him and asked “Is this what you want?”
He said “Yeah, it’s cool.”
I’m not sure if it was those were the exact words, it may have been “I’m cool.” It may have been a completely different uber-casual response. But, it definitely was casual.
I said “Ok,” managed to contain myself for about 30 seconds then said, in my all-too-typical high pitched voice, “Give me a hug! We should hug! This is a big deal!”
He smiled and casually hugged me. Then I went back to whatever I was doing in the kitchen and I think he got a snack from the pantry.
It was anti-climatic, but it really wasn’t. Standing there, in my messy kitchen, he became my son. And, you know what, it did make me feel complete and it did make me want to cry.
So, a couple weeks later, we’ve survived our first family vacation which included exposing the nice people of Tennessee to Superman shirt day (yes, I am out of control), feeding cows, catching fireflies, and eating a lot of Long Johns Silvers and Fazoli’s.
|Hanging out with Dingy!
|Superman shirts and a bag full of apples for the cows!
|I really, really like Fazoli’s and Long John Silver’s!
And now we’ve survived our first week at home. I can start to see the challenges that are coming our way. William is thrilled that Patrick is here, but he is reacting to the change in unproductive ways. The house is even messier than before (how hard is it to throw trash away? It is apparently very difficult…). And, everything is becoming more expensive at the same time that my hours are being reduced at work. Don’t even get me started on how much I miss 8:30 bedtime. It turns out that you’re not supposed to send teenagers to bed at 8:30. Who came up with that rule?? 😉
But, do I regret anything? Nope.
Would I do it again? Yep.
Do I love him? Yeah, he’s cool. 😉