This morning, our two kids got up, my daughter got herself dressed (!!!), and they played for a half hour or so ... without coming to wake us up first. This is a first, and I consider it a flat-out miracle.
To say that the last 4 years have been hard is a vast sweeping understatement. The sleep deprivation has been epic. Our kids are full-on whirlwinds 24/7, and my daughter is a light sleeper who is still nursing at almost 4 years old. There has been ridiculous family drama on all sides. My dad died. I have an autoimmune disorder that is causing permanent hair loss. My job has been crushingly stressful, and the Mister and I put our marriage through a freaking sausage grinder. Against all odds, we came out the other side. I have a vision of us after an enormous natural disaster, just laying on the ground, beat up and bruised, looking around, completely spent, amazed that the house is still standing and we're all still alive.
Marriage is hard, people. Parenting is hard. Being an older parent is extra super hard. Having dysfunctional families is hard. Chronic health issues don't help. And juggling all that while trying to hold down a full-time nonprofit lawyer job is in-freaking-sane.
So, of course, we decided that the best way to celebrate the fact that we made it through the long dark tunnel is ... to add to our family! Because that will surely reduce the stress level, right?
Yup, it's true. We're in the midst of getting ourselves certified to adopt from the foster care system, and we're as excited as we were the first time we adopted ... although perhaps a bit more realistic/jaded/wise. We blew through 20 hours of training classes in a weekend (thanks to my mom and our kids' former nanny for holding down the fort while we were gone). We've had our first interview with the agency's social worker. And now we're facing a mountain of paperwork, including a questionnaire that, I kid you not, is over 125 questions -- the majority of which are complicated and require essay answers. We each have to fill one of these out, so we can't even split up the work. Epic sigh.
Why are we doing this? Because it makes sense. Squeaker really wants an older brother -- specifically, one who looks like him. We have the room, and we have the drive. We're so unendingly FURIOUS about the racial BS that is going on in this country, and so utterly terrified at the way our society looks at black boys, that we want to do the one thing we can do that we know will make a tangible difference in someone's life -- give a kid who society considers "unadoptable" (don't get me started, grrrr) a family. A chance. A support system. A team. Someone who always has his back.
Wish us well. It's going to be a fun ride!