Yesterday a local government office went all out for my children. Two wonderful ladies brought us an SUV size load of beautifully wrapped Christmas presents.
My kids sat in stunned silence and behaved wonderfully well considering this is The Holidays. They were lined up on family room sofas staring with their big beautiful eyes in awe at the amount of gifts.
This means so much to me, more than anyone, as I struggle to pay the bills, cook for this many children, clean, do the laundry and the thousand other chores that need my attention on a daily basis anyway. Factor in Christmas and the emotional demands...I am constantly sleepless, out of breath, and busy beyond words as I try and get it all done. The kids are helpful, and are behaving reasonably well, which is the most help.
This wonderful lady, Miss Jeanne, had called to ask what the kids wanted and my darling kids were at a loss. We don't stress "wants" around here very much so busy are we constantly what with all the "needs" that take precedence. Mainly their "wants" correlated with their "needs' as many of them suggested clothes and the younger kids had some toys in mind.
This could be wrapped up bunches of bananas and my kids would still be happy. This generosity on the part of people, who don't even know my children, staggers my children. The kid's minds are consumed with the fact that the people who did know them, the birth parents, chose to not do anything for them. When strangers chose to help my children it is almost impossible for them to comprehend this simple fact...that most people are good.
So this brings me full circle to my soapbox of kids aging out of the system. I have 5 years, or 10 years, or whatever with some of my children to teach them about love, giving, commitment, trust, responsibility, etc. That alone is a full-time job. Obviously children who age out of the system do not have anyone committed to them. Yes, there are some wonderful foster parents who stick it out for years with children but, in general, the commitment of adoption and the lifelong bond it creates helps make caring human beings out of nearly destroyed children.
Yesterday I met one of the ladies in this office who is thinking about adoption. While I'd love to convince her to do so, unless she is internally convinced, it wouldn't necessarily work. I will encourage her though. I gave her the blog address as I hope I am painting a fairly realistic picture of the adoption experience. Yes, it is scary, difficult, demanding, exhausting, painful, stressful and HARD but, more than anything, this is rewarding for me. All the negatives constitute such a small percentage of the entire experience.
I wouldn't have chosen seven sibling groups if this were not fruitful and gratifying. I'm not a martyr and not an idiot. I love a challenge and I got a big one here. I'd like to encourage others to join me in this...if they feel called to do so.
I deeply appreciate the help I received yesterday as that teaches my children so much of what they need to learn. I am raising them all to learn how to give back something later in life as they have all been given so much...as have I.