tl;dr Josh is getting fat, still adjusting, life is good, blah blah blah, yadda yadda yadda, Josh has MRI appointments on the 8th of May so check back then.
Oh for those of you not hip and jiggy with it tl;dr means something like "Too long didn't read". Brevity isn't my strong suit, unless you ask me face to face about my feelings.
I'd like to think that between the wife and I people are reading up on these blogs to hear our story and to hear a little bit of honesty as we get up each day and put one foot in front of another. As I start this blog I'm feeling like letting loose a few frustrations... I'm a little ADD so I may never get there but you can consider that fair warning.
Tonight after a long day of fighting and fighting and fighting with a girl named Cortana (she won by the way) I came home, late as usual, to a rushed dinner followed by a post adoption report. That's a fancy term for an agency check up to make sure that Joshua and our family are still doing "well" however that is defined. The short answer is of course we are doing well, what'd you expect? Kristi has things under control and I just try to get my dirty clothes from the floor to the hamper once a week. What's to report on? Truth be told I'm sure there are big words like regulations, and policies, and procedures, and guidelines that we are supposed to meet... I think we are doing alright by those measures. In the course of the evening Kristi mentioned that the one thing she wished she had more of was a lap. Which is interesting since we are both trying to count a few calories and exercise on a regular basis, but I'd have to agree with her. One thing I desperately miss about new borns is that every once in a while you can put them in a bassinet, a car seat, or a bouncer and walk away to focus on the other kids. Brining an energetic, possessive, growing, and likely scared four year old into the house is a different story. He can't even sit still on the toilet.
For those keeping track that is a subtle way to say I had a rough day at work, followed by an unusual night, and quite honestly I'm tired of it. End of feeling sorry for myself. What is interesting though is that something happened today while I was still at work that caused my eldest daughter to share some of the same feelings. The short story is she was trying to play with Madeleine and Joshua, but she kept being distracted by one or the other and felt totally unable to fulfill either of their needs. Welcome to parenthood kid. At eight years old she has fallen into the feeling of being inadequate... now that I write that it seems worse than when it was just in my head. She's feeling inadequate in the sense that she wants to be a good sister to her younger siblings and she simply doesn't have the ability (lap space) to pull it off. Being the good dad I am I leveled her with a good "how do you think I feel when you keep asking me to jump with just you on the trampoline?" question. She said "Oh". But (can I start with but?) that's the cool thing, she gets it. Once that was over I could tell her it was OK to feel that way and I really think it is. It is ok to feel overwhelmed. It is ok to feel like you are not quite doing enough to make the right people (not everyone) happy. It isn't really ok though to feel like you are not enough. That's probably pretty heady for an 8-year old, I know I struggle with it myself.
Kayleigh, is not enough. I, am not enough. Kristi is pretty amazing but she too is not enough. And (a but and an and grammar police are on their way) that's ok. By no means is this a cop-out to being a lousy parent, that would just be wrong. I'm not enough. I had a draining day at the factory, I don't want to talk to new faces but here they are in my house, I can't understand one of my kids, I understand why but don't appreciate why my other kids are acting up, I just can't do this any longer. Sigh. Deep breath. Back on my feet. If I haven't said it enough yet, it is ok to have feelings. I suppose this is the time where I'm supposed to sigh, take the deep breath, and say a prayer for the strength to get through it.
I told Kayleigh it will get better and I truly believe that. God has a way of reminding you once in a while that you alone aren't enough and I'm probably in need of a little perspective reset. Things with Josh have been really really good. He plays fairly well with his siblings, and I'm told his receptive language is coming along nicely. That means he hears things and can obey/understand even if he can't reproduce the words verbally. Josh turned four on the 29th of April and he got the Van Dyk birthday date treatment. Josh was dedicated at church on the 30th and got the extended family treatment. He even goes to nursery on Sunday mornings and only tries to break out once! Although because of that I have no excuse for why I can't recall the message as soon as I walk out the door. We are progressing and that is all we can ask for.
I think that is it. I just said a lot of words to say it is ok if you don't feel perfect or (gasp) aren't perfect. God will give you the strength to carry on and He already knows you aren't perfect so who are you fooling really? I will now try to cheer you up with pictures of children. OH!!! I forgot to mention, as if you didn't know, Madeleine broke her arm! I'll share the story another time but that is why you see the sling and cast. She'll be fine, chalk it up to growing pains.