I haven't posted a bunch since coming home, though we're only on day 6 of being here. But what I have posted has been-- I believe-- a pretty true-to-life account of what life is like here with 8 little people and 2 adults and the tag-teaming process of getting to know each other. There's been some hard spots and some easy spots and some areas we were expecting the worst and hoping for the best and we were pleasantly surprised. Other areas we were thinking one thing and found something totally different. Neither of the kids' adjustment has gone exactly as we imagined it would and in some ways that's WONDERFUL and in some ways-- notsomuch.
But what I do try to be is REAL on here. Real about the struggles as well as the joys. Real about what our expectations were and what the realities are and how those coincide or differ. Real about the feelings of our kids and the things they're all doing that helps or hinders life in general. I generally just try to be real.
It's interesting to me that since I got custody of my newest kiddos I've gotten many comments that say exactly what I just posted... basically "thanks for being real." And yet, today I received a comment that said this:
Before going any further, I want to add that immediately following this I received a second email from "a friend" of anonymous which apologized for the friend's comment and said that they were just talking about it.. etc.. she didn't know the friend would post that. Thank you, friend of anonymous, for the apology. I do appreciate that you are kind enough to write!! I actually found it intriguing though, and it was obviously the topic of conversation... so it made it here :)
Now, back to the comment...
A few things stood out to me, of course the "snarky" attitude was the first, but once I got past that I realized that someone that has some resentment for me somehow actually agrees that I have the "perfect life!" LOL! Ok, now seriously... take a step back and think. I'm 28 years old (for another 3 weeks) and have 8 kids. I have 7 kids in diapers right now. 6 have disabilities. 5 of my kids are adopted and we had to get 'permission' or even be chosen to have them. 4 of them have fairly severe limitations in what they're able to do for themselves. 3 of my children don't walk independently yet. 2 of the kids joined our family in the last week and still understand next to zero as far as English goes. And I'm pretty sure that after all of that there's supposed to be a partridge in a pear tree. And when you read between the lines it means that we make 3 meals a day for 8 kids on 6 different diets. We change about 35 diapers per day and YES, we pay for every one of those diapers too. We carry kids all over the place, lifting and moving and helping to walk and and and... for those that can't get around well. We have kids who will need our help for their entire lifetimes. We have kids that don't talk and don't communicate their basic needs or desires. We are BUSY and it takes a lot to "run" our household on any given day.
Seriously, I don't try to claim that my kids are perfect and I BY FAR am not perfect, but this comment stood out to me and I'm SO THANKFUL that they posted. Because aside from the laundry list of things that we deal with in a 24 hour period in our home, I am SO GLAD that I am still able to have a positive attitude and outlook in life through it that I can come across sharing our joys and trials and still seem to "have it all."
Most people don't comment to me and say I have the perfect life. In fact, many heard about our latest additions and asked if we're gluttons for punishment or something along those lines. People look at our family makeup and assume that we are miserable with life. People find out we have multiple disabled kids and PITY us.
I was very glad that that anonymous post was there. Because it said much more to me than the negatives, and showed me that even to the people that don't like me... (given from the tone of the comment) they can still see the joy in our family and in our lives. Disabilities aren't the end all. Multiple little ones isn't the end of a happy life. Diapers make landfills but not depression.
We DO have the perfect life... the one that God brought us to and that we are determined to ENJOY!
As for our families. WOW, you are SO right that we are absolutely blessed by them! We wouldn't ever just 'expect' them to step up in the ways they have recently and many times offered to hire babysitters to relieve them or make other arrangements, but you are absolutely right that they have stepped up and never grumbled. God didn't just speak this adoption to us, but to others around us that HAVE supported us. It is absolutely a blessing!
And lastly, I'm not really sure how anyone could have so few problems, but again... I think it's all just perspective. I could write about the same things that I already write about but in a different perspective. Instead of the positives of Aleksa figuring out how to lift a toilet seat and laughing about her peeing ALL OVER it while it was closed since they didn't have seats or lids on the toilets in her institution, I could write about how frustrating it was to clean it all up and how she needed a bath after peeing all over then sitting on the floor since I asked her to stop since she was covered in pee and she sat right down in it instead of just stopping leaving the room. I could write that all up as a big frustrated VENT. Or, I could get my breath back and my perspective back into where God wants it to be and be THANKFUL that she learned to lift the lid the next time and share that same experience as a tale of "oh goodness how my day went" with laughter through it and the many experiences of a day in the home of the Cornishes.
It's not that we don't have any problems... It's that our perspective isn't looking for the negatives-- though they're SURELY in there as you read. Our perspective is to share our family in a very REAL way but to continue to keep our eyes focused on Christ through it all. Before I put letters to paper (or, keyboards, rather), I have to check my perspective. Words are one thing that cannot be returned to owner, and a written word never stops at the initial print. JOY is that which our children bring us, and though I get FRUSTRATED, I wait until I can see past that and express what God had ME to learn before I vent out the frustrations to everyone else.
Do we have bad days? CERTAINLY! But the good ones far outweigh them, and as we travel this road with God as our guide, Jesus as the pilot... I have no doubt that we can find goodness and joy and teachable moments in every single day. Like, for instance, a comment that was probably written to drag me down, but unintentionally has helped me to refocus and remind me that.. we DO have the perfect life, according to God's plans for us as His followers!!
Now, back to that thing called sleep which I DEFINITELY could use a little more of. Four of my kids (minus Brianna) go back to school tomorrow so it will be an early start!