I know that there are quite a few of you who check in here because you too want to adopt, are planning to adopt, are researching adoption, or are in the process of adoption. (Leave a comment, and say,”Hi!” – please!) I also know (because I’ve visited your blogs) that some of you are planning to bring home sibling groups like we did. So this post is for all of you…well, it’s also for me, because I want to remember these sorts of things, but that’s what the whole blog is about…so it’s for you, to help you think about the things that might change when you bring home your kiddos!
There are a lot of things that have changed around our house in the last 11 weeks. Most of it I was prepared for. Most of it I had listed, charted, researched, planned, and prayed over. I’m OCD like that. But we have also had our fair share of surprises. Here’s my recap:
Cooking: I find that I am not cooking much more than I normally would, maybe one more meal a week. We don’t have as many leftovers, so that accounts for the one extra meal per week. I will also say that I do make a bit more with each meal – usually, I’ll serve an extra vegetable or have bread or cook a bit more rice – stuff that isn’t hard to add. I have also been very conscious of the fact that we are aiming for maximum nutrition as we feed these kiddos, so I have been more aware than usual of what goes onto the table. All in all, food prep has not been much more time consuming than usual. That said, I was crazy-thankful for the families that brought us meals every other night for almost a month after we got home and for the many meals that my mom helped me fix and freeze before we left for Ethiopia!
Cleaning: This has been much more time consuming than I had anticipated. Somehow four children make six times the mess as two. More crumbs, more toothpaste on the bathroom mirror, more spills – you name it. The up side is that the four/five year old loves to help sweep and in general be helpful, and that is rubbing off on the “old” kids. (BwaHaHaHa!) Everyone is taking a bigger part in cleaning, so while I’m eternally behind, the house is presentable – mostly!
Laundry: There is more laundry, and the laundry that is there seems to be harder to clean. For some strange reason since we’ve been back home, the stains have been outrageous. I don’t know if it’s the goofing around at the dinner table or that I’m not noticing them until later, so they are harder to get out. Either way, we’ve got stains! I am sure I do a couple more loads a week, but I’ve worked really hard to get the kids in a good routine of putting away their own clothes and helping me fold whatever they can. Laundry isn’t too bad.
Home Upkeep: The walls have taken a beating. Stock up on touch up paint.
Organization: Do it ahead of time. Bathroom towels, sheets for more beds, extra picture frames for pictures of the new kids, etc. This is the kind of stuff that makes me feel behind. I seem to be able to handle the every day stuff, but our Christmas tree almost saw February. (shocking!)
Getting Out: I just don’t anymore! All of the car seat buckling takes so long that my desire has diminished!
Dining Out: On the occasion that I do actually feel like buckling everyone in, then getting everyone out again, I better be getting a meal out of it! We’ve gone out a number of times successfully, but it is certainly not the restful meal it used to be…partially because of the language barrier (That makes it hard to figure out what the kids would like to eat.), partially because the kids are still somewhat unpredictable (you just never know what is going to make them laugh really loud, cry really loud, or loudly say something like, “Mom, dat ladeeee…big bottom!”), and partially because it takes forever to get a table for six!
But it’s worth it – every bit of it! The smiles, the laughter, the “tickle me!”s – totally worth all the work.