I got home at midnight tonight (well, technically, 11:46pm) from a grant-writing meeting (another story) and had to rearrange two boys. I carried Micah up from his snoring paradise on my sister’s bed to my bed (lacking sheets which are still in the laundry due to Micah’s occasional pull-up failure) and I picked Noah up off the tiny floor rug outside his room and placed him in the snuggly arms of a huge brown stuffed-animal bear which Seth is too scared of to claim as his Christmas present.
As I carried the boys, I thought how strange it is going to be soon to change this routine – because our house just sold!! Yes, we’re shocked. It’s been on the market for two years. I’ve been mentally exhausted just thinking about it. I’ve been physically exhausted by all the cleaning for showings (and by carrying boxes and boxes of things downstairs to “hide,” only to find them months later and food past its expiration dates!). And yet, now that the reality is here, I can’t even adjust to it. Of course, I’ve been too busy to even think about it (or even to celebrate it – though we did pop the bottle of bubbly….sparkling apple juice….that was in the fridge for the boys!!).
But now the questions begin. How in the world are we going to get this house packed up in the next 6 weeks? (Guess those boxes I kept carrying to the basement are all ready to go!) Where in the world are we going to move? (That seems like a relatively important question…) And how am I going to help the boys transition through this? (Was Micah’s aggressive acting out today a response to the shift in stress and energy that he felt move through the house?) Why am I feeling depressed even though I’ve been so eager to move? (Change is hard….and this house is huge – and we won’t find such space anywhere else…and this is all going to take a great deal of energy….)
As if this isn’t enough for my poor brain to process….it follows closely on the heels of finding out that the “Termination of Parental Rights” went through for Seth. He is cleared for adoption. I am cleared for adopting him. The caseworker came to visit the night the offer came in for the house. I did hear about it via email on Monday (though the court hearing was last Friday…and I had to wait nervously all weekend to get the results!). Monday was a busy evening and I quickly made a cake from a mix that I found (not expired in the basement) and since I couldn’t find the frosting tubes, I wrote out “TPR” in M&Ms (red and green from Christmas) on the top. Lit some candles, took some pictures, let boys dig into chocolate gooey mess….there – we acknowledged it.
But it’s all just moving. So fast. And I can’t keep up with processing through it yet. For the past 20 months, I have been Seth’s mom (even if he calls Kathy “mommy” too sometimes….). He has been my son. He has been the brother of the boys. He has already gone through a name change. But next month, he will officially change his name (not him….but the judge will sign a piece of paper….and a new birth certificate will be printed….and a woman named Hannah will no longer have any documentation of having a little boy….three little boys…..). And a few weeks later, I will receive a piece of paper that has Lynne listed as “legal mother” under Seth’s name and birthdate and an “Adoption Certificate” which proclaims that this happened February 12th, 2013.
And I will say “whew,” and then it might sink in. That Seth is forever part of my family. That the man who thought he was biological father until proven otherwise is now part of history. That there will be no more “odd” visitations to the county jail for Seth to spend time with a stranger (his birth mom). That I can call him “my son” without the qualifier “foster….who will hopefully be adopted”… That I am now responsible for three wild and wonderful boys. Oh boy.
At the beginning of the year, I sent an email to a friend:
My dreams for this year:
– adopt Seth
– sell this house and move!
– open up Jeremiah’s Place – the crisis nursery
Let’s see how that all works.
What I didn’t mean is for all of this to happen in the first months of the year (the crisis nursery project has taken off and I have two grants due at the end of the month….even though I have no idea how to write a grant!!!).
What I do know is that I’m going to have to find time to let all of this sink in. That I’m going to have to find ways to help the older boys let this all sink in. That as I become harried and stressed, that the boys will pick up on that and feel harried and stressed as well. So, instead of starting the packing….instead of searching for a house to rent on the internet….instead of doing anything productive, I let the boys play outside in the “snow box” while I cleaned out the car.
Such gooey brown slime
Slouching in the recesses of the cup holder
You let go of the smothered keys with a long stranded release
I wash you out with clean pure water.
Oh, wrinkly brown grapes
Hiding under the car seat mat
You dream of becoming raisins in the sun
I toss you out with the hardened cheese.
Dear crumbs, crumbs, crumbs
Sprinkling the floor, the seats, the mats
You long for relief from the trampling of feet
I suck you out with the green vacuum.
Oh car, my dearest van —
You seem so clean today.
Why don’t we drive off tomorrow…
Without the boys!