Wednesday, June 22, 2016

I Love My Paper Calendar and Change Is Hard

I love my paper calendar. A lot.  I like having my days, weeks, and months laid out.  I can see what I need to do to prepare for what is coming up, what countdowns we should be celebrating, and holidays we can look forward to. I do know, from life experience, that plans change.  I got an autoimmune disease and so the return-to-work-date came and passed while I remained home.  We hoped to have our kids two years apart but that was not to be.  There was a struggle getting pregnant with child number two and the experience of not being chosen as adoptive parents and a miscarriage leading to child number three.  

As mentioned above, I love having celebratory countdowns and my favourite is looking forward to a family vacation.  Being a stay-at-home mom means that my life is pretty routine and we stick close to home a lot during the weekdays.  My life often feels like Groundhog Day except there's last minute school projects and parties or someone gets sick at an inopportune time to mix things up. Things that I used to do before kids, like hiking and traveling, now need to be more planned out.  We have had some amazing vacations and they are such a highlight for our family: the Philippines, Walt Disney World, Tofino/Ucluelet and the Oregon Coast, just to name a few.

Being that we have been foster parents for a year now, we have learned a whole new level of flexibility.  I have been stretched so much in regards to plans being altered.  We need to be around for visits with our Little One's mama and yet the visit days kept changing.  We were told about five different times that in the "next month" our Little One would be returning home–that is a lot of emotional preparation over and over again.

Recently we had tentatively planned a three week road trip up to the Yukon and Alaska.  I had only booked the camping portion as I knew that there was a chance that plans would change again...and they did.  We can't take our Little One because there are so many visits right now and I don't want to leave during this transitional time when routine, visits, and structure are most needed.  Don't get me wrong, I love this child and I want to do what's best in this situation which is to postpone our holiday.  I've had to deal with a sense of frustration and loss of what will not be–I know that might sound dramatic but my soul craves adventure and I love the anticipation.  Instead, we are working on planning some shorter trips that will fill my adventure bucket and I'm starting to get excited about them too.

The Yukon and Alaska will always be there for us and our Little One will not.  I am learning that it's okay to forgo the pen and instead use a pencil when making plans on my calendar. I do trust that God's hand is in it all and He's got this.  Stretch, grow, repeat.


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