Saturday, 24 September 2011


Last week at bible study I received a challenge to choose one word to focus on for the rest of the year. On my own I would probably not do such a thing, but my naturally competitive nature can never refuse a challenge, so I resolved to take it. Immediately the word "contentment" came to my mind. At the time I was thinking it was appropriate for this phase of my life for the following reasons:

Jeff's job is not a permanent position, because it is a post-doc. The way a post-doc works you trade security and money for a chance to learn a new skill. It isn't a bad trade-off while you are learning that new skill, but once you are good at it (and Jeff is) it is really just working for a fraction of your market value. And since it isn't a permanent position, you can never really settle. That bothers me. I am so thankful that Jeff has a job, and that he has the security of one more year of funding, but I would really like for him to earn what he is worth, because money=children when you are an adoptive family.

I also would like to be settled. I know that life and real estate aren't what they used to be when my parents got married and bought their first house right away, but I never thought I would be THIRTY and renting. I feel so irresponsible. With Jeff in a position that isn't permanent we can't settle. I have no idea where we will be living this time next year. That bothers me. It would also be super nice to have a washer, a dryer, and a dishwasher. It wasn't too much effort to go without these things with one child, but with is a lot harder. (For the record, I fully realize these are dumb "first world problems")

Furthermore, until we know where we will be living we can't even think about starting another adoption. Since Nic is so young we would likely be waiting a while anyway, but it irritates me that I can't even ponder it. (In case you were wondering why-each state has different rules, and if we end up moving mid-adoption we will have a lot more work to contend with, and lose quite a bit of money).

I will be honest with you, I like control, and having all of the above totally and completely out of my control drives me a little crazy. Hence, I need to focus on contentment for my "big picture."

Then, this morning I realized my need to find contentment is in more than those big things that I was focusing on.

I was so excited to go to bible study Tuesday morning. We are reading a great book (Thomas, Sacred Parenting), and it was my turn to lead. I prepared the previous night and was looking forward to a great discussion because my bible study group ROCKS. Imagine my dismay when I awoke Tuesday morning to the sweet sound of Tommy hacking up a lung. I asked how he felt and he said he was sick. Last week at bible study I made a big deal about people keeping sick kids I could hardly pretend to ignore the cough and congestion and take him anyway. Thus I got up and made him a special breakfast and coddled him all morning, I wrapped him up on the couch so he could listen to Adventures in Odyssey, and gave him tons of snuggles. Imagine my dismay when he experienced a mid-morning recovery and used the brief period during which I was putting Nic down for his nap to cover our living room wall in Oberweiss cow stickers. Our new decor features dancing, ice-cream eating bovines- it's tres chic.

At that point I was not in the most pleasant of parenting moods, and I was really really mad that I had missed bible study for no reason. In my little snit I realized that my need to be content in the day-to-day is just as important as my need to be content with the transitions in my life. I apparently have a lot more to work on than I originally thought, because it's going to be really hard to learn to live with those cows...


Taryn said...

I totally get the contentment thing and wanting to control and plan everything. I am the same way, especially when it involved family planning and adoption timelines and all that :) This post cracked me up, though, especially those cows...although I know it is not that funny to you and probably wouldn't be to me if they were stuck on my wall either!

Chelsea Lee said...

I'm not sure if I say this enough, but just in case I don't: I ADORE YOU! When I open my email and see that you've written a new post, it just makes me day seem brighter. Anyway, the cows made me laugh and I plan on sending Tommy some piggy stickers so you can have a whole farm theme going... Love and miss you mucho!