(I realize that title is just ridiculous. But everything else I was coming up with was boring, and I couldn’t deal with that, so there ya go.)
Of course adding a child to our house is a “big” deal, but in reality, it’s made up of lots of “small” stuff. Lots of little changes here and there, and I thought it would be cool/interesting/useful to highlight some of the practicals of what this addition has looked like for our home…
-Our week starts by driving about one hour through the compounds of Lusaka to pick Sarah up from her family. She says goodbyes, hops in the car, eats a “cookie” (quotation marks signify that this particular treat looks and tastes like a cookie, but it actually packed with sneaky proteins like flax seed), and promptly falls asleep. I think Sarah is quite overwhelmed by all the changes in her life, so she sleeps a lot. Which is a huge praise- sleep has not been a problem for any of us in the transition.
-Then, we go to home church with our friends, and both kids get to play at “Sunday school” with their friends. Favorite songs and books help to ease Sarah into the week, and plus, we end church with a fabulous pot-luck dinner.
-Each night holds pretty much the same routine, which I think is important for all of us. I want Joab and Sarah to be able to have certain expectations for their day, especially since both of them have enough complications navigating this world (Autism and Down syndrome can add layers of frustration to their daily activities). So, we eat dinner, we dance*, we bathe, we watch a “short show,” read a book (Night-Night, Little Pookie for Sarah; and Snuggle Puppy for Joab- we love Sandra Boynton), and go to sleep.
*I find our dance parties to be a very necessary part of our day, especially after dinner. At this point, each one of us is on the verge of a meltdown, for whatever reason. So, we turn up the tunes and dance it out! Our song of choice right now is “Happy” by Pharrell Williams- it’s so catchy, and speaks a good mood over all of us.
-Mornings have proved to be the most difficult change. So much that I have had to hire our nanny for extra early hours to help us get out the door. This was a really hard decision for me to make. To me, it felt like a huge failure that I couldn’t manage getting the three of us ready for the day and arrive on-time at school/work. After several days of rushing around in a bad mood, however, I chose to suck up my pride and bring in help. Thank goodness for that, it has totally changed the start of our day!
-Throughout the week, I try to get quality time in a couple forms: with Joab, with Sarah, with friends, and for myself. Each of these QTs are really important to me feeling like we’ve done the week “well,” and not just survived. Whether Joab and I go to a movie, Sarah and I grab an ice cream cone, I meet friends for dinner, or I read a book- these times help us, and me particularly, to feel settled.
-Then, on Friday, I drive back to drop Sarah off with her family. Thus far, the Sunday and Friday transitions have gone smoothly, thank goodness, no tears from any party. It makes me feel good that everyone involved seems to understand their roles, and still believes that this arrangement is the best option for Sarah right now.
I’ll add more later, but send questions, thoughts, etc! I’m so appreciative for everyone’s support in this, it has meant so much to me!