Gosh, I step away (not really on purpose, it just sort of happens) and then I do some grand post with flowery words saying how I'm gonna be here more often. And then a whole week goes by.
I thought on this Thursday night at 10:20 I'd catch you all up on the happenings in our lives. Yes, it's crazy that I'm awake right now. Tomorrow is Valentines Day and I'm an elementary school classroom teacher (and a mama to two girls) so I have a lot to 'pull off tomorrow'. But I'm typing here as Anna is typing some paper behind me. Scott and I take turns staying up with her. There is so much work in the junior year of high school that although we'd love her all 'tucked in' it just doesn't happen like that anymore. But we stay up anyway because it's what we do...
So here is what is going on these days:
Anna, well she's doing amazing in school. Maximum Honors (as always) She's working so hard in school (as always) and is on the road to an amazing future. We've started to look at colleges and she's working with someone that is keeping Scott and I (and her) on track. Applying for college is so different than it was in 1991 (I borrowed Scott's Moms typewriter to type my applications). It is so so different and Anna has so much to offer - this help is really just helping us navigate the college world.
She continues to play the viola. She doesn't want to major in viola performance but she's decided to play in a college orchestra. This is a big deal and it's made searching for a college even trickier - and also more exciting. Some college orchestras are considered professional so there is a lot coming up for her with that. It's not just a 'club' on campus she'll be joining. So we're learning the background of all of that. Phew, it's a lot!
What else do I want to remember about Anna? Well, she's spectacular but her junior year in high school is not a typical junior year. She's introverted and shy but happy as can be. She's deeply offended by people who think that shy is bad or depressed or even dangerous. She likes who she is and is proud that her best friend (only friend) is her little sister. She has no interest in a gaggle of girls as friends or the prom or anything like that. I'm proud of who she is - and even though there are moments I 'wish' someone would reach out, we're all okay with the way it is. It's God's timing and nothing could be better.
Anna continues to work with a private counselor on issues related to adoption and her sensory integration disorder. She has made beautiful progress but there are parts of daily life that are tricky for her. (like putting on a seat belt) One step at a time.
She plays in a private orchestra on Saturdays from 12:30-2:20 and in a Viola Tour Group from 9:30-11:00 on Saturdays as well. For the school she plays daily and on Thursday nights from 6:30-9:00. She continues private lessons with the same teacher since she was 5 each Wednesday evening. Making music brings her stability, peace and joy.
I love my adopted daughter dearly and she is a gift and treasure.
Abigail, sigh. So much in that little bundle of joy. Let's see. Abigail continues to struggle with her health. She is well below in height and weight. Her GI doctor has put her on a serious weight gaining medication. And it seems to be working, her appetite is much more normal these days. Her EoE causes her daily pain and she too, works with a private therapist for pain management. There are moments that break our hearts - and there are moments that we just go on because that's what we have to do. You don't realize how you take 'feeling regular' and being able to eat without pain until you have a daughter that has constant pain that "drops" suddenly. There are moments we want to sit down and cry. There are moments that we wonder why God. Then there are moments that we think 'she's amazing'.
She's rockin middle school. She's chosen friends carefully and has a lovely core group. They are the sweet ones and I know that God has protected her from friends that love drama. For that I am grateful.
She struggles with focus and that makes homework really hard for her. What takes a 'normal' kid an two hours to get done, takes Abigail four or more hours. She has a 504 plan (medical special educattion) that allows her unlimited time for testing, projects, and work in general. Her pain affects school dramatically but she's doing it and once in a while surpries us.
She continues to play the viola privately with weekly lessons. She plays for her school (auditioned) orchestar group and a private orchestra and group class just like Anna. But what makes her heart so happy is her choir after school. This is also an auditioned group that she has really bonded with and she loves loves loves to sing. (and perform)
And Scott and I? Well, we're doing this crazy life and loving each day - mostly. Me on going back to the classroom? Well, I'm in year 3 of teaching 4th grade and I've found my sweet spot. I know the curriculum now and I know how I want to teach and THAT feels good. But it's a whole lotta work from sun up to sun down - and weekends too. But I love it and know that this is exactly where God has me. My heart is full.
Scott is in his second year as a principal that the middle school. The district he is in is pretty intense (as is our town) and so this can be a highly stressful position. He is loved by his teachers and I know he is making a difference.
Our school evenings are homework, meal preps, lunch prep, snack prep, dinner, laundry, and cleaning it all up. To be honest, we don't even step foot in the family room Sunday night through Friday night. There just isn't time. We are all working but it's what we do best and we are together.
Scott and I are each others strength and even though are days can be more full than we'd like, we know we are doing what we are called to do.
The best part is being a mama and daddy to our precious girls. They are the gift and I treasure them (as I do my marriage) more than anything.
I know I'm leaving a lot out but that's it for now -- that's us in February 2020.