The Winemaker and I just had a very rare morning alone together. My school year wound down a few days before the kids', so I'm home for their last day of school. We went out for coffee and ran a few exciting errands (bank, grocery store, etc.) It was lovely. That may sound sarcastic, but I mean it. Just to have two hours of my husband's company. Lovely.
As we came in the front door, I noticed the two painted plastic "wind chimes" hanging in the front window. The kids won the kits at a school art night, and knew right where they wanted to put the finished products.
There are bikes strewn all over our front porch, and picture books and early readers from the library sprinkled liberally all over the house. The quilt my mom and I made when I was sixteen is not here on the couch for me to cuddle with, because when Linden was sick, she got very attached to it, and has moved it up to her own room to cuddle with. There is, however, a large stuffed bunny by my feet. And some leaning towers of clean laundry. The bin of colored pencils that's permanently sitting on the china hutch, the "oh my God I just scrubbed this two hours ago" stickiness of the dining room table, the hanging basket we bought to remember their birth mom on Mother's Day, the pillow airing out on the front porch after someone somehow managed to get the corner of it when that person wet the bed, and yes, the art on the fridge. This house holds children.
We are nearing our one year mark. I talked to Linden about that, about which date we should commemorate (although instead of "commemorate" I said "bake a cake on"). The date we met, which was also the date they were handed into our full time care, forever? The date the adoption was finalized? The date we came home? She and I both lean towards the latter. This house is where we are becoming a family. They've lived here less time than they did in the orphanage, less time than they did with their birth family. We're still struggling, all of us, every day.
And we're making progress. We're learning. We are brave, we are loving, we keep trying. There are bikes on our front porch, and the bathrooms are almost always pretty sketchy, and this is my family.
Excuse me, but I have to go meet a school bus. Let us all welcome summer.