In the past month or so, I feel that we have regained our equilibrium as a family. I especially feel that way when the babies have slept well the night before. For the first time in a long time we are not in process to adopt, not integrating a newly adopted child into our family, not pregnant, and not taking care of newborns. I look back on the past four years and wonder at how we managed to add four children in that time. Considering some of the difficulties we had in doing so, my only reaction is to say, "Thank you, Jesus!" Both because we have been given these wonderful children to care for and because only with His help can we care for them. It has been quite a roller coaster. And sometimes just like a roller coaster, it's best not to know how steep that first drop is until you're already strapped into the car...otherwise you might never get on the ride in the first place.
The other milestone we've hit this month is that it marks the time where TM has been a member of our family and lived with us longer than he was in Vietnam. As you know, we had a few bumps earlier in the month, but gaining contact with his foster family has seemed to have done wonders for his emotional healing. I know that grief is not a one time thing. As much as I would like to be able to check-off grieving as all done, it doesn't work that way. But reconnecting with people he loved so much has been a wonderful gift and it shows in his outlook on life. So the combination of his longevity of his place with us combined with contact with his foster parents has added to our sense of equilibrium.
But, as much as our family has reached a point of internal equilibrium, the external forces around us are doing their best to keep us off balance. As I've written before, our income and the house we are living in do not make for a perfect fit. And even though we've put off (and off and off) the decision to sell and move to a less expensive place, I'm afraid it has to be done. Our procrastination comes from the fact that deep down, we don't really want to. Even though the house at times seems like a huge burden (more for J. than for me), what with the leaking, disintegrating roof and all, it is also a wonderful house and location for us. It is difficult for me to imagine us living somewhere else. It would be so much easier if J. found a job which required us to move away. But, since there seems to a black hole everywhere J. applies, it looks as though we'll be staying in the area. So, I'm working through my own grief over our circumstances. Right now I seem to be in the anger phase...anger that our taxes are so high that families earning a normal salary and are committed to raising their children with one parent at home can't afford to live here. It all just makes me want to cry.