Friday, March 23, 2012

What do I do?

My little family has grown again. In the last two days we have added a two year old (Butterfly) and a 13 year old (nickname as yet undetermined). We are now at 8 children--including our Blueberry. Two toddlers and six pre-teen/early teen girls. While I think these two new ones will settle in fine, the initial transition is always exhausting. And add into the craziness that all the girls have been home this week due to Spring Break at Blueberry has caught either croup or just a nasty, nasty cold, and I find myself sitting here in the mostly dark at 10:06 with sore, aching feet, watery eyes (evil pollen-induced allergies), blissfully enjoying the first few minutes of real quiet I feel like I've had in days.

Someone recently asked me what it is Chris and I do (as in jobs). Answering this question feels so complex sometimes.

The short answer is that we are paid to be parents to foster/orphan/at-risk kids who are needing a stable, secure, home.

But that's the short answer.

What is it we do? We get up in the morning and get little (and bigger) girls ready for school/day care/church/days at home. We cook. We clean. We give medications. We monitor chores. We harass girls into cleaning their rooms. We go on outings. We tutor. We bandage cut fingers and wounded hearts. We do laundry. We shop. We document interactions with children. We drive them to school/doctor's appointments/church/parks/outings... We play. We hold weeping children struggling to understand why their lives are so difficult. We discipline. We redirect. We record what we feed these children. We advocate. We answer hundreds of questions every day. We teach them to be independent. We teach them what security and interdependence of a family looks like. We get insulted and loved on. We get yelled at and sought after. We read stories. We do devotions. We pray. We lecture. We cuddle. We go on walks. We are mom and dad.

And in all of that we have to find the time to clean our own house, love on our child, pay bills, do laundry, maintain friendships, maintain our relationship, and do all the normal things that comprise a normal working families life.

There are days I look at this "job" and am amazed that I am being paid to do this. And then there are days when I look at this "job" and count off how I've earned every penny.

So what is that I do? I'm a parent. And I defy anyone to name a more challenging, exhausting, exhilarating, heart-wrenching, joy-bringing job in the world.

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