I have an announcement. Drum roll. Wait for it. Our home study is finished! As in complete. As in, sitting on my kitchen table with notarization and official seals. It's all legal and stuff. And. And. And. It pretty much makes us look like we glow with heavenly radiance. Apparently, when our case worker was here, we were the epitome of grace and light. Apparently we painted a portrait of love and warmth. Apparently, it must have been a day where I did not contemplate drop kicking my whiny toddler halfway across the family room before remembering that he is my whole heart walking around outside my body. There must not have been anything burning on the stove. The dust was probably so thick it just looked like some type of textured stain had been applied to our furniture. We must have looked like we had it all together! One of my favorite quotes from the home study is this. "Lori is a good mother..." This man was in our home for a few hours and he deemed me a good mother. Of course, this line only narrowly beats out the one that says, "It is a clean, orderly home." Music to my ears. Can you hear the symphony playing from my freshly vacuumed floors? It's trying to drown out the heavy metal that's coming from the closets where I shoved everything that didn't have a home just before the caseworker knocked on my door.
The bottom line is stated that, "*Agency Name* approves Troy and Lori Doozleberry as prospective adoptive parents. They have the physical, financial and emotional means necessary to successfully adopt and parent a child." Amen, praise and glory. Thank you caseworker. Oh and Ha! I don't really think anyone has the physical and emotional means to successfully parent a child. Parenting a child is hard work. Obviously, to get a real picture of our parenting style, he would have had to arrive at 7:00 am. He'd hear our son wake up and he'd witness Troy and me pulling our covers tighter over our heads, each pretending that the other is the only person who can hear it. I used to try this method when I was little and I didn't want to go to church. I faked sleep for as long as possible. Sometimes my parents were standing over me, attempting to pry my eyes open, and I would merely let out a soft snore. Nevermind the fact that if I were really and truly sleeping through their antics, I would have had to have been in a coma. It didn't work then and it doesn't work now. Eventually one of us manages to roll out of bed to retrieve our son. And it's pretty much downhill from there. I now say the word "no" more in a single day than I said it in the rest of my life combined. I'm contributing to obesity by bribing my son with pretzels and goldfish crackers. I don't know when the last time he ate a vegetable was. And the other night I managed to get him to eat dinner by putting tiny marshmallows on top of the things he otherwise wouldn't have touched with a ten foot pole.
I most certainly do not have it all together. Sometimes the idea of adding another child to this family terrifies me. I mean, it already takes both of my arms to vice grip the tantrum throwing toddler so he doesn't collide with the food table at a wedding. What would I do with another one? Lay the baby down next to the sandwich tray so I can properly discipline the older brother? Leave the baby in the car? Take the baby and leave the toddler in the trunk? Leave them both and get some peace and quiet? But then I think about that terrible toddler folding his hands at the dinner table in two-year-old reverence and my heart melts. I watch him petting the head of a newborn and whispering the word "baby" ever so softly. I hold his hand as we cross the street because he's insisted that he should "rock" all by himself. He is a big boy, after all. I sit in his room at night and the three of us read a bible story together and then I lay him in his crib. He grabs my arm and holds it to his face, insistent that I sing him a song. He cries for a moment when I walk away. I look in the backseat and know that one car seat is just not enough. I look at my dinner table and see room for another high chair. I don't think I always have the physical and emotional means to parent a child. I certainly don't always have the patience. But what I do know is that I have enough love. I may not be ready to parent an adopted child, but I am willing.
But first I am going to order a third arm to be installed in my torso. This way, when I am holding the new baby I can reach out and grab Garrett with my extra appendage. I'm also waiting for the eyes in the back of my head. Apparently they're on back order.