I loved October.
The maple trees in our yard were spectacular, football and swimming were great for my athletes, lots of good things happened. October also ended with Kalkidan’s birthday, which is a hard day for our family.
Last week Russ traveled to Colorado for the first ever adoptive/foster dad’s retreat, Road Trip: Colorado. He didn’t have time to go, and we hadn’t planned for it in our budget, but we made time and God provided the finances.
Adoption and foster care put unique stresses on dads most people can’t understand. Being with guys who “get it” is very rare. Russ had time alone in the mountains and conversations with guys he appreciates. It was worth every minute away and every dollar. Friends, encourage your husbands to go next year!
Kalkidan’s birthday was last Saturday. I was afraid to face the day without Russ; his flight got in that evening. I was also worried about managing two football games, a swim meet, and life without him. In the end, the day was packed, but good, and while I had some tearful moments, including a bit of crying in the bathroom of the football stadium, there wasn’t time to dwell on sadness.
That night, when Russ was home, he wrapped his arms around me while we talked about Kalkidan. Sunday we wore orange to church in memory of our girl, which was good for my heart. I also wore a necklace that says, “earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t heal,” and my favorite “courage, dear heart” bracelet.
It helps to wear things on my body to remember Kalkidan. The bracelet especially reminds me that Jesus is with me, giving me the courage to press on. I find myself touching it throughout the day, thinking, “I’m okay. I’m loved. I am not alone.”
It’s Wednesday morning now, but feels like Monday. The kids didn’t have school Monday or Tuesday due to conferences. Honestly, it felt like a very long weekend around here. Yesterday one of my boys complained that since I wouldn’t let them watch tv or play on the computer, I needed to find something fun for them to do.
Sorry, buddy, it’s not my job to make sure you have fun. Seriously. We have eight acres, plenty of toys, bikes, a basketball hoop, tons of books, games, puzzles – you’re going to have to find your own fun.
I could write a dozen posts on the way technology is ruining my children’s ability to entertain themselves. Having a twenty-year age span from my oldest to youngest child gives me a unique perspective.
In blog news, I’m working on a brand new Top Ten Toys post, which is packed with great ideas for holiday gifts. Some of you super organized types are done shopping, but for the rest of us, there is plenty of work left to do.
I have a phone meeting today with Cate, my amazing friend who creates each piece of jewelry by hand for my Etsy store, including the beautiful “courage, dear heart” bracelet I wear each day. Her new designs will be in the Etsy store very soon.
Samuel is moving to Portland today in preparation for his new job. He’ll be back to defend his master’s thesis, but for the most part, he’s done. It’s been an amazing blessing having him nearby all these years. Samuel has been a rock for his younger siblings and a huge help to me through many difficult times. We’re going to miss him more than I can say.
Tears are just below the surface as I write those words – moving right along before I start crying and can’t finish writing this.
You know what’s really beautiful about November? At the end of the month, Advent begins, Christ with us, and you know how much I love Advent. I’ll be writing about that soon.
The sun is coming up as I write, the kids are waking, and it’s time to start packing lunches. Have a great day, friends.
For those of you who posted #rememberingkalkidan pictures on social media with us, thank you from the bottom of our fragile hearts. We felt your love.