Thursday, January 17, 2013

Looking Forward

Only a little more than halfway through the month and I’m behind on my New Year’s post.   I’d say I’m right on track! No doubt, 2013 promises to be a year full of surprises, in true Fenske style.   My mantra going into 2013 comes from a necklace that I received for Christmas.  I have long coveted many of the amazing items over at Funky Fish Designs and this one is especially meaningful to me.  It really is the basis for how our little family came to be and continues to thrive.  When the days get long and I feel like I can’t even breathe, I reach up and hold this in my hand and It reminds me where we’ve been, where we’re going and what our family is all about.  It reminds me that this world is so much bigger than little, old me.  It reminds me to be humble, patient and try and live a life of service.
We’re starting out the year with medical issues.  Noodle has developed a pleural effusion.  My first response was “oh shit.”  But, oddly, as I sat and listened to Neurosurgeon Extraordinaire discuss our options, I was strangely calm (he has that effect on me).  I know we are running out of good options.  I know that anything we try is risky and I know that the odds are stacked against us.  Still, she ALWAYS beats them.  She ALWAYS proves everyone wrong.  I feel, to the core of my being that she is going to be okay.  As he talked about our absolute wild card option – you know, the one that you don’t pull until the bitter end , the one where he says “I’ve always wanted to try it” and the one where if it fails, he uses words like “incompatible with life” – I found myself having an out of body experience.  I politely said, we’ll talk about that some other day and I tucked the information away in some file cabinet deep in the recesses of my brain; hopefully never to be used again.  Meanwhile, we keep her comfy and stable and wait for all the surgeons to work out their schedules and pick a date. 
One of my intentions this year (I stopped making 'resolutions' years ago) is to slow down.  I really desperately want to try and focus on not having commitments.  I’ve been really inspired by a couple of other mamas who have taken steps to declutter their lives.  After all, is it critical to attend every single function?  I say not!  I want our kids to be able to just be kids.  I want them to know the value of having time to just BE.  I don’t want to rush through life.  I see too many people doing it and it makes me so sad.  I wonder if they're going to look back someday and be sad that they missed out on simple things.  I want my kids to have time to develop a sense of who they are and what they like and don’t like.  I want them to be individuals and not cookie-cutter kids.  I want them to be able to make decisions for themselves and be creative and know how to play.  Yes, I’m learning to let go and that is hard for me because I am a total control freak.  Yes, I have let them go to school on the rare occasion in weird socks and mis-matched clothes because it is what they wanted to wear.  Builds character, right? 
Another one of my intentions is to reclaim my health.  I have definitely let go of myself in taking care of everyone else.  I was reminded by someone recently that although I do strongly believe that “It’s Not About Me,” sometimes I have to make it about me or I won’t be around to take care of the people who matter to me most.   She was right.  So, I have been diligently making changes and focusing on caring for myself like I care for my little ones.  Hopefully I can shed this extra half of a person I’ve been carrying around and build up some extra energy to keep chasing my little animals around!
We received word just this week that things are once again looking up in Kyrgyzstan.  It’s hard to believe that five years have passed since we signed that first document starting our second adoption from there.  FIVE YEARS!  Two agencies, five dossiers, and tens of thousands of dollars later, Kamila is still waiting for us and we are still waiting for her.  People call us crazy (not so much to our faces anymore), but we made a promise to her and we intend to keep it.  If all goes as planned, she could be home this Spring.  You can check out the Fundraising tab and the sidebar for ways to help if you’re so inclined.  We have a loooong ways to go to reach our goal of what we need to complete her adoption, so your support is greatly appreciated. 
The school year is flying by and I’m amazed at how much the kids are learning.  Esen is a math genius!  He’s obsessed with numbers and is forever quizzing me, which isn’t a good thing considering I barely made it through freshman algebra by the time I graduated High School.  His behavior has improved at school with the addition of some more challenging work, but if he gets bored, it’s hard for him to keep it together.  Hiwot loves everything about school, is a social butterfly and practices her letters and songs religiously.  She has such a strong desire to soak up knowledge and learn everything she can.  She never stops asking questions and never, ever stops talking – which will be her downfall in the classroom!  Bamlak is struggling some and we’re feeling the guilt for pushing him into Kindergarten when he probably should’ve been held back.  It was a tough call, though.  We really did not want he and Hiwot in the same grade and definitely didn’t want to hold her back for 2 years so we took a leap of faith in placing him.  He isn’t as motivated as his siblings and doesn’t seem to have the ability to retain information.  He’s patched into ELL and a Reading program, so we’ll see what the rest of the year brings.  Marissa recently started her EC program and they are coming to her right now since it’s a bit safer than her joining her class.  It’s an opportunity for the teachers and therapists to at least get to know her one-on-one.  With impending surgery, she’ll be taking a break again, but we hope that she’ll at least get to join her class for a bit later this year.
Today, I spent the bulk of my day arranging schedules around surgery, doctor appointments, and therapy appointments.   Marissa is receiving outside Physical, Occupational, Speech, and Craniosacral Therapy; and is going to begin Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy as soon as we have funding secured.  Esen is going to begin outside Physical and Occupational Therapy next week.  Marissa sees 12 different doctors/specialists; Esen sees 3, Bamlak and Hiwot each see 2.   After I figure that out for a week or two, I plug in the school schedule, work schedules, special activities, then figure out daycare, transport and busing.  I always think I have a really good system until something unforeseen happens to throw a wrench in things, then it all falls apart and I forget something and feel like a big idiot!  I would love to hear others’ management systems.  One of my intentions for this year is to get a little more organized and to communicate better (yes, with you, my dear husband who always feels like I don’t tell him anything – because I probably didn’t and not because I don’t want to, because my brain has probably melted).
I have absolutely no idea where we’re going to end up this year.  I have hopes.  I have intentions.  I have fears.  I try not to let any of those things get in the way of the right now.  I find myself feeling very restless and very small at times.   I feel like I should be doing so much more than I’m doing, but yet, I feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day.  Looking forward, I’m going to try not to look back.  I’m going to try to focus on the minute that I’m in and make the most of every second……
 In the famous words of a very, wise man:
“Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regrets. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.” ~Dr. Seuss

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