Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Three at Once??

I recently got this email:
We are in the process of adopting three girls from Ethiopia. I was wondering if you could tell me more about how your kids' adjustment went and some of the things you've encountered in adopting older kids and three at once. I totally feel this is what God called us to do, but sometimes I get so overwhelmed thinking about the logistics of it. Right now, I'm stressing thinking about homeschooling and how I'm going to handle it all. . .
First of all, I know EXACTLY how you are feeling! You have strong opposing emotions and it makes you feel a little crazy. I remember that feeling! You are so excited to have your long-awaited kids home, but you're also really nervous about how it's going to all work. I'll be honest: I don't miss those emotions.
Adopting three at once was hard! I've heard many adoptive families say it's like an invading army. I didn't really get that until recently. They didn't feel like an army at all, they seemed like kids. But I did make a very concerted effort to avoid the us vs. them scenario. That part of the "invasion" I understand.
What made the adjustment go smoothly in the beginning, and this is very simple- we spent a TON of time outside. I mean, we'd eat breakfast, get dressed and go outside for a couple of hours. Then we'd eat lunch, take naps (everyone!) and go back outside almost until dinner time. That kept us sane and helped us develop camaraderie. We kept up that routine for the first month and slowly weaned off of it. I didn't school anyone that first month and then we started in slowly after that, just focusing on the three Rs.
For the first couple months, your only focus should be on feeding them, bathing them, and loving them. All the rest is gravy until you settle into a routine of your own. Don't rush it! These kids need your love more than anything else. If they get that and only that, they're way ahead of where they were before. Stay focused on your goal.

Many blessings,

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