Normal Everyday Obedience


posted by on Adoption


Here’s what an average day looks like for me:

I get up at 6, sometimes before, if I can drag myself out of bed the first time the alarm goes off. I get my coffee and read my Bible and eat my bagel (sigh. I love bagels). And I run upstairs at 6:40 to get my shower in before the little alarm clock in the kids’ room turns green at 7 and they all come running out shouting “THE LIGHT IS GREEN THE LIGHT IS GREEN THE LIGHT IS GREEN.” They all sit down to eat and while they bicker and giggle and eat their cereal (Apple Jacks this morning if you must know), I run around getting clothes and socks and shoes and hair brushes and bows and snacks and jackets and backpacks. I answer what seems like 1,000 questions while I do this

“Mom, can we go outside?” No, it’s still dark out.

“Mom, can Mimi pick me up today?” Yes (T, TH) No (MWF)

“Mom, can I have goldfish?” That is silly, you are eating Apple Jacks. Why would you need goldfish??

“Mom, can I live at Nama and Ganpa’s house?” Gee thanks, Charlie, and no you can’t. You poor thing, you have to live here with me.

“Mom, can we go on a treasure hunt today during rest time?” That doesn’t sound restful.

“Mom, can I be done?” No, you’ve eaten 4 bites.

Mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom, mom…

And it’s only 7:30

I get the kids dropped off at school, all 4 if it’s Monday, Wednesday or Friday. Just the big girls if it’s Tuesday or Thursday. First Reagan at her school, and then the little ones at theirs. By the time I leave their preschool I am sweating. Doesn’t matter if it’s 50 degrees outside. I’m sweating. Because it’s 9am and I haven’t stopped moving since they got up.

At this point I typically sit in the van and think, now what was I going to do today? And sometimes I honestly can’t remember and I forgot to write it down and I’m just staring into space trying to figure out what I should do. But, of course, even without a plan there’s always the laundry and shopping and cooking and cleaning. The rest of the morning is usually made up of a combination of those things and maybe a few moments of just sitting quietly and reading or catching up on email or maybe wandering around Home Goods for fun. Because sometimes I think it’s more important to wander aimlessly around Home Goods than it is to make sure every box is checked off.

I’ve got 2 1/2 hours and then it’s back to pick up the kids, first the little ones, then Reagan. They pile in the car and the questions begin where they left off. So many questions. Everyone is hungry, wants to show me what they made at school, everyone wants to dictate what is going to happen for the rest of the day and I crush all their hopes and dreams when I say no. But sometimes I say yes and we DO skip nap and we DO have a tea party with the china and we DO eat cookies for snack and that’s fun. But usually it’s No, you have to take a nap, you can have a cheese stick instead and mommy needs to fold laundry, she can’t have a tea party right this very second.

They eat their chicken nuggets and grapes and beg me to let them skip their naps (Why?? Why are they so surprised by nap time every. single. day??). The 3 littles go to their separate rooms and Reagan proceeds to have “rest time.” I do her homework with her and then set her up with a movie or some toys or a computer game and tell her it’s time to be quiet, but of course this is completely impossible because isn’t she a huge extrovert? And doesn’t she want to talk to me nonstop for the next 5 hours until she goes to bed?

The kids “sleep” (really, at this point, it’s only Titus who ever falls asleep). And they get up around 3 and then I’ve got 4 hours until bedtime and I think, I’m so tired, how will I do it? But the mid-afternoon slump passes and I grab some coffee and keep going. They play, and I wish I were someone who gave them super fun organized activities to do, but mostly they just destroy the house while I finish up the things that need to be finished up. Fold the laundry. Empty the dishwasher. Load the dishwasher. Make the dinner. Pick up. Set the coffee pot for tomorrow (most important task, obviously).

And then it’s 5:30 and DADDY’S HOME!!!!

This makes everyone happy. We eat and then I clean up while daddy does bath ’cause he’s awesome. And I didn’t used to think doing dishes was fun, but doing dishes in a quiet kitchen filled with music I want to listen to (ie, not Raffi) while my kids are upstairs contained in the bathtub is one of my favorite things. Then it’s the bedtime ritual, Teeth brushing, all the medicine for my poor kids with all the seasonal allergies, go potty, have a sip of water, no you can’t have juice, pray, sing the songs, 30 minutes to read and then LIGHTS OUT.

And then Josh and I, we look at each other and it’s, “Hello, dear, nice to see you. How are you?” Because really, we’ve barely had a moment together, and certainly not a moment when we can have any kind of real conversation. And sometimes we talk about our days, but sometimes we just collapse onto the couch and watch TV. And then we go to bed, because it’s all about to begin again.

Here’s why I share this:

Adoption seems very radical. But really, it’s one radical leap of faith followed by normal life of faith. That moment that we said, yes, we will do this. Yes God, this is scary and expensive and crazy, but we will do it. That moment felt kind of radical. And flying to Uganda for a month to bring 2 children home. That was a little out of the ordinary, for sure. But now? Now, honestly, it’s just life again. Normal, everyday life. And of course there are exceptions to this for some people, but for us, it has simply been a radical act of obedience followed by all of the same acts of obedience God called us to before. Just with 2 more kids now.

For me, there was always this kind of mysterious aura surrounding the idea of adoption, especially the international adoption of older children. What on earth would that be like? It felt so unknown. Kids who don’t speak my language. No knowledge of their past. But there is nothing mysterious about children who need a mother and father and a place to be known and cared for.

I also share this because I am asked, almost daily, how it’s going. And there are certainly difficult moments and it’s somewhat exhausting, BUT, overall, it’s amazing, better than I could have imagined, and I’m grateful. Grateful for normal everyday obedience.




  1. Lois

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