Celebrating Normalcy

Dead mom week, check.

Kids rooms moved around and finished (except hanging pictures), check.

Everyone with new piano and violin things to practice, check.

Third grade English project of how to write letters and address envelopes, check.

Homework finished, tests given, typing lessons complete, check.

Chores done and house cleaned, check.

Five pieces of trash picked out of Anber’s hair, check.

Everyone’s laundry put away, check.

Little ones down for naps after last night’s big hockey game, check.

Cake baked and cooling, check.

Home studies completed, turned in, and invoiced, check.

We, as a family, officially caught up all of our work and survived all the extra projects we needed to do before the Sabbath tomorrow.

We are officially settled into our new home, except for hanging pictures, which are all here now so we can do that when in the mood.

But there was one more big event before anything else could be done, and it was more important than anything else: Kirk’s birthday! He turns nine this week, and he could not be more excited.

Kirk came to us right after he turned six, so it’s crazy to think he has been with us three years already. I had actually met him at a daycare where I saw little tiny patients three years before that, but we didn’t put that together until recently. I would be in his class working with some other children, and get called in to help with Barrett being a disaster in his toddler class. How funny is that?! So we actually have known each other for six years already! I can’t believe it!

Kirk is an amazing child, overcoming deep wounds and significant physical challenges. He never avoids activities because of cerebral palsy, and always pushes further than what anyone would expect him to do. He has grown out of his glasses, which surprised us, but still has a shunt that runs from his brain to his heart, and braces on both legs and his left arm.

He is a kind child, and very funny. He feels things deeply, and I actually have to keep a close eye on him because he will hold things in too long and fly under the radar if we aren’t careful. He is sensitive, has serious questions about his past, and has processed a lot already with his biological family about why he was in foster care and why they couldn’t adopt him. So many people love this boy!

We waited for a long time for him to attach and connect with us, but that’s part of how we know he has woven himself into our hearts these years later. Any affection from him is authentic, and he means it. He keeps it real, this boy.

For his birthday dinner, Kirk wanted “cheese with hamburgers” and baked beans and potato salad and chips.

He also wanted a “square cake that tastes like a circle one”, and we did our best to accommodate that!

He got the hockey game last night, and a shiny new trumpet today – we are such a musical family, and he has worked hard at piano with one hand, but theoretically he should be able to play trumpet if he works at it carefully. He’s so excited to try!

Another thing we were able to do for him when my friend hooked us up with new beds was to get him a race car bed! Not a cartoon bed, but an actual race car looking bed. Some of his biological family races cars, and it seemed a fun way to bridge that for him. He was so excited! He loves it!

Besides his other gifts, Kirk was mostly excited about movie night, which is why we had to work to get all our work done for the day.

Nathan and I were only so glad to get through everything and spend the evening resting! I think the children, too, needed not just rest but some perceived wins after the extra work of moving and the challenges of adjusting. It was good for all of us, and we had one happy birthday boy!

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About Emily

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2009. I serve as a Chaplain, and work as a counselor. I got bilateral cochlear implants in 2010, but will always love sign language. I choose books over television, and organics over processed. Nothing is as close to flying as ballroom dancing - except maybe running, when in the solo mood. I would rather be outside than anywhere else, especially at the river riding my bike or kayaking. PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, and currently doing a post-doc in Jewish Studies and an MDiv in Pastoral Counseling. The best thing about Emily World is that it's always an adventure, even if (not so) grammatically precise. The only thing better than writing is being married to a writer. Nathan Christensen and I were married in the Oklahoma City temple on 13 October 2012, and have since fostered more than eighty-five children. We have adopted the six who stayed, and are totally and completely and helplessly in love with our family. Nathan writes musical theater, including "Broadcast" (a musical history of the radio) and an adaption of Lois Lowry's "The Giver". He served his mission in South Korea, has taught song-writing in New York City public schools, and worked as a theater critic for a Tucson newspaper. This is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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