I’ve been thinking about our family life now.  Mark and Nikki have been here a month today, and they are about 95% integrated into our family.  The big differences right now are just

  • food – and Nikki has really improved a lot.  She actually told her mom she loves broccoli.  Mark still has a lot of hang-ups, but he now expresses a preference for cauliflower and plain lettuce, and has also eaten raw carrots.
  • church – and that is certainly okay, and not something we expect to change.  At Nikki and Mark’s ages, if they were our children, we would be trying to teach them a lot more of the details of our faith life, the whys and hows, and also more about Jesus.  But we know that is the responsibility of their own parents, so while not shutting them out of our faith routines completely, we also can’t fully engage them either.  And it’s tricky because they ask lots of good questions, especially after church!

Otherwise, they are just like our kids.  They play like our kids, dress like our kids, read like our kids, study like our kids, whine like our kids, and get in trouble like our kids.  It’s so underwhelming, it’s…overwhelming.

Unless something really crazy happens, Mark and Nikki will be with us until at least July.  That’s the earliest Mom and Dad can complete their case plan, so it could also be a lot longer.

Knowing that, plus how seamlessly they blend with us, feels strangely heavy.  There are no more big mysteries to solve (except those accidents of Mark’s), no vague uncertainties.  They are here with us until they go home.  The End.  (That’s certainly dependent on how Mom and Dad will do, but based on their actions so far, I think they will work as hard as they can to get those kids home as quickly as they can.)  So I don’t know why the whole situation makes me feel so weird.

I guess I could be used to more unpredictability, from our other placements.  With every single one of our other placements, there were reasonable wisps of thought in the back of my head about issues, problems, TPR, adoption, etc.  I just didn’t know for sure where anything was headed.  It’s funny to think I actually got used to that so easily.

And now I’m here in Monotony-ville, and I’m getting itchy.  I’m sure this will pass, and I’m super-glad for Nikki and Mark that they have such committed parents.  I just need to get my head back in the real world and do what I can for them while they’re here.  Six months seems like a long time to me now, but I know it will fly by once I stop thinking about it.