Of woodpiles and seatcovers

I’ve discovered a strange side effect to adopting older children. You start looking around at your life, and get the urge to spruce things up a bit. Strange things.

Last night the little kids and I could be seen pulling weeds around the woodpile. Today I have every intention of restacking the dumb thing. In my defense, the weeds around the pile were knee-high, and the pile at this moment actually consists of many scrawny piles– lots of odds and ends of wood set aside as we rifled through the woodpile last winter. It really should be restacked before we add new wood this summer anyway. But this is the first time I’ve ever nested by organizing firewood.

My husband confided the other day that he intends to clean out both the shop and the greenhouse before the girls come home. I intend to paint a dresser and a bathroom.

And I wrestled for ten minutes the other day trying to stretch a new (but almost-too-small) seatcover onto the seat of a hand-me-down bike. When my husband gave me good-natured but grubby-fingered help, leaving brown fingerprints on the white fabric, I was reduced nearly to tears.

I keep telling myself that these kid are coming from an orphanage in a third world country. They’ve never owned a bike in their lives, and most likely they won’t care one iota if their bike seats are scuffed up around the edges. (Heck, my americanized kids don’t care. Otherwise, why would they constantly throw down their bikes wherever they fall?) And for heaven’s sakes, why would any kid care if the woodpile was a wreck?

But I want everything just right for them. And so I scurry around, fluffing and straightening and scheming and planning, hoping desperately that they will like it here.

That they will like us.

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  1. Your sprucing things up is just your way of giving your very best. It isn’t about whether or not anyone else notices. It’s about what you are wanting to give.

  2. P.S. I remember bursting into tears when my husband put a ding in the wall of the boy’s bedroom when we moved the furniture into it!

    There are LOTS of dings in it now. I guess that is all part of the emotion of adopting! 🙂

  3. It’s so funny how we fuss over the wood pile, but we all do it! It’s such a big deal, and you care so much! At least you understand what is going on.

  4. Don’t worry!!! Your girls will love you and they will see how much you have been thinking about them and how much love you have for them!
    p.s. I will be praying for you today that you make it through court!

  5. Mary, they love you already. And your family has so very much love….they will be the happiest, most blessed little girls on the planet!
    Also, I’m praying for court!
    And, thanks for letting me hang out with your big kids last night. it was fun 🙂

  6. oh- Mary- no worries- they’ll love you regardless of the wood pile or seat cover…..but I DO understand- I leave tomorrow and for some reason HAVE to clean all of my blinds before I bring my new daughter home……she’ll be turning 2 while we are in China…..logically I know she does not care if there is dust on the blinds…..but I will clean them anyway- must be a way we get nervous energy out! Praying that you hear good news Friday……

  7. They will love you. Without a doubt. Nesting is normal, Mary. And the woodpile is as good a way as any!

  8. This post reminds me of this book I read when I was a kid – some crappy juvenile book that isn’t even in print anymore, but I remember every. single. word of it. It was called A Try at Tumbling, and the protagonist was a girl in foster care who refused to take a bath after her gymnastics practices (despite the coach’s stern warnings) because she was convinced that there was no way she’d be allowed to use up that much hot water. Her foster mother was a bit awkward and distant with her, and she was convinced she was unwanted.

    And then, at the fourth of July picnic, someone mentioned to her how excited her foster mother had been – how she had purchased chintz cushions especially for her bedroom, decorating it in a style she hoped the girl would like. That was the turning point in their relationship – the chintz curtains were a physical manifestation of the love she had no idea she could expect.

  9. It just shows what awesome parents you are. You want to give the best you have to these two little girls.

  10. It’s Friday in Ethiopia, so I wanted to stop by and say I’m thinking of you and hoping you get the good news ASAP!!

  11. i’m not “really nesting” right now…but i totally hear ya. for my daughter’s 2nd birthday we bought a water/sand table for our deck and after my husband set the whole thing up (harder than one might think – at least for us) i was smoothing out the sand and making it perfect and my husband kept messing it up. we actually got into a fight about it and when my daughter woke up the next morning and saw it she immediately took a bunch of sand and plopped it in the water side and vice versa. the thing was a mess within minutes. hilarious. (to us anyway)

    i love it that you are nesting. you’re right – they won’t notice and at the same time they (and you!) are going to be so happy. xo

  12. This post brought tears to my eyes. How could they not love you? I don’t know you at all, except through your blog, but your kind nature and big heart are evident to all of us who read you.

    Your family is in my thoughts, that all goes well with this adoption. 🙂