Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Always Wanted

One of the things Amy and I are going to work really hard to try not
to do is make our kids feel like burdens to us. How many times have
you seen the scene in a TV sitcom or drama: one spouse comes home and
is met by the other spouse, who hands them their kid and says, "Here
-- I've been with him/her all day, and it's your turn." And in fact,
there are certainly days that both Amy and I wish we could come home
from a long day of whatever and just unwind, watch some TV, or at the
very least have some decompression time, instead of having to shift
immediately into parenting mode.

But we don't want Jada to feel like this thing that neither of us wish
we had to tend to, nor do we want her to watch as we do that with her
younger siblings. After all, no matter how well we love her, it's
likely Jada'll struggle with insecurity, feeling that since her
biological mother abandoned her, she must not be valuable enough to be
kept. So we don't want to further shipwreck our efforts to express
our full acceptance of her by making her feel like she or any other of
our children is a burden to us.

Thankfully, Amy and I are off to a good start in this arena. We both
delight in serving each other by doing the opposite: offering to take
Jada so the other can get some down time. I'll rush home from work
and delay my usual unwinding routines until after I've put Jada to
bed. Amy'll keep Jada out an extra spell when I'm busy to give me
time to catch my breath and have a moment to myself. I'm thankful
that in this regard, we take greater delight in serving the other than
ourselves.

Nevertheless, there are certainly days when we're not feeling this
way, when we need more alone time but have to settle for less, or when
Jada requires more energy from us than we have at the moment. And all
bets are off once we add a second child into the mix. But a covenant
we've made with each other for now, and hopefully one we'll keep, that
our children will know, no matter what the circumstances that brought
them to us, they are valued by us and we wouldn't let go of them for
the world.

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