Okay, let's be honest—more than a bit overwhelmed.
This morning, however, my best friend JJ emailed with the news that they'd had another donation come into their GoFundMe account for their adoption (I know who it was, and names are being withheld to protect the guilty and preserve their relative anonymity...at least here on the blog). Great news to start the morning out with!
JJ and I usually email back and forth throughout the days while she's at work. I love that we do that, and days when she's not at work are kind of email-dreary. She made the announcement at one point this afternoon about how much she has to be thankful for, and so she decided to make this a day of praise. She listed the things she was thankful for: working appliances, a refrigerator full of food, a husband coming home from his trip tomorrow, extended family matters working out better than expected, a reliable vehicle, that God continues to work on fundraising for their adoption.
I replied with my own list: air conditioning that I don't have to have running 24/7 right now, dishwashers and clothes washers that clean my things without me having to stand over them and "help" the cleaning happen, batteries, battery-powered clocks (even though the one here in the den seems to eat up batteries like they're going out of style), a husband with a good job, duckies, and Diet Dr Pepper.
Then I picked up the kids from school. And got the mail from the mailbox.
Oh, look. The lawyer's bill. Sigh. I hadn't realized we'd exceeded our retainer yet, although it's not surprising. Although...that's a much bigger number than I thought I'd be seeing. Oh, look. More paperwork from the court. (Gee, I'm glad I'm not the one that Bro's attorney is accusing of erring in judgment and abusing its discretion in determining clear and convincing evidence.) It's gotten so that I hate going to the mailbox because I don't know what I'll find there.
I felt the weight of it all begin to settle on my shoulders again.
And I started typing back another email to JJ. I mentioned the paperwork. And then...well...I'm thankful for a lawyer who knows her stuff and has got our back. I'm thankful for supportive parents who are going above and beyond to help us with this, more than just emotionally, and believe that we're doing what's right and best.
"There you go! Overcome the legal malarkey with praise! It's all junk and you know it!" she wrote back, adding in her list: she's thankful that the termination orders are the current orders, so that we are not having to deal with lining up visitations and the additional stress that those visits cause; that the girls are old enough and wise enough that they see what's going on (and that's a whole other blog post, by the way) and know how much we love them; that God continues to supply all our needs, including our fabulous lawyer, and that the same God, while rarely early, is always just on time.
We kept going!
- We have friends who love and support us through this insanity, who rejoice with us, mourn with us, get angry along with us and for us, who let us be real about the frustration, rather than expecting us to Jesus Juke our way through it.
- The judge gets to defend her position on her ruling, and that's something I'm actually looking forward to reading.
- Our lawyer is honest and trustworthy.
- Our God has all this covered, and loves me despite the fact that I know this but fret about everything anyway.
- I'm married to a man with a heart big enough to open it up wide and take in three little girls and love them as his own, enough to want to go to all the hassle and heartache of being determined to make them his own.
- My children are healthy and happy.
- My cats—my furry kids—are also mostly healthy. I am grateful that we have an excellent vet for the times when they need medical attention.
- Kitties. They give such comic relief.
- Electricity and running water and indoor plumbing!
- Our church loves its children so much that they pay half of camp tuition costs to the nearby RGC. My girls can go to camp for a week this summer, and it will cost me less than $200 instead of nearly $400.
- Food to eat. Clothes to wear. A house to live in that more than supplies the space we need. Medical care.
- Plenty of leftovers in the fridge, so that I don't have to cook a meal from scratch tonight!
- I found a lost marble under the couch yesterday! (I don't even think it was mine.)
We are blessed.
We are loved.
There is plenty to rejoice in.