Monday, August 31, 2015

Adventures in Toddler Nesting

For over a year now we've had basically no control over the adoption process. All we can do right now is wait, and waitand pray, and wait some more.  For someone like me, who plans contingencies for her contingencies, it has been all kinds of maddening.

Naturally, all that energy had to go somewhere. So I turned my attention to converting one of our guest rooms into a room for Little J. I spent hours pouring over bedding sets, room themes, and color swatches. But eventually, I landed on a little piece of history. 

Baby J's wall mural, and the kitchen Howie is sure she will love to play in.
Before we knew that Howie was going to be a boy and chose his airplane pattern--Jake: "His Dad is a pilot. How else would we decorate his room?"--we found a pattern for a little girl we just adored. It was girly but not traditional "girl colors," cute but something a baby wouldn't outgrow for a while.

It came up in conversation as I was scouring the bazillion baby sites on the web--not super thrilled with any of them--and it just clicked. Not only was it something we loved, but it was also in a color scheme that is very similar to the place where Little J is now. We are hoping the room will be comfortingly familiar to her. 

We weren't sure we'd be able to find the pattern, though. After all, it had been six years since we first picked it out! It took some serious internet digging, but eventually I was able to piece together the whole set. I found a great little company to make wooden letters for her; I found a woman on Etsy who made a beautiful set of matching wall decals for her; and by serendipity, a Houston artist of whom I'm a fan had done a beautiful piece of artwork in exactly the right colors to compliment the rest of the room. And as an added touch, Howie decided that his kitchen would look great in Little J's room (such a sweet big brother!).

Bookshelves in need of filling. We're working on it!
We picked out some furniture for Little J's room, then got to work on paint selection. Jake and I have this entire process of elimination we go through with paint samples before we land on a color. Usually we wind up going through thirty or more swatches. But this time around, even as we observed our whittling ritual, I think we both knew that Little J's room was going to be yellow. Jake was a little uncertain of the color when it went on the walls--"it's really bright!" he said, as though he hadn't spent quite a bit of time in the colorful city that is Manila. But once everything was in the room, he changed his tune. 

Getting the room together was not without its challenges. For instance, the furniture that we ordered arrived in boxes. Unassembled boxes. While Jake was on assignment in Louisiana. Of course they did!

It took hours and hours, but I'm more than a little bit proud that I put it all together myself! And it made me chuckle because exactly the same thing happened six years ago--Jake was gone, and I put together Howie's furniture too! So I guess now it's a tradition I should prepare for; if furniture needs assembling, Jake is sure to be gone!

The other issue, of course, is that the eighteen-month-old in my head isn't eighteen months old anymore. She's three! (Yep, that's how long this process has taken!!). My baby, but not really a baby anymore. Instead, a small walking, talking person. So, what started out looking like this:

We started with a crib but...

Had to be converted to this:

Now Baby J has a toddler bed.

I have to confess, I was a little heartbroken to change it, thinking about the missed years and missed milestones of her life the change represented. I let myself have a five-minute pity party and a few tears. Then I reminded myself to look ahead--I choose joy.

So, with this (relatively) minor change, we're ready! So very, very ready! And with the room finished, I'm now looking for some other place to channel all my most frenetic energy. (Suggestions welcome!) So far my usual "fill the schedule" ritual isn't really working. Also, it's slowly starting to drive Jake just a little bit crazy. 

Then again, this entire process is kind of crazy-making. Lord, give us patience! 

Also, please let us bring our baby girl home soon!

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