Two weeks ago, my students could have started a choir with all the lovely "music" they made with their constant coughing. Four-year-olds are pretty generous about sharing all their bodily fluids with you (coming from their nose or their mouth--well, even peeing on the floor sometimes), so I knew what was coming.
Last Saturday I woke up with a sore throat that I tried to nurse and shove away all day. I had too much on my plate that evening to stay home. Set up adoption ministry table. Take boys out for a promised Chick Fil-A dinner. Take snacks for a party at church. Let Mike sleep so he could work that night. Take the boys to church on my own. Etc.
I woke up Sunday morning with the sore throat lingering. A friend ran the Adoption Ministry table for the first service, but I went back to the church for the second service to stay through the service and then pack it up. I tried to ignore the sore throat (bad idea) and the pressure in my head between my ears. I stood and talked to two friends (both adopted mothers) for the entire hour and a half, catching up and enjoying their company. But when my brother saw me in the hallway and invited us over for the afternoon, my sore throat and headache quickly reminded me that I needed to go home. I should have listened to my body earlier in the morning rather than taking whatever I had and sharing it at church. (I'm not much different than a four-year-old, am I?)
I came home, ate, took Juan David to a friend's house whose mom invited him over, and went straight to the doctor (after I saw they had an after-hours clinic open on Sundays). Positive for strep. Lovely. And two ears that looked pretty red inside.
Mike and David went grocery shopping for me, while I took amoxicillin, called in a sub. for the next day, made my lesson plans for Monday's sub. and went to bed. So much for those well-planned parent conferences scheduled for the next day. I'd have to make some phone-calls in the morning.
Yet Monday turned into a real blessing when my sweet Mexican neighbor knocked on the door, bringing me hot chicken soup. She said when she saw my car sit at home all day, she assumed it could only mean that I was home sick. An hour after that, she knocked again and brought me a cheesecake, expressing her desire for me to enjoy the sweet things of life. We definitely enjoyed the cheesecake, and I also enjoyed having such a sweet neighbor.
I had to reschedule two parent conferences and hold one conference over the phone, but I would have missed the sweetness of my neighbor had everything gone according to my plan for the day.
I only missed a day of school, and I faithfully took my antibiotics all week. Wednesday turned into another unexpected blessing. Mike left to work overnight again for inventory prep, and I had to go pick up David at church around 8:45. Rather than leaving Juan David at home for 30 minutes, Mike told him to go with me to get David. He reluctantly went, but within the first five minutes in the car with his selection of music playing, he began to pour out memory after memory of his childhood, his siblings, his mom, his schools, etc., even to the day he found out our adoption plans didn't work out. I let him talk and talk until David got in the car, and then David quietly listened to him pour out these memories the whole way home. After we got home, we all three sat on the couch talking for another hour.
Had Mike not worked that night, he would have picked David up for me so I could go to bed earlier. But I would have missed such an incredibly bonding evening with my boys.
I woke up Saturday feeling so much better after a weird week, thankful that Mike no longer has to work nights. Life can get back to normal. I mentally made plans to go the grocery store and get caught up on a few other things. I also planned to take Juan David to one of his friend's soccer games that morning because he asked if he could go. I got up to make my coffee, and when I randomly rubbed my eye, I realized I had pink eye. Ugh. Not another weekend ruined. Can't exactly go to the grocery store with pink eye. Or church. Or anywhere that I am touching things or people. I didn't even understand how I could get pink-eye if I was still on antibiotics, but, oh, well. I had to make do.
Mike and David went to the grocery store for me, and I did still go to the soccer game with Juan David with black sunglasses to cover my eyes. I made sure not to touch anyone or anything, and the fresh air and beautiful weather did me some good. Plus it was another bonding day with Juan David, spending time with him and his friend that he attended school with last year. He and I have suddenly bonded much more in the last month--it's been nice.
I rested for the afternoon with a cold compress on my eye, and then I sent Mike and the boys to church without me. I sat in the living room to watch the service live on-line on my computer, when suddenly I noticed my left ear itching and burning. I rubbed at it a few times, but I conveniently ignored it. My eye was my main concern. Later when the boys came home, they asked why the left side of my face was all red.
I looked in the mirror, and sure enough, my left ear, cheek, and neck were bright red, splotchy, and hot to the touch. I felt a burning sensation. Two concerned nurses suggested I see or talk to a doctor right away, so I ended up in the ER. Who knows what I am allergic to. Perhaps I have developed a sudden allergy to the amoxicillin (it happens, even after seven days of taking it without any issue). Perhaps it was something I ate? They gave me some pills, a shot, and new prescriptions for the allergic reaction, for an Epipen (now I can join David's club) and for my pink eye, plus they told me to stop taking the amoxicillin just in case that's what I reacted to. My throat and ears are fine now. I need to see an allergist soon for allergy testing so I can find out what I am allergic to. They say the second reaction can be much worse...
Once again, not the weekend I pictured. This week I still have a full week of parent conferences (some rescheduled from last Monday), I have jury duty on Thursday (thanks for the sense of humor, God) and my four-year-olds first Valentine Party on Friday. Plus I need to make an appointment asap with an allergist.
I'm sure God has a blessing tucked into this somehow, though. Who knows. Last time I had jury duty, I wrote a poem that I had no idea would end up in a book someday (we were still in our first adoption process).
Some plans you can't avoid, so I'm back to trying to take things a day at a time. I don't want to miss those unexpected moments and experiences along the way.
- I am a wife, daughter, mother, bilingual teacher, poet, author, women's Bible study teacher, world traveler, orphan advocate, and an adoptive mother. Our adoption journey has been filled with a lot of hurt and loss, along with even more hope, grace, and healing. Through it we have experienced more of God than we ever bargained for and have watched Him miraculously redeem our story when we surrendered all the broken pieces to Him.