A huge weight was lifted from us this week. Our daughter has a kindergarten class! A mere 10 minutes’ walk from here!

It’s a not-so-minor miracle, after a purgatory of “overflow temporary class” that you’ve probably heard enough about. We hope she’s set for the next 6 years of her education at a great school. The parents and kids and teacher seem wonderful. It’s a blessing. It’s a huge disruptive drama resolved, a very big boulder out of the way, as our work and life schedules can at last settle down for the school year.

I was just reminded that the Hindu god Ganesh, the elephant, is the remover of obstacles. He’s also the one who puts them there, stopping us in our tracks so we can deal with something before we move on. While part of me would like to nurse my grudges about how this all went (and believe me, I have grudges), it can’t be a mistake that this week I randomly hear about learning from disruption. So I’ve been giving it a shot.

One good reminder is that the intense upset I’ve felt from these challenges, even though I’m stably housed, employed, and partnered, can only be a fraction of what our kids must feel, or be working so hard not to feel. Powerlessness, frustration, despair, anger. While I try to keep in mind that so much is going on for the kids as they switch homes and parents, I’ve had so much privilege and so many blessings that I’m not sure I can ever do enough to keep their perspective in mind.

Power plays over milk drunk or undrunk, toys shared or withheld, are surely just small echos of their roiling  tumult of terror, joy, anxiety of the unknown. We know, or we hope we know, that these kids will be with us the rest of their childhoods. But while they’ve been told this, I doubt they believe any such thing. How could they?

Another good of the school drama was having a focus for my feelings. While it was stressful not to know where she’d be in school or when, the depth and intensity of emotion tells me this is a symbolic way I’ve been processing the enormity of what’s happened. We’ve been parents for less than 5 months! Our lives will never be the same, and it’s just not the kind of thing you can take it all at once. So another chance to stop and say, wow.

We have a therapist who specializes in adoption attachment, and she made us do this “sand tray” diorama of our lives right now. I thought it would be corny. But it was an amazing view of how our family is adjusting and forming. How the kids are making (taking, shaking) a place in our lives, how some of our friends have been knocked back and are (I think) looking for a place in our new order. How the angels of our moms are watching and helping us.

But mostly it made me so grateful to have a partner who’s more or less on the same page as I am. Who’s willing to dive into a complete unknown new family, uproot his schedules and life, change poopy diapers, and even move plastic figures around in the sand with me in order to see our life more clearly and make it work.

I hope the sweet satisfaction of school routine lasts. But I also want to keep digging around, watching our family evolve, and finding ways to take in what a seismic shift has happened to us. It’s nice to stop and appreciate that before moving forward.

(Also I hope this will give me some time to start focusing on good Halloween costumes.)