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Preparing for Change

As the weather turns slowly from summer to fall, I am increasingly aware of other changes
making their way into my life.  I don't fear change. In fact, I know that change is a "normal" part of the life process. If we push too hard against inevitable change, we meet resistance and frustration.  Sometimes, though, changes come on so slowly that we don't even notice the gradual shift until the "new" has been fully replaced by "the old".

Some gradual changes...
I'm writing less on a formal basis these days. There was no conscious decision about this. I have just become more involved in other things.  I still think about writing quite a bit and I often write "for myself" (journaling, etc.) but I am blogging on a less frequent basis and my writing for other publications has slowed down. It's ok because I know that everything cycles back around eventually.

I'm reading more.  I had gone for a long time without reading for pleasure.  This summer, I went on a tear and have really enjoyed plugging through my Goodreads list.  

My work responsibilities are shifting. While my job at the Dominion School for Autism remains steady, my role at CJSTUF is changing slightly. By year's end, I will no longer hold the "Executive Director" role in the organization. We are shifting job responsibilities, titles, and roles, naming Roger as Director of Programs with Michelle, our current event coordinator, moving into a Managing Director role.  Of course, my involvement with CJSTUF will continue, especially during this transitional period. However, I know that in order for our organization to truly grow, we need people who can provide more dedication and focus to their roles.  I see outgrowing my current role as a success!

Finally, there is domestic shifting.  As most of you know, we started the formal process this spring to become Resource (foster/adoptive) Parents with UMFS.  Four months in, the paperwork continues! If you have never been down this road before, you should know that Hollywood's version of foster/adoptive parenting (e.g.,  Parenthood, The Fosters, The Blind Side) tends to leave out that part of the process because, well, it's frankly not very exciting.  Suffice it to say that there is paperwork and approvals for everything from having our fingerprints and background checks completed to having complete physicals; knowing everything about our home from our pets to our fire escape routes; and checking to make sure we have all the safety procedures in our home that are needed when expecting a child in foster care.  

We started our home study last week. This interview process should be completed by around November and we hope to be ready to accept a child (or children) in our home by January.  With all of that has come the biggest domestic shift. We have been moving items from our upstairs bedrooms, getting them "kid ready", without really knowing whether our home will welcome a 5 year old boy, a 15 year old girl, or any combination in between.  We decided to keep Charlotte's room relatively intact but it is becoming the new office and CJSTUF storage hub.  

All of this necessitates moving furniture, emptying cabinets, and getting rid of unnecessary and unused items.  It's good spring cleaning. It just takes a while.  I sometimes find myself intending to get a lot done on this front only to end up turning in circles, walking items from one room to the next and never finishing anything.  Fortunately, help is on the way! My aunt is coming to visit in a few weeks and with her penchant for organizing, I know the job will be accomplished in due time. 

There is something very Zen in accepting change as it comes.  In fact, I found a quote from Lao Tzu that seems to sum it up perfectly: “Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” 

Some days, that quote is easier to believe than others but I'm always hoping to find that flow that change allows. That is truly how we grow.  


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