>Adoption: Adjustment and Laundry


** Warning. I’d love for all my posts to be “butterflies and rainbows” as a dear friend says…but during this time, they cannot be if I am to be honest to myself and anyone else. So, sometimes, they are just odd. You all know already this blog is a lot of stream of consciousness drivel. Fair warning.**

My laundry room.

Officially: laundry at “London Terrace Towers”….but a gal can dream….

I never knew I’d be so grateful for laundry.

No kidding.
Occasionally, this thought, this gratitude, has popped into my addled mind…this gratitude for laundry. But really, not so much. I have spent many a moment over my many years resenting the freakishly replenished piles (by which I mean: heaping mounds) of dirty laundry.

But especially of late, coming home and trying to tread water in the tsunami of adjustment involved in this adoption {And, I presume, older child adoption in general}….. I am grateful for laundry.
I am grateful for the normalcy of mountains of laundry needing to be gathered, sorted, washed, swapped, dried, hung, folded and sorted again.

We control freaks love having something that we can control, and that in a nutshell, is the beauty of laundry. I can stand in my little laundry room, folding, and hear the machine’s old familiar churn and the dryer’s whine, and things are normal.
I can sort and fluff and fold and create new clean order again and again.

And I know this might sound like I am hanging on by my fingernails, or failing and slipping and grasping at straws….pathetic….but to be frank, the laundry is, oddly enough, a comfort. Right now, laundry is less a burden than a signpost that life really does go on and returns to the particular habits of my family.

Laundry is a sort of comfort everlasting (in my house, at least). It is constant; a task that can be well done and appreciated (mostly). I can do it with mindless rote motion, or do it and stew or daydream as much as I choose. And, gloriously, I have time alone, for no one wants to join me in the laundry room.
And so it is even peaceful in it’s own noisy way.

I know. This is as mundane as it gets. But that, that very thing, the utter mundanity of it, is exactly what makes me stop and think and smile. Because, we are taught, in my Catholic faith, that even small things, the most mundane routine mind-numbing or unpleasant chores, can have infinite value.

And so, with a smile, and a rueful nod, I can agree. Only once before, during a hospital health scare of my dearest, have I so searingly been aware and grateful for the rote routine of my laundry chores. I said a prayer of thanksgiving for it then, long ago. And now, during this odd uncomfortable time of adjustments, I whisper it again.

I am thankful for laundry: for the clothes to wash, the machines to wash them in, for the chore on every level and the comfort it brings to us all…but right now, especially to me, in those sharp raw and uncertain moments, I am simply grateful for the chore and the routine it implies. And when I don’t know how to manage all this jaggedy new or to move through these big things, or the snaggy small things, if I am gripped with fear or fretting or exhaustion…I can literally stand and quietly do the laundry, and feel like me again, have our family feel normal and not only new. I know these motions, blindfolded, and they remain….and continue even while we find our new normal. It’s comfort. It may well be silly, I know. But for those of you who wonder about this adjustment and how it’s different…this is one unexpected reveal.

The machine churns and slogs along, the dryer whines and turns and turns. And obviously, I am reminded again and again, so must (and will) I.

12 thoughts on “>Adoption: Adjustment and Laundry

  1. >Thankful for laundry?!? Never quite looked at it that way before, but LOVE your perspective. After reading your post, I too, realize a few of the mundane, routine parts of my day offer great comfort during such uncertain times.Thanks for your honesty friend!

  2. >I remember you commenting about being thankful for laundry on my blog before during a difficult time we were having. Your words rang so true. The laundry is a "constant" in a rollercoaster world full of uncertainty. Sometimes we need to hold on to that consistency in our lives no matter how mundane it may be, so that we may better cope with the bucks and drops of the rest of life.Thinking of you all often.x

  3. >First let me say thank you… thank you for your honesty. It is refreshing and insightful. I, for one, really appreciate your "stream of consciousness drivel". And secondly… that is a photo of my old laundry room! No kidding! Chris & I used to live in London Terrace before we moved out west.

  4. >Makes sense to me, completely. So nice to just GET SOMETHING DONE. Done, not in process, like so much of life. That is, until someone throws another mound in the basket.Keep up the writing, you're gifted at it and I believe it will help you sort things out as you adjust.

  5. >Heather: TOO funny! What are the odds?? I just grabbed that pic for the sheer number of machines…ah, imagine! (and the b/w tiles are pretty zippy too!). It's a small world, again and again. Thanks for your nice comment and this. Love M

  6. >I wholeheartedly agree. Laundry is so much bang for its buck, all the organization, good smells, soft cotton, crispness of it all. I have always been an advocate of laundry doing. I don't use a dryer because ours is apartment-sized. I use the drying rack and outside line in summer. Note to self: get bigger house with capability for front loaders on the same floor as we sleep. No more steep basement stairs and tiny dryer. Your words resonate.Christine

  7. >ACK! Laundry is not my thing but I have learned that when I exercise, if I jog long enough, that none of my kids wants to tag along! 🙂 Ahhhhhh….I have found my quiet peace recently!Now my hubby, the ex-Navy man, has a thing for ironing. I call it his therapy. When we had this house built, I even had an outlet put in our walk in closet so that the ironing board can always be ready to go and he can iron to his heart's content without interruption! Hang in there friend! Thanks for being real…..You are in my prayers and it WILL get oh so much better.Blessings,Kristy

  8. >Oh my…you really nailed this one……I snapped at my beloved a week or so ago when he wanted to help me fold the clothes and I was really, really angry with him…..I didn't want his help…I wanted…..no…I needed to do it because it was the only thing that is normal. Well…except the volume!Again..thanks for being real….More of us need to step out and reveal honestly the adjustments involved with older children adoption (ok..mine are a lot younger than Marta, but same principles apply…in my humble opionion).

  9. >I have been wanting to do a laundry post for two years, no kidding, two years. I even took a photo of the washing machine that inspired it on our trip to Ireland two years ago. I so understand this post. I too love laundry.

  10. >Beautiful!! I also enjoy doing the laundry…it isn't too hard and fun! I can't imagine the change of adopting an older child. Kudos to you and your wonderful family!

  11. >I looked at the old house in a buying process once and the owner, the woman of the house, showed me the old laundry room with pride. It was larger with a window and. . . a cot. She told me it was her favorite room in the house and she took naps in there. I thought she was kidding but now, several years and a couple kids later, I know exactly from where she and you come!


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