It's amazing how the ups and downs and life can often be traced back to our expectations. My grandpa always told me never to have any expectations and that way I'd never be let down. A little cynical and yet true. But it goes both ways...
My stress over having a baby over here is due in part to my expectations. Things are different than what I expected, despite everything that women who have had babies over here have told me. It's all just a reality now, and we're not even close to being ready.
Our crate of stuff from the States that we had shipped was supposed to have officially arrived in Hungary last Friday. We haven't gotten word from customs that it's here, but we need it soon, as the few baby items we do have are inside that crate. If this kid comes before we get our crate, we really have nothing (except a wonderful Pack'n'Play, but our kid will be naked in the meantime)! My expectation is that we will get it in two weeks, but we shall see.
Another expectation that people have asked about is just baby stuff in general. The expectation that you will have this adorable room with nice new things is just not a reality nor the expectation for us. There are still things that we would like to get and like to have, but I am trying to keep my expectations low because I know that we aren't able to have some of those things. And let me be perfectly honest, some days I am really selfish and that sort of thing bothers me, and then other days, I realize that this is what we chose and decided to give up when we wanted to come here. My focus has been on how God is providing the things we NEED (not necessarily the wants) from others, and isn't that most important? I have had some pleasant and unexpected donations from others, and I see how God provides for us in that way. We just were offered an American crib from a family, and that was a huge blessing. You need to see the European ones to understand why I am especially happy about this, other than the fact that we didn't have to buy one.
And there are other wonderful surprises that you never expect... We got another package today from my mom. I had no idea she was sending us one, and it was such an unexpected surprise. Kevin and I had to laugh because she sent us our baby's first stuffed animal that she bought at the zoo when they took Daniel there (and bought one for him), and being the grandma that she is, she had to buy one for our kid, too, to keep things fair. There were a few other goodies in there as well! By the way, she is turning into her mom, my grandmother, and Kevin says I am only a few decades away from doing the same sorts of things as they do. We laugh, but I consider it an honor to be like these two women!
I also continue to get unexpected and sweet emails from previous second graders that I've had over the last few years. Those are always most touching and unexpected.
So sometimes not having our expectations met can be stressful and frustrating, and then there are those things that exceed our expectations that can be wonderful. I think that I would rather take a healthy balance of both than have none at all.