So I decided to be a good mommy and take all the kids to the park today. And what a beautiful day in Arizona! Sun shining, clear skies, perfect temperature... sigh. It may as well have been cold, cloudy, and raining! This adjustment thing is just going to take some time.
And I'm not talking about the new kids; I'm talking about one of my other daughters! In addition to the three new Ethiopian kids, we also have a seven year old little girl adopted from Guatemala. Miss B. has been home just over two years now; we celebrated her home coming on January 15. Needless to say, she has had a difficult transition (of course it should be noted that this is absolutely nothing compared to her initial homecoming transition! That was really, really, really, hard!). Park Day could have been renamed "Pout Day."
She pouted when I played soccer with all of the kids. She pouted when I played tetherball with her sister and her brother. She pouted when I played on the play set with all of the kids. She even pouted when we had a snack. She spent more time sitting on the ground, pulling away from everyone else than playing in the park. She just wanted mommy all to herself. A day with the family is not what she had in mind.
At least my husband and I knew this was coming. The day another little girl set foot in this house, we knew we would be in for a tough transition.
It's not just pouting. It's disobedience. It's meanness. It's whining. It's tantrums. It's regression to toddler hood. It's jealousy... big, ugly, green, oozing jealousy.
And yes, we talked with her before the adoption--- she was part of the decision. And yes, we prayed about this with her for months. And yes, we've spent more time with her, and we've maintained individual times out just with her. And yes, we spend time in God's Word, reviewing and praying why jealousy and meanness and disobedience are sinful. And yes, she has and continues to be disciplined in a Biblical fashion. I can only reiterate with her over and over again that we love her, and cherish her... but can not tolerate her behavior.
Now I can relate a bit more to people having twins! I've got two seven year old diva twins who both crave the spot light....
What I do try to keep in my mind is that first and foremost, "this too shall pass." Second, I remind myself that I should be more upset at my daughter's disobedience towards the Lord's commandment to obey parents and love her neighbor (family). Sometimes I forget that crucial distinction, and get madder than a wet hen that she is disobeying me alone.
Adoption is a family affair. It changes everything... and everyone. I simply have to hold on to the hope that I have that the Lord gave us this mission--- and all of these kids-- for a reason and a purpose. Should He will that my little B.'s heart be softened and changed--- wonderful! But I also have to remember that this life and this family are HIS. He can do whatever He chooses with this family, and with the individuals in this family. My job is just to pray like crazy every single day, storming the gates on behalf of my children--- and teaching them--- faithfully and with great hope-- every single day. We have nothing if we don't have hope!
Say a quick prayer for my little Miss B., would you?