Monday, March 29, 2010
Friday, March 26, 2010
Emotions were high in the H. household today... the kids were absolutely wound to get out and play a little soccer! By all appearances, the kids have played soccer before--- but probably "street" soccer... meaning they make up the rules as they go. Thank the Lord for a very patient coach, Matt Kennedy, who simply encouraged the kids (over and over again!) to go in the right direction or to stay in bounds.
Tomorrow's opening game promises to be a wild ride. All we can pray for are no injuries....
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Wish I could attend... but, alas, I have seven children to attend to!
I also wish someone from our church had the desire to attend... heck, I'd even help pay to have them go!
The first thing that hit me... like any "normal" mom... was a certain amount of guilt. Gosh, I didn't do everything "right" with our first adoption. I reacted to many situations with Miss B., as opposed to responding or redirecting her in an affirming way. I had read tons of books on adjustment during adoption, but was simply not prepared with enough of an arsenal of adjustment/bonding techniques. I think I had a more difficult time bonding with Miss B. than she did with me. That was my error, and in hindsight, I should have had the maturity to recognize this. Some things only come with experience.
That being said, I believe it is vital to be in connection with other adoptive parents. Why make lots of mistakes when you can learn from the experiences of others? Had I been in a support group of some sort, I would venture to guess that the bonding and discipline issues with Miss B. would have been less traumatic for both of us.
Look for someone who has already been down the adoption road before; someone whose family is thriving and positive. I will often shoot off an email to many adoptive moms--- asking questions regarding anything from food to discipline. Not only will these parents stand with you and support you, but they will also pray for you. Prayer is so crucial to your success in learning to manage newly transplanted children. Of course, connecting with others will also help you to know that you are not alone.
I hope you enjoy listening to the attached program. I also noticed that Family Life also has many, many shows in archives regarding adoption. Looks like a positive resource!
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
As a side note, when Blanca first came home over two years ago, I did not attempt any formal schooling until she was fluent in English. Yet, with these new kiddos--- just out of sheer desperation to fill the day and to make an attempt to prevent the house from getting destroyed-- I started some sort of schooling after just 2 weeks of being home.
"The Jesus Film" in Amharic (thejesusfilmstore.com)
"Tsehai Loves Learning," Vol. 1 and 2 (http://www.tsehai.com) This is a preschool video in Amharic
Oral recitation: ABC's, Counting, Colors
Califone Card Reading System: (http://www.califone.com/products/mcfrc.php)
Puzzles: started with easy 24 piece puzzles and worked up to 100 piece puzzles
Games: (very important, as kids have difficulty losing gracefully)
"ABC Letter Game"
"Shoots and Ladders"
"Dominoes" (matching patterns; difficult for two of the kids)
Flashcards (ABCs, numbers, first words, colors, etc.)
Critical Thinking Curriculum: (criticalthinking.com)
"Visual Perception Skill Building, Book 1 Pre-K to 1"
"Hands On Thinking Skills, K-1" with manipulatives (attribute blocks, interlocking cubes, pattern blocks)
"Half 'n Half Animals, A1"
Kumon Books (amazon.com)
"My Book of Easy Mazes" (very simple, but built kids' confidence"
"My Book of Mazes--- Animals"
"My Book of Alphabet Games"
"My Book of Mazes--- Around the World" (only one of the boys could manage)
"My Book of Simple Addition"
"My Book of Easy Crafts" (really fun; Blanca enjoys this, too)
I also use small white boards to practice letters and shapes. The kids seem to enjoy being able to wipe off their work.
You may notice that reading is not on the list. Yes, I make an effort to read to the kids... but honestly, they are just so wiggly that they have very short attention spans. Their favorite books have been "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom," "Chicka Chicka 1-2-3", and anything Spiderman or Peter Pan!
What the kids absolutely enjoy--- more than most things-- is singing! We sing the ABCs, 123s, Bible songs, etc.
Hope this helps someone! I will add to the list as things "work."
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Micah 6:8 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
and what it is the LORD requires of you:
Only to act justly,
to love faithfulness,
and to walk humbly with your God.
Please say a little prayer for the orphans and the widows in the world.
Is there anything He may be calling you to do?
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Monday, March 8, 2010
I've never been a much of a fan of church youth groups, but because my kids honestly just needed some new friends, we decided to allow the kids to join. Well, much of the experience has been wonderful. I have seen my kids learn to delve into the Word. Our church has an awesome youth pastor who challenges the kids, emotionally and spiritually. Yet, I still see some problems. It's flat out difficult to remove the raging hormones from the youth group scene. Kids see someone who is cute or whatever, and simply "forget" all of the lessons mom and dad have attempted to teach them through the years. Many of these so-called Christian kids are acting no different from the rest of the world.
The Sayings of King Lemuel1 The sayings of King Lemuel contain this message, which his mother taught him.
2 O my son, O son of my womb,
O son of my vows,
3 do not waste your strength on women,
on those who ruin kings.
4 It is not for kings, O Lemuel, to guzzle wine.
Rulers should not crave alcohol.
5 For if they drink, they may forget the law
and not give justice to the oppressed.
6 Alcohol is for the dying,
and wine for those in bitter distress.
7 Let them drink to forget their poverty
and remember their troubles no more.
8 Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves;
ensure justice for those being crushed.
9 Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless,
and see that they get justice.
A Wife of Noble Character10 Who can find a virtuous and capable wife?
She is more precious than rubies.
11 Her husband can trust her,
and she will greatly enrich his life.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
Friday, March 5, 2010
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Proverbs 24:11-12 (New Living Translation)
11 Rescue those who are unjustly sentenced to die;
save them as they stagger to their death.
12 Don’t excuse yourself by saying, “Look, we didn’t know.”
For God understands all hearts, and he sees you.
He who guards your soul knows you knew.
He will repay all people as their actions deserve.
As believers, we have a wonderful duty and obligation to minister to those who are suffering, whether that suffering is from malnutrition, extreme poverty, AIDS, a self-induced abortion, or any number of life-threatening conditions that plague much of the world. We are an information-saturated world; how could we possibly deny and avert our eyes to the blatant suffering of our fellow man? God knows we know... He knows us better than we know ourselves. I beg of you; let your eyes fall upon the dying. Let your eyes fill with tears from the mere thought of the thousands of children who will die today from lack of food or clean water. Think about others for just a moment, and realize that any of the dying could have been you or your very own children... had you simply been born at a different latitude and longitude.
Now, do something about it... anything... just start.
A word of encouragement: the US dollar goes a long way in places like Ethiopia. In December, the exchange rate of dollar to birr is $1USD=$12 ETB.
Today I was especially privileged to enjoy quite a few "firsts." Today was the first time Miss G. actually told me she loved me... and she said it with some sweet emotion. Today was the first time the four youngest kids could actually sit together--- without throwing punches or screaming at each other--- and read several books. Today was the first time everyone ate the same food for dinner... with no complaints! And finally, today was the first day that home school wasn't reduced to "sit down" and "please stop shouting" the whole day. Wow... the simple pleasures of life!
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
They might come from different mommies in different countries, but I'd say we've got ourselves a couple of twins! G. and B. are inseparable: they are the same age, they sleep in the same room, share the same bathroom, share the same Sunday school class (yes, G. participated in class this week!), share the same toys. When they fight, they fight with fire. When they play, they play with gusto. I think they'll end up being best of buddies.