Verse of the Day

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Seven Month Update

Seven months... seven difficult, frustrating... sweet, unforgettable months!  Who ever said having kids was easy never had kids.

The wonderful thing with this particular post is that I simply can not identify many negative or hurtful behaviors anymore that are specific to having been adopted.  The kids are thriving, and my heart continues to be filled with the joy that only being a mom and following the Lord can bring.

School:  We continue to do some sort of school on a daily basis, although my brain really needed a break.  Thus, we have mainly read or done flash cards over the past couple of weeks.  One resource we have enjoyed is...

Easy & Engaging ESL Activities and Mini-Books for Every Classroom: Terrific Teaching Tips, Games, Mini-Books & More to Help New Students from Every Nation Build Basic English Vocabulary and Feel Welcome![Paperback]

Kama Einhorn
This is a workbook put together by Scholastic (ISBN 0-439-15391-3). The kids thoroughly enjoyed coloring the US flag, along with the flags of their mother country.  This resource has great little mini-books to cut out, color, and staple.

I am pleased to say the kids are ready for kindergarten!  My main goal now is just to make sure they don't forget the "basics" before school starts, and try and enjoy some down time with the family.

Creativity:  The creativity of these kids is astounding!  What they can put together with glue, tape, and staples never ceases to amaze me. I've gotten to the point that I don't throw out all of those Amazon boxes anymore.  They might turn out to be a costume of some sort.

Food:  Well, food is still an issue.  My youngest just doesn't care for much variety--- but I have a 12 year old who doesn't like much either. I have just tried to make food less of a battle and offer a least one item with every meal that my sweet boy(s) will eat.  He doesn't seem to be lacking nutrition, as he's growing like a weed!

Grief:  Most of the grief occurs when I say "no" to something.  Perhaps the kids will always have this fantasy that their birth mom would have given them anything; I'm the big, bad mommy who makes them go to bed, or makes them clean up their messes, or makes them brush their teeth.  Perhaps one day they will appreciate my mothering; perhaps they won't.  Doesn't matter, as I'm not here to be a friend; I'm here to be their mother.

Sibling Fighting:  The picture says it all.  Looks like I have a bunch of normal kids:  they all want what they want when they want it... how they want it, etc., etc.  Oh, and they don't want to ever be wrong or get blamed for anything.  Again, thank God for normal kids!  Being a parent isn't for babies, and being an adoptive parent requires a healthy, well-groomed thick skin.  I'm thankful I don't have a problem with my kids not liking me sometimes.  Bring it on, guys.  Just rolls off the back.

General Interaction with Other Family and Friends:  This is the area I see the most improvement.  We recently took a short and intense 4 day trip to California.  Not only were the kids cooped up in a car for 7 hours, but they had to behave at several huge and potentially intimidating family functions.  They were so well behaved and considerate!  Even the servers at La Costa Resort commented on their appropriate behavior and good manners.  

Other:  The most important lesson I've learned, practically speaking, is that newly adopted kids--- and all kids--- thrive on structure. When the day lacks structure (i.e. I need to pay bills or clean or something silly like that), the kids simply bounce off the walls, quite literally. These little people need to know what to expect in the day.  Although they have been doing a lot better having free time (which translates into cutting, gluing, stapling, pasting, painting, and coloring anything that literally can't be stapled down... wow! staples are just so fascinating), they still get agitated when left to their own devices.  And yes, frustration quickly gets ugly, as in fighting and squabbling.  Better to keep them on schedule, as I keep stepping on those little sharp staples!

Lessons:  Adoption has also taught me the resiliency of the human spirit.  Four of my children came from situations that were grievous by any definition, and yet they have all responded to love, consistency, good nutrition,  and discipline.  I do realize that each of my children is strangely fortunate; they all lived with their birth families until they were "referred" to us to take over their parenting. I just wish the world could get this:  sticking kids in institutions results in institutionalized, demoralized, traumatized, neutralized souls and societies.  If we can be so "pro-life" and "child-friendly," why can't we be "pro-adoption" and "pro-sponsoring" of children in need?  Are American children more deserving of love, education, and affection?  Are we just so materialistic and selfish that we can't see beyond our own lives, our own church walls, and our own country? Not everyone is called to adopt, but I do believe everyone can be a responsible citizen of the world and choose to help someone else in dire need.  And it doesn't take much, sometimes a dollar a day, to change someone's whole life.  Generally speaking, kids--- and adults, for that matter--- can recover and love and blossom, given the chance and opportunity.  People need to see Jesus through what we do, not what we preach.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Congratulations, Mom and Dad! 50 Years!

Congratulations to my wonderful parents.  They just celebrated their 50th Golden Wedding Anniversary with a fabulous (and delicious!) dinner party at La Costa Resort.  We love you!  Thanks for the inspiration!

Can You Say, "Beach Time?"

Carlsbad Beach was absolutely gorgeous... but also quite cold!  It didn't seem to bother the kids, though. They all tried body surfing, sandcastle building, sand crab catching, and "getting buried."  Tons of fun!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Happy 14th Birthday, Miss T!

A Pictoral March Through Time... how can I miss her already, and she's not even gone?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy Fourth of July!

Fourth of July is a fun, spectacular event in Verrado.  Our family had a wonderful afternoon of snow cones, popcorn, cotton candy, hot dogs, hamburgers--- not to mention the giant slip-n-slide, and the thrilling water slide!  Hundreds of people gathered to listen to a live band, eat, dance, and gather with friends and family.  Summertime nights in Arizona--- under the stars-- makes for a rather impressive backdrop for a spectacular fireworks display.  Mr. A., as he watched his first fireworks, said,"Wow, I just can't believe it!"  All of the kids ooohed and ahhhed the brilliant flashes.  Everyone had a thoroughly wonderful, exhausting time!