Saturday, November 17, 2012

November, adoption awareness month

November is adoption awareness month and adoption is something that we care deeply about. A couple months ago I wrote an email to the family who is adopting J's bio cousin along with 2 other older boys. Pray for them! What an undertaking. We spent 4 years "in process" with J and he's only been home for 3 years. It grieves my heart when I think about that and how different things might have been if he'd gotten home sooner but I have to choose not to dwell on that. For whatever reason(s), it took four years and he came home when he did. And if we choose to let Him, God will work it for good. I really believe that.

Anyway, I was thinking about all the things I wrote in this email and how much J has changed and how much all of our family has changed since J came home. There is still this undercurrent of sibling rivalry for lack of a better term between J and A. I have some theories about that but am choosing not to share publicly at this point. R got married about 4 months after J came home so they never spent much time together, although R was with me in Haiti the first time we met J. They may share a bond from that. I don't know. T and I have struggled at times in our relationship and in agreeing on how to parent this child, who is absolutely nothing like parenting bio daughters. Hey, I'm just keeping it honest and T and I are in a pretty good place right now. It can really pull at a marriage though.

The one who has changed the most is J. I was telling this mom who is in the process for 3 older boys (I think 2 are teens and one is pre-teen) all the things to be aware of and it made me see how much J has changed. I shared the funny stuff like automatic doors, flushing toilets, faucets, lost in translation, escalators and elevators, to the mundane like having to tell him ahead of time not to push any buttons, switch and switches or turn anything on or off before we walked into a room. If we had a penny for each time we told him to chew with his mouth shut we'd be rich!

And I shared how J would rage and cry and tantrum and you just knew that it was so much deeper than anything that was going on in the here and now. How I would hold him, pray over him, speak scripture over him while he raged. How I would dread getting calls from school (who have done a phenomenal job with him!) to find out what he'd done this time. And how J would trust us on a new level after one of those episodes and shed a little light on something from his past.

I shared with her how their maturity level is so far below their chronological age and how they have no concept of personal space and how J had a strong entitlement issue. He seemed to think, here I am, you waited four years for me, now I'm in America where everything is free so give me what I want while I kick back and watch tv. It still seems like ownership is way more important to J than doing something with what he owns. In other words, he likes owning toys, electronics, clothes, etc. but the owning of those things is more important to him than playing with the toys or wearing all the clothes. He never learned to play as a young child and though he occasionally played with toys it grieves me that he doesn't know how to truly play. Not at all the way our girls did. They played imaginatively over and over with their toys. They had favs that they carried with them. The same toys could be a totally new scenario the next day. Not so with J. Once in a while he would play with a toy and then never touch it again. I asked him about that a time or two and he would say, "I already played with that." So sad.

I talked to her about intense fears and how a lot of the negative behavior stems from irrational fear. I told her about his lying and what we did to get past it.

And now J is 15, doing ok in 8th grade with some ESL modifications, is a nice guy and pretty well-liked by everyone who meets him. He's going to be in a Christmas play at church. It's about a 30-40 minute play and it's just him and 3 others so he has a pretty big part. He is getting tired of the practices but doing really well with his part. I can't wait to see it.

I think adoption has a lot of hurts, lost expectations, and strain but it is also very rewarding. It's been so much fun to see the world through J's eyes these last three years. Everything is new and fresh. He's blossoming and doing well. I have no idea what the future will hold for him but for right now it's wide open. And after all, we are all adopted into God's family when we make a decision to follow Him.

And now, a thankful list. I'm thankful for God, family and friends. I'm thankful for generally good health, as my mom likes to say, we're in pretty good shape for the shape we're in. I'm thankful for modern conveniences and the multitude of ways to stay in touch with those you love. And chocolate. And the seat warmers in my van!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

He's baaaaaack!!!

JT made it home yesterday after several months in Afghanistan. Thanks for all the prayers for safety and healing for him and for R as she held down the fort at home. So much has changed for them. R is back in school, she moved her horse, Bridget, out by her, she can drive a standard now ;-) , JT is a sergeant and yet their love is the same and God is still God. JT, we are so proud of you!! And of you, R, for keeping it together while your hubby was deployed! Continued prayers, please, as they readjust to life together, that God would heal JT of any emotional scars he carries and that they would prosper together. Thanks! Welcome home!!

Saturday, November 10, 2012


What a week it's been. Both of the kids have nasty colds. T is getting over a nasty stomach bug. I alone have remained unscathed. So far anyway. I figured I might as well lay in the bed and wait for something to hit. But so far, so good.

J is over 5'7" now. I thought he looked taller again. I have to keep buying longer jeans. He doesn't get any bigger around though.

Time seems to be absolutely flying by right now. I have a hard time keeping up.

I'm taking a theology class right now. It's kicking my butt. Too many big words and long sentences.

I have a doc appointment this next week to determine for sure about doing surgery on the wrist again. Sigh...

That's about it for now. Lots of stuff going on but not that much to share. Just a lot of busyness.

Maybe I should do a thankful list. Let's see. I'm thankful for access to medical care. I'm thankful for lysol. I'm thankful for the beautiful sun that's shining here today and the promise of warmth that it brings. I'm thankful for the chance to go to school. I'm thankful for God, family and friends. And seat warmers in my van. And I'd be thankful if I had some chocolate. I don't have any right now but I'd be thankful for it if I did.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Did you find it?

Did you find the change? I know a couple of people did. JT made sergeant! He went from specialist to sergeant in the "who's who?" list. We are so proud of him!! He passed the board a while back but had to wait for his official cermony to where his stripes, or his "3 mosquito wings". Now, we just have to get him home safe and sound. Keep praying!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Something's changed...

...can you find it? Something on the blog has changed. Over there on the sidebar. Can you see it? Let me know if you noticed what changed. The answer in a few....