Cindy linked to this blog this morning where the mom of a large adoptive family writes these significant words after discussing the difficult things we sometimes face as adoptive parents:
We saw a problem, and we didn't walk away.
The post also includes a powerful video worth watching.
So during the months to come, with the repercussions of Black Friday hanging over the heads of us and our kids, I hope that a few people will get it. Maybe just maybe the preacher and his wife aren't bad parents. Maybe their children's choices aren't a result of their poor parenting. Maybe, just maybe, they are people who saw something hard, messy, ugly, tough .... and they chose to do something about it instead of walk away.
All Music Sunday was amazing today. It was about light -- and we ended with the song "Go Light Your World"
Carry Your Candle, run to the Darkness
We left that service full of energy and walked outside to the most gorgeous, warm spring day and it was impossible to not experience joy..... Enough to make it worth getting up again each day no matter what crap.
And I came home to awesome hugs from Leon, Ricardo, Jimmy, Sadie..... and I just know that life is truly going to give us enough joy to make up for the pain.
This was part of the service
Four candles slowly burned. The ambiance was so soft one could almost hear them talking. The first candle said, "I am Peace. The world is full of anger and fighting. Nobody can keep me lit." Then the flame of Peace went out completely.
It is very difficult now for me to be my optimistic hopeful self, but I am determined to keep my hope candle burning. Nobody can take that away....
It's Sunday morning and we have a long day ahead of us. First there is All Music Sunday at church afterwhich I am going to be recruiting volunteers for our Sunday evening worship in the park this summer. The whole morning will involve a lot of emotoinal energy that I'm not sure I have.
Yesterday I was too exhausted and numb to process the news we received. I was almost like a robot -- talking things over with Bart as each thing happened, calling Kari and Cindy and my mother (who doesn't touch computers, much less have a blog). I kept ingesting the news and trying to live with it, but since I had already cried my eyes out in frustration during the morning, I had nothing left. I only sob like that about once a year, so I was done with that....
By noon today I was completely spent. The morning was fraught with tension from Salinda that resulted in her calling Mike for a ride since I said I couldn't take her. I reluctantly and in tears agreed to take her so she wouldn't run off with him -- unlicensed and with some friend he probably met in prison.
Reading Julie's comment yesterday about her daughter and goals, I decided to do a little intervention I asked myself what I did when I was in a slump .... I buy a new journal or planner and new pen and I start some goals. Or, most recently, I download some new software -- but anyway....
I get annoyed by the cycles of life. The routine ones -- laundry gets worn, laundry gets thrown on the floor, laundry gets put in front of the washer, laundry gets washed, laundry gets dried, laundry gets folded, laundry sits around in baskets for too long, laundry gets put away or sometimes not put away and thrown back down the laundry chute clean (but let's not get me started on THAT), laundry gets washed, etc. etc.).
I didn't sleep well last night. I woke up to go to the bathroom and had a brief conversation with Salinda who was nasty and rude and then I couldn't go back to sleep. I woke up too early and had one of my personal mini anxiety attacks that I inherited from my mother and then got up to go to the Y with Kari.
Another interesting thing he said was that genetics take over by adolescence, and that parenting doesn’t have any influence on teens and also that that parenting has no impact on adhd related behaviours at any point in life.. . Despite his being very negative about the impact of parenting he had a phrase which I loved. He said *parents are not the engineers, parents are the shephards*. In other words, we aren’t the creators of the children or their behaviours, but we are their guides. And, as he said, shephards get to pick the pastures.
While I hate to admit that he might be right, I am realizing that parenting does have very little influence on teens. The key, as I mention often when I speak to parents, is surviving them -- as controlling or changing them is impossible without their cooperation. Emotionally handling the frustration of children who are NOT going to be changing any time soon but refuse to do what is best for them is very difficult. Watching Salinda, for example, refuse to do her online school work and insist on failing some classes when she is very bright is beyond annoying. I can barely stand to be in the house when she is refusing to comply. Her life is pathetic and she won't do anything about it nor will she let me do anything to help her.
I know that Cindy totally gets what I'm saying -- that horribly trapped feeling you have stuck in a house with someone who is completely refusing to do what they need to do. It sucks the life out of you. At least in my case I can go to the coffee shop and escape.
Today I will make a feeble attempt to connect with her -- and go through the whole thing one more time, giving her a little lecture on how to treat people, seeing if she can grasp it this time but if not, at least making me feel like I've put forth some effort. Maybe in listening to her I'll gain some insight into what might work. But I won't order much. Sometimes she's so mean to me that my stomach is in knots and I can't eat.
Oh the joys....
Our 22 year old son is a 3rd grade teacher (or was last year -- may not be rehired because of budget cuts). He's looking for a summer job.
I grew up envisioning and idyllic life, similar to the one in which I was raised. Not in regards to money or fame, but in regards to faith, obedience, intelligence, sameness. I would get married, give birth to a few children, and teach them to grow up to serve Jesus. Children, most likely blonde ones, would look up at me with their blue eyes, waiting for their father to lead them in daily devotions, hanging on his every word. And life would be similar to the hymn we sang in church this morning
Happy the home when God is there,
As I was finding the lyrics to this song to be almost gag-worthy this morning, I realized it was because that dream has had to die. It isn't that am bothered so much about where my life has ended up, but it has been a process of letting go of what I had always planned.
Our closing hymn was much more like our lives
In comparing the two, I think I've concluded that while the first hymn describes something many of my friends were able to start with -- when their children were small -- very few people end up there when raising teens. The ones who do are fortunate. But I am content knowing that the things I have gone through have produced character in me that I might not have gained otherwise.
And my years as an adoptive parent of some very challenging kids have resulted in me knowing that my soul, this soul -- though all hell should endeavor to shake -- God has never, will never, no never forsake"
I've been up thirty minutes and received a Dunn Brother's gift card from Rand -- very insightful, appropriate, and a complete surprise because he went and got it without direction or assistance. I know he's 20 but with FAS, that's still an accomplishment...
I am finally sitting down and blogging after being gone all day. We were out the door by 8:15 -- drove to Ricky's first soccer game, watched it, had some quick lunch, saw a movie, watched his second game, drove home, stopping to get supper on the way. RIcardo was one of the children who chose to go on this trip (yes, that was said tongue in cheek, and I know he has to go if it's his game). Leon, Sadie and Dominyk also chose to come along and other than a couple of tense moments with Dominyk we had a good day.
This is one of the things that' I've understood from the beginning. Adoption involves joy, but it also involves pain. I don't think there can be an adoption story that doesn't have, as some part of it, pain for someone. In fact, all members of the adoption triad experience their own kind of pain.
(started this last night and never finished it so I'll finish it now)
Claudia Flye Fletcher suggests that if you're going to add your mom as a friend on facebook you might not want to do that at 12:42 a.m if your bedtime is at ten even if she is out of town.
The offender was Ricardo and it turns out it has happened more than once. He was very crafty and has attempted to cover his tracks, but the bottom line is that his mamma is too smart.
So after some exploring and wading through several lies (which is unusual for him). As everyone left the vehicle this morning I asked him to stick around and explained that until his attitude changed and we could have a conversation he was grounded.
He glared at me, but then, out of habit said, "Thank You" and then the look of horror on his face was priceless. He had accidentally and by habit been nice to me. Without saying a word he slammed the door quite hard to make sure I knew the thank you was insincere.
Occasionally I whine about my inbox. Since a lot of my work centers around email and online connections I often have quite a bit. Usually I start to get edgy when I have 100 that need attention and this morning I'm starting the day with 204. What is the next step up from edgy?
I don't think i have the energy to blog about the pleasant and unpleasant interchanges of my evening. I can tell you that I'm overloaded with work and am not feeling up to par after getting so little sleep last night. The kids did very very well while I was gone -- just a couple minor things but overall they were amazing.......