Monday, September 5, 2011

First Day of School

We started school last week.  This is a great shot of my class of kiddos.  

This year Elsie is a Sophomore in High School, M&M is in Eighth grade, Fifth grade for Sweet Pea, Third for Pumpkin, Second for Sunshine and my adorable Little Buddy is in Kindergarten.

It has taken me weeks to get everything ready to start.  I am a person who likes to "feel" organized and with this many kids to school I have been pushed to a new level.

We have worked out a daily schedule that almost works for everyone.  I hope to work out the kinks in the next couple of weeks.

Enough about school.  I haven't blogged much lately.  I have many excuses, but mostly it has been a challenging summer on the kiddo front.  Most days I am just trying to figure out my next step or if I need to step back.

I would love to write that everything is wonderful all the time and everyone is completely adjusted to life in our family.  That would not be the truth.

This summer has been a time of adjusting expectations.  I am generally an optimist who hopes the best of people.  That has not changed.  There is much to be thankful for.  Lives are changing and adjusting and trusting a little at a time.  This is just a much slower process than Stand-Up Dad and I expected.

The process of teaching a child to trust you while you wrestle (at times) for control is daunting.  Giving up control has proven to be the biggest stumbling block for our littles.  When the first years of your life are spent taking care of and protecting yourself, it is like reprogramming brain function to ask them to give up that control to Daddy and I.  They are scared.  Can they trust us enough to let it go?  It doesn't look like fear on a regular basis.  It comes out in behaviors that will drive you upside down crazy.=)

Through this process we are learning a lot about our original family and how our expectations for parenting have to change and flex to accommodate children from hard places.  Do you think you have a stubborn, strong willed child?  Our two littles have multiplied strong willed to a level I did not know existed.  And all that "will" comes from those early years of life experience, much of which we are unaware of.

The result of almost two years together is that they both want to be a part of our family! Praise God!  They want to be "family kids."  But they are not quite willing to go to the next step. They can't do it their own way and be "family kids."

And this is where we are.  Trying to love, lead, guide, and encourage them to the next step.  It is their choice.  We can't force this in any way shape or form.

You see, God is the shaper and the former of our lives, when we allow Him to work.

When I look at the picture above I see six transformed lives.  Yes, we hope the greatest change will come in the lives of our littles, but our big kids are learning to exhibit compassion, patience and understanding that they would have never experienced were it not for our little ones.  This weaving of the family is an amazing, overwhelming, and worthwhile experience.  I thank God daily for the privilege to be right where I am.

Sweet Momma


Finding Balance mommy said...

So nice to see you back. :-)
I think of your family and pray for you at times when God lays it on my heart. Adoption is a ministry. One that most do not have the patience or compassion to do. Your family is a blessing to watch as you seek God's direction.

Lisa said...

Thank you for writing this post. Knowing that someone else is experiencing what our family experiences, helps.
I have two questions for you. I know how hard it is to have your life. I homeschool five kids. If you have a moment, and if not, I totally understand, here they are:

1. You said that your "expectations for parenting have to change and flex to accommodate children from hard places." I am curious what you specifically meant by that.

2. You mentioned therapy. How has therapy helped your adoptive children?

If you prefer to write me an email, my address is
PS My sister-in-law just suggested life books! It looks interesting!