Saturday, July 7, 2012

Buggy things

You know, I try to see the best in people. I really do. I always have, even to a fault.  I really love the whole "Love others" God wants for us.

This is NOT to say people do not get on my nerves. That things do not irritate me.

Here's a few examples--

Burnt toast. Can't stand that smell. Burnt popcorn comes in a strong second.

"Someone" getting 100 MILLION dollars in ONE MONTH to campaign for an election, and children all over the world going hungry.  Something HUGE wrong with that. 

 Does anyone realize that if-- say, 10K of that money went toward adoption of any child from any country that equates to 10,000 children being helped? I mean, how fast would word spread of that? Probably further than the campaigning efforts of said person. Don't worry (MOM) I'm not hanging by the phone expecting a job offer to be any one's campaign adviser,  I know better.  Sad.

Children rolling eyes at me.  Ohhh, yeah. This drives me bonkers. And guess who did it?  Chance thought that would be something to try after he and Camden were horse playing around and got out of hand and Camden got hurt.

So after Chance got grounded for his crap behavior of rolling eyes and refusing to show me respect, he pouted. He sat with his parents at one picnic. Then another.  He told someone who asked where his parents were when he was walking ahead of us "We don't have parents"--- yeah, that rotten booger.

Now don't worry (MOM) I didn't beat him. And honestly a part of me was laughing- because my teens are so, well, NORMAL. Yup, just like other teens. Snotty at times. Testing the lines.  Seeing if we will stand firm. And we did. Till he apologized he was the one hurtin' not me. And I told him that. He was only hurting himself. Missing out till he could find his way to apologize, mean it and own the behavior.

He had been pushing things, I told him to get his feet off the patio table and when I walked away, he put them right back up.  Little things. But DEFIANT. And I don't do defiant. 

When he finally straightened up I told him-- this was not about your

 horse playing with Camden and it getting out of control (very common for them to STILL think Camden is favored and he didn't get in trouble for the horseplay so I fixed that idea)  ---- this was about your lack of respect to me, your attitude. You try that out with a boss someday and you will be fired. Done. No waiting 2 days for you to apologize. Or you treat your wife like that, she's not going to be very happy.

He was back to his usual happy and outgoing self very fast. I prefer him that way-- but I will not let him get away with stuff either. Can't. Not if we want him to be the fine young man he is capable of being.

Other things he told me recently-- his friend told him since he has a small amount of hair above that upper lip that he is all done growing. Chance wasn't too happy to hear that because he really wants to be taller. Not sure why, because he is about 5'6 or so, not that short, really.  Taller than mom. 

That we "saved him from dying."  Never thought I'd hear that out of one of these kids. But there it was. Now before you all get mushy, he said this-- "He couldn't learn his times tables up to the 9's and he had to go to a teacher's office each day and try to recite the times tables and if he didn't he was sure they were going to dead him and we came and got him just in time."  

Now I don't think they would have KILLED him over not knowing his times tables but to traumatize my child over times tables? Really? Come on. What in the world?  Do I CARE if he can't do the times tables?  Nope, I don't. I'd like for him TO be able to, but if he can't-- well, trust me, his life will be okay without it.

I don't like to hear stuff like that, but you know, my kids NEED to tell me things like that. Stuff that made them scared. Stuff that happened and that I can say "Well, we would NEVER treat you like that. Nor would teachers HERE treat you that way, ever."

Because he is scared. He is not sure of going to high school. Unlike twin sister Chloe, he is not counting the days till school is back in.  Nope. He is dreading the return of school. He thought he wouldn't have ESL help, he seemed to have this idea of 2 years in and he would be on his own. Uh, no. I reassured him he will always have ESL and as Paisley was sitting right there, her too. (She said "OH YEAH!") 

Speaking of Paisley, she made me sad:(  She is taking her turn at pouting right now. (Hey at least they take turns)  I was working on her life book and was up to pictures right before she left China. At one point I noticed she had taken the pictures of her adoption and separated them into a different pile and I thought, that stinker.  

But as I went to work on them further, that "pile" somehow disappeared. Yep, gone. And I knew she took them.  So I asked. And she said "No" she didn't have them.  I explained to her that I wanted those pictures, that she didn't just arrive here from China. That she came here with first family and we were very thankful to have her as our daughter because of them.

Still no pictures. She sat and pouted. Because I told her she was not going to a fun church youth outing planned if I did not get the pictures back. She said she didn't have them.  So she sat and pouted. I stopped working on her book and worked on Phoebe's so she understood, I am not going forward on her book without those pictures.

She pouted some more. I asked again. Nope, no pictures. So I took her Ipod. 
Told her I wanted the pictures. She sat and cried. She put her things away for the youth outing and went to bed.  I asked her again and she said she didn't have them.

So today she is quiet. I will not ask her again.  It serves no purpose. Because I looked around and I know for certain (I did when I first asked her) that I did not misplace them.  I sat her down and told her that firstly, we still love her. But that she has made me sad and disappointed. And she will use her own money to have those pictures printed AGAIN.  

They will be in her book as part of her story, where they belong. Or maybe later we'll add them in (See comments- thanks Ellen for helping me see another side to it-- this is all new waters for us and we are hoping and praying we are handling things right) 

I have to add here, because Ellen's comment was deeply thought provoking to me.  I do not believe either that God makes children suffer to bring a child to their forever family via disruption. No way-- He treasures the little ones too much to do such a thing. But yet disruptions happen. And I see a girl who is thriving, even with the bumps in the road in our "new" family.

So what is the answer? As we are the ones who accepted this child, I try not to judge first family. I don't feel it's my place. So I try to understand and advocate for the issues BEFORE adopting an older child- see the post when we announced Paisley coming if you don't believe me.  

I do not expect Paisley to express her undying love of first family. But I do expect her to respect them. They did a wonderful thing, followed God's request to bring her here. Even if it didn't work out for them as a family, they followed God. I don't think they were wrong to do that- no way.

Even before "the picture incident" we were talking about how round she was in China. (Due to the medicine) How she was told she was "eating too much" and it was not understood the medicine made her so round. That the medicine was not good for her long term. But here, she is getting better medicines, she has slimmed down considerably. Losing that "moon face" as long term steroids cause. 

Showing her good things have come from her being adopted.  It's tough for this teen treasure.  S0 hurt. So lost sometimes.  Lost as to how to handle her feelings in the right way.  I'm sad for her today. I love her so much I want to see her heal and move forward and this was a step back.  

We hope she will trust us to tell us the truth but even if she doesn't we will be here for her, covering her back. Loving her. Even when disappointed with a behavior we still love her deeply and she has been told that. We can do no less.

 We are here for the long haul. 'Cause we are a family and that includes her:)


Ellen said...

Hi Vickie,

I had a though when reading your last post. Please take it as a thought and not at all meant to be critical of the way you are raising your children as I do not mean that at all. I think you are doing a fabulous job. I do not know Paisley's story with her first family. I do know that many disruptions result from families being unprepared for the challenges of children who come from hard places and what happens to the children can be harsh, punitive and negative. I think if Paisley does not want her time in this family in her book it may be worth considering letting her wishes be paramount in this instance. You might be able to find a way to make a book so those pages can be added later of she changes her mind. I am not sure of the benefit of having a life book if it causes her pain every time she looks at it. I know we view God differently. I do not see disruption as part of a plan to bring a child to their forever family. I just cannot see God putting children through more suffering than necessary. If this is something that is important to your view of how she got to her family than it obviously holds more valence for you. That would mean weighing the importance of that to you versus the pain of that experience for Paisley. Anyway, I just thought this might be something worth giving a little on- letting her include what she feels is important in her life book.



Vickie said...

I really didn't think of it that way and I appreciate your take on it.

Maybe we can come to a compromise, I just don't want her to disrespect first family even if she came from a hard place with them.

My kiddos come first and foremost (after God) so if we can come to a meeting place on this I would be more than willing to do so.

Thanks so much for commenting:)

thesleepyknitter said...

Hey, Vickie! I'm thinking first family might not be offended if those pictures don't appear in the life book. I TOTALLY respect and appreciate your desire for her to look at her story realistically and to be respectful of efforts made on her behalf, but I'm wondering if maybe it might not be best for her emotionally to be reminded of those first miserable months every time she looks through her life book? Just a thought and maybe not a good one, but it's the thought that comes to mind. Your friend and huge admirer of your blog, life, and family,
SF :-)

Rebecca said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rebecca said...

Oh no! I hope that I didn't say something to offend you. My goodness, that wasn't my intention at all! I'm so embarrassed.

Dottie P said...

Hi, Vickie,

This is partially in response to Ellen's comment. I do know the first family and their situation, and they were not harsh, punitive or negative. This is not to say that Paisley didn't suffer. But some of it was from her own misconceptions and misguided behaviors learned in the orphanage. And I do believe God allows suffering as He allowed it with Job. This is not to say he causes it. We do not always understand its purpose; understanding comes later -- sometimes.

Anyway, I was thinking, Vickie, of a possible compromise. Maybe after you make one page of pictures of the first family, you could paper clip those pages closed so that she doesn't have to look at it until she is ready to see them as part of her story. The next page could be pictures of friends from that location, and then you could go on to pictures with your family.

Just an idea...

Vickie said...


No, you did not offend. I just felt we could "talk" better if we e-mail:)

So don't even think that.

Vickie said...


Thank you for your idea. I think too that a compromise is in order and I was being too harsh on the "must be in the book" idea, but the great part about the blog is people who God sends to help me out when I need it.
I'm thankful too that looking back I still stand by the punishment because she lied and took something she should not have. I'm just glad God got me "in check" before I pushed the life book pages again.

Chris said...

Just an observation. Maybe Paisly could take this as a learning experience. Next time mom gets excited about something that causes me pain. I need to express words.
I know that is a huge learning curve for our kids, but they are so close to adult hood and it feels like there is so much to teach.
Like your post about your son and his disrespect...if he was 3 you would have time to teach almost 16...we don't have that luxury.

Ruby said...

So I have been thinking about this post. I have not adopted, been adopted, or have a teenage child. But I have recently been thinking a lot about my bio 6 year old and how his version of "truth" or how he sees things is so very different than mine. I can ask him what happened, and his story is so different than how I would have told it (but if I think about it, I can "see" how he "sees" events the way he does. But his different interpretation can completely change the tone of an event). I do not think that he will see things like I do even when he is older. (Not that either of our ways is right or wrong, just different.) Have you asked Paisley to "write" (or draw or scrapbook) her life story as she sees it? Or asked her what would be acceptable to include in her life book? (Or if direct questioning does not work well with her at this point, asking her what should be included in Phoebe's?) Or asked what to include of first family?

~Monica Utt~ Itty Bitty Land said...

Vickie, get Math it by Elmer W. Brooks. Get the games with the booklet. My kids used these games and tricks to make it easy, to learn their math facts really fast!

Jennifer said...

Poor Chance, the times tables can be challenging. My students have a lot of success with for practice. If not he can always use a calculator!