The kids must have hit the max of their boredom levels this week because we got out the big lego blocks and wooden train set for Chloe to babysit two littles just for a few hours on Thursday and our kids have enjoyed them much longer than a few hours. Actually it's been DAYS and the toys are still out and kids building all kinds of things.
Phoebe seems to really enjoy building all the little rail roadways, as well as building towers and castles with the blocks. As immature for her age as she is, she's not lacking in growth, I swear the girl had another growth spurt. She is now taller than Paisley. And outgrowing her jammies, much to her dismay.
Speaking of Paisley, OIY. Is that girl stubborn. I think of her as my "little mule" and she lives up to that picture in my brain. She has pouted for 3 days now because she broke a rule (lying) and she has to apologize. She will do nothing (no tv, no outings, etc) until she apologizes, as well as she is grounded for breaking the rule. Not for a set time, nope, that's does not work. Until the behavior changes, then she will be ungrounded.
Paisley is such an interesting person in many, many ways. On one hand I see a little girl (not meaning the size) longing to belong, wanting this family so badly. Yet the other hand there is this mule of a child who is scared, been hurt in the past, is unsure if we are trustworthy.
Which side does she choose?
So often she clings to the middle, yep, not really accepting/trusting but wanting to and having to for the mere fact that we provide all that she needs and we take the burden of her medical needs for her. Things she can't provide for herself, nor should she.
As we go deeper into a relationship with this daughter, we have expectations. Not a word ANY kid likes too much. But there it is. We do expect certain things, respect being a huge one. And she lacks it, OFTEN.
As well, common sense to censor what is said to younger children. And as far as lying, that's not gonna work here. That's a BIG NO- NO.
Her lack of respect shows up in acceptance of our place as the parents-- that when in trouble she will not acknowledge parent speaking to her, just sits there like a bump on a log. (We realize from cultural differences she is very uncomfortable looking us in the eye so we do not force that)
She knows when having done wrong by someone an apology will be required, and possibly you will "pay back" someone you have hurt. Make their bed, do their dish turn, etc. So you understand your wrongdoing.
I'd love to say it's all roses here and we eat lollipops and sing songs all day. But that's not true. And it's probably not going to be for a lot of our lives. I mean we do have 4, soon to be 5 teens at home. And that adds up to a lot of snot. God didn't say "No snot would come," when He gave us these treasures. Nope, didn't hear that once.
Add in that, like it or NOT, when we adopt older our new teens they come with lack of respect, empathy, problem solving, manners. And it's really, really, NOT easy to teach a child who should have learned back at 4-5-6 years old, not to hurt someone and to not CARE. Because that's exactly what they DID learn to survive orphanage care. So I can't begrudge it because they survived.
BUT now we are beyond survival and trying to make them a family member. And when they aren't real sure they even WANT to be a part of this family it's even harder. Why should they try? Why should they want to please, respect, US? Deep, deep, down they do long for a family, I can't imagine that any orphaned child doesn't. But sometimes the reality of what a family MEANS, up close, live, in PERSON, is not so cool to them.
It's emotions they don't want to share.
It's needs they don't want to be dependent on anyone for.
It's time put in to relationships they are scared to put in to, do they trust you won't disappear?
It's effort, to learn a new culture, a new way of life, new foods, new language, new clothes, new EVERYTHING.
It's trust they don't want to/can't hand over to anyone.
So what do we do? With a child/teen like this?
We stay consistent. Trustworthy. We have rules, we have expectations. We guide, we correct as needed. We can not be afraid to parent them right from the start. We love them, that never stops, even when the snot flies.
We pray, ask for prayer, we call on prayer warriors, bounce issues/ideas off other parents we know who are raising tough kids like ours as well. And although I don't normally compare kids, because it's not fair to them-- I know that deep down, that this child, as does EVERY adopted child, has the ability to succeed and be a wonderful son or daughter like Chloe, like Chance.
And I can't say we are sorry we have ANY of our children, no, not feeling like that. HOPE is what we feel, that they will get to where they need to be. JOY in every baby step they do make. GRACE for when we have to "wait them out". All God given because they were meant to be ours. And each one is wonderful in their own way.
It's the reason even when someone says--" Do you recommend older child adoption?" Yes, I STILL do. Because there's always a Chloe or a Chance out there that will thrive and they deserve to be chosen. As well, even the Chase and Paisley's out there, they deserve to be chosen. Their path may be different. It may be the hardest thing you ever do to parent one of these children, but they still deserve the chance to have what every single child needs--- a family that loves them.
Paisley, as well as all the others, have our love. That will not change no matter her stubborn mule-like behavior or her being in trouble. Just-does-not-change. Not one bit. Thankfully she conceded and apologized to dad and I, we both hugged her and told her we love her and we do, it's easier that she is following the rules and back to being pleasant but even through the tough times we still love her and are here for her.
Each orphaned child waiting-- they are worth going forward for..... they want to be sons and daughters. No matter the country, the age, the needs.
Might not be easy. It's certainly not cheap in anyway-- God's got you covered on those fronts, so turn to Him and that will be taken care of.
JUST DON'T DO NOTHING.
Because when you do NOTHING a child/ren believe for yet another day in a seemingly endless amount of days that they ARE NOTHING to anyone.
I'd rather struggle along with ALL 6 of my adopted children than to have ANY ONE of them believe they are NOTHING to anyone. I'd rather be the parent that yelled, the parent that fumbles around trying to figure out the best way to handle our children's issues, to have day after day of pouting, snot behavior, worry myself sick over them --------- than for any of my children to think they mean NOTHING to us.
Is there a child out there you are doing NOTHING about? Get on the ball!! Show them, they ARE SOMEBODY to SOMEONE.
It's true that love does NOT conquer all, some behaviors/ issues can't be "loved" out of a child who has trauma, it just CAN'T. It's downright silly to think it can.
But if God has a child for you then He will walk through whatever baggage your child brings and He will get you through. He doesn't ask you to expect a perfect child. He asks you to accept the child He has perfectly chosen for YOU. Your child who will learn they are no longer NOBODY, they are now SOMEBODY to YOU.
Thank you God for choosing Paisley, Chloe, Chase, Chance, Kat and Phoebe for us-- We thank YOU. It's an honor to love them, they are our very important, very special ---SOMEBODIES:)
Just as Phoebe said when she asked "What shirt say?" And I told her-- she said "Life is good? NO, Life is very, VERY GOOD!"
Indeed it is, precious child, indeed it is.