Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I am down

I'm down.
I know what the problem is too. I just keep holding on to things that aren't good for me. Like ice cream. Not really ice cream. I have moved away from the ice cream. There was nothing to lick there.
It is intangible things that are weighing me down. Mostly things I can do nothing about.

Hanna and I are forging our relationship and that is exhausting. It is very good, but heavy sometimes.
I have a relationship that is in disarray. I have done what I could and should, but it wasn't enough and so it is crumbling.
Special people in my life are moving away swiftly and abruptly. It makes me sad.
I am estranged from someone I care about, but there is no remedy, and so it is.
I agonize about how my actions and reactions effect others, even when what I am doing is right. I still hate that it causes problems that aren't my fault.
I could go on, but I imagine you all know the list. You have a similar one of your own.

Today it's just getting to me and I thought I'd write about it. Then I need to change what I am dwelling on. The surest cure is:

Philippians 4:8
Finally brethren, whatever it true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Another Birthday party

It finally happened. After watching everyone but dad have cake and a party, it was Hanna's turn!!

We celebrated Hanna's 11th birthday on Thursday, the 21st.

It was a great day. She had lots of friends and family over and got many of the things on her birthday list. She is starting to grasp the fact that we cannot get her an mp3, a camera, a personal dvd, cell phone... all at the same time. She also realized that the cell phone will always be a dream.
She is a beautiful girl who is settling into our family steady by jerks, but she is settling in.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The official word

We just got back from Biruk's follow up visit at Children's Memorial. It is good news although still a little vague. There is definitely no cancer and so far, all of the bacteria cultures are negative so it is pretty safe to say there is no infection. So what is it, you ask? Good question. He doesn't know, but he likens it to a hemangeomia inside his bone. You know, one of those enlarged, raised red marks on a child's head, or face, or other appendage. (I don't mean to be callous about hemangeomia, I just don't know how else to describe them and you might not know what I am referring to.)
The big question is, will it grow? As we have no history, only time will tell. It is rather large now, but it is not so big that it is harming the structure of the bone itself. As he grows, we will wait to see if his pain increases and then we will look at it again. However, until it grows and is removed or somehow decides to go away, it will be a pain that he has to live with.
Not the very best prognosis, but better than imminent surgery. The best news to Biruk is that I get to sign him up for soccer this Saturday.
Thank you so much for you prayers and concern. I will post again as it effects us.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Stupid old shoes

So Hanna and I were fighting about shoes. She insisted that the shoes she was wearing were Sveta's and that Sveta had on hers.

She was wearing the right shoes.

This went on and off for an hour. I made both girls take off their shoes and I double checked the sizes. Hanna wears a 4 and Sveta wears a 3. I showed her the numbers. I made her try on the size 3. She practically had to fold her foot in half to get it into the shoe. In reality, she needs a bigger shoe than a 4, but I haven't had the heart to take the "High School Musical" shoes away yet.

Even after all of that, and in spite of the overwhelming truth, she still insisted that the 3's were hers.

I decided to take a stand on this arguement and I insisted that she stop saying they were her shoes. I explained to her that I don't want her to wear shoes that would harm her feet, and more importantly, I love her too much to allow her to be disrespectful to me. I made her appologize.

I know.

It sounds harsh, why didn't I let it go?

Because it is not about the shoes. It is about Hanna adjusting into the family. It is about her making the transition from tollerating me as a loving caregiver to accepting me as her mother.

We were at a baseball game. She put her head down on a picnic table and cried. Then she sobbed. Then she nearly hyperventilated. I sat next to her and rubbed her back. After 10 minutes, I lifted her head off the table and held her. She didn't hold on to me, she leaned her face into my chest and sobbed and sobbed. She leaned and I held and rocked her. I kissed her head and and whispered that I loved her.

This went on for at least 40 minutes. She quieted down and continued to be supported by me. Then she began to watch the game. She laughed at Andy's outfielding and kissed me.

Her red eyes and tearstained face had a new look of relief.

We have turned a corner.

When we adopted these older children, we committed to being their parents. Our job is to love them and guide them and nurture them, always knowing that our commitment could never be dependant upon their reciprocity.

I wasn't asking Hanna to admit she was wrong and say I was right. I was really asking her to accept me as her mother and submit to my authority. Until she can do that, even though to me she will always be my daughter, to her I won't be her mom.

She didn't cry about the shoes. She cried because she was scared. Scared of what it would mean if she handed that control over to me. If she trusted me to take care of her. She cried because she could see the relief letting me do that would bring her. She cried because she already lost the person who was supposed to do that and the person upon whom that duty was then thrust, gave that duty up. Now she is in a new country where everything is upside down and difficult to understand, and she wants someone to take care of her, but will it last? She cried and cried and cried. And I held her. And it didn't feel so bad to her. And I didn't go away. And I didn't back down from fighting to hold her accountable and I still loved her. And she began to let go of the fear and the control.

She is mulling over the idea of not wearing the boss shoes and letting me do it. She is getting used to the feel of freedom that a child who is not in charge has, and she likes it.

She has her eye on a new pair of shoes.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day musings

Mother's Day is always a very heavy day for me. I get to be the mom to 5 beautiful children because 4 other moms could no longer do it. It is hard to wrap my mind around it. In our collective situations, those of my children's first mothers as well as mine, I see God's hand at work meeting our needs. For the mother who died, he provided her children a new mother. For the mother who's child was sick, he provided a mom who could provide the needed health care. For the mother who suffered from extreme poverty, he provided a mom who could offer loving shelter. For the mother so desperate in her situation that she felt she had no where to turn, God provided another set of loving arms to hold her precious baby. For this yearning woman, He fulfilled her deepest desire to be someone's mom. We are a team united by love for our children.

God's word has comforted me and challenged me.

the comfort:
Psalm 113:9
He gives children to the woman who has none and makes her a happy mother. Praise the Lord.

The challenge:
Isiah 54:1-3a
...You are like a woman who never gave birth to children. Start singing and shout for joy. You never felt the pain of giving birth, but you will have more children than the woman who has a husband.
Make your tent bigger; stretch it out and make it wider. DO NOT HOLD BACK. Make the ropes longer and its stakes stronger, because you will spread out to the right and to the left.

I have no idea how many children we will parent before we are through. I WILL NOT HOLD BACK. Scott is already looking for number 6. We'll just have to wait and see.

I challenge you dear friends, DO NOT HOLD BACK.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Natural

Mel is a natural. Seriously. Whatever sport he tries, he excels in. This is his very first year playing baseball. We had a feeling that he was going to be something last year when the coaches would watch him play catch during Andy's practice and we would hear them try to figure out how to coach his team next year. As we are not very sporty people, this is all very new to us.
Since I am clearly bragging on my son, allow me to continue.
Tuesday was his very first game. When Mel got up to bat the first time, the man behind us said, "Watch this kid. He's good. I've seen him at practice. He can hit!" He went on to say that Mel needs to be the clean-up batter. It really makes your heart swell when you overhear others talking up your kids.
Besides batting, he has quite an arm. he can throw from 3rd base all the way to 1st base, and if the 1st baseman could catch, the runner would be out every time.
I realize this is 4 & 5 year old baseball, but still, he's good.
(This bragging moment brought to you by "My kid's better than your kid at baseball" Moms Anonymous)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

We have a Teen in the House!

Today, the Heim family makes Heim history.
Biruk is 13! Our first Teenager.