Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"Chosen" New shirts to benefit Project Hopeful

Project Hopeful is partnering with 147 million Orphans to raise funds for our Ethiopia "Almost Homes" 50% of each sale will go to Project Hopeful.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

When is it real?

I have recently been convicted that I cast someone who meant well in a bad light. I have edited this post to correct this. Forgive me for this oversight. Sometimes I get too invested in my own emotions to think clearly about how what I write may effect others.

During the adoption process, it is sometimes difficult for your child to seem real while the months between start to home drag on. I have pregnant friends who say that even as they can watch their stomachs protrude and they wear the carpet thin with pm trips to the bathroom, the fact that they will actually hold someone at the end of all this is not always clear. I guess no matter how you become a parent, you share many of the same feelings.
While it doesn't always feel real, real things are happening, both good and bad, and in our house, all the kids are privy to it. Things happen or do not happen that are beyond your control and sometimes you start to loose it. I hit a wall this week. Hit the wall and broke down.
It happened in the parking lot outside of our church's ministry center, right after my morning bible study. I had just submitted a prayer request thanking God that I was feeling so calm and praying for the people responsible for these last pieces of our paperwork to be done. I thought I was doing great.
Arrogant much?
Something that I had anticipated being completed much sooner was still not complete. It was finally supposed to be in my hands. On this day in particular, it became very aparent that it was NOT going to happen. I couldn't accept this fact and completely lost it right there in the parking lot. This breakdown resulted in swift action on the part of a number of people and I was finally able to get my hands on what I needed.
This episode WAS NOT PRETTY.
The subsequent post about it was definately NOT PRETTY.

I didn't really tell you this story to say poor me.
( you can if you want to though)

It was to share the really cool way if affected the other kids. I had been feeling horrible that they saw mom lose it like that.

They thought Mom's breakdown was awesome.

They have been watching me do paperwork, and make phone calls, and send emails and texts. Seeing these things take time from them.

Then they saw me cry.
Cry harder than they had ever seen me cry.

And it hit them.

This is all to bring their sister home.

This is not the first time mom has done this.

Mom worked that hard.
Fought that hard.
Cried that hard...
for ME too.

It became REAL to Biruk and Hanna and Mel, and even Sveta and Andy...

This is what love looks like.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


As the new parent of older children, sometimes it's difficult to pinpoint exactly what the "sticking point" is for each child's transition.  There is always a presence, a hurdle, that seems difficult if not impossible to surmount.

It's not uncommon for Biruk to be receiving a lecture for not listening or more importantly, absorbing the content of any such lecture, and subsequently, he is destined to hear it again.  This is an actual converasation between the two of us:
B- "Why are you always saying that to me.  All the time you're saying the same thing."
Me- "I am always saying this same thing to you.  Why do you think that is?"
B- "I don't know."
Me-"Well, until you figure it out, I promise you're going to hear it again."
He just shakes his head and walks away.

This is all the time.  I feel many times like I am loosing my mind.  I know I have given directives, or made corrections, but It's like I'm living in the movie Ground Hog Day.  I'm constantly telling my husband "every day is a new day".  I't is tiring. 

Well, I think I've pinpointed the problem.  Biruk has an incredible coping mechanism.  If something is unpleasant (horrible in the past), he simply blanks out and takes it until it's over.  That is why he says things like "your life is your life, you just live it".  He couldn't do anything about the circumstance, so he just closed his mind and endured. 
Things are much better for him now, but this pattern of behavior is not.  Mom's fussing, just sit silently until she's done talking and move on.  Dad's unhappy, just clam up until it's over.  The problem is, he's not in a dire situation anymore, but his reactions are the same.  His default setting is "closed".  Nothing gets in.  He doesn't even realize that he's not listening, and it's not just with us.  Anything that isn't what he wants to hear, he just closes up.  We have class on Tuesdays.  He is absorbing the learning, but if the tutor gives an assignment, he has no idea.  He is in Civil Air Patrol.  He enjoys it alot and he attends by himself.  This week, Scott went with him.  The captain asked Scott why Biruk keeps coming in dressed inappropriately- wrong pants and his shirt untucked.  We know that they made him tuck in his shirt the first time, but he insists that no one has said a thing to him about dress code since then, or what to study for the next meeting, or who he reports to, or if he is responsible to call, etc.
The problem is, he doesn't have any ownership of his actions.  If he is supposed to do something, someone will forcibly make him do it.  If not, it must not be important therefore it never even registers.  I can see how this played out in his old life when most things were beyond his control.  This new life is nothing like that.  He must learn to open up to what is happening around him.  He doesn't grasp that he has a future and that he can affect it.  That is really the crux here. 


HE CAN SET AND ACHIEVE GOALS   rather than just exist. 

He hasn't quite grasped it yet.  It is frustrating for him and us, but we are all getting through it.