Haircuts

March 30, 2009 at 1:28 pm | Posted in devotional, family | 3 Comments
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Tague and I took the boys to the barber shop for a makeover the other day.     Zach went first and, with a fair amount of distraction, he sat there and took it like a man.    Philip started his turn with whimpering and ended it with total wailing.    Our barber was amazingly patient and gentle and now the boys are sporting new looks.

the new look

the new look

Since the other day, Philip’s emotional response has had me thinking:     They’ve been with us long enough now for us to see consistent behavioral and emotional patterns emerge.  And one thing we’re certain of is that Philip truly struggles with fear and, more often than not, feels vulnerable.    He is a more cautious child than most three year olds.    He cries very easily and feels threatened in situations where there is no threat.   Unfortunately, having his hair cut was an event that made him feel very afraid.  He perceived a giant threat, but the truth is that Philip was totally safe, sitting in his daddy’s lap.    Still – in his little heart, he didn’t feel safe.   I know I’ve been there many times myself.   Not over a haircut, maybe, but over some other perceived threat.  And in spite of the fact that I’m safely sitting in my Daddy’s lap, I’ve felt just like Philip looks in that picture.

I know it will take time, but I think it will take more than just time to make his insides relax.      He has learned Psalm 53:6 which says, “When I am afraid, I will trust in You”.    And it’s been reinforced with the great Veggie Tales story that says God  ‘bigger than the boogey-man’.

These simple truths are lingering around in the back of his mind and it looks like it’s time to bring them more intentionally to the front when he’s struggling.    I’ll let you know how it goes.

Finally!

March 24, 2009 at 9:51 am | Posted in family | Leave a comment
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While some of you in more reasonable climates have been enjoying green grass and warm temperatures for a while now, those of us in the great, white north are just coming out of our caves and shedding our coats now that it is finally above the 32* mark.    I argue with my big kids daily, telling them to at least wear a sweatshirt and that just because it’s 40* doesn’t mean it’s ‘hot’ (which is their great conviction).     But there’s no convincing a northern kid that it’s cold outside when the snow has mostly melted.

My little kids, however, have the good sense to KNOW that it’s been really cold and they are just tentatively heading outdoors.   Being from the equator, they have happily stayed indoors all winter long, avoiding as much of the wintery blast as possible.   BUT – the other day the sun was out and the wind was still and so it actually felt pretty good and we ventured out onto the deck for our first little bits of spring!   With bubbles and bouncy balls, we all nearly wept with joy at the release of finally being outside!

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remedial training

March 13, 2009 at 11:31 am | Posted in devotional | 1 Comment
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Ever feel like at one point in time you really and truly did know something?   But then – a situation arises and you find out that you’re back at square one when it comes to having any wisdom about that subject at all!

That’s been happening to me lately.  In spite of all the amazing stuff God has done for us in this adoption process, I’ve begun to wonder (doubt) about whether or not the money we need for some unforeseen  expenses will be there or not.

Then, as I was listening to the book of Mark on tape the other day,  I heard the perfect story for me – It’s the story of Jesus in the boat with his friends told in Mark 8:14-21.

They were out in the boat after a long day and were headed out across the lake.   Jesus warned his friends to ‘beware of the yeast of the Pharisees’ and instead of grasping what he was telling them,  they leap to the conclusion that he was talking about actual bread and actual baking ingredients and the fact that they didn’t bring anything to eat on the boat.   They were whispering and squabbling amongst themselves and, of course, Jesus knew what they were talking about and he decided it was time for a review.   I can almost hear the weariness in his voice as he goes over the same ole, same ole one more time with this crew.

“Don’t you remember anything at all? When I fed the 5,000 with five loaves of bread, how many baskets of leftovers did you pick up afterward?”

“Twelve,” they said.

“And when I fed the 4,000 with seven loaves, how many large baskets of leftovers did you pick up?”

“Seven,” they said.

“Don’t you understand yet?” he asked them.

That seemed to be the exact same remedial training he had for me that day.    “Don’t you understand yet?” We reviewed the rich realities of all he’s done in this process to bring every, single resource as we needed it.     I even wrote the blog posts about it, so there’s no doubt I was familiar with each spectacular gift along with each one’s perfect timing. “Don’t you understand yet?”

And to prove his point with flair,  we recently discovered that Tague’s new company provides a reimbursement program for adoptive families.   His old one didn’t, so we never pursued that benefit.   Now that we’re under a new company with new rules, he checked into it and voila!   They are willing to grant us a pretty sizable chunk of change per child.   Actually – just about enough to cover the newly emerged, unforeseen expenses. “Don’t you understand yet?”

And there I sat, squabbling in the boat about bread!    The generosity and the provision of God is amazing – but today, while I’m thankful for those, I’m more aware of his keen patience and his willingness to reteach old lessons again and again when his disciples need a review.    Maybe this time I’m starting to understand.

just a little bragging

March 5, 2009 at 10:49 pm | Posted in family | 1 Comment
wow

Zach

Philip

Philip

The quarter in review

March 3, 2009 at 11:53 am | Posted in adoption process | 3 Comments
Sit-n-spin for 2

Sit-n-spin for 2

It seems like the last three month have been somewhat of a blur and with the combination of ‘bonding efforts’ and the winter freeze, we’ve been ‘underground’ for a long time.    Maybe it’s the hope of spring or maybe we’re feeling more settled as a family, but I think it’s just about time for us to emerge from our confinement and get in the game out there!

There are struggles integrating children into an already flowing family.    But, as we review recent history, we’re amazed.  Here’s a short list of change we’ve seen:

  • The boys awoke numerous times each night, sometimes in fright, but always in a state of uncertainty.   Now they sleep like peaceful pros almost every night.
  • For the longest time, they both had blank expressions on their faces most of the day – just trying to absorb all that was happening and trying to get a grip on their  new lives.   Now, they laugh and seem relaxed all the time.  They are genuinely happy.
  • Philip was originally terrified of our dog.   Now they’re great friends.
  • Originally, Philip called us Uncle and Auntie.    Now we’re Daddy and Mommy.
  • At first, they were confused by our schedule and boundaries.   Now they love ‘room time’ (cheering when we put them in there, even!) and they eagerly await ‘yogurt time’ which comes right after that.   They are also reasonably obedient.
  • For months, Philip’s only response to any question was ‘yes’.   Now he voices an opinion and uses his words more easily.    He is a great kid and is coming out of his shell.
  • There were lots of tears at first and the boys didn’t seem to know where to be comforted.   Now, while there are still lots of tears, they run to us for comfort with an immediate and natural ease.
  • Philip no longer has a complete melt-down at the word ‘no’ and Zachary successfully uses some baby sign language to communicate when he wants something rather than screaming for it.
  • And their older siblings have folded them into the family with a deep, genuine, self-giving love that hasn’t faded as the novelty has worn off.   Rather it continues to increase and flourish.    What a gift it is to see that.    The big kids have really ‘brought their A-game’ to this love affair.   Wow.

And there are probably many more things we can point to that show signs of adjustment and attachment.    It’s been hard work.   It continues to be hard work.   But, along the way, we also have some great things to measure progress by and we’re grateful.

Watch for continued updates about the actual, legal adoption process!  Coming soon…..

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