Wow…. I think he gets it!

September 19, 2009 at 11:25 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Some firsts are really worth noting:

Yesterday as I was clearing the dishes from the dining room table, Philip ran up to me, hugged my knees and with a great big smile said, “You’re mine!”

That’s right, buddy…. I’m yours!   And you’re mine too!

Philip

Philip

an internal make-over

September 16, 2009 at 9:20 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

As I make my way through “The Connected Child”  (TCC) I’m finding great advice and encouragement on each page.   I’ve been doing this mothering thing for a couple decades now and I’m pretty set in my ways but, these days, any additional input is welcomed!

My two small boys come to the process with a totally different set of design instructions and different operational parameters from their older siblings.    I’m finding that all these differences require that their parenting must also be different.   Boy, do i have a lot to learn.     And it’s not just new tricks of the trade.   It’s about redesigning MY internal specs to retrofit the old mom to the new equipment.   It’s about breaking ME of old habits and old expectations.    It’s about becoming more of an advocate and comfort.  Unexpectedly, it’s also becoming about confession and repentance.

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Here are a few shots from some recent outings.    We’re trying to enjoy the last bits of Minnesota summer before the fall really begins.

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at the park

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climbing through!

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brothers on the swing

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serious otter-watching at the zoo

Philip leaning on yellow rocker

at home with cookies

before going back to college

before going back to college

Riots a world away

September 11, 2009 at 5:00 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

kampala

Surely each of us is thinking about 9/11 today.    It was on the morning news and flags all over town are flying at half-staff to honor those who died in the attacks that day.   I’ve even had to explain it to my daughter who was only three years old at the time and doesn’t remember the event.

Now, eight years later, on September 11th,  violence is happening in another country that I love.    Riots have broken out across the city of Kampala, Uganda due to tribal arguments that seem to have no solution.   There have been deaths and panic and fear are rampant in the city.       Just like panic and fear were among us back in 2001.

I watch the videos and the images coming out of that situation and my breath catches in my lungs knowing that Kampala is the birth city of my sons.    Had they not been orphaned and released for adoption, they too might be smelling the smoke of the riot fires and seeing those black plumes rise over the city.   They might be hearing the pop of gunfire and sense the stress and panic and fear in the voices and faces of the adults around them.

I’ve wrestled with the stories of their origins.   How could any child be dealt such a bad initial hand in life??    I waffle between anger over the circumstances that made them orphans and a deep gratefulness that I’ve been given the chance to be their mom.   Maybe it’s the perpetual paradox that comes as standard equipment with adoption.      Each time I try to wrap my brain around the reality of it all, I come back to the fact that God plucked them out from where they were and set them apart for His glory and for their good.    In spite of their losses, God has rescued them from hunger,  malaria,  a higher risk of HIV/AIDS,  a lack of education, and countless other things.   And today – the scope of God’s rescue has widened in my eyes to include protection from tribal unrest and riots in their streets.

America isn’t Utopia.  And, as we’ve all seen, we too are vulnerable to attack and loss and pain.    But today, my two little guys enjoyed lollipops after their haircuts and having the story of Lightning McQueen read to them, blissfully unaware that a world away there is chaos playing out in the lives of thousands of other children that live in the slums and neighborhoods where they also once lived.

Pray for peace in Uganda.

Connecting

September 9, 2009 at 7:25 am | Posted in adoption issues, adoption resources, secure relationships | 2 Comments

I’m reading the book The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis …… again.  It was recommended to us about a year ago but when I read it the first time, we hadn’t yet brought our boys home.   It was all theory.   Now I’m reading it with open eyes and almost a year of experience.

There have been lots of hurdles in our adoption ~ most of them paper hurdles and most of them chronicled here.   But the hurdle of forming a deep connection with a child may prove to be the biggest one.

The whole thing is a little like entering into an arranged marriage.   Neither partner knows the other person and it takes a while…. sometimes a long while….. to form trust and to relax into each other’s life and into each other’s arms.

Except in an adoption, one party (the parent) completely knows what’s happening in advance and pours themselves into it in every way.  The nursery is painted and clothes are bought.   The parent has pictures and makes plans and takes trips and writes a blog and enlists prayers and holds fundraisers to flesh out the calling God has initiated in their hearts.    The other party (the child) has no idea what’s happening in his life and so makes no emotional preparations or celebrations and has no anticipations of what is to come for him.   He is just trying to adapt to his ever-changing world as an orphan.    He’s just playing ‘dodge-ball’ with life and trying to NOT get hit.   So, if anything, when the big day arrives – as the parent rejoices and celebrates the culmination of a long process, the child sometimes cowers and trembles at what seems to him to be in instantaneous (and maybe unreliable?)  change in his reality.

But that’s autobiographical enough for now.

I’ve wondered whether I should write about this topic here at all.    Maybe it’s too much candor and exposure.  Honestly – I don’t hear it being talked about by my other adoptive-mom friends.    (But, then again, it’s not really facebook status material, is it?)    Maybe it’s too much candor for my son, who’s journey and story I intend to protect.

BUT, since it’s not an indictment and since I don’t have any particular pretense to try to uphold, this is my latest reading material…. again.   If I have the courage, I’ll continue to write about it.

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