We have had the boys almost a year. We are 22 days shy. I see so much change in both of them. D11 is such a willing child. He learns a chore and most of the time does it without being told. He checks the dog and cat feed almost without fail. He loves the cats! He keeps the pool full. Yesterday he was first finished with school. I remember when he did nothing but school, or sit and not do school. Now most days he is done in a timely manor. Often he will work ahead and have only one or two for the next day. I do find his loving cats interesting. He had never been around cats before coming here. At first he would pet them, but when he carried them he would hold them at arms length so they wouldn't scratch him. Now he will have more than one in his arms cuddled. As to cat scratches, "They don't hurt to bad." so he has told me. He has overcome so many fears. He learned to swim enough to swim across the pool, 20 ft, not well but enough to not drown. He couldn't sit on the steps and blow bubbles to start with. He has went from being afraid of the stock to playing with them. He loves on the milk cows and the calves are fun to teach to lead. He use to be afraid of the dark. He would not play outside after dark if he had to get out from under the guard light. Now I have to call all of them in from parts unknown. He is also becoming a baby lover. He went from not being able to carry a child without looking like he would drop it to toting 1 yo around like a pro.
Then there is D8. While he has grown and learned so much self control we still battle lots of ODD actions. I still say he probably has the highest IQ of any of my children. He has never been able to complete an IQ test so his test scores show borderline MR. Yesterday was a good example of ODD. He had the job of picking up toys in the living room and sweeping. Not a hard job. There were maybe 8-10 toys total scattered around, which at our house is nothing. He couldn't "see" more than half of them. I just smiled and told him to have a seat on the stool. I was sure sitting would improve his eye sight. The toys he couldn't see were about 6-12 inches from his feet. He started assuring me he could see them now. I wasn't moved. He was parked. He didn't yell and scream, he didn't cuss, he did state he didn't want to sit. I went on with life around him. We chatted about choices and why he didn't do his job correctly. He admitted he wanted to make me mad. I ask how it worked out. "It didn't!" ah to bad so sad. After being parked a few hours while school was being done, others chores were done he was given the chance to again do his chores and school. He hopped down, gathered ALL the toys and did a good job (for an 8 yo) of sweeping. Then he did his school. He did have a redo in history. He didn't read the lesson. Once he had to read the lesson out loud to me, he made a good grade. He played the rest of the day. He comes in talking about how much fun he is having. I use this to talk about choices again and how good choices make him have more fun. I do think slowly it is soaking in.
Other kids are adjusting and changing and growing daily. We have had them almost 6 years. MJ is working hard at helping his brother with the 18 wheeler and all that goes with that. Yesterday they replaced a mud flap. Today they are going to take a part a pick-up belonging to son's BIL. The timing chain is broke. Nope none of them have ever replaced one, but with the help of Google and mechanic friends they plan on it. Then they will spend the evening/night hauling livestock. I doubt they will be home tonight. Older son says MJ is making a great hand. He doesn't jump in and help until he understands well, which can be frustrating, but once he has it down he does a great job. Last night he skinned a deer all by himself. He and older son had went hunting and got this deer. MJ ask to do it. I did laugh at older son as it was driving him nuts not helping. I said welcome to my world!
MN has been struggling with lying, sneaking and cheating again. She is 13. I "think, pray, hope" we have that back under control. I know it is a part of puberty with these kids. I know I know I know! I still don't like it! Her world has again been made very small by her choices. She seems to accept this and is working to regain trust. We will see. I struggle to trust her again. I ask for prayer for both of us to establish a good relationship again..
T is still busy! She will be 10 in a few days. She is walking close to disobedience in lots of ways. Skirting the edges of back talking and not doing things she should. She is still working over a year ahead in school. It is 8:30 and she is done with school today, with all good grades. Part of her problem is she is super smart and has to stay challenged. She loves to cook and is a good cook. She has decided to write a book. It will give her something to do. Over all I would say she is a very well adjusted adoptee.
S is living in AR. I see her on Facebook along. I hear through the grapevine she is expecting her first child in the spring. I pray often for her and her child. Grapevine has it she sleeps on various couches until she either gets mad or wears her welcome out. My heart hurts for her and her child. I struggled over Thanksgiving, as one of the reasons we decided to adopt an older OLDER teen was so they would have a home to come back to when they aged out of the system. She could use every one's prayers.
We made it through a holiday with little or no fall out! In my world this is amazing. One reason we do school year around and take very short breaks is because when we do otherwise the fallout may last for weeks. Monday, after a week off from school and a holiday went well! This is such a feat in this house. We have always had issues after time off from school. I always dread vacations and holidays because of the junk on Monday after. It is nice to see they are growing past that. Over all I would say our home is no more crazy than most homes that have 5 kids in them that are bio. Most days there are more than 5 kids. Today I have 2 yo grandson. I have him 1-3 days a week while mommy does bookwork. Then most days DIL, 1 and 3 yo come over for a while. Our home pulses with life! I wouldn't trade it.
Today is the last day of National Adoption Month. I challenge everyone to have an adoption story 11 months from now. Maybe not that you have adopted, or are waiting on kids, but how you helped an adoptive family or foster family. Step out of your comfort zone. When you look at their life remember it may not be the life they thought they were signing up for. I often re-read and think about this statement off another blog.
Christ’s love leads us into places that no one else wants to go, where the stench and the mess and the heartache push out the well-dressed and the well-behaved.Some days this statement so fits where we are in our walk. It is filled with heartache. It isn't what we signed up for, but it IS our reality today. Those days I cling to the fact I serve a God bigger than any and all of my kids issues. I know He is the God that heals. I know He is my rock. Some days I just cling, some days I fight for healing for my kids. Either way I can't do it without God and those He sends to help me. I ask you to be reach out and be a God sent helping hand to someone today that needs a hand.