Sunday, June 7, 2015

Four weeks in

In four weeks time, every apple core, lemon rind, piece of salami, loaf of bread and gallon of milk has disappeared. 

Tears come, and every single one gets wiped away continuously as they flow, something new for two of my kids.  The two that don't understand why we love them or how we love them. They don't understand that when they hurt we want to be there to make them feel better. 

One pushes away, the other holds on tight. One wants space the other is my shadow. 

Both reactions to their immediate family are so different.

A seat between us in the pew at church. I gesture for him to sit closer, he ignores me. Oh, but he can't stop me from getting up from my seat and squeezing myself closer to him, reminding him, even if he tries to put distance between "family", we will always be there. A small smirk on his face and the absences of him moving away gives me the feeling of peace (and maybe him too?). 

Oh, but the other, sweet Yana, her walls are melting away in the hot Southern California summer (I know it's not summer yet, but almost)...

It was nine at night as we got home from Adam's school event, the grey mini van is filled with adults and children...Lily and Elliot asleep in their car seats.  As we pull into the garage Yana closes her eyes and pretends to snooze as well. Adam carries the girls one by one into their beds. It's comical to see him lift his 13 year old daughter and awkwardly carry her long body up 16 stairs and down the hall to her room, as she "sleeps." Her body is lifeless,  not helping him at all.
A long way from 3 weeks earlier when she did not want to be in the same room with Adam alone, but now she calls him dad and treats him as such. 

Every smile by any 4 of my children has been embraced by an overreacting mother smothering four children with huge hugs and forced kisses to the top of their head. Actually, this is my reaction to basically all positive behavior...

  • Yana made eye contact and said "hi" to a person at church (with lots of prompting) equals grab and a kiss from mom. 
  • Alex took out the trash without asking equals grab and a kiss from mom.
  • Lily sounded out a new word equals grab and a kiss from mom.
  • Elliot wore matching shoes and kept her clothes on for almost the entire day equals grab and a kiss from mom. 

At home.

We have set a routine, something we really haven't ever done before. Game night, and movie night, and family read-a-louds. Smore's roasting on an outside fire, as marshmallow and chocolate drips down Alex's face. 
Home is safe. A controlled environment where family knows, and seeks to understand each other. We do great at home.

But outside the home is a different story...
 I have anxiety when we leave, so I limit all outings...I know I shouldn't feel this way but I have seen their frustration. I have witnessed the shut downs in the unfamiliar. I have been the target of the anger, when they feel uncomfortable. 

"Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
 Isaiah 41:10

Adam and I are learning and we make so many mistakes.
For instances, taking a large family of 6 to a Padres game, two teenagers with salty attitudes going where they have to talk to people... will never happen again.
Or like learning teenagers need limits and putting a Christmas timer on the WiFi so it automatically turns off indicating "go to bed."

God continues to fill us with the knowledge we need to be their parents. He is ever knowing and ever loving, and He pours into us so we can pour into them. 

"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak."
Isaiah 40:29 


  1. I'm so glad you posted! It sounds like things are going so well. Hearing about Yana's heart softening makes mine melt.

    STAY HOME. Stay home as long as you can and don't let the rest of the world pressure you into doing otherwise. When my daughter came home I had three months maternity leave. (She was 6 1/2 years old.) We hardly ever left the house and it was the BEST thing for her. It built up her feeling of safety. She just blossomed.

    Wishing you all joy,

    1. Thank you Kate! I loved that you shared about your daughter, I feel the constant pull from people to do the opposite. It's nice to have reassurance! Thank you thank you!

  2. The "sisters" picture is very touching - Yana fits right in and her smile says it all. Thank you, Kimmy and Adam - for adopting Alex and Yana.

    1. Thank you Jennie, they feels so blessed that they are part of our family.

  3. I'm so glad for you. "he tries to put distance between "family", "
    hmm nothing wrong with Alex, he is a typical 16y old teenage! He needs quite more freedom and responsabilities that your other children. He needs some friends as well, you should think about soccer

    1. Thank you for your comment. Alex is involved on a club team (he's trying out for a month and are hoping he makes the team) and practices twice a week. He also has chores and a commission for doing his chores. I promise we are trying to be the best possible parents to him as well as taking the time to heal the lifetime trauma he has endured. Thank your prayers and well wishes.