I awoke early again thanks to a little boy who really needs something over his arched windows to keep the light out. "I wanna get up!" We hear it over and over via the monitor, getting louder each time. I needed to get up to make pumpkin muffins, but I didn't really want any helpers at that point. I just stuck my head in his room and told him it wasn't quite time to get up yet, that I would let him know when it was. He said, "Otay." Then it was quiet. At least for a little while.
We hadn't had muffins in a couple weeks. Do you know there was only one mini muffin left over by the end of breakfast? I am not sure where they all went! Usually I get to eat leftovers for a day or two. Bummer.
Oh, I almost forgot the Big Scare. I walked out of my bathroom into the bedroom to get dressed for church. It was so quiet, ahh, peace and quiet. What a rare treat. Suddenly I heard a little muffled sound. I looked around. Nope, no one around. I continued getting dressed. Then I heard a little whisper, "Mom, I am hiding..." I screamed. Sure enough, our youngest was hiding behind a door, completely out of sight. I think he was hiding from his dad (who was waiting to get him ready for church). I also think it took a while for my heartbeat to return. Oh, what a kid!
Anyway, we got out of the house for church, on time even. After I dropped the kids off at their respective Bible Fellowship (a.k.a. Sunday School) classes, I ran into a couple who goes to our church. I had worked with their daughter one Sunday but hadn't really had much of a chance to talk to them. They have adopted four children (plus have biological children), three of whom are now adults. They asked me about our family and our adoption. I mentioned how challenging parenting could be at times, and the added challenges of adoption. I really feel like God orchestrated that moment. I needed it, I needed to hear those words. They readily agreed that there are special challenges with adoption and that some days are not easy. However, they were quick to point out that their children have grown into mature, likable young adults (not that they weren't likable before, just that they are very delightful now). It was such an encouragement to me since the last couple of days have been challenging for various reasons. The truth that the dad spoke though that said more to me than most books I have read..."In some ways it is like you are adopting all over again each day." Simple words with a deep message. It is like that in some ways. We think of adoption as a one time, sign the papers, you are a family event. But it is ongoing. And each day you wake up, it does feel like you are adopting all over again. We are a family, and I have no doubt the kids view us as mom and dad. However, the challenges of adoption (and its effect on attitudes and behavior) are always there, each day. I am not saying every day is hard, just that it is always there, hovering. We are constantly learning, teaching, and loving our way through it all. Anyway, I truly appreciated those words, and I am thankful that we had the opportunity to talk.
Now on to the consequences...
When we left our own Bible Fellowship a little later than usual, we rushed to the sanctuary. I knew that the kids would be waiting for us there. I also know that unsupervised (at least by us...they have others watching them), there was no telling what might happen. I just had a bad feeling. And that bad feeling was confirmed as soon as I walked in the building. I was quickly approached by two children complaining about the behavior and words of the third child. It was a lovely way to start our church service! :)
We headed on into the sanctuary, and the third child in question had a little meltdown. I can only hope it was a little guilt for the negative behavior with her siblings earlier, but I am guessing it had more to do with knowing there were consequences in the future. :) Anyway, the meltdown was not really appropriate for church, so I escorted her to a quiet room to discuss her behavior/attitude and the resulting consequences if I didn't see a change in it. Really, that is all I was going to do, and it is all I did. However, my little angel started yelling, "What are you going to do to me?" Moments like that I want to melt into the floor. (Thankfully there was a slight change of attitude and the behavior changed for the most part...sigh of relief!)
When we got home and had a quick lunch, I doled out consequences. I had the offending child write a letter of apology to the offended party, listing three things she loved about said party. That was the easy part. The next part required her to read it to the offended sibling and then give her a hug/kiss. I really think we could have skipped the rest of the consequence...the hug about did her in. :) Thankfully the rest of the day was a little better.
While we napped, Mark took the oldest to watch a play at our local Arts Center. The play was called "Runt of the Litter". It is based upon the life of Bo Eason, a pro football player who grew up being told he was too little to play the sport. He was determined however and shared his story of perseverance. He then had a question and answer time from the audience. Our son LOVED it. He is in determined mode now. He is talking about working out, persevering, etc. We hope that some of that sticks!
After naps/play, child 3 did a little run around town with a Flat Stanley for her cousin. I think it will be a little late but hopefully the teacher won't blame him but us instead. I should have written down the deadline. Flat Stanley visited all over our region. :)
Then we headed out for some pizza and a quick trip to Target. It was just one of those fun family nights. We enjoyed our pizza, watched "America's Funniest Home Videos" which was actually set at DisneyWorld while eating, then had a magician come to our table to wow us with his magic. (I was totally wowed). Usually when we stop at Target (which is a little out of the way, thus a rare trip), usually I run in. However, Mark decided that all of us going in was more fun than entertaining four restless children in the car while I escaped, I mean shopped. :) Needless to say it was kind of fun. We didn't spend much time (more money than time) and there were no major catastrophes. Child 4 can be a little loud at times but we are noticing that life in some ways is getting easier. It is rare for him to have a tantrum while waiting for our food or to get distraught in the store after a couple of minutes. Of course we are moving on to new challenges but I am thankful that those are becoming distant memories!
Oh, my best buy of the night was a shoe bag I bought for the girls' door. I have stored their hair scrunchies (by color) in little plastic containers. However, the girls have trouble getting the scrunchies back INTO the containers. We find them all over the house. And in some ways, it is legitimately difficult...they were full. Well, now the scrunchies are in the pockets of the shoe bag, still sorted. It will be much easier to send Maria into find a white scrunchie. And it will be much easier to tell the girls that I don't want to find ANY scrunchies on the floor. These are easy in and out.
Oh, on the vacation front...we have not made a decision yet. I am watching the situation via the news and the travel forums. I am not hoping to cancel, but will wait to see what happens. Child 3 thinks we should just hop on a plane and head to the Virgin Islands (we had spotted some pictures of a beach in a magazine). Oh, what a world she lives in. :)
All in all, it was a good day of family and fun.
How was yours?