Thursday, June 21, 2012

No Pictures Please

Ironically, this morning, I received a parenting newsletter about not finding shame in our children's behavior.

As I read it, I found myself nodding and agreeing.

You see, parenting has been the most humbling role of my life.

I have lived my life basically trying to please others, to do the right thing, to "live right".

And most of all, I want to show that I am successful.  I know what I am doing.  I have it all together.

Sometimes I have even fooled people.

"How do you do it all?"  "How do you stay on top of things?"

Have I ever mentioned that the one minute (as in small, not a time increment) talent I have is acting?

You know, like acting in school plays in elementary school and then later in church drama groups.

More currently, I use that talent when I am in the shower and don't want to be disturbed with another tattle (pretending like I can't hear anything) or when I am not really wanting to get up yet so I act like I am still sleeping while secretly listening to the goings on in the house.

But enough about that...

Before I had kids, I had in my mind a picture of what kids who have good parents look like.

I mean, I was a teacher.

I had experience.

With kids.

As a teacher.

Not a parent.

Then I became a parent.

And suddenly I didn't know nearly as much about parenting as I thought I did.

The funny thing is that in reality, our older two are fairly "easy".  At least in public.  Most of the time.

So even though I had some humbling moments with them, I really thought we were doing it right as parents.  All the ideals we hold tight to, they must be working.

Except God had other plans for us...plans in the way of two more children.

And suddenly I was on my knees begging for help.

Please don't get me wrong.

I love all of my kids.

And they are all neat kids.

None of them are perfect, and none of them are "better" than the others.

Some are just maybe a little easier. :)

And some are better out in public than at home.

I won't embarrass any of the guilty parties with stories, but trust me, there are plenty.

I am learning more and more that I need to continue to hold onto the ideals I truly believe.  And I need to know that my children ARE responsible for their own decisions.  I also am realizing more and more that one size doesn't fit all.  My children have very different personalities and what works with one will not work with another.

I still sink into bed some days, feeling like a complete failure.

But when I do, I remember a couple of things.

We (humans) have the "perfect Father" and yet we fail all of the time.

And some of our kids are on their best behavior when outside the house.  Since I am parenting all of them, I can't be doing all of it wrong.

Why all of this?

Today was Readoption Day.

It sounds funny to say that.

Our kids ARE our kids and have been since we brought them home.

And they were citizens the first time their little feet touched the ground which in our case was the Houston International Airport which probably has a more official name than that.  But that is beside the point.

Some people readopt right away.

We didn't.

Like I said, they were already citizens (which isn't always true in international adoption cases).  And it costs money.  After the money we had already spent with the adoptions and the travel expenses and all of the other stuff, it wasn't money we were ready to spend.

But there are advantages to readopting which is why we chose to do it.

A big one is that our kids will have a birth certificate from our state which is MUCH easier to get than the one from their birthcountry.

No, it won't say they were born here, just that they were adopted here.  Or readopted.

The other reason we chose to do it was that we changed our son's name (unofficially) when we brought him home.  However, every time we call the doctor's office to make an appointment, we have to use his given name which is the name he came to us with (they did change his last name to ours when we adopted).  Since he is about to start school, we felt like he needed the official name change.  Otherwise he would constantly get called by his given name and likely wouldn't respond since we never called him that. :)

Anyway, it only took five years but we finally met with a lawyer a couple of weeks ago.

And just like that we had a "court" date.

A formality.

We just needed a judge to sign and say we were readopting (and changing our little guy's name).

Sounds so simple.

We got all dressed up.  I took my camera. I have seen pictures of other friends' readoptions.

And we drove to the courthouse.

I am not sure what went wrong.

My children.

Maybe they were uncomfortable. They were in a very unfamiliar setting. Or maybe they knew there was little we could do with them.  I didn't see myself saying, "Um, Judge, could you excuse me while I remove this wayward child from your chambers to discuss his/her behavior?"  Maybe the summer solstice had an effect on them.  Or maybe God just thought I needed another taste of humility (really, God, I have had enough...I get it!).

Something happened.  My children put on a show.  Not an entertaining one, especially for their father and me.

In fact, I wanted to turn the show off.

I am thankful the judge is a mom and seemed to understand.  That or she felt really sorry for us.

The paperwork was signed though hubby and I both hesitated when they asked the question, another formality, "Do you wish to adopt these children?" 

As I looked at one child standing on his head in the chair across from the judge and the other hardly answering any simple questions, I had to consider it carefully.

Apparently our judge wasn't into pictures. Or she just wanted us to leave.  I don't blame her.  I wanted to leave and go far far away.

She didn't ask for pictures.

And honestly, I don't need pictures to remember the day.

I am just trying to figure out what I can do to FORGET the day.


Tomorrow is another day.

I just don't want any more of that humble pie for dessert...


1 comment:

  1. It was something else... I'm glad I got to share it with you... :)


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