“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight.” Psalm 19:14
This post is about to get real honest, and it will not be written in sequential order so brace yourself. I want anyone who reads this to see the blessings and trials that come with either fostering or adoption.
When we got the call for our brown eye blessing we asked Willow before we ever said yes with this placement, she was THRILLED with the idea of having a “friend” ….although at the time we did not realize how much she thought of her as a “friend.” It got rough quickly with the older girls. Both girls are used to being the oldest child and assuming the role that being the eldest holds.
The first few days our brown eyed blessing agreed with everything we said or asked…..and then she got comfortable, real comfortable. With that comfort (which is a blessing) came new challenges. She came at a very busy season for us, we literally were not home one single night for the first 8 days she was here! Our family, who typically eats out monthly was eating out nightly and it seemed our family was lavishly living out our lives or at least to someone who was not familiar with our family it seemed that way.
While our biological children know this is not the case, we set ourselves and this precious girl up for failure. When we said no to something about 7 days into her being at our home we were met instantly with a child who was demanding it, rather than saying okay. She did not understand after a week of blowing and going from here to there why we would actually say no!
She is very behind in school and when we informed her homework had to be done we were met with arguments, backtalk and yelling, and our children were watching from the sidelines to see how we would react to this behavior.
Then the girls started being mean to each other when an adult was not present. One started it and then the other took that and ran with it. We had to get creative and FAST because we truly want everyone in this household to have sweet words and thoughts not only to each other but about themselves as well. The fastest solution I came up with was time-in with me. Whoever the offender was had to apologize to the one they offended then they stayed by my side for the remainder of the day. No playing with the rest of the children, no running around outside, nope, if I am in the kitchen so are you, if I am vacuuming, you are sitting on the couch reading. Turns out I must lead a very dull life because while we have had to do this a few times with each girl, the bickering has nearly ended and kindness is starting to seep from everyones heart…to some degree.
The reality of it is both of these girls are hurt in different ways. One is sharing everything she has known and loved with a stranger, and the other has been hurt her entire life and has been thrust into a new situation where she is forced to share a strangers things and has no idea when or if she is leaving.
Bill is being purposefully intentional with Willow right now. While we are being intentional with each of them, for a few days we saw a very hurt Willow and it broke our hearts. Her heart is broken because while 165 million is a big number that she doesn’t get, she grieves that we can’t save them all. She grieves because someone in her own home was unkind to her. She grieves because she saw someone have to say goodbye to their parents and get in our car and drive away back to our house, a home someone doesn’t know. She grieves because God made her compassionate. He has big plans for that compassion, but right now she hurts. Being purposefully intentional has brought back her smile and her happiness.
Willow talks to us because she knows she can and we can be trusted and our brown eyed blessing is beginning to open up about things from her past. She had I have spent time together in the kitchen, reading, coloring or just hanging out and bit by bit kind of like an onion she is starting to peel layers. She too is hurt, and my heart hurts for her. I find myself praying daily that the Lord would give me the words to say to her when she shares a bit more.
THEN we had a parent teacher conference. We are only seeing a teeny tiny percentage of the behavior the school as seen from the get-go. She is a traumatized child who has been thru more in her life than my children will ever have to endure Lord willing.
Now that the top has been blown off and we know the truth things are getting worse at home again. We totally get behavior but we are desperately trying to reward good behavior in hopes that we will see good behavior is rewarded as opposed to bad behavior. We have to make sure our children know we address behavior but in a manner that will not give our brown eyed blessing more attention that she will try to seek even more. We have envoked a new rule at our house, your hands must be kept to themselves. No high fives, no holding hands, no patty-cake, nothing. This way there is no confusion as to what kind of behavior is okay with hands. It may seem extreme but it is what we need for now.
We DO NOT REGRET this! The Lord called us into this journey and wek now He called her here for a reason, we know the Lord is faithful and we know this is His will. So we are relying on him. We know the Lord is using her in a powerful way to teach us something and we can only pray the Lord would use us to teach her something!!!!!