Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Beating Our Heads Against A Brick Wall...Sometimes

If there is anything Troy and I have learned on this journey so far, it's that there are going to be moments in the life of every parent where words simply fail. Either complete elation, pride, love, fear, or, in yesterday's case, mortification take over. When one of these moments occurs, all you can do is just live in it. If it is an unwanted emotion, such as fear or mortification, just keep praying that you can move through it towards a resolution as quickly as possible.

This summer, the boys have been spending their days at a day camp near our house. I cannot say enough wonderful things about the Hickory Grove Baptist Church North day camp program. The camp director and staff have been fabulous. They have embraced our family, including my...let's call it quirkiness, though we all know "over-protectiveness" is probably a better label. They adore the boys and really let them be who they are - basically, they have really worked with the challenges of two five-year-olds who are not quite developmentally five and were willing to put Sam in a class based on age not grade. I get reports daily, like the twins were not listening as well as they should be or they hit someone, and I rejoice on the days when I am told that they are doing better than on other days. Samuel has had some rocky days, but with a year of school behind him, he came into camp pretty much knowing the drill.

Which brings us to the debacle that was Monday, July 28. So... Troy and I had the rare opportunity to pick the boys up together. As we walked into the main lobby where we sign the boys out, I immediately sensed that something was off because one of the twins' counselors was looking at me kind of funny. When I asked her if everything was OK that day, she assured me it was, but I wasn't buying it one bit. There was definitely something fishy going on. Then Cassandra, the camp director, dropped the bomb on me literally! This is what she said: "I don't want you to be upset or panic because it happens to every parent." The number of tragic things and possible havoc the boys could have wreaked that I imagined in the ten seconds before she told me what really happened cannot be detailed here due to space constraints. And then she lowered the boom. Luis had pulled down a little girls pants while she was drinking out of the water fountain, AND Samuel had said "f--- you" twice to no one in particular as he held the door open for his campmates. I...wanted...to...melt...into...the...floor. I wasn't quite sure of what to say or what to do. I definitely knew what I was feeling. Mortification. Anger. Frustration. A complete mix of emotions. Needless to say, we got the boys into the van, got everybody home (Daniel got the special treat of riding in Papa's car and going to the store) and moved to a quick resolution that will hopefully work for our family. Will the boys use "the swears" again in the future? Undoubtedly. Will our little Cassanova learn better ways to woo the ladies? We can only hope so.

At any rate, some days parenting truly is like beating your head against a brick wall. We realize we will have new hurdles to overcome constantly, and we can really only take them one at a time. This is true for any parent; however, life is so much more complex when you are an adoptive parent of older children. We never underestimate the effect that the years we weren't with them had on their lives because we will never know the full story. When they do or say something, we can't help but to question the motivation or psychology behind their actions and words. I am so thankful for all that we know about them now, and I am extremely thankful for and humbled by the role Troy and I get to play in shaping their futures.

Well, that is it for this post. I know I have a lot of catching up to do. Summer is halfway over and so much has happened. Hopefully I will be able to post everything soon!

7 comments:

shane said...

WOW, what a story! Thanks for posting this. It is good to hear the good and precous stories as well as the tough ones, espcially as we get closer to bringing ours home. Thanks again for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I just recently started following your blog. I am currently about to adopt two older boys 8 and 12 and have been searching the blogs to find a family that might deal with the same issues we will. Thank you for honestly sharing this. Please continue to share your thoughts and your wisdom when it comes to adopting older boys. You guys are amazing!

Kristen

Dan & Karen said...

They do keep us humble, don't they?

Anonymous said...

JUST REMEMBER AS PARENTS, THE SEEDS YOU SOW TODAY WILL BE THE REWARDS FOR TOMORROW. AT TIMES IT IS HARD TO BE A PARENT BUT THE REWARDS WILL BE THERE LATER.

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad that I'm a grandmother now (Ben and Emilie's boys from Colombia). I can now laugh when parents are mortified. How innocent your little Samuel is that he has no idea that what he is saying cannot be translated as "come right on in. I'll hold the door for you."

amandadawn said...

Well, if it's any constellation, Avery beat a little girl down because she cut her in line. But that was after she punched the boy she had a crush on in the face for calling her a "poopyhead." Sometimes, kids are just kids, and nothing you can do or have done will change them.

barssmonkey said...

thanks for sharing guys, i recently finished directing 2 summer camps for ages 3 - 16 at the YMCA and I was....horrified at some of the things the kids did and said throughout the summer. Your post gives me hope that I'll be able to encourage and bless those little ones (especially when my little ones turn into bigger ones and bring me into mortifying times). I appreciate your openness. bless you guys! - justin