Monday, March 24, 2014

Turning Away

  For 2014, our house has been talking a lot about repentance.  I really like this definition:

Repentance: to turn away, in both mind and heart, from oneself to God

 For my non-Christian loves, Webster's Dictionary defines it like this:

Repentance: 1. deep sorrow, compunction or contrition for a past sin, wrongdoing or the like.  2. regret for past action

     I think all of us would agree that it's really difficult to change a behavior if we just don't care.  Isn't that why I still drink Vanilla Dr Pepper?  I know it's the same reason my pregnant smokers still smoke. We just don't care enough to turn away from past mistakes.
     For Etienne, Ryan and I have really prayed through accepting how some things will always look or (dys)function.  We really don't want to spend our lives nagging and disciplining and running ragged because our son won't change.  Yet we know his loving, squishy heart and we desire for him to live in a way that allows others to see that heart too.  
     Forget the attachment models.  I'm tired.  I just want redemption in one area of our crazy life.  So we've been giving examples of repentance ("see the snot running down Zeke's face from his sobbing? He's sad that his ninja moves took out the plant"), of conviction when we are wrong ("This mama was wrong to freak out about pooping with the door open, it doesn't really matter, it's just gross.").  We've been working on memory verses in the bible.  And, more than anything, we've been specifically praying for Etienne to repent.  
     Friday night Etienne put a hole in the drywall in the bathroom.  Since he's done this a time or two before, Ryan has gotten fairly skilled at the patchwork and repair.  I can sand and paint.  But GEEZ WE JUST DON"T WANT TO SPEND OUR TIME AND MONEY DOING SO!!!!
     When E did the damage, I didn't lose my cool like i did in the above sentence.  I told him I was angry that he did something he's been asked by his parents not to do many, many times.  I made him clean up the immediate mess on the floor.  While he was sweeping the crumbles, he started crying.  Not his fake, manipulative whine but real snotty tears.  He began telling me how he knew dad would be upset when he got home.  I sent him to his room to pray and then I held him on my lap until Ryan got home.
     This is a big deal.  I realize my skeptics will speculate that he cried because he's afraid of his dad.  He's afraid of his dad being upset.  Any of you who know us know that Ryan doesn't raise his voice, we don't physically discipline E and I can count on one hand the times I have seen my man really, really mad.  I don't care about skeptics though.  I care that I saw and heard a little piece of repenting.  Whatever the root of the reason, it doesn't matter.  We start little and we grow these things big.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Baking Bread and stuff

     Etienne's been having some rough days (and nights).  My E has been home from the orphanage for over four years.  But every moment that he was lying in that cold metal crib, away from my arms, damage was done.  We are still reminded of it.  When he stares right through me and tells ridiculous, absurd lies.  At 3 AM, when he wakes us up because's he's taken his shirt off and undone his bed; my brain flashes back to a memory of rows and rows of cribs, all full but silent.  Our poor kiddo, he knows somewhere in his brain all the things he should not do, but he does them anyway.  His lack of self-control makes me sad, and truthfully, fearful of adolescence. The constant battles he fights, they suck.  It's ugly and it's not fair that everything is so hard for him.
     Honestly, it also infuriates me too.  Remember when you were chasing after your two year old all day, keeping them from hurting themselves and constantly finding a nice way to say "no"?  Yes, that.  There are days that I want to scream that he  is still not convinced of our love.
     The thing that helps is those ugly memories of his first home stop.  Thank you God that I can't forget.  Thank you God that You can make good out of the bad.  Thank you God that I today I found empathy with those memories.
     Trying to embrace the attachment thing, even though it makes me want to pull my hair out.  That means E stays by my side.  We decided we'd do some baking.  Molly made bread, E made banana bread and Zeke and I made sweet potato soup.  All at once.  Music blaring, flour flying, everyone talking at once and no one really listening.  It was a blast.  The only thing he broke was eggs.  Lots.  But no lies were told.  He smiled at me and I wasn't pushed away once.  We laughed that Molly's bread tasted like glue and rotten bananas are fun to squish.   We talked about birth moms and yeast and how the Oscars are stupid.  It was messy and loud and grand.