Monday, March 25, 2013

Why I'm So Boring....

It's no secret. I am getting rather boring in my old age. (I recently turned *gulp* 30!!!) I am almost always at home. People generally don't even bother inviting me out anymore, because I rarely actually go!

So... Saturday evening, I was shopping at Kohls. The kids were at home. When I was finished shopping, I had a wild idea to just not go home yet. The night was young- I could go meet up with some friends who were out! I mean, I was already dressed! (Well, my hair did NOT look spectacular on said day. BUT- I was dressed, bra, shoes and everything!) I tried to get myself all pumped up about the idea of going out- and I drove home.

It was already 10pm, so I told the kids to get undressed & ready for bed. When I went to tuck Konto in, he asked me to sleep with him for awhile. He explained: "Me, sometimes I get scary in the evening." So, I laid down with him. He threw his arm around me, gave me a few kisses, then snuggled as close as humanly possible. I thought. Everytime I thought he was about to suffocate, he'd get closer!!! I ended up laying (very uncomfortably) for 2 hours with a (very big) 9 year old boy completely wedged up under me!!

I finally got out of the stranglehold, and moved back far enough to watch him sleep for awhile. I started thinking about the orphanage. How he'd gone to sleep every single night for over 5 years with no goodnight hug. Just doesn't seem right. Then I started thinking about two friends of his who are still at the orphanage. Two teenage boys who are finally being adopted. I just can't wait for them to get home. I can just picture their new mommy, leaning over two big ol' teenage boys, tucking them in for the first time, and giving them the first goodnight kiss they've had in a decade. Telling them 'I love you.' Maybe it will the first time they ever remember hearing those words. I just can't wait! I'm sure people are gonna think she's a crazy momma for choosing such old boys. But- they have no idea how lucky she is!!

Anyways- When I was done pondering these things, I decided to get in my own bed . It was midnight. I left Konto's room- only to find my daughter, Malorie, (wearing her slip as a nightgown) standing there with big, sad eyes. She felt left out, & wanted to know if I still had time to lay down with her. Of course. So off we went to her room...

It was after 1am when I finally made it to my own room! Same time I probably would've made it home had I gone out with friends. And while I'm sure my time at home was far more 'boring' than the bar- I'm okay with that. I like this kind of boring, and I wouldn't miss it for the world!

(*Side note- I did make it out Sunday night for (almost) a full 2 hours! But I came home promptly at 9pm to read a book about a very macho hamster named Fluffy. This is a glamorous life I lead! )

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Anticlimactic Sequel....

Today was the day. Konto (my son) would be required to personally explain to his soccer coach exactly why he would be missing soccer for the next 2 weeks. (My new co-op friends just thought I was joking when I said I was a VERY mean mama. I wasn't.)

I went to bed last night imagining how awful this day would go. I imagined it would be similar to the DC Airport Incident. (On our trip home from Africa. Konto was mad that it was taking so long. So, he decided to leave. He ignored my warnings to come back. I had to physically carry him back to the boarding area and hold him down.)

He is MUCH bigger now. I pictured me insisting that he talk to the coach, and him walking off. I then pictured myself chasing him down and attempting to carry him back to the car. Could I carry him while he's kicking? What would I do if I couldn't? Ask for help? 'Can you help me stuff this black kid in my minivan please?'

...All valid concerns I assure you.

But the day started out pretty good, to my relief. Konto was his regular charming self. His first task of the day was to admit to his sisters that he took their candy, and apologize. Confession is NOT his strong point! I held my breath & listened from the other room...

I heard him clear his throat and begin, "Attention everyone. I have some bad news and some good news...   ...Actually, there is no good news. I took all of your candy. I'm sorry."

Wow. That was easy. I decided to keep the whole day low-key. Homeschool is pretty convenient like that. We opted to build an outside playpen for our rabbit instead.

When the time came for soccer practice, he got pretty quiet. On the way there, he asked what he should say. He insisted that his team was going to be 'so mad of him for not helping to win the games'. I explained that bad decisions almost always affect more than just yourself.

At the field, he got out and walked to his coach- who asked how he was going to play in blue jeans. Konto didn't speak. I told the coach that my son had something to say. And he did. He said, "Sorry, I can't play soccree..." That was it. Forget that we rehearsed it several times in the car. The coach began guessing... "Are you hurt? Are you in trouble?..." To which Konto turned his back and replied, "The second one."

So, that was it. He was supposed to offer an explaination without waiting for the coach to guess. He kinda got bailed out, because he was about to start crying. I kinda hate that. (Again, mean mom. I know. And I'm okay with that.) But I wanted him to be embarrassed. Getting caught is embarrassing in real life. Just look at the Jailbirds magazine! Enough said! But- it is what it is.

So, the day was far less eventful than I imagined. I guess that's a good thing.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Hard Day...

Well, this post should be an interesting change of scenery, if nothing else. My updates on our family's
adjustment have pretty much been all sunshine and butterflies. I never expected that, because I am a big fan of transparency. I started my blog so that other people could get a realistic look at the timeline for Ghanaian adoption, and to document the realistic struggles that many times face parents who adopt older children.

But the reality was- we didn't have enough attachment drama to warrant a post. The kids settled in nicely. We geniunely love them. They have always actually felt like our kids, not like we were babysitting someone else's kids...

I had planned on giving some insight to future adoptive parents who (like I once did) rely on the internet for
some bit of truth as to what the future may hold. Because people need to be prepared for not only the joy of
adoption, but also the hard part. However, I almost feel like I can offer no advice or authentic picture of
life after adoption, because ours too closely resembles a fairy tale. I'm pretty sure I set expectations far
too high when discussing adoption with anybody.

But today was real. It was one of those days I spent so many months trying to prepare for. It was hard.

A little history: Several months ago, we realized that our little boy (9) was taking candy without asking. He
was hiding in his room eating about 50 pieces of chocolate at one time. When confronted, he would boldly look me in the eye and promise that he didn't do it. And he was convincing. I even fell for it once! This same
situation played out several times, each with a more severe punishment.

The last time, however, was a little different. I had found another stash of wrappers. I didn't confront him
though. I went quietly to my room, prayed, read my Bible, and wrote an outline of what to say. Amazingly, it
was easy. All those verses I had memorized as a child came back to my mind. And in order! Verses about lying, trustworthiness, temptation, the power to overcome, obedience, and forgiveness. (Note to self: start making kids memorize scripture ASAP!) (Disclaimer: No, I'm not one of those awesome Christian moms. We don't do a daily Bible study. I forget to read my Bible almost every day. And I don't know who Beth Moore(?) is.)

So... I called Konto to his room for a talk. We read verses together. I explained them. I told him that if he
ever messed up and wanted to confess to me, Daddy, and God- we would forgive him. There would still be
consequences, but forgiveness as well.

To my surprise- he immediately said he was sorry. He tried to stop himself. He tried to tie himself to the bed
so he wouldn't do it....

He then started pulling out ALL of his secret stashes.

I. Had. No. Idea.

Boxes, an old soccer duffle bag, a hippo Stuffie, socks, mattress, Transformer truck....
Finally, he pulled out his double barrel Nerf shotgun. Both barrels were packed. Like, he had used a stick to
compact the wrappers. There had to be 30-40 in each barrell!!

Anyways- after said confession. I thought that was all. We explained exactly what the punishment would be
should this happen again. (But of course it won't! This is a fairy tale, right?!!)

Fast forward to today. One of the girls let us know that her candy collection had been depleted. Konto (again) denied any responsibility for the crime. He very convincingly told me, "I promise Mommy. I haven't take any since the other time, because I don't want to miss soccer. I promise." Of course I believed him. Soccer is his one true love. He'd never do anything to jeopardize that!!

It was the Hippo Stuffie again. Along with one barrel of the shotgun. My husband and I discussed it until the
end of the day. We came up with the exact perimeters of his punishment. When he came into his room, he
continued lying until I produced Exibit A.

The Stuffie.

He had nothing more to say. He turned to face the wall and refused to answer our questions. As we began going over the punishment, he kept trying to push me out of the way & walk out of the room. He got mad that he couldn't get past me. Then, it started.

The angry cry.

And then, the part I spent almost 2 years preparing for:

"I just want to go home!!!!!"

Nope. All that preparing, and I still wasn't quite ready to hear that.
Although, I'm pretty tough. My feelings are not hurt. I didn't get mad. And it won't keep my up tonight. But- it does make me wonder what he's hiding within himself. It's not too much different from when I was young & in trouble. I often cried and shouted how I want to run away. I really just wanted to hurt my parents' feelings for punishing me. It just caught me off guard when he said 'home'.

We make it no secret that Ghana is a part of us all. We talk almost every day about how we want to go back to Ghana. The difference- he had never referred to Ghana as home.

I tried to gently remind him that he was home now. He said that he was 'just at some place'. I don't believe he believes that. I really don't. I think he was just mad and hurting- and wanting, in turn, to hurt us.

Yet, I wonder. What all is there that I can't see? He insisted that he wanted to be alone to think. "About
what?" I ask. He only says, "I can't told you. I'm not allowed to." We have this exact same conversation
every time he is mad. Not entirely sure what that's about. I assume that he doesn't yet feel the liberty to yell
'I hate you!' I'll take it.

He finally cooled down. We watched Star Trek together. I tucked him in. As anticipated, he didn't return my 'I love you', as he has been doing this month. But he quietly stroked my face & fell asleep.

Unfortunately, I feel like this is the calm in the middle of the storm. Tomorrow will be his first missed
soccer practice. I don't expect that to go well. At all.

Time will tell...