Monday, May 7, 2012

some things i'm learning

lest this post led you to believe that things were just floating along hunky-dory at our house, i wanted to post a few things that we have been learning over the past few weeks!

to catch you up to speed:  on february 9th, little peanut's brother joined our brood.  here, he'll be known as k-man.  adjusting to a "new kid" is always a process.  adjusting to a boy -- a three year old boy -- a three year old boy with some issues no  baggage  not really sure of the right word here -- adds a whole new dimension to the process of adjustment.

first, a few things we realized early on:

  • he'd always only been an only child.  when he was with his birth mother, it was just the two of them.  once he was removed, he was in a foster home with no siblings.  coming into a home with 4 sisters (three older, meaning, they sometimes think they're mommas) was a big change for him.
  • he'd never been a part of a "functional" family.  when we said things like: "we work together in this family." or "we love our sisters because they are part of our family." he really had no idea what we were talking about.
  • he's a he.  some behaviors stem from just "being a boy."  and, while they may not always be appropriate for the time and place, they weren't always "rebellious" behaviors.
second, a few things that took us longer to realize:
  • he's a different kid.  while we have disciplined our girls in much the same way (and seen fairly positive results), this is a different kid.  a kid who doesn't respond to the same type of discipline we've used effectively in the past.  we had to figure out a different way of doing things.
  • the way he makes me look doesn't matter.  in the past several months, i've become "that mom!"  you know the one -- the one with the tantrum throwing kid -- i've walked away from him lying in the aisle at stores; i've dragged him out of stores kicking and screaming; i've pushed him around in a cart yelling and spitting.  it's humiliating.  i'll never, ever look at another mom in that situation the same way again.  ever.
  • abandonment is a legitimate fear.  our girls don't fear being left alone.  they are secure enough in our love that they understand that we are always coming back, no matter what.  he has to learn that kind of trust.
a few ways he's helping to reveal the condition of my heart:
  • alluded to my pride above.  eric and i are both guilty of feeling pride in the way our girls behave.  what we are realizing is that we've raised a couple of pharisees who also take pride in their good works.  by God's grace, He is helping us see our prideful hearts and helping us guide the girls into seeing their's.
  • He doesn't need a Rescuer any more than i do or any more than any of the girls do.  our girls have yet to make a "profession of faith" (side note -- this is something eric and i are very okay with -- we are praying for the Holy Spirit's conviction in their lives -- not our conviction in their lives).  he needs Christ just as much as they do.  no more, no less.
  • what he does to me on a daily basis, i do to Christ on a moment to moment basis.  i resist what God knows is good for me.  i spit at him.  i kick, scream, scratch, and hit.  i see my heart toward Christ in his behavior toward eric and i.
  • i am growing thankful for this "failure."  i'm beginning to see how this is revealing my sin.  that's grace.  God is revealing sin in my life through this little boy and that is His grace toward me.  i'm seeing my need for dependence as i fail over and over on my own.
  • my kids need to understand that i am the biggest sinner in the house.  i'm learning to apologize, ask forgiveness, and join them in begging the God who loves sinners to change our hearts.
a few truths i am constantly repeating to myself:
  • God loves me.  no matter my failure.  no matter my "good deeds."  I am loved.
  • God loves K-man.  no matter his failure.  no matter his "good deeds."  He is loved.
  • God has prepared and equipped us for this specific boy during this specific time.
  • we have an amazing support system.  friends and family who are supporting us, daily praying for us and living the day to day with us.  i can ask them for help.
  • i am adopted.  not because of who i am.  not because of what i look like.  not because i deserve to be adopted.  i am adopted because of who Christ is, because of how the Father sees Him (and in turn sees me).
so, here we are again.  

learning so much about ourselves. 
our marriage.
each other. 
our kids. 
our God . . . 
. . .  and this little guy that He's trusting us with.  

Grace, such grace!


frankie said...

You amaze me!

Chris said...

MaryBeth - We are now fostering as well and I totally get what you are saying.. Somedays are better than others. And I pray every day that ""God's Will Be Done"" and that I am understanding of that no matter what the situation. Yes, it's hard - but I couldn't imagine going through it without Christ..

Jessica said...

LOVED reading this. What an encouraging post! Think about you often and your sweet family.