When first meeting with our social worker and beginning to learn about the adoption process she told us about an exercise that she used to do during classes she would teach. The couple is to write down on paper what their “fantasy child” would look like.
Our fantasy child:
would actually be twins!! =)
would have Adam’s eyes (so Shana says)
would have Shana’s eyes (so Adam says)
would have Shana’s ears
would have Adam’s hair
would have a passionate love for Jesus
would be tall
would sleep through the night early!
would be an easy baby
would be healthy, not needing antibiotics until at least after 6 months of age
would never battle their weight
would love to read (and Adam says would not have “dyxlesia” -bahaha-poor guy!)
Would be very smart
would love to try new things
would be athletic
will never do drugs
would save themselves for marriage
would go as far as possible in college…
would never experience infertility
(Adam also said would be rich and famous but I told him that wasn’t appropriate for this exercise!!!)
Throw the above list away.
Once we started looking at adoption, our “fantasy” child is no more. But, the reality is that no parent gets their “fantasy” child! Instead, we will be given the child that we are supposed to have. They may be imperfect on the outside but are perfect in His eyes. The Lord knows our thoughts, He knows our wishes (Ps 94:11) but he also knows our strengths, whether we know them or not. He will give us a child that we will be capable of parenting. This is actually an amazing exercise for all parents. Whether your child be biologic, adopted or via surrogacy-no child can live up to any parent’s “fantasy”. No parent wants their child to struggle in school, to struggle with their identity, to have premarital sex, to use drugs or alcohol, to have a failed marriage, to drop out of college, I could go on and on. The point is, we need to let go of our “fantasies” and instead have realistic thoughts and dreams! We need to be realistic with the expectations we hold for our children………..and it’s even okay if they lick windows (some of the smartest ones do)!
Madison and Anna did awesome at the state junior high track meet last weekend. I especially like that they kept with the family tradition of using all of your assets to excel. When their older sisters Jordan and Rebecca were playing high school sports it never failed that we caught pics similar to these. Of course this specialty did not come from my sister’s side! There’s just something about their tongue that makes them go a lil’ faster or makes them a wee bit stronger.
So, here is what we learned from their all too brief stay.
In first and third grade you can’t do homework in pen. Adam tried and got the kids in trouble…notes were sent home on day two about using pencils!!!
Giving a child free reign in the library to pick any book he would like us to read him to bed probably isn’t the best idea. Two minutes later he comes carrying out a children’s encyclopedia, 300 pages long and of course Adam cannot say no (note to self: set a limit on the size of the book I guess). She comes carrying out three scrapbooks telling our life story.
Getting “ready for bed” might just end up taking an hour and a half
Next time I need to be better prepared to have my hair styled. I didn’t have near enough product for her to use on my hair for the styles she was wanting to try. As Adam said the night they were gone (to soothe me in case I was feeling withdrawals)….honey, do you want me to french braid your hair?
When they say they want the salad bar at Pizza Hut they really just want a teaspoon of chocolate pudding
Sometimes it is easier to just give in
And, last but definitely not least because this is the BEST lesson learned. Apparently, this isn’t the best way to wear them out. To run them down and tire them out for bed after they’ve had ice cream after school, soda and hot chocolate at supper and cookies for dessert. Because they were still up and going at 11pm!
I’m just getting around to writing about our trip to Kearney last week. We started out by watching several basketball games. Our two younger nieces play on the same team and it was nice to actually watch them this year as they are at an age where everyone knew which direction to run on the court and how to dribble, etc. Good times good times.
We then moved on to my nephews games. He plays both JV and Varsity and is very good of course. We just love this picture. We think he is perhaps warming up for a future in ballet maybe (#24).
We then switched gears and watched our niece play her game. She is a senior and headed to state I am sure as they are doing very well this season. She is also still hoping to make it into an ivy league college so we are very proud of her. These kids are so calm, cool and collected on the court. This is something they have learned from their parents. This picture shows this. Becky is shooting at the line and you can’t hardly tell it. No pressure there. It reminds us of her older sister, Jordan at state four years ago (which they won, by the way) where she was at the line (by herself by the way because it was for a technical) in front of hundreds of fans and hit each bucket and did it effortlessly.
Then, one more final game. Our nephew’s varsity game. Yes, at this point we had callused bleacher butt and my sister said suck it up as she does this 96.3% of her life so she is used to it. This game had this ginormous kid…6’10” and only a junior (can’t wait until next year, baby!). I imagined his name was Sven and he was from Switzerland or somewhere like that (they grow them big there, don’t they?) but then I suppose Nebraskans like to say….”that there is a nice, big corn-fed boy”. Whatever that means, like corn will make us big and strong. “Eat your corn John-boy so you can be big and strong like Sven on that basketball team!!!”. I know #11 is a wonderful young man but I just have to put this picture in here to illustrate Sven’s size.
We then headed to my sister’s house where we got to meet Slyther’s replacement (you know, the albino snake that choked on it’s dinner). Well, I guess they were out of albinos so this one isn’t but it is growing well we were told…”up to two mice per feeding now”. They say it like a proud mama and papa would! She named this one Slink. So, okay..I know it doesn’t look that big now but you have to understand our concerns. They are telling us it will get to 4-6 feet long and pretty thick around and the room we sleep in when we visit is just down the hall. This is really bothersome to little ol’ us. And, Calissa, too…I mean, look at her face when she is looking at Slink:
Finally, a couple of innocent funny little things heard at my sisters house last week:
what is ignorant? (asked by one young niece)
he’s like 40, he’s really really old (a comment made about a professional athlete)
are coming to stay, that is. We have some friends that had to be out of town somewhat unexpectedly this weekend and their two older kids are staying with us tomorrow and Tuesday (1st grade and 4th I believe). Sadly, this is the first time we’ve had company since we’ve bought this house, other than those that have come to stay to work on the house that is. I write sadly because the house is just now safe really for kids to be around as far as wires not hanging around and holes not being around for kids to fall in, etc. There are toilets that work, showers that work~ya know the basic things in life.
We aren’t accustomed to little people. We are used to animals. The type that when we get tired of them we can lock them in the back yard. The type we only have to feed twice per day and even then it is the same thing every time. My sister already asked, “what’re you going to feed them..they need to eat, you know”. We may not have had little people over for several years but let me tell you what, we aren’t that rusty.
It will be 36 hours of sugar, pizza, video games, nail-painting and playing, I tell ya. Adam is taking off early to pick them up from school both days and screw figuring out what to feed them ’cause we’re going out! All kids like pizza we figure…burgers too for night two. We have a new soda fountain in town that Adam happens to love. Lucky for him he’ll have little people to accompany him for an after school snack.
So, as we’re cleaning last night…cleaning places we haven’t cleaned yet in preparation for the little people I told Adam, “phew, I’m glad I got all that dog fur up, now I won’t worry about their poor little lungs”. Adam said, “that’s why we’re cleaning? I thought we’re cleaning so they wouldn’t tell their parents how messy we live.”. Silly, Adam.