Thursday, March 1, 2012

Pushing Through

In my last post I mentioned that everything was great! That is so true. Everything is great. We have our son home safe and sound. His smile brightens our day everyday. Honestly our life without him in it would be unimaginable now. He is ours forever and we are so grateful.
I would like to say out loud that it's not always rosy. These past couple weeks have brought new challenges. I guess you could say the honeymoon stage is over for our little man. He is now comfortable with all of us and is totally himself. For the most part, he is awesome! He has such a vibrant personality. Totally talkative and loud, and smiling and full of joy. But in him being himself with us now, we have noticed some behavior patterns that can make life a little difficult on us at times. At first when we noticed it, our thoughts were.... 'Wow, his nannies must have just spoiled him a bit.' He is so darn cute and we could see how that would be easy. We had seen firsthand how loved he and all the other children were by these precious nannies. But as time went on, we realized more and more that these are patterns that he learned to fight for attention or fight for what he wanted or needed. He has never had 2 parents to give him what he has needed. Although the care he received was extraordinary as far as orphan care goes, it just wasn't what he truly needed. It wasn't the constant reassurance, encouragement and undivided attention each child deserves and needs that can only come from having a mom and dad. He had been in constant competition his whole life with all the other cuties who were thirsty for attention. Because of this, some bad habits were formed. As you can imagine, when a group of very young kids are all fighting for that attention and love, or whatever else they are needing at the time, they do whatever it takes to get it. For example, by screaming until they are noticed, and screaming louder until they get what they want. Sometimes maybe even tackling each other and biting or hitting to get that toy or food they want.
These are a couple of things we have been experiencing with our guy. It has been quite challenging at times to say the least. But the good thing is that Josiah is a responding so well when he is disciplined and reaffirmed with love. What we have found to be most effective is anytime he starts to demand something by whining or screaming, we sit him on a chair in time out/in until he is done. I then sit down and look in his eyes and explain to him that he can't do whatever it was he was doing, and we hug it out. The first time we tried this, we were amazed. He totally sat there and acted like he knew what he was suppose to do, like he had done it before. We wonder if time out/in was used by his nannies. To say the least it is very effective for him. What we have had to do is make sure we are extremely consistent with him in doing this when we notice that behavior beginning. Some days it means frequently putting him in time out/in, and me pulling my hair out (lol), and other days he does great. I mentioned in my last post how smart and quick he is at learning. He completely understands me now when he starts to misbehave and I say "Josiah, do you want to go sit on your chair?" He says, "no" and immediately turns the tears off. The first time he did this was just a few days ago, and it caught me off guard a bit at how quickly he understood. I think that has amazed me more than much he has learned and can understand and speak so soon at such a young age.
He is such a great boy! It is not a matter of him being "spoiled." It is merely him acting the only way he has ever known and having to re-learn new ways to interact with his new family. With this has come many tears from me and him, and some trying days spent in prayer, but we are learning and growing together. God is continually molding me and Aaron and our kids. He is opening our eyes to the reality of the life our son has had to live without a mom and a dad. But he is redeeming that lost time everyday as we push through the rough days.
It is challenging, but I am honored God chose us worthy to parent this precious boy! What a joy he and our girls are to us!


Michlyn said...

That sounds like a great idea! My little sister from Ethiopia 5 1/2, she will be 6 in 2 weeks and she is definitely a hand full. At first we also noticed that she was trying to get attention. But she has now been home 20 months, and is very comfortable with us. She can be hurtful (especially to my mom) and we've learned how to teach her better choices instead of raging.

It will take a long time for that trust to completely be seen, but we have faith in God and what He is doing in our lives!


Haley said...

thanks for sharing this stacy! you guys are doing an awesome job. keep pushing through... :)

Jodi said...

I met a friend of yours at our orthodontists office. We have 2 boys from Ethiopia who have been home for 9 months now. Congratulations on your growing family and praying your transition keeps going well. Even through the hard times - it is good, that is when there is growth in both child and parent! :)
Jodi @