it has been twenty-two days since the girls moved in…at times it feels like they have always lived with us and at other times it feels like it was just yesterday that they came. we went and picked them up on sunday afternoon, five days before christmas. at first we thought that they had so much stuff but now, three weeks later we have come to realize that they had accumulated a lot of junk from living in many different places.
i am not exactly sure how “confidential” to be when talking about them and yet i know that many of you want to know what is happening in our lives and are praying for us. with all that in mind, for now i am just going to nickname them…”a” (who is seven), “b” (who is four) and “c” (who is two) plus of course, addy (who is one)! it’s quite a houseful and although i am adjusting pretty well (coming from a family of eight), honestly it is christian that amazes me sometimes. i can’t imagine how much there is to learn going from an only child to getting married and having four children in two years, but he is hanging in there and he is swimming. although i am sure he would rather not be compared to this story…it makes me think of the mouse that was dropped into a pitcher of cream and kept swimming and swimming until he turned that cream into butter and managed to crawl out. and yes, i did just compare my husband to a mouse.
it’s rarely quiet around here until around eight at night and then it is oh, so peaceful. we are first of all blessed with good sleepers. c goes down first at 7 or 7:30 and falls asleep in her own toddler bed without a sound. then a and b follow at 7:30 or 8 (they share a room with two twin beds). after hugs, stories, hugs, prayers, hugs, kisses and a couple more hugs, they stay in bed and fall asleep. i plug their nightlight in, remind them that they are not allowed to come out and i shut their door. then i give addy a bottle and a moment of quietness and put her to bed in the same room as c (and since c is sound asleep by then, if addy does cry it still doesn’t wake c up). addy actually sleeps the least, from around 8p to 7 or 8a. a and b wake up around 7:30 or 8a. our sleepyhead is c, who i usually open her door to start waking up around 9a! i realize you are all quite jealous right about now, but i really think the lord knew that with everything, we were going to at least need sleep.
however, they talk a lot. and sometimes i forget and i just let them talk and then my head is ringing and i feel exhausted and then i remember that they are sinning with their mouths even if they aren’t saying anything “bad.” they argue a lot too and they correct adults without even blinking an eye because no one took the time to teach them that adults need to be treated differently, with respect, not like a peer.
but they love to learn. they soak up everything you take the time to show them. they were excited to learn how to unload the dishwasher. they want chores and to help in the kitchen. they think folding laundry and making the beds and setting the table and sweeping the floor is fun and exciting and a privilege.
and then the pouting comes and the tantrums and the throwing and kicking. they haven’t been restrained. they haven’t been told “no.” they used to make their own decisions like what to eat for breakfast and what to watch on the television. they don’t necessarily want a bunch of “grown-ups” running the house and acting different. they are offended when they are treated differently because they don’t see themselves as the kids and us as the parents.
yet they are soaking up the bible. we simply speak biblical truths to them everyday, over and over. we are working hard on not making it about us and we are trying not to discipline the external symptoms. we made a chart that has “god” on the top, “mom and dad” in the middle and “kids” on the bottom. we remind them everyday that god has commanded them in the bible to obey their parents and that when they do, they are obeying him also since we are obeying god. we try not to say “don’t correct me because it hurts my feelings” and instead say, “the bible tells children to obey their parents in ephesians and colossians and since we obey the bible in this house, that means you must obey us.”
some days go by and before i know it, it’s bedtime and they haven’t had a single issue. other days they are all in their beds at 6:30p with a couple books and christian and i are in the living room, just sitting on the sofa wondering what we got ourselves into. tuesday night to wednesday morning and friday night to saturday morning are the hardest because of something called visitations. the hoops, the hurdles and the red tape of fostering a child is…daunting, intense and somewhat ridiculous.
and while right now, there are moments when i think we aren’t making a single difference in their lives i am reminded and gently rebuked by a scripture that my mom sent me –
galatians 6: 7-9
do not be deceived, god is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. for he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the spirit will of the spirit reap everlasting life. and let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.
p.s. i am completely aware that sentences should never start with: for, and, nor, but, or, yet, so…i did get an a+ in english composition…i just don’t care anymore. i have way too many other things on my mind. 🙂
my laundry piles the first week they were here…i think it ended up being five or six loads
how seven suitcases ended up being this much clothing that fit or was appropriate, i have no idea
we tried to have them sit on santa’s lap…it did not work. b was excited the entire time in the line and then took one look at him and said, “i do not want to sit on his lap.” addy and c wailed until christian and i held them. only a was excited…the others look like we traumatized them. :-/
at least he gave them books that they loved reading outside the mall while christian waited in line to pay a million dollars for that stunning previous picture.
we made sugar cookies and played the wii during the week since it was christmas vacation!
we celebrated on christmas’ eve’s eve with grandma and grandpa burtt
(i know, addy is thrilled in this picture)
we went to burbank on christmas eve with friends that we grew up with and are pretty much family
we wore matching christmas jammies from auntie sarah and set out cookies and milk and oatmeal (for the reindeer) because besides being scarred for life by seeing santa at the mall, i guess they were actually still excited to get presents. 🙂
we even got bikes and really cool toys because god always provides in random ways!
we went up north (night time driving, baby) and spend a week at grammie and pops klein’s house along with dora and spencer (who was waiting for his mommy and daddy to bring home his new baby sister!).
sacramento train museum
bedtime rituals (i know, i know…another thrilled picture of addy!)
we even went to truckee to play in the snow, where we all had a blast (can’t you tell?)
oh and rode the gondola and played with uncle andrew and uncle timothy and finally crashed on the way home.
i have a few more picture, but they are still on my camera and it is getting late. we were also able to meet emma nichole klein, my beautiful new niece who i could not snuggle enough while we were there. i will try to post those also when i get the chance!
but until then, be blessed!