It is easy to love the people far away. It is not always easy to love those close to us. It is easier to give a cup of rice to relieve hunger than to relieve the loneliness and pain of someone unloved in our own home. Bring love into your home for this is where our love for each other must start. -Mother Teresa

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Winter Hosting Day 16

Today was a terrible day and today was a wonderful day.

Today was exhausting and today was encouraging.

Today was a day of frustration and today was a day of breakthroughs.

Today I picked a battle that at one point, I was sure would kill us all.

Today no one lost that battle...or died....or even has scars.

I woke up to this. 

N2 has some amazing braiding skills! 

The battle begins: we get to the skate rental and BAM! N1 is literally on the floor wailing while N2 is shut down with arms crossed. I am like, "Ummmmm, What just happened?" It takes me a minute to figure out that they wanted in-line skates instead of roller skates. Instead of telling me, this is their reaction. I have to be honest, I am angry...and getting angrier by the minute. Seriously? On the floor throwing a fit like a toddler when you are a teenager??? I help Jo put on her skates and I put on mine. I gently ask the girls to join us but eventually just skate off. I come back occasionally but still zero response (well, not zero...each dug a little deeper into their positions) Please note they are doing this in front of the skate rental counter so the employee working and everyone renting skates gets free tickets to the show. Some even offer advice. Yeah, it was awesome. Did I mention that I am getting really angry???

Thankfully the other two families we met are also hosting or have adopted from hosting. They understand and have been trained in the Eastern European Orphan Pout. (Seriously, this is a real thing. It should have a Wikipedia page.) They both make an attempt that doesn't work but also doesn't fail...and it moves this drama over a few feet to a bench and off the floor in front of the rental area. We are now heading into 30+ minutes of this. I have texted my husband about how I am going to stay here until 9:30 when the rink closes: if they girls are going to refuse to skate and just sit there crying, I am going to win through time. (Because you know, that is mature: we all suffer). I am torn between helping half my girls have fun and dealing with the half who are in melt-down-mode. Close to the hour mark, I ask Nancy her advice. (This is humbling to ask parenting advice from your 11-year old.) She says, "Just tell them you love them. I think they are scared." I go over, and simply say, "(insert name here)I love you. (Insert name here) I love you. I want to do what is best for you but I don't understand what is happening. You have refused to speak to me so I can't figure out what is wrong." I have their immediate attention and no more wailing/crying! I point to one and do her exaggerated pouting/shut down/arms crossed. I point to the other and do her exaggerated flailing and wailing. that a smile. I repeat, "I love you. You need to use your words. I will help if I can but I don't know what you need. Use words." N2 almost immediately says, "Mama, I want inline skate." I say, "Oh, okay. Those cost more money. I will give you the money and you need to take care of it yourself." I hug her and kiss her as she practically dances off. (I feel manipulated not successful.)  N1 just stares me down holding out her hand for money. I remind her, "Use your words." She continues to stare but I see her considering returning to her tantrum. So I once again say, "Use your words." This time I model what I want, "Mama, may I..." She takes the cue and asks. Hug and kisses...and off she goes to nervously exchange the skates. I need a drink...and a nap! (and to possible have a screaming cry too!) 

The rest of the day is smiles even when fallling down. 

N1 doesn't just skate she dances her heart out. 

Nancy is happy to have everyone happy. Here she is doing the Hokey Pokey and just thrilled I am photographing it. 

Train song! 

These two don't need any big kids! 

3 hosting/former host families. 

These three are from two different countries each with a different national language but they still have a common foreign language that they speak: Russian. Is it crazy to anyone else that people in other countries know 2-3 languages when we barely seem to be able to use our English grammar correctly???? 

The littles doing their own thing again. 

These other host mamas have loved on our girls. How wonderful it is to have adults who love on your kids and your kids enjoy talking to! Remember that all of these kids have adults in their lives who are paid to be there...and they have to share them with every other child in the orphanage. Loving adults who ask questions, listen to your answers, and offer encouragement are one of the benefits to hosting! Personally I am so thankful to have other moms who understand how difficult hosting can me! 

In the end, we went home better than we started. The negative behavior was a sign that they aren't just on their best behavior anymore....they are starting to test and possibly trust us. I know this is the tip of the iceberg...that the future holds years of this sort of thing. So pray for us and feel free to remind me of Phillipians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

1 comment:

  1. Here are my thoughts. And remember, these are only my thoughts. But I wanted to share them.
    You have no idea really what these two sisters have gone through in their lives. Hosting families are just that. Hosts of children who have not had the same privileges of love, happiness, wants obtained, food, warmth, education, etc that your own children have had in your own home. They aren't toddlers who can be somewhat molded into their new life. It's going to take a lot of time. A lot of patience, a lot of tears for them to know they are safe. And a teen throwing a tantrum in a roller rink? Who cares. Who cares what others are thinking? You owe those strangers nothing. You owe the girls something. And that is time. It will get better. It won't always be fun, but it will get better. I only know a sick child...which in a way is similar to this. Living in a new environment with new people must be just as hard as fighting for your life. Stay positive.