Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Good and the HARD . . .

While there were many sweet moments about today, it has been a hard day! This morning we started out by going back and making Journey's adoption official. It was the highlight of my day! 
Journey has waited so long and she is such a sweet sweet girl. She has stayed with me and does what is right! She is so easy to love.
Kendall has the smile that melts your heart, yet her strong will and actions are over the top. I need much prayer on how to proceed with her. She doesn't listen, turns everything into a game, she thinks a smile and giggle makes it all okay.
I know much of what I'm seeing is insecurity. Kendall's actions have become much worse since Journey's arrival.

I knew that this would not be easy and I am not complaining. If you have some advice or suggestions I am open to what you have to say. Please pray that I will have the wisdom to meet both girls needs.

I have been trying to praise Kendall for the positive things so that she doesn't get her reinforcement from negative actions!  
We walked to the Trust-mart to get a few things for today. Bowls to cook noodles in, a swimsuit for Kendall, and flip flops for the pool as well as some water guns!
The girls loved the pool. We spent 21/2 hours letting them play. A family leaving tomorrow passed on their swim toy to us! So...sweet. The girls really enjoyed having this to play with!

Tomorrow we head to the police station to get Journey's passport photo. Other than that...the days is ours.


  1. It sounds like you have a good understanding of why Kendall is doing what she is doing. Be firm but loving and have a consequence for her negative actions, such as lose a privilege, like pool time. You can also have your guide explain to her, again, that adoption means that you are a family together and that family members need to be loving and kind to each other and remember to treat others as one would like to be treated. Have the guide explain that what she is doing is unkind. Again stress to her that no matter what, you are all a family now and even when she acts very naughty, she is still your daughter for always, but that you hope she will choose to behave. You should also mention, alone to her (all of this would be best mentioned without her sister looking on), that you understand how hard it is to be adopted and how brave she is and that you understand how hard it is to share you with a sister when she's had you all to herself for a week. Continue to praise her positive behavior.

    It's definitely not easy, but it looks like you are doing well.

    You mentioned your lack of cooking skills and I hope you are exaggerating. These girls are used to fresh food, low salt and fat, which we all know if very healthy. Since they may need to catch up a bit nutritionally from lack and/or variety, be sure you make a HUGE effort to feed them balanced meals that include plenty of calcium sources, not just dairy, so that their bones will be healthy.

  2. As you said, these difficult times are to be expected, but that doesn't make them any easier. Praying for wisdom for you. I think you should be firm on one or two (or however many you need to) boundaries and then just do your best to survive the rest (if that involves bribing, then so be it). You will have YEARS with these girls to iron out the details. The first order of business is to help them to learn to love you and make it home in one piece where you will (hopefully) have a support system. This is just off the top of my head and may be off the wall, so take it or leave it. Praying for you and the girls!

  3. As I type this, you are hopefully sleeping! Poor Kendall! And, poor Mama! She is testing you, big time! She "had you" first and she's probably trying to see if you're still going to love her, now that there's a "new" daughter in the picture. I think the reinforcing her good behaviors is right, but stay on top of her when it comes to misbehaving. When she starts acting out, if it's possible, take her away from everyone and hold her. She won't understand a word you say, but she will understand that love! One word that I'm sure she Does know is "No"! If you can address her behaviors with just the two of you, it will avoid embarrassing both of you. I know it's not always possible to take her aside when you are with a group of people, but you can at least give her "the look"! That's universal with kids! =)
    You should talk to your Guide and ask her to explain what is and isn't acceptable and have her sit and share the rules with Both girls, so Kendall doesn't feel singled out.
    Vicky, you are admirable for being Obedient to God and what He tells us about caring for the Orphan! It is NOT easy and you can bet that the dev*l is going to be coming at you left and right! I will be lifting you in prayer and stand in agreement that he leaves you alone, in Jesus Name! I wish I was there to give you a big hug! I'm so glad that your sister traveled with you. I'm sure she is a huge help.
    One thing I know for sure is that Love will help you overcome every single obstacle you come across! So, my friend, just keep loving on your new daughters and know that someone is praying for you! I really hope we can stay in touch once you get home. I'd love to be an Honorary Aunt to Kendall and Journey!
    Here's to hoping for a better day for Miss K and that you will make many fond memories of these last days in Ch*na! Love in Him! ~ Jo

  4. 1stly, Vicky you sound like you are doing great!

    My only thoughts are....perhaps focus on yourself. Thinking back on my journey with Ping & Lukai (in China & home).
    I neglected the importance of filling up my own emotional bank account (prayer/quiet time for myself), in the effort to focus all of myself on them. The result was that I ran emotionally dry during their outlandish negative behavior.

    So much of their behavior will get beter in time all on it's own (takes some presure of yourself in the 'how do I parent through this correctly' moments)

    But make sure you are 'topped up' with whatever fills you up emotionally and spiritually. Remember the airplane analogy (Put the oxygen mask on yourself 1st...child 2nd)

    Things I should have done in China with my travel companion : Gone for a work out alone, or a walk alone around the block for 30 minutes with praise / worship mp3's (just some hindsight!) LOL

  5. I'm still working on this, Vicky! It takes time to trust and we literally bought 2 of everything at first - even the same birthday cake as one dd counted everything and compared. One was very easy - and the other was very irritating - because she had been completely unparented. Everything was evaluated and assessed for fairness, etc. Now home 10 weeks, both girls are just starting to think of each other as sisters. Much of the parenting won't happen consistently until you're home in your familiar surroundings. Just do the best you can while traveling. She will need you more once she's home. Praying for you!

  6. We saw some of the behaviors you're describing. After a long time, I realized that they were coping mechanisms. As our daughter began to trust us and feel safe, the behaviors went away. Still strong-willed, though! Must be in the Huainan water. :) I don't know what would have helped us then. Maybe just to know not to take it personally and that it will get better! "The Connected Child" book mentions "be a good boss." As in, kind, but firmly in charge. Being the adult means they get to be a kid and not have to control a situation because they learn that you will. Strength and peace to you!

  7. In my opinion (not that I know a whole lot) I imagine that for the older children it does all seem like a fantastic game. What expectations do they have really, but that this is some Disney-like cruise lifestyle. You need time and consistency. It sounds like you are doing a fantastic job. Just keep spending time touching, loving and making eye contact. At some point, the breakthrough will happen. Be encouraged Vicky, God will give you all the wisdom you need on how to handle every situation. For us, Lily's willingness to always comply was unsettling. On the outside it seemed great, but all I saw was a two year old going through the motions. For us consistency and time was the cure. Praying for you. :)

  8. The girls don't know how to swim, do they? I don't know how they would. They look pretty confident in the pool.

  9. Vicky Hello, and know that I am praying for you! I know how hard it is:) You are doing great, and I think some of the best advice......if possible, is to fill up your tank! I neglected this for too long, and nearly broke yesterday. A long walk, and time in the word, and a good cry, and a long talk with the Lord, made today a whole lot better:) Hang in there, and remember who you are working for:) much love and prayers to you and for you!

  10. Oh Vicky!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How did I miss this!!!! Oh my gosh, your girls are just beautiful! I have now caught up and it looks like things have gotten better. Praise the Lord! I an SO happy for you dear friend and now you are almost home!!!!