– I don’t want to take a shower.
– Too bad. You have to.
– I do what I want!
– Actually you don’t.
– When I’m an adult can I do what I want? Do you do what you want?
– In theory adults can do what they want. But there are limitations. Common sense limitations, legal limitations. In this house we care for each other, we respect each other, and we act in love. So we, as adults, can do what we want, but in and out of love. If our actions offend others, or hurt them, we refrain from doing what we want…
– Ok. Let’s take a shower.
We decided and informed Jackie of our decision, to gather the trash we find in nature, and either take it to the trash can or collet it in garbage bags and bring it with us. Watch out: Kids are like an active conscience. On a trip to a beautiful island in France Jackie had just slipped and got stung by an anemone, and through sobs and tears she said, pointing at a wrapper trash between bushes: “you said we will pick up the trash from nature and take it to its proper place.” It may have been a distraction from the pain for her, but I stopped and followed through. I went and picked up the trash. And couldn’t help but smile.
– I want to play with this toy.
– Me too. I just picked it up myself.
– I want it now!
– I’ll give it to you in a few minutes.
– Mom said to take turns. MORE +
Spending 5 days in the mountains with kids, ages 1 to 12. Wild stuff. MORE +
We counted the days carefully and patiently. Jackie knew clearly all the details of our vacation: when, where, how long, with whom… I make a point to never lead her on, to be honest and always keep my word. MORE +
Certificate in hand, we are now endorsed to adopt again. Starting on the recertification journey was daunting. And yet here we are, more certain of the path; having a clear direction is a gift in itself. MORE +
For a while now I’ve been meaning to write about my perspective on parental anger.
We went for a visit to J’s former foster parents. And there she was. Colibry. J’s younger sister. A small girl, dressed in light colored garments with frills. I stretched my arms to hold her. My arms ached. She felt so heavy. My arms felt weak. As if they were made of led. But I held on. In my dream I made an conscious effort to not drop her. Then, there she was, snuggled next to my body. I felt such joy in my dream. And all of a sudden she was light. So easy to hold. I was surprised she was there. I couldn’t believe the wait to hold her was over.
I asked J. why she loves daddy: she had a long list for him. It was sweet to hear her recount them. As I kept prompting her to add to it she said “that’s enough!” with a side of eye rolling 🙄
If you are to give anything, give with joy, not begrudgingly, so it ca be received and be fruitful. That’s what says in the Bible. And it is good.
We wanted to name our first daughter Faith. We moved across the world in faith. God was and always is faithful.