Friday, September 28, 2012

Fall Update

I was blessed to be able to go to the Empowered to Connect Conference a few weeks ago.  It was a luxury to be able to sit and listen without trying to solve a problem or resolve a conflict.  I walked away with so many great suggestions for both my adopted kids and my bio kids.  I think that Karen Purvis is amazing.  Some of my take-aways:

Motivation:  Motivation influences expectaion.  Be able to answer the question..."Why did you adopt me?"  

Saying "yes":  By the time a bio kid is 2, they have heard yes 1000's of times.  Yes, I will feed you.  Yes, I will change you.  Yes, I will hold you.  These yes's give no meaning.  Find ways to say yes.

Voice:  Tone, volume, and body language is 97% of communication.  Kids often don't even hear the words.  (Big for me and my teenagers....)

Going to the conference, has made me think even more about adoption than I normally do.  When you make brownies from mix the eggs, flour, sugar, and vanilla.  You bake in a heated oven for about a half hour.  Voila!  A yummy dessert.  However, you can't "unbake the brownies," if you  then need the eggs.  I have noticed that kids are not too dissimilar.  Adopted kids, particularly.  It can be hard, if not impossible to tell if a behavior (i.e friendliness) or fear (i.e. of babysitter) is an adoption related issue.  Or is it personality.  Or is it a function of a good fit in family.   Is it some past trauma or life experience?  Why do some kids have a really difficult time transitioning when others don't?  I don't have any answers.  Just wondering.  Truly, I think that this is also true of bio kids, too.  If you have a rambunctious boy born into a girly girl family....the fit may be an on-going work in progress where as if that same baby had been born into a family of all boys, he may not even be seen as rambunctious.  Recently we had our social worker visit and again, she and I were talking about this specifically.  Is everything going well because I expect so little?   My social worker laughed.  We will never know because we can't "unbake the brownies."

All this to say...we are good.  Really good and blessed.  I am still tired.  But we are good.  Efa and I are taking a Mommy and Me art class.  Bella has started kindergarten and loves it.  Zach is juggling soccer and school.  Eliza is working on her college applications.  Andrew is busy as his fraternity president and his classes.  Hmmm.....maybe this is why I am tired:)  
Mommy and Me Art Class.

Bella getting some last minute instruction from Eliza.

Playing soccer against a big brother (love how much a size difference there is and yet how determined Efa is).

First day of kindergarten for Bella.

Going to work with daddy.


Bonnie Nieuwstraten said...

First of all....glad you're doing well!! And SO happy for you that you got to go to 'Empowered to Connect.' Dave heard Karen at Orphan Summit a few years ago, and ever since then he's been saying, "We have to be generous with our YES!" I really agree with you - hearing good speakers or reading good books about adoption always make me a better parent to all my kids!! I have been wrestling with the "is this an adoption issue or a behavior issue or just a personality issue' for a while now. It's tough, and I think Karen's materials are some of the best!

Kameron said...

I just LOVE seeing him in your family!!!!

scooping it up said...

great update! love to check in on you guys