Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Peanuts, anyone?

Do you ever have those days when you just look around ‘yourself’ and think what is this? What is the purpose of all this? What am I doing? Am I making any difference to anyone? Well, if not, take comfort that someone probably has. And, that someone was me today.
I can’t really put my finger on when things started going awry. Slowly, but steadily, the kids have begun a steady decline in misbehaving. Don’t get me wrong, we have amazing kids and they are very tender-hearted. But, sometimes actions don’t follow the heart. Sometimes everyone’s flesh gets the best of them.
Maybe actions went downhill when things went crazy last fall, maybe it was when we moved in whirlwind speed, maybe it’s when their Daddy started working away from home…who knows? All I know is that this cycle needs to stop. Yes, I do discipline and talk things through and try to reason with our children. I give warnings and I’m stern, probably more often than not. People probably do look at me and think, ‘Give the kid a break.’ But you see, as a Mama, I want more for my babies than that. I want them to be better than that. And while I want them to be kids- my desire is for them to be extraordinary kids…in their own, individual extraordinary ways!
So, today was a day when I had to give out some hard discipline. It killed my heart, the toughness I knew was necessary, but it made me cry. Our bio kids all cry when there’s a ‘fallen comrade.’ So, today one was crying because of the discipline and the others were crying out of sympathy. After everyone saw me crying, the mood lightened a little and we were able to talk about why I need to give discipline. Why I cannot let them behave badly and give in to their flesh. Why I love them enough to help them reign in their ‘flesh’, even if it means temporary unpleasantness. (All this was over a spanking so no need for your mind to wander…)
When all the hugs and kisses were given and hearts were mended, our little African guy said this out of the blue: ‘My mom in Africa sells peanuts and charcoal.’ I thought to myself, “Ok…..where did this come from?” I very softly and kindly inquired how he knew that and if he had a memory of when he lived with his mom. He said, “No, but I remember the day she and my dad came and got me out of the orphanage so you could adopt me. They brought me back to the house and it was night and it was raining. Two men came to the door and one had an umbrella and one didn’t. The one man asked my mom if there was any charcoal left to buy and she said no. Then I looked in the kitchen and there was a small shelf there with peanuts all on it. There were more peanuts all around the room. There was a lot of peanuts there, my mom gave me some. I like peanuts, they’re pretty good.’
My heart sank. About a month ago, he randomly asked me to get him peanuts when I went to the store next. I forgot about it and just recently, while shopping, I saw peanuts and thought of his request. So, without really thinking about it, I threw them in the basket and gave them to him when I came home. He gladly accepted them, had them for a snack and went on his way. Now, you need to know that bonding with this little guy has been a very slow go and not very easy. He’s very nervous and has a hard time with any hugs or closeness that lasts more than 5 seconds. Even standing too close to him or sitting near him sends him into a nervous, itching fit. When he told me this story about the peanuts tonight, I wanted to cry all over again. God just showed me that this little guy sees me as his mom too, and all he wanted was peanuts to make that a comfortable transition. Wow…I guess there is a purpose in what I’m doing and I just might be making a difference in these little one’s lives.