"Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.
Remind me that my days are numbered--how fleeting my life is.
You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.
My entire lifetime is just a moment to you;
at best, each of us is but a breath."
We are merely moving shadows,
and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.
We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it.
And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?
My only hope is in you.
Rescue me from my rebellion.
Do not let fools mock me."
My prayer for each of you is to remember to do what God calls you to do. We are not promised a tomorrow. Today is the "present". Give the gift to someone who does not know Jesus. Don't wait if He has called you to adopt. It could be a life changing thing for everyone in your life, but truly to the child you adopt. If you are not called to adopt, you are called to care for the orphans so please consider helping someone who is in need of funds or belongings for a child they are being blessed with. You cannot take it with you.
So much has happened since the last post. Some real good; and some not so much. I don't want to be like so many blogs out there who tell how great and wonderful everything is at home. We have our days and weeks where things go along great. Then, out of the blue, it is like a train crash. I am not always sure what causes it to happen, but we never can live a perfect life.
I have heard it said kids come home in one of two ways: Either the parents have a honeymoon stage, or a “LOOK OUT!” stage. My best friend adopted a boy last year and it went real good for the first six months, then little things started coming out. He didn't understand that parents are there to guide and teach children how to live fruitful lives. He got saved a couple of weeks ago. WOW! What a different kid. He seems to have had a real heart change. It is so cool to see these changes in him. I am looking forward to the day when the girls ask the Lord to come into their life; and they see how good He is.
We came home from Atlanta; and Christopher came home two days later. He has decided to live with us for his senior year to save some money. The girls love having two big brothers. And since we came home from Minnesota, Justin has moved back to Mississippi, which could not have made Kristina any happier. My parents kept the girls this summer while I worked; and they had the best time out at their house. For two girls, you would not believe all the toys, and baby dolls, and baby doll stuff. I guess that is what grandparents are to do, though, is spoil them; and send them home. Right?!?! Well, Mom, if you are reading this... NO!! You can just love them; and make me happy by not buying out the stores. They have become very American very quickly. One day we were driving by a store and Kristina saw a baby bouncer seat outside and of course it was, “Mama, please for me. Baby doll needs it.” Me, “No, she does not.” Her, “Yes, she does.” Me, “No!” Her, “Fine! Then I will ask Grandma. She loves me and will get for me.” I hated telling my mom she could not get them anything else. Then, one night at church, we went early to get ice cream. I was speaking to a lady; and Karen blurts out, “What did she buy us for our party? I don't remember her, Mom.” I wanted to crawl under the table. (Out of the mouths of babes, huh?) I will tell everyone who is thinking of adopting, or in the process of it, if your friends want to give you a shower have them do so before you go. Or, if after you come home, make it a day just for you, instead. Let dad keep them and you go have cake and enjoy. But don't come home and give them everything at one time. Give few things at first. Let them get used to them. Then a little more. The truth of the matter is at this point in life they have more than they ever had and don't know how to play with it all. I guess when you come from nothing it is easy to want everything you see. I try not to take them to the store with me. At times it can become downright embarrassing.
On the English and school front... We got all registered at school the first day the offices were open, so I thought we were set to go. I had been in to the district office last February and made some pre-arrangements to make sure they were ready for us. The Friday before school started we went to meet the teachers; and I will just tell you Karen's 3rd grade room was great. The teacher had done a great job. She seems like a very nice lady who truly wants the best for her kids. I joked with Karen that she could go to work for me; and I would come to school. She didn't think that was such a good idea. After we finished there we went to Kristina's school. Her’s was not the same experience that Karen had. As a matter of fact, I would rate it as in the top ten worst days of her life. They had not put her in the fourth grade as we had previously discussed, back in February. Nor did they have her registered in fifth grade. So, off we head to the office to see what was up. We were told we needed to speak to the principal. I said that would be fine, but that I needed answers and I needed them that day, as we were not going home without meeting our new teacher. When the principal did finally come to the office she stated that Kristina was not coming to her school as she was not sure how to teach her; and that she didn't need any problems. (My perception was that she really was saying, “I don't want her because she will bring down the schools’ overall results on state testing). Well, I wanted to tell her it was not her school. That it was mine and all the other taxpayers; and that she would not be Kristina’s teacher.
My tax dollars pay for people to teach Kristina, not for the principal to do the job herself. I did tell her later in the day that there are about 400 ELL students in the district; and they come from 38 different countries; and they all have the right to get an education. She sent us to the district office, who of course had no idea I was coming. I had spoken to a man on the telephone the day prior who had asked me if I wanted him to look into another class room setting they had. It would be much smaller, offering more one on one instruction. I said I would be interested in getting some more info. He said he would check to confirm if they still had openings and get back to me by 1:30 that afternoon. I never heard back from him, so at 4:00 pm I called and left a message for him. Still never heard back, so I thought it was not going to work out. When we got to the district office to go look at the program, I knew walking in the door that it was not for us, but I sat, and listened. Then, I spoke with the principal; and together we decided this was not the program for her. First, she had never been in trouble in the schools. And, second, she would have had to work independently. I guess the fact she had only had been in the U.S. for all of eleven weeks at the time and could not speak nor read English was not supposed to have been a problem?!?! They intended to give her assignments, then she would supposedly have gone to a PC to research info to do the work. One minor problem, though, if you can't read English you cannot do this. Plus, the program has no ELL teacher coming to that school. So, back to the district we went. I know they were as tired of seeing me as I was of seeing them, but at the end of the day we got a great teacher in the fifth grade! I think Kristina will do great things this year.
Throughout the day she would say, “Mama, me no be problem" I go back Kiliya; and it be okay.” I immediately responded, “NO! It would not be OK; and you are not the problem. The problem is the people who don't listen early on. You are my daughter. GOD gave you to me to love, teach, and guide.” That night, just before bed, I was sitting in the living room in my chair; and she came, and got on my lap, and hugged me. In her broken English she said, "Mama, thank you for fight me for. I love you." I think I heard fireworks off in the distance. It was the first time she came and hugged me that way. I hope it was a day that showed Kristina Mom knew what she was talking about. I never dreamed that when we were buying school clothes, lunch boxes, and school supplies, that she had no idea what we were talking about, and that she really did need to learn English like Mom & Dad had said. Since that night her English has taken off, which is a blessing.
Both girls go to an after school program so they can visit with their friends and get some extra help with homework. The first Friday I went to pick up Kristina she was telling her friends, “Bye!” and, “See ya tomorrow.” When I told her she did not come on Saturday or Sunday she started to cry, “Yes, me come pleasssse, Mama. Me come to see me friends.” So after picking up Karen and talking about this for forty-five minutes, God gave me an idea: as I drove by the church there was no one there as it was 5:00pm. I pulled into the lot; and we got out of the car. She asked what we are doing. I said I wanted to go to church to see my friends. We walk to the door; and of course they were locked. It is a good thing I can make tears easy! I said, “I want to see my friends, but they are not here!!” She put her hand on my shoulder and said, "Mom, you can see them on Sunday. Jesus house is closed". Then, the light bulb came on; and she said to me, “You knew no one here. This not funny,” but it did work! Hehehe!! I love when I sit and listen to what GOD wants me to hear.
School has been in session for two weeks; and both girls seem to be doing good. Praise the Lord for that!
Until next time, remember to share your faith with someone. Everyone will spend eternity somewhere; and it should be in heaven.