Like I said, the kids did great in church but I just couldn't shake my nervousness. I was praying and asking God to help me shake it off, but the pit just continued to sit really hard in my stomach.
After church, we headed to Genghis Grill for lunch. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but it was so crowded and the line was really long and the kids were getting very tired. Ended up with some fussy kids. Nothing terrible at all, but just the reality that what you have been told a zillion times about adoption is true....kids are kids and they don't look at you and say, "Oh, thank you so much for saving me from the orphanage". Nope, they look at you and say, "I am hungry and you need to feed me now or I'm going to be a real pill bug at this lunch table". (;
I couldn't really eat too much lunch and I was on the verge of tears the entire day (and for the next two days). My family and my sweet friend, Lana, were with us and I was just trying to keep it together so as not to fall apart at the lunch table. I didn't want anyone to think that I was regretting our decision, because I wasn't, I was just completely overwhelmed, which surprised and frustrated me. I wanted to be able to snap out of it, and I just kept continually asking God to make my stomach settle down, cause that was the thing that was making everything worse. We finished lunch and headed home.
Looking back, I should have put the kids down for naps, but at the time, I thought that we should stay up so that everyone would be super tired and sleep really late and not wake up at 6:00 like they had that morning. Brian and Jim (my mom's husband and the kid's "Papa", whom they adore) took the kids outside to ride bikes and jump on the trampoline (the neighbor's trampoline is their favorite thing and we are grateful that they share it with us). We all just hung out and if I remember right it was pretty uneventful. I let Gatlin have her friend, Jessie, come over so that she could have a little of her "normal" around her.
My sweet family picked up Zaxby's for dinner and then by about 7:30 everyone was falling asleep. I made sure that the kids knew where the clocks were in their rooms and I told them that they were not allowed to get out of their beds until 7:00 (this is something we did with Coop and Gat when they were little and it worked very well). They all seemed to understand that. We said our prayers and our goodnights and gave our kisses.
The next morning, one of the kids (who will remain nameless) decided to get out of the bed before 7:00. This was done with lots of, "I'm sorry, Mommy" attached to it, but that made it more frustrating. I had probably only slept about four hours because of my stomach and I knew that the child knew that what they were doing was wrong, but they just wanted to test us. So, the morning started out a little rough. We survived it, and started getting ready for the doctor's appointments that were scheduled for the day.
I'll speak to the disobedience a little here. When Brian was in Ethiopia with them, there wasn't much he could do by way of discipline. I mean, in a foreign country, stuck in a hotel room, what are you supposed to do? You just kind of have to get through it. So, coming home to mom and the strictness that awaited them has been a very eye-opening experience. We are utilizing time outs and it is working very well. We are being very strict with "first time obedience" and are not allowing whining and begging (it was constant the first couple days). We are not allowing anyone to tell us "no", or anyone to say, "I love you, NO". Those are not allowed here and there is discipline given when those things are spoken (yelled) to/at us.
We also give a lot of love. We are hugging and kissing constantly. We are assuring them that they are safe with us and will not be taken back to the orphanage. I will tell anyone who has kids (whether natural or adopted) that the very best thing you can do is stand your ground with consistent discipline. Consequences for behavior. It is hard and it is tiring, but there is no better way to get the results you want, and no better way for your kids to feel safe and secure and loved. If you could see how much faster the turnarounds are now, you'd be amazed.
My sweet friend, Beth Krehbiel, also brought over cute little jars with colored ribbons on them (each child has their favorite color) that we are filling with marbles when they do a good thing like obey first time, or help clear the table, or whatever. Then marbles get taken away when they disobey. When the jars are full, they get a treat. They like the marble system and definitely respond to it. (Thanks, Beth!)
Ok - this seems long and boring. LOL Just giving you the play by play. I'll stop here and pick back up with the doctor visits on the next post.