The boys are starting to become comfortable and transitioned here. The kind of comfortable where you run through the house in your underwear screaming like a banshee, run through the front door and out the back door without closing either one, and are vocal about the incredible dislike of the dinner I just spent 2 hours preparing. (Could do without that last one.) They’ve had a more difficult time adjusting than our other kids have in the past, but at least we seem to be settling into a routine.
They’ve fully recovered from any honeymoon period (in fact, looking back I’d say it lasted somewhere around 24 hours.) and are testing us whenever they get the chance. Jae is the more passive aggressive of the two. He listens really well and is relatively calm, but then mutters mean things to his brother or to us under his breath. All in all, if you met him you wouldn’t probably even know he was dealing with any of this. It’s mostly at night that it all surfaces. There are tears and questions.
Such hard questions.
Why are we here? When do we go home? Why can’t I see my mom right now?
Zee is dealing with this all in a completely different manner. (Said ‘banshee’ is his preferred way of expressing himself.) When we discipline him (‘cool down time’, time in his room, holding hands when he won’t listen in public, duck taping his mouth shut – i KID, i KID) he gets very angry. He escalates quickly and yells at Brian and I. He covers his ears and refuses to listen to what we have to say. This is easier to deal with at home, but when we’re at the store or park and he starts yelling at us, it gets a little more difficult. At the store this weekend he tried to run away from Brian when he tried to discuss his attitude with him.
The major issues are a combination of all of the stuff they are going through right now, and the fact that when they lived at home they had absolutely no structure, no rules, no consequences, no authority figure. none. at. all. They did what they wanted, when they wanted. So all of this is foreign to them. Listening, choices, consequences – they are having to learn to think about their actions before doing them, and that’s gonna take some time.
The difficulty is in the feeling that I am walking on a very fine line. Offering grace in knowing what they are going through, while also enforcing consequences so that they can learn to function in a healthy family. This balance seems so difficult at times.
So we discipline. And we are consistent. But in our discipline we always are reminding them that no matter how they behave, no matter what they do, our love for them will not change. We will love them no matter what. Also reminding them that the reason for consequences is because we love them. Even when Zee is covering his ears, I hope this gets through. L.O.V.E. unconditional. consistent. clear. love. Slowly we are watching their hearts unfurl. Slowly they are trusting us.
In every bedtime prayer with them we pray that their family be restored, but in the meantime that they feel safe and secure here. They pray every evening to get to see their mom (which STILL has not happened since they’ve moved – but all that for another post.).
These boys are sweet. We love them. I hope they know that.