Survival Skills

Minutes after publishing the last post about how hard things have been around here, we had a few more firsts and a few more tragedies.

Did you know our eyeballs can bleed?  Yep, learned it about 4 hours after my post about the wheels coming off.  Little did I know…

It had been a hard day for Elam.  He gets in trouble, a LOT.  I was trying to spend extra time with him reading in bed while Brian read to XS in the living room.  XS came in for more books and Elam wanted to share his Lightning McQueen book with him.  So he tossed it down from the top bunk.

He had a shiner the next day.  Sad face.

He had a shiner the next day. Sad face.

His eye immediately filled with tears and blood.  I yelled for Brian to grab the roll of paper towels while XS screamed like a very annoyed, pterodactyl in pain.

We checked his eye as best we could and decided against the ER.  We were seeing the doctor the next day for shots.  Oh goody.

He actually did ok with the shots but continued to tell us about getting shots with sign language (imagine his clenched fists jamming into his thighs over and over again with an ‘ow’ accompanying said sign language.)


I think we watched “Planes” about 3-4 times this week.

The weather has also decided to take a turn for the worse.  Cold, rainy, windy.  And I chose this week to practice no naps in preparation for a school schedule that requires earlier waking times and picking up Calista from her bus.  Currently, XS is asleep when I need to go pick her up.

Let’s just say the no nap thing wasn’t a good idea.  We had a challenging week of one tired, overwhelmed little boy.

We watched movies.  We went out to eat.  Twice.  We also had grandparents overnight on consecutive nights.  This ensured that I got 2 projects done.  It was very liberating to actually finish something!

We also had babysitters this week: 2 teenage sisters, one of whom was adopted herself recently enough to remember having a hard time with change.  She does so well with the 2 boys I am amazed at her.  And her older sister is a WHIZ with kids.

He requests the Bible regularly now!

He requests the Bible regularly now!

We are slowly teaching XS English, but also about Jesus.  It is interesting to do this when his language isn’t developing quite as fast as we talk!  But he loves this Bible and he loves to remind us to pray around the table.  We say “shie-shie Jesus” and “yay God!” and he seems to get it, at least partially.


this one just wouldn’t be edited to face the right way but it’s too cute to not post!

One day I was delighted to find XS reading in his bunk and Elam up above, quietly enjoying books himself.  These are the moments that help us survive the tough ones!





{ So I just took XS to the bathroom.  After XS went to the bathroom, he gently tore one square of TP off the roll, the rolled up the extra that was hanging down too far.  Then he gently put the lid down.  I don’t know if many of you adults out there could have done your business with so much class and silence. }


I will in closing say that 2 things have helped me get through (and will continue I hope) these dog days of summer, approaching husband getting busy at work and big kids heading off to school days:

1. I asked for advice and help this week.  We had babysitters and I shopped alone on Tuesday and it felt as if I had just returned from Tahti, after one simple hour alone.  I.was.a.machine.  I also emailed friends who had adopted and asked about sleep, discipline and tantrums over what seems to me to be silly things.

2. BOOKS.  I am a bibliophile.  Look next to my bed and you’ll see piles of books.  This week, I have finished 2 on adoption and have a pile left for the rest of this weekend and the 3 days Brian will be in Bemidji kicking off their school year of outreach.

Thank You Lord for the library down the street!

Thank You Lord for the library down the street!

When I read, I am reminded of just all the changes, challenges and hurts that XS has faced to be with us.  We may get some honor and praise right now for adopting him and parenting him, but I see him as the true hero.  He is so patient with us.  He listens to us and learns words and language.  He eats my food, no matter how many noodles get stuck to the wok.  He tries my mom’s orzo salad with balsamic vinegar.  He walks into the Y and wears socks so I can go sweat out my frustrations.  He endures Elam’s smacks to the face, back and car seat.  He deals with Calista’s LOUD renditions of “let it go” and even joins in sometimes.  He cheerfully says, “bye-bye” to numerous friends and families who come and go when he doesn’t know when he’ll see them again. He is amazing!

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