“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress…”

James 1:27

Our cell phone number in Ukraine is: +38 097 828 9477. We are 8 hours ahead of Texas time. We can receive text but cannot send them. You can also reach us by email at joniredding@hotmail.com.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

1st Week!

We are surviving!  I'm just taking it day by day or it's too overwhelming.  The kids have been adjusting really good.  It is just so constant.  I have to know where they are and what they are doing every second.  I have to keep a really close eye on the kitchen because they like to eat all the time.  As soon as I look away, one of them grabs something they aren't supposed to have.  Alex asks me for food all day long.  He mostly wants sweets but he also asks for bananas and juice constantly. He had one huge screaming tantrum the other day which all of our neighbors heard.  I can't believe he can scream so loud.  It started when he didn't get to do something that he wanted to do.  It lasted about 15 minutes but it seemed like forever.  At first he was just screaming and crying and then he started yelling "Taaaaanya" over and over.  We made him stay on the couch and I told him that he could not go see Tanya until he stopped screaming and crying.  I also told him that he could not swim or have candy but he kept screaming.  Finally, he stopped.  We calmly told him that we love him but he cannot scream and cry when he doesn't get to do something.  I told him when he was happy again, he could get up and go see Tanya.  He smiled and it was over.  He did ask to swim several times during the day and we reminded him that we couldn't swim because he did not obey.  He started to pout some but got over it quickly.  Later in the day, he wanted to go outside but we said no.  He started to do it all over again but we reminded him that if he did that, he would have to go sit on the couch.  He got over it pretty quick so that was good.  Bedtime has been amazing.  When we first start to walk upstairs, he stops and shakes his head.  Every time I think "Oh no, here it comes" but then he comes up and does everything we tell him.  We are trying to be very structured with bedtime which is completely unlike us but I do think it helps to have a routine.  We should have started doing that 11 years ago when Ryan was a baby.  Bedtime with Tanya is really sweet.  She likes to come and hug me four or five different times.  It's so sweet.  I tell her how much I love her and that I'm so glad we found her.  She is doing great.  She gets along really good with other kids.  It's hard because sometimes I feel like I have to keep her entertained all the time so she doesn't get sad.  I know it's hard to be around all these people who don't speak your language.  One thing I notice is that sometimes she will start fussing at Alex and make him really sad.  He will be fine and then she starts saying a bunch of stuff to him and he starts pouting and whining.  Then, she will go to comfort him.  I'm thinking that it might make her feel good to be needed.  I think she provokes him to feeling sad so that he needs her.  She is doing it more and more as he seems to need her less and less.   She always watches to see if I am looking at her and a couple of times, I have turned to catch her hitting him in the head pretty hard.  Same thing - he cries and then she comforts him.  That's another reason I have to be watching all the time.  Even when we are swimming, I keep my eyes on them the entire time.  Most of the time she is really sweet though.  It's hard for me to tell her no because I feel like I am still building a relationship with her.  She asks me all the time for candy or to play the computer.  If I say "no", she keeps begging and asking 100 more times.  It's tiring.  If it was Ellie I would just say no and tell her that if she asked again she would never get on the computer for the rest of her life :)  Really, they are both really sweet kids and they are very helpful.  I didn't deserve them!  Sometimes Tanya will notice me doing something and just start doing it for me - like sweeping or laundry.  Today I threw something out of the fridge that was bad so she went through every item in the fridge asking if it was ok or bad.  We went to church on Sunday and it went great also.  Jody had a brilliant idea that he would take Alex early and show him around while there weren't very many people around.  They went in Cole's classroom and he loved playing in it.  They have a little kitchen which he loved.  He kept wanting to go back so when it was time for church, he went right in with Cole (the 4 year old class).  He stayed in there for about an hour and then they texted us that he was asking for Papa.  So, Jody went and got him and he came to the church service for the last 15 minutes.  We could not believe that he went it without us.  I know that so many people are praying for our adjustment and God has been so good to answer those prayers!  I'm trying to get up before the kids so that I can have some time to read my Bible and pray before I start the day.  When I haven't had time, things just aren't right.  My first thought when I woke up this morning was, "I don't think I can do this all over again today."  That's the truth, I can't do it.  But thankfully God can.  I have an app on my phone that sends me a Bible verse every morning.  This morning it was  Lamentations 3:22-23 "Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness."  So, right after I had that thought, I read that verse.  Thank you God!!!!  Even though I feel consumed sometimes, because of His great love I am not!!!  Oh how I needed to hear that at exactly that moment.  I needed to be reminded that His compassions never fail - even though mine do all the time.  I love that it was a verse about compassion.  When something bothers me or I am frustrated or annoyed with something that one of the kids is doing (oh how I hate admitting to you that I can get annoyed by them), I am constantly wondering what's wrong with me - where is my compassion?  Although mine fails so many times, His is perfect!    I'm thankful that He is there guiding me through all of this and that He can make up for all the mistakes that I am making while we try to figure out how to do this!  I am so thankful for meals!  Dinners are taken care of so I'm only having to worry about breakfast and lunch and I still feel like I never leave the kitchen.  I can't even imagine what it would be like if I had to cook dinner.   Thank you sweet friends!  Oh, I've been thinking more about the pool thing.  I told my friend Christina that to me a pool would be like a ministry.  I would be serving my neighbors and could also have church stuff here too.  So, maybe it would be ok to use my tithe for a pool payment?  I'm trying really hard!  Ok, I know that I can't do that but I do want a pool REALLY bad!  We have been swimming every day (except tantrum day) and the kids love it.  Alex is doing so great.  I think it's really good for his coordination too.  He has an appointment in Houston at the International Adoption clinic on August 4th and we are anxious to find out more about his condition so that we have a better idea how to help him.  He does have a lot of the symptoms of Cerebral Palsy but we just don't know.  It will be so good to go to that appointment.  He has a dentist appointment this Friday so I will let you know how that goes.  I haven't been doing a very good job of taking pictures but here is one of my Red Power Ranger and Dash showing off their muscles tonight!

1 comment:

  1. Hi Joni ~ I've been thinking about you and your family and have been praying, as well. I hope that things are settling down some. I also want to leave you a couple of links to some blogs. All of them have been where you & your new kids are and have some great advice and some really good support for parents. I hope they'll help.


    Hope to be reading a new update that says things are going well. Oh, how did Alex do with his dental appointment?
    Hugs from MN. ~ Jo