Our Family

Our Family
Our Family: Pops, Me, The Teenager, The Boy, The Freckle Faced Ninja, Miss Priss, Miss Sassy Pants, Madi-Lou-Who, & Dora the Explorer

Friday, November 18, 2011

This new puppy wasn't what I had in mind!

Sir Winston Churchill Gonzalez
We got a new puppy about 2 weeks after Gideon died.  We all love him but had a bit of a hard time attaching to him at first.  He was too hyper.  Chewed too much.  Too little like our sweet, docile Gideon.  Yikes!  We began to wonder at times if we'd made the right decision.  Could we handle this bundle of energy?  Would we go nuts before we got him trained to our way of life?!  

Reminds me of the first year after we adopted Will, Lydia, and Madi.  That whole honeymoon period?  Yeah, that lasted about 2 days!  Then?  The tantrums, biting, food issues, emotional roller coasters in all 6 of us...AAAHHH!  I distinctly remember wondering on so many occasions if I had what it took to do this.  I mean, I know God doesn't make mistakes, doesn't give us anything he doesn't give us the tools the handle; But really?  I was drowning.  I was so overwhelmed with their needs that normal life threatened to take me down (I cried on many occasions over the laundry! 

God had planted a desire for these children in our hearts but love, it grows out of those seeds as they are nurtured.  It doesn't spring up over night.  It takes time.  I knew the reality.  I knew it would be hard and I knew we would struggle.  But knowing is not the same as living it.  I knew we were doing what God wanted us to do.  

But I'd fallen in love with a picture.  Just like seeing Winston, our puppy, on the shelter website.  A picture doesn't show some one's heart any more than it shows a puppy's true personality.  It doesn't tell you they still hope they can go home to their old parents.  It doesn't tell you they're afraid of thunder (that'd be Winston).  It doesn't tell you that they will freak in public in ways only you can tell but that strangers just think your 5 year old acts like a 2 year old all the time.  It doesn't tell you that they will wake up every morning and need to check to make sure you are still in the house and they haven't been left.  

A picture shows a smile but behind the smile is so much more.   When our kids came for real, there were times when I wasn't sure I even like them and wondered how I could fall in love with them!   I was scared I was failing as a mom to these kids who so desperately needed me to succeed.  I was aware of all the possible issues they COULD come to us with.  I wasn't prepared to deal with them on a heart level.  

Madi and Lydia
I got irritated every time Lydia uttered a cuss word (oh yeah, she even knew the "F dash dash dash" word as Ralphie would say!).  I got frustrated that Will wouldn't slow down when he ate, to the point of choking and...ick!  I became exhausted with the constant, daily challenges Lydia was giving her teachers and classmates at school and cried more times than I can count over not knowing how to help her.  I grew cranky every time Madi wanted to be picked up...every 15 seconds...all day long....

Gabby had always been so easy.  They were too hard, too loud, too scarred.  Why couldn't they just fit into our family?  Had God chosen the right parents for these children?  Was I going to do more damage than good?  

Will and Gabby
Gradually, over the year, Madi became accustomed to not being held 24/7.  Will still eats too fast and worries that we will leave him.  He's aware of his fears now and trying to learn to trust us to always feed him and always be there.  Lydia is still our strong-willed child but the cuss words have disappeared as have almost all the tantrums and acting out.  She's now the sweetest, most kind-hearted of all.  She still acts funny in public at times but calms down with just a hug and a reminder that she's safe.  

We have learned with our puppy, to put valuables up high and not to freak too much when he chews through the rung of a chair.  His hyperness is calming down occasionally, giving us all hope for the future.  But we're becoming used to it.  And at times, it's even becoming endearing!  We've adjusted and he's becoming trained (sort of) in how we want him to act.      

Our kids are loud, they run through the house, they argue and hit, but thankfully none of them chews on the furniture!  Somehow, instead of "fitting in" to our family the way it was, we have begun to fit to each other.   

Those seeds of desire that God planted have begun to blossom in to enjoying and loving my children; And knowing they are mine.  

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