Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sunday Favorites!

      Another crazy week is behind us. The girls had standardized testing all this past week (ask me what I think about this sometime....uhm, yea) and I also proctored the test for students needing extra help. That meant 'rising earlier than normal' days (I already get up at zero dark thirty so... sheesh...but we all did it and it worked...whew!) in addition to their regular after school activities and my teaching schedule on Fridays. The girls LOVE testing week because our school makes it fun for them and they don't have near as much homework. Win win for the ladies!
     In addition to a busy week I had my nose in Boston, Waco, Sichuan, China (earthquake), the Gosnell fiasco, tainted letters to Senators, and ...........can we just stop and pray for our country and world??!! I typically don't watch the mainstream media because of bias,  well.....many reasons but mostly because it breeds anxiety in the girls. They are old enough now to know what's going on from very little information so we have to be very careful what we let in our house. However on that note, we also want them to know we live in a fallen world and they need to not be naive about evil. We walk a very fine tightrope when major news happens......like this week.
      Which brings us to this week's Sunday Favorite. Each of our girls has their own life story...just like you or me. We are all individuals with our own histories and family stories to tell.....duh, right? But what happens when your history has holes......and you just don't know......when you don't have even the smallest bit of information about even how old you really are, where you were born, how much you weighed, what you looked like.....and you could feel ashamed, and you suddenly FEEL like you are not like everyone else?
     This is my girls everyday. Yet it's interesting how people feel it's their right to pepper me with questions IN FRONT OF THEM, or better yet....TO THEM about their histories and pasts. I will say it clearly...... People can be unthinking, hurtful and just plain stupid.(Not all people.....but you know that, right?)  As the girls have aged it's become other children who are asking the questions mostly. I don't blame curious kids. They pretty much say what they are thinking, and just need to be taught social boundaries when there are issues out of the norm surrounding them.
     Here's what we've done about it and it's called The Wise-Up Powerbook, by Marilyn Schoettle. The premise of this book is that you (the child) is in charge of your own story. You (your adopted/foster child) walk through your feelings when others question your history, and you decide how much/when you answer other's questions. When ANYTHING others ask you makes you uncomfortable you can say, "That is personal knowledge about my story and I don't want to share it right now", and you change the subject.  Boom. Done. Subject closed. When other children start peppering my girls about 'where is your "real" mom, how did your parents get you, why did your "real" parents put you up for adoption?', they have pre-rehearsed answers to say so they are not put on the spot in that moment, and most importantly they REMAIN IN CONTROL of their story, not the other way around. The only information given is what THEY want known. We have made it clear to our girls that "you DO NOT have to answer all questions thrown at you." It's more than ok to tell kids and other nosy adults (they have been taught to be respectful so this can be hard)...... NO. It has been a great relief to them many many times.
     Kids are naturally curious as are adults. I've met kids that have more self-control over their words than many adults, sad to say. This book has been an excellent tool to allow the girls to work through their emotions and their answers, so that when confronted with an awkward 'questioning moment' they know exactly what to say. Love, love, love it. If you have adopted or know someone who has, this is a great tool!

   
   

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