Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Honeymoon is Over

So yes, I believe the honeymoon is over. Not that things are bad or anything, but the realities of parenting a teen who has grown up in foster care have surfaced. This may also be a "testing" phase of some sorts, as well, since we are due to finalize in a month or so. Let me try to explain a little.
We are just trying to parent Marvel, the same as we parent our other children, but we are learning that we have to parent him differently. Our other kids have been taught our values since birth, so our expectations and hopes for them have been woven into who they are. But Marvel hasn't had that opportunity, and has been taught many differnt morals and values and expectations, so that has helped form him into who he is. So, we have had trouble communicating, because his idea of how things should go is different from ours. We have learned we need to let some things go, and let natural consequences be the teachers. We just want him to know that we love him, and want what's best for him, and want him safe. We will have a few solid rules that will have consequences if broken, but natural consequences will hopefully teach the rest- the things that aren't huge moral or safety issues. It is driving Kevin crazy, because he sees it as deliberate defiance, but I don't believe it is. Marvel is trying to follow our rules, he's not unruly, but we are different than what he is used to. We are a family who strives to be different from the world, we hold ourselves to a high standard. We try to live by God's rules, not the world's, and although he is a very good kid, our expectations may be tough for him. And he's not used to thinking the way we do. This is all still very new, and we know it will take time to get him on board with us. But the bummer is that we don't have a lot of time. In 3 short years, he could be getting ready to graduate high school and go off to college. So we'll do the best we can, and try to keep his heart with us-that's what's important. He has a great heart it's just the little details we are trying to shape, so that's no big deal in the grand scheme of things. What's most important is that we are his family now,  no matter what-and that he knows that. I'm sure he is dying to know if we are really going to be his family forever, cause no one else has ever done that. His "family" has changed every couple of years or so, and so really he probably doesn't even comprehend what a real family is.
He is such a blessing to us, even when we are stressed out. He is doing fine in school, making some good friends, goes to church and a life group willingly, helps around the house, he really is a great guy. We just want him to know that we are parenting him because we care about him, and we have told him that, but whether or not he understands that remains a mystery. We just continue to ask our Heavenly Father, for wisdom and guidance in raising all of our kids. We know that he will give us what we need!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Yes, I'm still here.

I know I have not posted in a long time. I just don't know why adding another person to the mix causes so much more chaos, but apparently it does. I think things are settling down a bit now. We have been busy getting Marvel settled at his new school, which he really dislikes right now, but I'm hoping that will change. He did have some issues with one of his teachers, who, from day one at the school, he did not like. He felt like she picked on him and things were getting bad in the class, so we had him transferred out of her class. The last thing we need are issues at school when we are trying to get him settled into our family and home. We told him (and the school) that school is really not a huge priority right now for us. We want him to bond with us and learn to trust us and love us and that takes precedence over everything else right now. He is a very smart kid and he is doing great in school, so we don't really need to worry anyways, but we want him to know he doesn't need to stress about it. I think he's making some friends also, he does play basketball with a guy that lives right near us, so that is encouraging. Although, there have been some negative social issues that have been brought to our attention at school, but I think it's just a part of him learning who the right friends are. It's so tough to have to change schools mid-year, but he is really doing great, and I think he is so brave and strong and doing just fine.
Other than getting used to a new school, things are really going great. We have noticed a bit of lying, but it's all part of him learning and we keep teaching honesty-every day. It hasn't been anything major, but we do let him know that we know he's not being truthful and that he can be honest with us and we won't kill him! In our family honesty is a priority, even if it means emabrassment, uncomfortable-ness, and other consequences, and I think we are all characterized by honesty. He'll get there, but we just have to re-teach, since lying has become the norm for him in certain situations - no biggie!
He loves to work though! We had a hard time coming up with chores at first, just not knowing what he was capable of and willing to do- but now we know he'll pretty much do anything! See, Bailey has been saving money and doing extra chores to earn money to buy an Ipod Touch and she did it-yay Bailey! Well Marvel has decided that he wants one too, so he is doing all kinds of things to earn money-yard work, washing cars, babysitting, pressure washing, drywall repair-you name it, he'll do it. Kevin has been teaching him all kinds of things (drywall repair, small engine repair), and Marvel LOVES to learn. He really likes having a Dad, and is constantly asking Kevin for more things to do and learn. It's so sweet. He does things for me to, if I ask, but I'm letting him get some good Dad time in. So he earns money and bonds with Dad-what a deal!
We are really looking forward to Spring Break-we all have Spring fever! We aren't doing much, just spending a couple of days at Regal Palms, the resort in Davenport that we discovered last year with a water slide and lazy river-we love it there and it will be Marvel's first time there. Just looking forawrd to doing nothing and then when the kids get back to school it will be freak-out FCAT time-so stress levels will be high. Have I mentioned how I miss homeschooling?
We are looking at finalizing the adoption on May 9th, if all goes as planned. Isn't that just crazy?! But Marvel is the perfect fit in our family, we could not have asked for more! It's funny, everyone makes comments like "You are doing such a good thing for him", and "It's so nice what you're doing"-but we aren't in this for accolades and applause. We are in this to be obedient to God and change lives in His name. Yes, we know that Marvel will be blessed by our choices, but I think we are far more blessed by him than we would have ever imagined. The Lord has used Marvel to change our hearts, and hopefully we can continue to be a blessing to others by being obedient, even when it might be uncomfortable, or hard. Adopting a teen is challenging, yes, but so amazing, and rewarding, also. There are so many teens without families, without guidance and love and support. It takes a lot of self-lessness, but it is SO worth loving them. I know they aren't as cute as a baby, or young child, and yes, they may come with bad habits and problems, but if only they were given a chance most of them would blossom and become more than anyone could ever imagine an orphan could. Marvel is teaching us and our kids about being self-less and loving others. Our family is better now, closer, and united in a way we could have never created or imagined!. We are blessed to be a blessing, not just to keep on getting blessed. Share the love-you have plenty-love is not a pie that gets sliced up in equal parts and once it is given away it's gone......love multiplies-the more you give the more you have! I'm not saying to love so that you can be loved-that's not the goal-the goal is to love....being loved is the reward. Check out 1 Peter 4:8-10. Ok, I'm done preaching-for now. But I believe God has given us this experience to share with others, so that others may experience what we have or better, and so that we can learn to love like He wants us to-so I'm not going to stop preaching about adoption or loving others, so, sorry, just deal with it!
We'd still appreciate prayers for bonding and becoming the family God wants us to be. I'll try to post sooner next time!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Move-in day in 5 days!

Yep, our biggest boy will finally move-in to our residence, physically (he's already moved into our hearts), on Saturday! We are so excited! He is too, although I think he tries not to show it too much. He will have his last basketball game at his current school, then we will get the rest of his stuff and move him in! He should start at Durant on Monday-we're still working all of that out. The kids can hardly believe it's time for him to move in-it's been so hard having to take him back to his foster home each weekend. He just brightens up our lives, makes things more fun, and I think we just see the world through a different lens when he's around. He is such a wonderful guy-I couldn'thave designed a more amazing child-if I had the means to, that is.
We talked about the process from here out with him, which is-once he moves in, he has to live with us at least 90 days and then we can finalize the adoption, which means he will officially be a Bourne. He asked if he could change his name then, to which we replied yes, he can take our last name if he wants to. He was excited about that, but then he said he wanted to change his whole name! That was very surprising to us, because for 16 years he's been Marvel! He came up with a name that he likes, but I am going to wait to share it, in case he changes his mind. I asked him if he wanted to keep any of his name, maybe as his middle name, and he just shook his head and made a face-like "no way". So this says a lot really, but basically, he wants to belong to us. It makes no difference to us what his name is, so whatever he chooses will be fine, we just want to love him. It will be strange to start calling him something else, but we want whatever he wants.
He is just too cute! He is talking about getting a job, and doing chores, how he will do things when he is "a man", just planning things out the way kids do. We watched Courageous this weekend, and it was awesome! He somehow, already has those values that the movie talks about, and totally agrees with every bit of it. We talked about dating and how our family sees dating as "courting" or preparation for marriage, not some extra-curricular activity, so we'd rather him not start dating, until he was ready to prepare for marriage-which he agrees is not now. It's so strange how God has placed all of our family values and morals in him-despite a very broken background. I keep saying that he fits right into our family, and I can't explain it, but it is like he has always been here. He and Bailey are such buddies, and it is just precious to watch them just talk or joke, or chase each other around with fake poop(their favorite game). All of the kids just have a special big brother bond with him, that you could never imagine would develop in 3 months, but it has. We will all be forever changed and blessed because of him, it is just incredible-at the very least. I know that things may change, once he's settled in, but I don't think it will be anything significant, and I know that the blessings will far outweigh any troubles that we face!
I am going to take a moment just to say that if you have ever considered adoption, or even if you haven't, please pray and ask for wisdom, and take some time to reconsider-and know that you will be SO blessed by loving an orphan-no matter what age, gender or the color of their skin!
I'll talk to you soon!

This truck was just hanging out on Friday on the way home from school! It just happens to be Marvel's favorite-too bad he missed it:(

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Well, hello.......

I have been so bad, not posting any blogs!
Things have been great! Marvel has spent every weekend with us, including a week during Thanksgiving break and a week during Christmas break. We have been to all of his basketball games, which his team has won every one of! That is a fun and different experience for us. He continues to bring more and more of his things to our house, to stay. It is so cute to see him arranging his room the way he wants it. We usually just hang out at home, and he seems fine with that-he just watches TV, jumps on our new trampoline, listens to his Ipod or plays on the Wii......typical teenager. He also got a guitar for Christmas,which he plays on, but on Christmas he was playing my sister's bass guitar, which he really loved. So she let him borrow it. Our theme song of Christmas was Crazy Train by Ozzy Osbourne, his favorite thing to play on the bass! But, he actually likes to hang out with all the kids, too- even plays silly games with them. He is just such a joy to us. He was having some behavior issues at his foster home, probably due to the stress of transitioning into a new family, but we talked with him about it, and he seems to be doing better now. He still wants to move in after basketball season-which his last game will be Jan 28th, so it could be that weekend that he moves in. That will be such a blessing! No more driving an hour each way to pick him up and drop him off, no more packing and un-packing, no more planning our weekends around picking him up and dropping him off, and best of all.....no more good-byes!
It gets harder and harder each time to say good-bye-for all of us! I almost lost it when Kevin had to take him home after Christmas break....it was awful! The kids keep saying "I miss Marvel", and Bryson just wants him to "stay for 90 days" -because after 90 days of living with us, we can finalize the adoption-so I guess he just wants it done! I won't lie-this part is hard! We all feel like something is missing when he's not here, but we know it won't be long until he's with us forever! I can't imagine how hard it is for him!
 Oh-I got a "new" car! We knew we would need a bigger car soon,  the mini-van sat 7, but with a lap belt only in the middle of the back seat-which I wasn't comfortable with. So we researched and looked, and ended up with a 2006 Ford Expedition-red! I love it! And it has a DVD player in it-which is a lifesaver on our hour-long drives to get/drop-off Marvel!
The kids are getting back into the swing of school again, but I so loved having them home. It's always after long breaks that I start dreaming of homeschooling again-I really don't like them gone from home all day, but I still don't think I could handle it. I try to remember how stressed I was for the semester that we tried to homeschool. If only school was just a half day, that would be perfect! I really could care less that my children are "educated"-at least in the world's sense. I think it is far more important for them to have good character and integrity, to learn to love others and serve God, than it is to have all A's or a degree. I know, people will argue that they need a degree to succeed ,and need to succeed to make it in this world-but I disagree. Not that I want my children to be homeless, jobless and irresponsible-not at all, just aware of what's important and humble. Well, ok.....sorry to go off on a rant, there!
It is freezing here in central Florida today-freezing meaning 48 degrees. But compared to the low 80's last week, pretty darn cold! I don't like cold! It's funny, I dream of living in the mountains, but I don't think I'd survive a winter! Guess I'll just have to visit more, which I hope to do this year. I don't do resolutions, but I LOVE to plan vacations! I'll be working on that soon......Spring break will be here before we know it! Until next time!