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!

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