Thursday, July 27, 2006

A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place

I mentioned at the beginning how much she enjoys to clean and organize. She does this everyday in the room that she and Hannah share, even when it doesn't necessarily need it. I think its a routine she is accustomed to in the orphanage. It provides her with some familiarity and gives her a sense of contribution at home. I found her in the front yard yesterday with a bucket of soapy water and my pedicure brush scrubbing the bike that Patti had loaned us for the summer. My shock at the ruined brush melted away as she beamed with pride at the squeaky clean bicycle.

I am thankful that we have had such an extended period to host Kristina. It has given us time to get past the honeymoon period and test the waters. I am fascinated by the way the dynamics have evolved in all of our relationships. The children laugh together one minute and are bickering the next. That doesn't sounds like a good thing necessarily, but to me she is just one of the children. She has fit in and bonded with all of the kids on some level and they consider her one of them. It took several weeks for me to see the connection between Robert and Kristina. I don't know if its a guy thing or just the way the relationship grew, but at some point he no longer saw her as a house guest but as a daughter.

If there is one thing I know about Kristina its that she wants to know if I mean what I say. And just to make sure, she tests me. She is wired so differently than my four; I am on my toes often. To be frank, she's a lot like me. That's what makes discipling her so difficult. I have the same stubborn streak. I want to do things my way. I don't like for others to know when I need help or when I am struggling. I have stood before her on more than one occasion fighting back tears of frustration knowing that she was doing the exact same thing.

The discipline issues I face with her are not so much behavioral as they are heart issues. Its not enough to simply follow the rules. I challenge her if she does things with a poor attitude or begrudgingly. Sure, we could let things slide to keep the peace since she is here for only a few more weeks. But everyone has a place in this family. And whether its for four more weeks or a lifetime, we hope that Kristina's place is here.

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