Thursday, March 20, 2008

Half Full Family

I took the day off work to catch up on some assignments from an online class I'm taking, to try and recoup from this cold, and to run some errands. One of my stops included Target where I picked up a set of headbands for the girls. Hannah has an old headband with nail polish stains that she uses to pull her hair back with when she washes her face. Last night Kristina asked to wear it to school and Hannah explained to her that it really isn't in good enough condition to wear as an accessory. When they brought the dilemma to me, I offered to get new headbands. I left the new headbands in the girls' room and figured that was that. Shortly after they returned from school, raised voices wafted down the hallway and prompted my attention.

"Mom, she says the headbands are hers. Aren't they for us to share?" Hannah asked. I explained they were indeed to share, at which point Kristina declared that she didn't want them. I shrugged and said, "Okay. Looks like you have some new headbands, Hannah." Of course, that's not the response she was hoping to get. She started to cry and go on and on about how in Russia she never had to share (malarkey). What if she gets lice? (right) Nataliya (her caregiver) didn't allow them to share hairbands in the internot. I responded, "You're not in Russia anymore, you're in America. In this family we share. Period. The children have never had lice, however if you get lice, I will buy shampoo that gets rid of them. Nataliya isn't in charge anymore, I am. I'm your mother and I say we share."

"I don't care; I don't want them," she insisted. I left the room and eventually had to return because I could hear her berating Hannah still. At that point I told her that until she had something nice to say, she couldn't say anything at all. (Sound familiar, Mom and Dad?) Hannah went outside to read her book in the chairs and give Kristina some space. Staying quiet is almost as difficult as staying still for Kristina! After a few minutes, Kristina made her way to my room red faced, hoping to rehash the conversation again. After attempting the same rationale she used before, I stopped her and reminded her she wasn't in Russia anymore, she wasn't in the internot anymore, and that as a family we share. Robert pointed out that even if we were wealthy and could buy lots of things, we would still share. God has called us to be good stewards of the things we have.

She stared at the floor for a long time, folding and refolding a pair of socks on the corner of my bed. She asked if I was mad at her. I said I was disappointed in her behavior, but not mad. She asked if she could go outside and apologize to Hannah. I told her I thought that would be a good idea. "Mom, you say we not rich, but we are rich because we have God," she tossed over her shoulder as she went to seek out her sister. Her insight continually catches me off guard. When she makes these observations, it makes all of the struggle worth while. Helping her learn to see things vertically, rather than horizontally, that's our desire as parents.

We've had a series of challenges lately that we've felt led to share. Its not all rough going though. Kristina is making great strides and brings us so much joy. As I type this, I can hear Robert, Kristina, and Hannah cackling with laughter at the kitchen table. Undoubtedly, someone has belched. Some things never change.

I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.
-II Timothy 1:12


Rachael said...

I love your updates

Stephanee&Zach said...

Me too!

Melissa E. said...



Robert N. Landrum said...

This morining I put Kristina in charge of breakfast. We had eggs, toast, bacon, coffee, and grits. I like to get Kristina hopped up on coffee when Leslie isn't around. She is like Hammy on Over the Hedge. But faster! She knows everything! So when I began to teach her the mechanics of the coffee machine it was quite humbling for her. There are multiple steps involved. As I would say what was next she would try and get the jump on me saying, "I Know, at ever step pulling and pushing things like a kid trying to match up shapes." So I finally said if you know then, you open the coffee can on your own. She turned and turned on the lid finally saying "okay I don't know this one." So I peeled the plastic lid up to her suprise and humility. I have great fun with her. And a minute ago while we were cleaning the house, I gave her a dry swiffer to do the floors. I could not get two words in before "I know how to do it" came out. Well a few minutes latter I went to check the progress and she was on her hands and knees with the swiffer. I gave her the mop to put it own and the humbling deepened. These kind of things don't effect her determined spitit. It's as if they didn't even happen.

Tami said...

I'm so glad you're sharing your updates with us. I've been struggling quite a bit lately with Maddie and the old orphage behaviors, so it's nice to know I'm not the only one.
It's strange how knowing something in your head, doesn't necessarily help your heart accept them. Maddie's difficulties were expected, but it's not making it any easier.
I'd better go. I feel a blog coming on. ;)

Heidi and Felix said...
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Heidi and Felix said...
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Heidi and Felix said...

You remind me that even though we adore our two girls and hope to adopt them one day, there will be ups and downs. Thank you for your insight and updates.

Felix & Heidi

Heidi and Felix said...
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Heidi and Felix said...

Leslie & Robert,

I'm very sorry. My computer locked up and I quess I hit the publish button a few times. It posted the same message 5 times, so I deleted the extras.


Ashley said...

Thank you for sharing the ups and downs. I really need all of this.

Annie said...

I love stories like these. It is so nice when kids "get it".... Lots of challenges, but often great rewards!