Isn't there a saying out there that goes, "when it rains, it pours" or "bad things happen in threes"? Really, I'm not superstitious, but we've had our hands full lately. Kristina's mainstream teacher called to tell me about an incident at school. Don't worry, she didn't go Rocky Balboa on anyone, it was an obedience issue. I hate that things seem to be happening back to back for her, but nevertheless we found ourselves once again confronting her about her choices.
She wasn't exactly open to the conversation. She had a meltdown and went into a weeping, flinging herself on the bed, "everyone hates me, I can't be good, I hate school" rant. I know you gentle parents out there will cringe, but I don't put up with that sort of response. I put her in her room until she calmed down. When I let her know dinner was ready, she declared she wasn't eating and rolled over to face the wall. After dinner I went in to see if she had any homework she needed help with. She reluctantly pulled out her social studies book and a worksheet.
As we were working through the paper, I observed her stiffen slightly before she posed the question, "How old I am before I can go back to Ukraine?" I didn't react, but calmly responded that she would need to be eighteen to travel by herself. At that point she put her book down and regaled me with information about her uncle. Supposedly this uncle lived close to her maternal grandmother and told her he was coming to adopt her . . .but . . . we got there first. Now, mind you, we've never heard about this uncle and none of her paperwork shows that she has a living uncle. I think the uncle story is a defense mechanism for her. She is doubting her worth and coming to grips with the fact that her biological family could not and did not claim her. I explained this as tenderly as I could. I also reminded her that no matter where she traveled in the world, she would always be part of our family. No distance could change that fact. I told her I hoped we could take a trip back to Ukraine together one day.
Perhaps her nerves are raw from the number of discipline issues that have cropped up in the last week. I don't know what God is trying to teach her, or us for that matter, but I do know He is dealing with her on a number of levels. I am sympathetic to her transition, however, I simply won't allow her to wallow in who she has been. Kristina was an orphan. She is no longer an abandoned child. She has been redeemed by a family who loves her beyond measure. It is so easy for us to revert back to our past identities when things get hard. We are encouraging her to persevere, lay aside the old life, and remember that she is a child of promise. It will take time for her to be sanctified to that conclusion. We plan to hold her to the standards of her new calling with plenty of grace and love.
So there ends our terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. To top it all off, I missed spending the day with Sasha and dinner with my girlfriends because of this nasty cold. And you thought that picture at the beginning of the post was of Kristina . .