Saturday, October 16, 2010

Aliya's parent-teacher conferences

I went to Aliya's parent-teacher conferences last week. It was such a positive experience for me and for her to hear how much her teachers love her!

I was told so many good things about her.

"Her English has improved so much since last year!"

"She advocates for herself in class."

"She is not afraid to ask questions in class."

"She asks until she completely understands."

"She always has a great smile."

"She is a hard worker."

Aliya has joined the after school choir that meets Monday's and Thursday's. She surprised me and skipped out of it to come to conferences with me. I'm sure it was so good for her to hear all the praises from her teachers!

Not to mention that she is getting all A's and one C (Algebra)! She just hates that she is getting a C and she needs to be reminded of how far she's come:) It is really amazing and mind blowing that she has come this far after only 8 short months in the U.S! We are really proud of her.

She loves singing and loves choir. The after school choir is preparing for the Christmas concert and she came home singing, "Mr. Grinch." Firstly, she has no idea who the Grinch is. Secondly, there are a LOT of lyrics in that song. Thirdly, with Aliya's accent, the song sounds really funny! So the other night, probably 50 times, she sang,

"He's duh bad banana, with duh grizzy block pilllllllllllll."
Translation-"He's a bad banana, with a greasy black peel."

She calls him Mr. Grich.

Pretty hard not to laugh!

Thanks to all of you who have been praying for our respect and attachment issue. God has been answering your prayers and things have been better this past week:) A work in progress.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Ups and downs

Do you remember the old DCtalk song, "Hardway?" It has been playing over and over in my head all day.

"Some people gotta learn the hard way.
I guess I'm the kind of guy who has to find out for myself."

Why has this been going through my mind all day, you ask? Let me tell you.

This takes us back to Aliya getting up for school. We've already had some struggles in this area, if you remember. Well, I have been having to get her up so that she has time to make the bus. Yes, her alarm goes off but she simply shuts it off and falls back to sleep. So Mommy has had to be the alarm, a job I despise.

Blaine came up with a good idea. If she misses the bus and I have to drive her to school, it will cost her $5. She did not like this at all and overcompensated by waking up at 5:45 (instead of 6:20, which would be perfect!), getting all ready and then falling back to sleep in her bed.

This happened yesterday and I waited until literally 2 minutes before the bus was to come before I went up to wake her. I thought this experience would be enough. She made the bus but wasn't one bit happy about how it all turned out.

I picked her up from school and she, without provocation apologized to me, hugged me and told me she loved me. Now THIS is PROGRESS!! Praise the Lord. I was really proud of her. It is a step toward our bonding process.

That brings me to this morning. I waited until I heard the bus go by and then proceeded to wake her and tell her the bus was gone. She had been up at her usual 5:45, gotten completely ready and had fallen back to a dead sleep.

We got into the car and I quietly asked her, "Are you ready to do it my way?"

"What do you mean?"

"If you just get up at 6:20 and get ready, it will work the best."

"No, Mom...I can do this! I really want to do it this way."

"It really didn't work too well for you this morning. Now you have to pay me $5. You don't want to do that too many more times."

"I won't. I really will do this. You will see."

And it starts playing in my head..."Some people need to learn the hard way. I guess she's the kind of girl who needs to find out for herself."

Why does she want to get up at 5:45? I don't know. I ask her and she tries to explain it to me but it is lost in the translation somewhere.

I printed a blog post from someone on my favorites that I LOVED. Sorry, I can't remember who it was to give them credit!! But here it is: (with a few changes)

"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners love those who love them.

And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that.

And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' lend to 'sinners,' expecting to repaid in full.

But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back.

THEN your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most Hight, because He is kind to the ungrateful and wicked."

Then she puts it into the context of adoption...

"If you only want to adopt a child who is going to be easy, what credit is that to you?

And if you will ONLY adopt a child who will repay you with a thankful, grateful attitude and will love you back, therefore fulfilling YOUR need for love and kudos, what credit is that to you?

But LOVE these children and do good to them.

Keep on giving of yourself without expecting anything in return.


your reward will be great and you will be sons (and daughters) of the Most High

BECAUSE He is kind to us...

and He adopts us (ungrateful and wicked as we are) into His family."

Praise God...I know I do not deserve it!

Adopting a teenager is one of the most wonderful things we will ever have the opportunity to do. We have been blessed and so has she. God had a plan and this is it! Are there challenges and frustrations? YES! Are they insurmountable? Not with God's strength.

Just imagine...our Father God puts up with us every day telling Him, "I can do this! I want to do it MY way! It will work, you will see." Hmmmm...

I just wonder how many $5 bills it is going to take for her to learn and trust that I know best?

If she is as stubborn as I am with my Father sometimes, it could take a while:)