Thursday, March 10, 2011

House Rules, again!

Every time a kid comes home, we find the need to eventually go over the house rules with said kid(s). This was true for Nadia, Julia and Kole. Next came Rimma. Then we added Jordan and eventually Jessica. Now it's Lizzie's turn. In addition, I find that it is necessary to go over the "Rules" once a month at dinner time, when we are all together. Chores start getting sloppy, laundry days get missed and quiet time/bedtime starts getting ignored. The monthly dinner time reminder helps bump everyone back to center and everyone remembers, until the next month, and we do it all over again.

A few friends have asked me to repost this, especially those folks close to bringing new children home soon. So here you are. Feel free to use these, adapt them to you own use, or revamp them all together. It's also important to note that these 10 rules have evolved over time as the kids have gained English comprehension and understanding. So, in the beginning, keep it simple. These 10 rules have never been more than 10 rules and from the start, they used to be only a few simple words. You can add deeper explanation to them after you have been home awhile and after the "honeymoon" is over. Otherwise, get ready for a lifetime of a messy or broken house, with arguing kids, and chaos as you try to wait on them hand and foot while being a maid, cook and a parent.

This is not cruel or unusual punishment. Institutionalized children need and appreciate structure and no, I don't rule the house with an iron fist or like a Drill Sergeant. We provide a home, security, safety and lots of Love, understanding, compassion and empowerment. Our kids are thriving and 'kicking it" in school, home life and out in society. Here are our 10 Easy Rules:

1. Be kind to one another…PERIOD!

2. Keep your room tidy, make your bed every morning and return your things to your room after use, don’t leave it lying around.

3. If you make a mess, clean it up immediately! This is YOUR home, take care of it!

4. Turn off lights, water, radio, television when not using them.

5. Eat only in the Kitchen or dining room and wash your hands before eating and when returning from outside.

6. You will do your daily chores and your laundry on your day.

7. No TV, computer (unless homework) or video games during school days effective Sunday night to Friday after school.

8. Quiet time starts at 8pm Sunday through Thursday. Everyone has their own bedtime…Obey quiet time and bedtime.

9. Obey Mom and Dad when you are told to do anything.

10. When in doubt, ALWAYS ask permission from Mom or Dad!

~ Felix ~

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Happy Anniversary, Rimma!

Rimma has been home one year today! Happy Anniversary, Rimma!

Rimma, aka "Miss Hollywood"
~ Felix ~

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Looking back...looking ahead

Ready for school, but not overly excited. "Typical American teenager", I told her!

Hi everyone, the past week has been amazing! I needed to take some time and just relax from the events surrounding Lizzie’s adoption. The memories and emotions from the last three years have been flooding Heidi and I since we got her home. Every day that the Lord has given us since coming home has been a blessing and we have thanked Him over and over again.

Bear with me…us, as we transition from three years of waiting, adopting, pleading, worrying, praying and dodging moratoriums to a life of raising our children and always being there for them. Well, we never will stop praying, right! Now that we are done adopting for the foreseeable future, the hard work begins! Teaching right from wrong, transitioning from institutionalized children to family life, setting rules of the family and the home, helping their teachers educate them and growing together.

Many have written that they would love to see a book or a made for Lifetime TV movie! Others have joked that they are stalkers and would watch a reality TV show about us. Sorry, a reality show would never happen. I'm not Jon and Heidi's not Kate...and we don't have eight, we are nine! Besides, you see where that led to, right? We are flattered, believe me, but all glory goes to God! Naturally, the posts will be fewer as we enjoy our time as a family. The blog may even draw to a close one day soon. We will just let things simmer and see where God takes this little story. If we have moved and inspired you, then this was all worth it and was His plan all along.

When Lizzie and I got home on Saturday, February 19th, it was nothing short of amazing! Friends and family were waiting for us at the double door exit of international customs. We were finally home, forever, for good! It took a couple of nights to get accustomed to the time difference and a few more days to get Lizzie fully enrolled in high school. We gave her Monday and Tuesday off, enrolled her on Wednesday, sent her to school on Thursday and Friday, then she had the weekend off again. Lizzie was able to attend two days of high school last August when she was home for 10 weeks, but she was still a little apprehensive about going to a new school with a different language and not knowing any friends there. Her sister, Jordan, helped her get acclimated and to find her classes. Lizzie is already bring home high A’s on a dozen papers I’ve seen from her ESL class! Three years ago when we asked Lizzie if she would like to be adopted by us, she got serious about learning English. The ten weeks here last summer paid off tremendously as well and the result is that her language acquisition quite advanced.

It’s still surreal to me to see Lizzie walking around the house, doing homework, getting ready for school, eating dinner with her family and just being present in the everyday life she should have been a part of since birth. I catch myself watching her move from room to room sometimes, sometimes she catches me too. I get that creepy old man feeling when she does. “Dad, why you look at me?” Sorry sweetie, no you’re not doing anything wrong! Dad is just in awe of God’s amazing power to do the impossible.

The words of her former government, her orphanage, her “caretakers” and even an American stateside adoption facilitator (whom we never used her services again) who all told us to quit…give up…you will never get her…we won’t let you have her…we will stand in your way…just choose some other kids…all come rushing back to when I have time for quiet reflection.

We aren’t seeking pats on the back, accolades, or idolization. It’s a bit unsettling and embarrassing to receive honors that should go to the Almighty. I fall short many times in my Christian walk of life, and I struggle a lot with God’s perfect plan. But if He uses Heidi and me to further His cause, to inspire you through us, to sweetly break you out of your comfort zone to do His will, so be it. I am happy to be used as His instrument.

Lizzie gets reacquainted with her skateboard, a birthday gift last year that she left behind.


About Us

My photo
Longmont, Colorado, United States
Heidi loves to play sand volleyball, sail and garden. Felix loves to fly at the local aeroclub, sail and fish.