Thursday, April 11, 2013
we're just past nine months since our family almost doubled. Looking back, I try to figure out where the biggest struggles have been...what did we not anticipate? I think without question the adjustment has been toughest on Sam. He was so excited about adopting; even in Taiwan, he was wonderfully attentive and an adorable big brother.
Having 3 little people HOME, day in and day out, though, has proven pretty challenging. Add to the mix that he's hitting adolescence more fiercely than Emma did a few years back and you have a perfect storm of emotion. Of course, the "littles" demand (and get) a lot of time and attention--that's a given. So, there is jealousy. Then, there's the effort he does make to play with them that often ends poorly, with them getting hurt or him feeling offended. I'm sure it's not that different from regular families and sibling rivalry, but it has been mighty painful for us and him.
Thankfully, he is taking an online leadership course through Williamsburg Academy (wacademy) and has been pushed to ask hard questions of himself, and discuss WONDERFUL literature that stretches him mentally and emotionally. It's a positive, but still, we struggle.
One insight I had about a month ago was that I needed to spend GOOD PERSONAL time with him daily...whether to be an audience for violin practice or help with math or a listener. I rarely get the full amount of time that I wish for, but it does feed him.
Another freeing suggestion came from a mentor blog onethankfulmom. She talks about how all of a sudden, because of personalities and needs of specific kids, mornings had to undergo a change. Certain kids stayed in bed til 8, others got ready and left for the day. In other words, instead of everyone happily having breakfast together as a family, they came in specifically planned waves...which, as she said, was completely the opposite of how she wanted her mornings to look. Who thinks that the plan will be to keep family members separated? BUT, as we pass through this first year of adapting and adjusting, we are making whatever changes that will get us through, and hopefully, we progress, bit by bit. I think and hope he is finding his equilibrium.