Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Two Hugs!

We have known George for almost one month now. Our dear international adoption counselor, who we met on the airplane, promised in one month we would see a big difference. That gave me hope. And now, I am seeing for myself the healing power of love and discipline.

When we were in Africa, dealing with a very, very angry young boy, God led me to Proverbs 22:15. "Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him." Joe and I read this verse over and over again, we prayed it to God and we decided to stand on this verse. I am sure that most adoption counselors would advise opposite of this, make the child feel loved, wanted, secure then you can discipline. We discussed this at length and after a lot of prayer, we decided to stand on God's word.

In the airport, our friend Mark, a Christian, agreed.

So, we started on the path of strict discipline. We set very clear boundaries, sure to point out the line that must not be crossed. Our discipline was swift and unemotional, meaning we didn't get into yelling or crying. We simply would state, "We don't do that in our family", or "That is not acceptable behavior". The statement was usually accompanied with a spanking. At first it felt very weird to spank a 7 year old, we haven't spanked our older kids in years! But, we realized we needed to discipline clearly, so George would truly understand that what he was doing we not acceptable in our family. And, we felt that we had God's Word on our side.

As each day goes by, the tantrums are fewer and fewer, the length and level of tantrum is less and less. We are now able to joke, smile, tickle and play for hours without any discipline needed at all!

However, George still is testing me. I am now able to recognize the look that comes over his eyes when I KNOW a test is coming. He is just like a toddler who needs to feel that comfort of knowing his boundaries. On Monday, there was a big outburst over coming into the back yard. One thing led to another and there was a big tantrum where George pulled down his pants and under ware and screamed on the driveway. I had a prime location to land a small spanking, so I did. I calmly carried him inside, told him that we don't do that in our family, and I sat him on his bed and asked him to calm down. I left the room and within 5 minutes, George had completely calmed down and came out to find me in the kitchen getting dinner ready. He watched me, right by my side, asked what different things were and then...out of nowhere he wrapped his arms around my body and squeezed. We smiled at each other and then he ran outside to play with his siblings.

The same thing happened on Tuesday. There was a time of discipline and soon after, George gave me a huge hug. It has amazed me how George is now responding to the discipline! He needs it. He feels secure knowing where his boundaries are. And, he sees his little brother getting disciplined the same way, which I think is a great example to George how Mom and Dad discipline but then forgive and love. George is now reaching out to me, as if he is saying he is sorry and he knows what he did was wrong and checking to see if I will still love him.

I have been happy to give him that reassurance that yes indeed, Momma still loves him! I will take my two hugs and let that carry me through the difficult times that I am sure will arise today. Who knows, maybe we'll go for three in a row?


Anonymous said...

Praise God for progress!

Jessica Knitter said...

Sounds like you are finding what works for you and your family. Our prayers are with you.

Brooke said...

Awesome! I just read that verse yesterday! Way to hold to the Word!!

Margaret said...

Just beautiful! Praise God for his instruction book, eh??? So glad to hear that things are getting better and progressing!