Wednesday, July 22, 2009

What's Going on With George

I guess the good news about the infrequency of my posts about George is that things are continuing to get better! Praise God for His faithfulness. I think back to Mark, the international adoption counselor whom we met on the airplane, saying that he felt so sure that God had chosen Joe and I to be George's parents, that it was something he had never felt so strongly before (he even asked us to not think he was weird - ha!).

But, as time goes on and we seem to have overcome many major obstacles, we realize we still have a ways to go. George and I are close. I find myself now coming to his defense when there is a sibling argument and actually laughing at the funny things he says. He comes in for multiple hugs a day and he even wants to sit next to me and listen to me read a book. Believe me, back in April, I though those moments would never come. We communicate very well, all things considered. I think he understands much, but is able to speak little. He really continues to talk (incessantly) about cars, bikes and shoes. If he doesn't end up an engineer or a shoe salesman, I will be shocked!

What I face now, in my daily challenges as a mom, are the little things, yet traits that are so important. Character. Morality. Honesty. Integrity. Kindness. The list could go on and on. As I type this list, it strikes me that these are the issues we struggle with as parents for ALL our children, not just the hand picked ones. And I am faced with the question of how to describe being honest to a child who doesn't even know what the words "lie" or "truth" mean. And as for "doing the right thing..." forget it!

A dear mentor recently reminded me what was of utmost importance regarding raising George and that is to bring him into a saving faith in Jesus Christ! That's it.
God chose to bring us together for that sole reason! It's not about giving him new shoes, or lots of dinner to fatten him up. No, it's about teaching him about Jesus and the sacrifice He made on George's behalf.

But, I am faced with a culture that doesn't even have a word for forgiveness, or sorry. Yes, George now says, "Oh, I'm sorry Momma" and I think he has a very child-like concept of making an apology, but I don't know if he has awareness of his need for a savior. That will come. It must come. That is my job.

Along with that, is my need to teach him how to be a man of character. That means starting now, by letting others go first in line, or giving up the best seat, or chasing after an unruly toddler to help a mom. George has been on "self" mode for so long (and to no fault of his own) that it is just taking a while for him to think of anyone other than himself. Every day we go through battles and explanations of who "has" what. He'll point to a movie that was borrowed from the library and since he likes it he blurts out, "George's movie! Not Lincoln's movie! George's movie!!" OK - sure. But it really is the library's movie. He just doesn't get it.

He saw light-up tennis shoes for the first time. The kid went crazy! Now, he asks every day for a pair. We cleaned out a closet today and moved some winter boots. George asked, "Today? George boots today?" and I very shortly answered "No." This sent him crying for half an hour in his room. Sigh.

Anyway - I digress. The point of what I am trying to say is the part of this uphill battle that I am on now, is just as difficult as the first part; only different. I was heartbroken and sad before; now I want to bang my head against the nearest wall and scream "Stop!". One is definitely not easier than the other.

I want to ask all who read this blog to promise me that you will pray for George in one specific! Part of this whole character training is trying to get him ready for school. He needs to learn about taking turns, not shouting out "shoes!" on every page of a book that has a kid with a pair of shoes on and instead listen to the story. He needs to be able to listen to a teacher when she says, "It's time to be quiet", or if he needs to be corrected that he won't run away and cry.

And what breaks my heart is thinking that George will not have a friend this year. I can't blame any other little 6 year old. George is not that friendly. He just does not know what it means to be a friend. So, I actually cry each time I think about George being totally alone at school. I have loner children; George is different. He is a social kid. He just does not know, yet, how an American young boy is supposed to act.

Today, I read an op-ed piece in the JS where a teacher actually urged a class "to be Christ" to a difficult child. Oh, if we lived in a time where that principal was taught to our kids every where and every day. Just be Christ to each other.

Yesterday, I checked out every book in the library on the topic of going to school. I even found one about riding a school bus! We drive by the school every chance we get and we are starting to purchase lunch boxes and back packs. But, I am still scared for my little boy for that first day that he walks down the driveway and gets on the big yellow bus.

He needs your prayers - starting today and continuing until September something (not sure the first day ,yet :)) I will tell him someday that a whole community of believers lifted this little guy into the throne room of grace because they cared about a small thing like going to school for the first time. His paperwork from the orphanage stressed how much he wanted to go to school and someday become a teacher - I trust God has a plan for George and maybe, just maybe, he will someday be a school teacher. That would make my family proud.


Kurt and Kayla said...

Addisyn has been home for 16 mths now and still does not have a true friend. Although she has come so far and is involved in many youth activities, there is still such a difference in her maturity and "quirkiness". I continually pray that God will send her a special friend but not too many 13 year olds want to invest alot of time into someone that just seems "different". It makes me sad.

MzzLily said...

As far as learning integrity and honesty. He will learn what he lives... just like all kids do. He has great role models.

He will learn social behavior too. It might take a while. To every thing there is a season...

I will pray daily for George's upcoming school days. And if he runs away and cries, he won't be the first kid to do that!

Kimberly said...

Hi! I stumbled across your blog a couple weeks ago (I'm in the process of adopting two children from Ethiopia) and have been following your family's story with George. Thank you for writing it! For those of us adopting older children, it's invaluable to hear from others who have "been there, done that." =)

While I normally don't comment on people's blog posts, when I read this post, I immediately thought of something that might be helpful to you. I just finished reading the book Attaching In Adoption, and the author recommended a specific book for teaching children social skills to prepare them for school and peer interaction. The book she recommended is Teaching Your Child The Language of Social Success (

I haven't had a chance to check it out yet, but perhaps it would be helpful for y'all. Just thought I'd mention it. =) In the meantime, I'll be praying for George and believing that God has a great plan for him!


mhomes said...

I will put George and school on my list!!!!! Keep us posted, Traci!! Ü