In the beginning, JD adamantly only wanted two children. I thought that four would be perfect. Once we caught God's vision of putting orphans into families, our plan was multiplied by God. We are currently blessed with 12 children; five biological, six adopted and one more waiting in Ethiopia. Our first adoption was from the U.S., the next three were from Liberia, West Africa, and our last two were from Ethiopia. We are supporting our 12th child in Ethiopia after her adoption could not pass court.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Discouraged in the Land of Parenting Little Boys

The last two weeks has presented several occasions with James and Ben that have left me just shaking my head. I haven't written the specifics of the the things they have done, but the list is rather long and definitely discouraging. One of the stunts included pulling the fire alarm at the Y, resulting in the evacuation of 250 people (150 swim-team participants) into the cold rain. Upon further questioning, he claimed he thought it was a Purrell dispenser in spite of the red sign that said FIRE. Another stunt involved sneaking sandwich baggies of uncooked rice (some filled with water) down to their room - one ate it resulting in quite the stomach ache while the other just made a mess on the carpet with it. Jumping to today, we had a throw-the-shovel incident outside during chore time which resulted in splitting open the eye-brow of his brother. The guilty party then came in and resumed life as if nothing happened. The injured brother later came in and asked for a band-aid, while I freaked out and got ready for an urgent care visit. In all these cases (and more!) there have been swift and direct consequences; the fire alarm incident resulted in losing Chuck E Cheese play time (since we were on the way there) as well as months of grounding from the Y. While I see true remorse after these incidents, I am losing hope of helping them think through the the consequences before the actions. I realize that I can depend more on Tori's logic at age five than I can the boy's at eight and nine.

Realistically, they both started with real disadvantages, one from horrible neglect in America and the other from the Bush of Africa, but neither have any obvious disabilities. I am at a huge loss of how to get them to weigh what they do before they do it AND how to get them to grasp that wrong is wrong even if they don't get caught!

Keeping it real guys; my life isn't all fun and braids!


  1. Jenny, keep the faith. The boys' "uncle" Mitch is one of two brothers just 18 months apart, and he and his brother survived jumping off of second floor balconies with umbrellas a-la Mary Poppins among the millions of hair-raising things that they did. Josh and Austin keep me spinning b/c just like Ben and James, they just don't care about consequences right now. If they have a mind to do something destructive, they do it. And blood is a badge of honor to them and a complete meltdown for me! Mitch keeps me calm with lots of reassurance that they won't be delinquents and that they will be God-fearing men... I guess it's just something we all have to get through when you have two boys so close in age.

  2. ok i know we talked today & it's not funny as the situation we discussed about my home isnt funny...but your "keeping it real folks, life cant be all fun and braids"...i am howling! Jenny you will get through. boys are so great. you are a good mom with the patience of Job. i know James & Ben will turn out just fine...the main thing is to pray...constantly pray. i'm learning that without that first...nothing will work. love you.

  3. Oh, Jenny. I am sorry for your discouraging time. i have two who do stuff like that. I just don't get it. I have cried, I have screamed, I have done all kinds of things. Yes, I have prayed and sought after the Lord's wisdom. I think the Lord is teaching me some really big lessons on how to love my kids through the craziness, to dedicate them daily over to HIm, and to trust and surrender to Him. and to seek after His creativity and organization in managing my family. I think He is teaching me about how to speak to them, discipline them, etc... in a way that does not deal with the immediate problem so much as touching the heart long term. It has already seemed like such a LONG journey, but... I am blessed as I see the Lord working in my own heart, challenging me to believe and to pray with faith. I see that, as I FAST AND PRAY, He is working things out in my kid's hearts that I did not even know about. Of course, you must remember... boys will be boys. some are more rambunctuous than others. some will keep you on your toes, that is for sure. but... think ahead.. to the character He is building in them, that He can use for HIS glory. I am pretty sure that Peter and Paul must have been pretty strong willed boys, and look at how the Lord used them. You and I should write a book... Antics Of My Young Boys... (We could gather stories from all of the mother's of boys in our lives and get quite a stash of info, I bet...hahahahah) if nothing else, it will get us to laugh as we remember the craziness, cry at God's continued faithfulness, and remember to rely on God's "strength for today and hope for tomorrow".

    Sister, May the Lord comfort your heart today, fill you with peace, and give you effective wisdom in dealing with your beautiful children. Hugs... and many thoughts.

    celita :-)

    and, I also loved your last quote... "keeping it real folks, life cant be all fun and braids" Just GREAT!!! And so TRUE!!! ;-)

  4. i love daysease's comment. she nailed it with the comment about touching their hearts for the long term and not necessarily right in the moment...the book Shepherding A Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp (i think is the author) i would suggest to anyone. But also what daysease said concerning God showing them how to be through the trials of raising kids. that's how i feel. i think, speaking of my situation, it has magnified to me my shortcomings & how i need God to transform me to help my particular child in their shortcomings. it is so not easy being a parent. but at least you havent lost your sense of humor.