Thursday, June 5, 2008

Life Lessons and Celebration Day 5

The above picture is my dream. Charlotte and I walking through a meadow, hand in hand, sharing our hearts and creating loving memories for her to take into adulthood.
The picture below is my reality.Let me explain. First, I want to clarify that is not a picture of Charlotte. It is a random picture off the net. What in the world is she doing??? She is sucking Redi-whip out of a can. Like always, I am getting ahead of myself.
I am the kind of person who has no trouble accepting constructive criticism. I am also the kind of person who has no trouble accepting a compliment. If you tell me you admire my quilting, I graciously accept the compliment. If you comment that my floors or sink are beautifully clean, I will smile on the inside and the out. The clean floors, shiny sink, or hand quilting do not define me though. There is, however, something that has been very difficult for me to accept. Since I started blogging and sharing our story of adoption and trauma, I have had SO many of you tell me how wonderful I am . How blessed my children are and how you are amazed at my willingness to do what I do. I get a lump in my throat when I read these comments. Not because I am being humble or choked up at the sweetness of the complement, but because I know it is not earned. I have made no secret of the fact that I struggle and continue to struggle daily in raising my daughter. Somedays I do it kicking and screaming all the way. I have failed more times than I have succeeded, and I wonder what Charlotte's opinion would be. Since blogging, my own opinion has changed. How? Through a life lesson I learned from another blogger. I have been reading Cheryl's blog Coppers Wife for a very long time. You all know how I feel about her wisdom. I "look" at her Dani and yearn for my Charlotte to possess a portion of the virtues this young lady has. Then I think about Corin, Dani's older sister, who is married, and raising a family of her own, and doing it with such honor and integrity. I have spilled many tears in prayer for my own daughter as I have such fear she will be unable to raise a family. The stress and fear I carry regarding this child of mine is a burden that has been almost unbearable. This was not a burden the Lord wanted me to bear, but one I took upon myself, none the less. It changed me, and not for the better. I lost my joy as a parent where this little girl was concerned. I woke up most mornings knowing the day would go sour as soon as Charlotte's feet hit the floor. I am not shining a very positive light on myself, I know. But it is truth. One day, all that changed. I had bought a can of redi-whip for a special dessert. I can not tell you why, but I was completely horrified when I went to use it and the can was sucked dry!!!! Charlotte had, in less than a few hours, snuck into the frig various times and emptied it. I guess it is a falsehood that you get high huffing redi-whip, cause she seemed fine. Now why this would shock me is baffling cause the girl has stolen, horded and gorged since day one. If you have read my Face of Trauma posts you know I "get it". It still felt like I was personally violated (against everything I know to be true). That evening, in an exchange of e-mails I shared the redi-whip fiasco with Cheryl. I got back a reply I had not expected. I can not remember exact wording, but I will tell you Cheryl and both her daughters laughed for days, sharing their own "sucking out of the redi-whip can" stories. Laughed?? What is so funny about that??? I stepped back and looked at it from outside my own self-pitying reality. OH MY GOSH!!! It was funny!!!
Then Cheryl shared a story about a mom and a daughter. At a potluck meal, the daughter was helping the mom clear up the food. She (the daughter) went to put the redi-whip back in the frig. The mom said, "WHAT are you doing?? You know better than that!! Bring that here!" The daughter brought the can over to her mom and gave her a full squirt of redi-whip right in the mouth and then took one herself. "NOW, you can put it away!"
While reading that e-mail, my heart melted. Poor Charlotte would never experience that kind of interaction with me if I continued in the same uptight thinking. I decided right there that whatever Charlotte's future was, is out of my control. Her future belongs to God and to herself. Her present, however, was, and is, within my reach. We still have issues, but I am constantly reminding myself to have a "redi-whip" mentality! And I just saw they are putting Cool Whip in a can!!! WOOHOO!
I have learned alot from so many of you and want to take this opportunity to thank you all. And thank you Cheryl, Corin and Dani for helping this uptight Mommy loosen up a little!!
Are we ready to party???
Celebration Day 5
1) What captivated me about Zachary?
(Zach picked this question. He loves it when I tell him the story of how he "captivated" me)

2) What is Bud's real name?

If you didn't know my family before, you sure do now!! Remember, you need to comment on the Celebration post for your answers to count.


Love Bears All Things said...

Philipians 4:6%7 I know several children who haven't had Charlotte's background who sneak and/or hoard food.

#1 I thought of several things here and don't know if any of them are what you're looking for. You said his eyebrows looked like catepillars when you first saw him. He stopped crying every time you held him that first day and called you "Mama" right away. #2 Kim.
Mama Bear

Nancy said...

Those "caterpillar" eyebrows "captivated" you.....

Bud is KIM.....

Debi said...

Finally have a chance to read your blog. Let's see, Kim is your son and Zach's eyebrows were what captivated you.

Linda said...

Caterpillar eyes and the fact that he stopped crying and called you mama. Bud's name is Kim, after his dad.

The Vintage Housewife... said...


Niki RuralWritings said...

Buds name is Kim after his dad and Zachs caterpillar eyebbrows.

Isn't it wonderful how we can encourage each other...I loved that post!

Su Bee said...

Zach's catapillar eyebrows and immediate acceptance of Mama -- and Bud is also a Kim. Those were easy ones today!

Tamara said...

I would have to join the crowd and say his caterpiller eyebrows. But after re-reading the day he called you mama it is a tough call.

Buds real name is Kim after his father.

Julie said...

I am about to go searching for the answers but I just wanted to share something with you first!
I am going through some of the same struggles with my adopted daughter. I am also going through some of the same struggles myself. Just seeing how another mom who "gets it" handles it is such a relief to me. What so many in my life don't understand is that she is not a "normal" (for lack of a better word) functional 11 year old. She charms the socks off of most people. They don't understand our struggles. I try daily to let go of my ideal of "the perfect family". The one I'd built up all these years. Girls in dresses and aprons working along side me with joy and laughter. School days full of fun and learning.
Your words are such an inspiration to me. I understand you are not perfect. I don't expect you to be. Just please keep sharing your struggles. They mean so much to me.

Now off to find some answers!! :)

Julie said...

The catepillar eyebrows...and by the way I just cried my way through that story!!

Kim is Bud's real name after his dad.

These were the quickest questions yet. Usually I have to search the whole blog..something I am really greatful for!! :)

Corin said...

#1. His little catapillar eyebrows (I tear up every time I read that story!)

#2. Kim

If you guys ever make it out this way, we should have a Reddi-Whip huffing contest! ;-) Although personally, I prefer Cool Whip and a spoon LOL

Dani said...

Cool Whip in a can, what will they think of next? It is so much less tell tale then taking a spoonful out of a carton ;-D mom might have trouble stirring cocoa powder into it though.

We finished Cranford last night and I think everyone loved it, how could anyone not?

Okay, down to business. Zach's caterpillar eyebrows are what "captivated" you. He is so cute!

Bud's name is Kim after his dad.

Copper's Wife said...

Zach's captivating caterpillar eyebrows

Bud is Kim

For Julie above: It's all in the journey...I had plenty of days with my girls that were horrid. You can ask them, I'm sure they remember! What you must keep in mind, whether your child is yours biologically or through adoption, is that what you are aiming for is the final outcome, not a perfect day here and there. What do you want for your daughter as an adult? Keep your mind on that prize, your eyes on the Lord, and your heart in constant prayer. Don't get bogged down in the day to day failures. The days are long, but the years are short.

Cool Whip in a can? That just ain't right! Redi-Whip in a can to be squirted into your mouth, and Cool Whip, with cocoa powder stirred in, to be eaten with a spoon directly from the carton - that's the way it should be. Put the cocoa powder Cool Whip in the freezer for 10-15 minutes for an added treat! hahahaha

Okay, I'm done blogging your blog now. ;-)

Alesha said...

Zach's "caterpillar" eyebrows captivated you!!! (What a cutie he is in that pic!!!)

And Bud's name is Kim.

Regarding Charlotte, this is what I have seen. Over the past several months, you seem to be looking at her with new eyes. I hear the "wonder" in your writing at what an amazing young lady she is becoming.

That Cheryl is just something else, isn't she? I just love her!

Hey, and I remembered one of your answers from my early reading this past week, and I found the other one myself!!! I'm getting better!!! LOL!


Mamabeanof4 said...

I knew Bud's name was Kim-after your hubby, right?!?

The other one was harder-but, after looking hard-yes-I can see how those caterpillar eyebrows sucked you in!!!!!

We ALL want our children to be Godly-we can only do what God leads us to do AND hang on for the ride of our lives!!! What an amazing blog confession today. Thank-you for sharing!
I can just picture Cheryl and her girls laughing about the Redi-whip too! They are the epitome of fun! Wish I had been one of there children;)

Solstitches said...

It was Zach's caterpillar eyebrows that captivated you but I think it was the fact that he called you Mama that stole your heart.
Bud is named Kim for his dad.

Mrs. Sew and Sew said...

Hi Bren, I remember Bud's name is Kim. I have a friend and her hubby's name is Kim also. That was easy for me.

It was Zach's caterpillar eyebrows that captivated you.

I wanted to let you know that the decluttering of my house is coming along. The book It's All Too Much has been a great help. I have a long way to! After 15 years of cluttering, it will take awhile to declutter. Thank you again. :)

Guðrún said...

I think it was his eyebrows that captivated you and isn´t Bud´s name Kim? I think this day was an easy one :)

Kathy said...

You were captivated by "the caterpillars he had for eyebrows", and Bud's real name is Kim. Everyone outside your home calls him that. He shares his dad's name... :)

Angie said...

Ah, Bren, you make me cry. Give yourself credit - you're doing the best you can with what you know - and you still have the drive to learn more. Wanting the best for Charlotte and trying to give her a good foundation is not a bad thing. I have a feeling she'll surprise you when she's older.

You're so sweet. Knowing what you know now will help. It's acknowledging the source that helps make the changes. Hope that helps. :)

Now ... for the answers.
I remember reading about Zachary and his caterpiller eyebrows :)
and Kim is Bud's real name. Cathy's right ... he does share the same name as Sweetheart (that would be your husband ... hee, hee).
God bless and have a good day!

meggie said...

Mant things about Zachary, but the caterpillar eyebrows featured largely. His instant bonding with you, too.
Your Bud is your second Kim.

Susan said...

Loved your Reddi Whip story! I also love Cheryl's blog for her wisdom and sense of peacefulness.

Your Zachary's little caterpillar eyebrows are what captivated you. I'm beginning to get familiar with your blog - I remembered seeing the post about Zachary when I was searching for something else, so I went right to it!

Bud's real name is Kim. I had seen that one before too.

Sarah Dee said...

Zach's caterpillar eyebrows... still cute! I remember that one, as I often think of it when I see Zachary's picture in the sidebar. I gleaned that Bud's real name is Kim after your Sweetheart. :) You don't say... Cool Whip in a can? I am so there.

Hadias said...

Since I had only recently found your blog I don't know the answers to many pf the questions, but I am having a great time getting to know you through the answers of all of your beloved readers.

I just want to encourage you with the verses that have comforted me and have helped me to remin focused on the eternal victory that God istrying to reap in my children.

I struggle often with a strong willed child and this helps me to stay focus on the eternal goal.

Galations 6:9
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Continue to cast your cares upon the Lord.

Robin said...

1. the "catapillars" he had for eyebrows
2. Kim, just like his Daddy
This is fun!

Karen T. said...

Bren, Here is why I think the compliment is is because you get up in the morning, every morning, and try again!! You don't hide under the bed!! And also it is earned because you are REAL. You don't pretend to be perfect or to have arrived. You are real and honest.

If I ever did adopt, I would not go to the plastic smiley person with the pat answer for everything and everyone. I would go to the one with the honest struggles who would kneel beside me and pray and encourage me along the way. I would look to the one who would understand when I failed and be ready with a hug. I have a feeling you would be one of those people.

When someone is not afraid to be real, others around cannot help but relate. No matter our own circumstances or trials, we all try and fail, and repent and try again. We have our victories but our downfalls too. We find ourselves failing and in sin again and again. But we reach out to the Savior and He forgives and heals and teaches and helps us to walk anew moment by moment. So we relate to the honest struggler.

These are lessons you can give to these dear children. The gift to keep trying, to never give up. The knowledge of Who to run to when failures happen. The gift of unrelenting love!!

Karen T.