We have learned that when Ethiopian
children are being corrected by an adult,
they are trained to look down, or away from the adult.
In our house that is not the rule.
My mom and friend have teased me for the last 17 years
that I tell my kids,
"Look into my eyes"
when I need their attention.
When we are playing and goofing around with Donovan and Elijah -
there has been wonderful eye contact,
but not so much when they are being corrected.
And there is definitely no answering from them,
when they think they are being reprimanded.
While seeing our boys at the orphanage,
and watching how they interacted with their friends,
we knew we would have to work on saying,
and helping them understand that pushing and shoving
do not solve anything.
For the first few weeks we were able to get the other kids
to play along and be overly dramatic
when we apologized to each other,
letting the boys see what is expected in our family.
The other day,
Jailyn and Donovan had a run in,
literally they ran into each other in the hallway.
Jailyn was crying (not really hurt by crying)
as I went to Donovan he was beginning to put up
his wall of defense -
eyes down, closed lip...
I thought, ugh! I'm not going to get anything out of him.
I said a quick prayer for help, the right words and patience -
and asked him,
"Did Jailyn get hurt?"
He nodded "yes"
"Should we go check on her?"
He nodded "yes"
We went to Jailyn who was now in the other room.
Without any instruction from me,
he put his arms out for a hug
"I'm sorry Jailyn"
I about cried!
Jailyn returned the hug,
"I forgive you."
Ohhhh so sweet!!!
Yesterday we spent the morning and most of the afternoon
at our neighborhood pool,
(a place where everyone is happy)
but we were there so long that we didn't get a nap.
Donovan and Elijah were exhausted by 6pm -
both having to be woken for dinner.
Getting ready for bed was not our normal
they were pushing every button,
trying to fight going to bed -
so I told them that they need to behave or no story for them.
Donovan didn't take me serious until we went to the little kids room
and I sent him to his bed rather then sitting on the floor
for story time.
(Elijah doesn't understand all of this - he stayed in his bed,
smiling and giggling.)
Jorja and Jailyn had to get some chores finished that they hadn't done earlier,
so Donovan and I got a chance to chat.
I asked him if he wanted to come down for story time.
He nodded his head,
I told him all he needed to do was use his words.
and out of his mouth came,
"I'm sorry Mom."
Ohhhhhh so sweet!
We hugged and he got to come down for story time,
with a smile on his face and a spring in his step!
I love to see how my boys,
are learning how a family,
how their family works.