Monday, July 27, 2009

We've moved in - Sort of

This will be short.

The movers picked up our household goods on Wednesday and delivered them on Thursday.

Boxes, Boxes, Boxes! Moving into a smaller home with half the storage space is a nightmare for Pam. Thankfully, we have a 2 car garage. We plan on using half of it for storage. I'll have to put up some type of lane barrier in order to avoid the creeping clutter disease from taking hold.

The commute!! 10 minutes from driveway to parking lot. Even when I worked on the Beach my commute was 45 minutes. I'm loving it! Of course I can't say that too loud; since Pam is working from home, she will be going back to the Beach a couple times a week. Not good, but she still can't beat the commute for the other days. about 10 feet from bed to computer desk.

I saw our kids talking to some neighborhood kids in the backyard today. That made my heart feel good.

Next week I start my next phase of training in Richmond. I'll stay there during the week and come home for the weekends. 4 weeks!! Yuck!

Well, gotta go put beds together.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Last Day on the Beach

I've lived all around the world (literally) and I didn't grow up anywhere near any beaches (unless you count the rocky shores of Lake Superior where the water is ice cold year round). In the almost 3 years here, we have grown to absolutely love the beach life. It's almost like year round vacation. The attitude on the beach is different. People's outlook on life is different here. It's almost like Hawaii, but the tans are MUCH lighter! :o)~

This is where seeing a deck full of flip flops is normal. It's where having an outdoor shower is not only normal, but necessary. It's where people go to church in tank tops, shorts and flip flops (their Sunday best flip flops, mind you). This is where people warn you that projects could be postponed because the Rock Fish (or whatever species) are running and you're about to lose half or all of your crew to fishing poles. Our church holds surf-camps rather than soccer camps. Our youth group meets on the beach in swim suits, to play beach games, and hold Bible talks. Half the population here deals directly with tourists (or tourons as we call them(behind their backs of course)) and the other half deals indirectly supporting the others.

We were blessed with the beautiful house right on the Currituck Sound, with a million dollar view of the sunset every night. And then we're only a 10 min drive to the Atlantic for a dip in the sandy, salty, soothing ocean. We've learned to overlook the crowded conditions of summer, and to cherish the quiet solitude of the rest of the year.

Everything has its trade offs of course. It's very expensive here. For example, gas is 20 cents more than just over the bridge from here, and 30 cents more than in Chesapeake. Groceries are expensive. Because we're such a small place, there a things that you don't get a lot of choices to pick from. The people here are great and we have a fantastic church family, yet the population here is rather, "homogeneous"; something we've grown accustomed to, but it really stands out when we leave the beach to go anywhere else.

We're not going to be far, and we will be able to come back rather frequently, but it's not the same as living here. There's nothing like it in the world.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Some struggles:


Our oldest son "J" is so immature for an 11 year old. Now, granted he's a boy and boys mature slower than girls, but he's really struggling. Our mantra lately has been - THINK! Think before you act. We're continually having to tell him to be careful around the little ones. After so many years of running the streets and playing with other street kids, being careful around younger ones does not come naturally. At times he does try, and I have to keep playing those times over in my head to remind me not to lose it.

Our youngest son "D" is struggling so much with the language. Where his sister is putting together 5-10 words for a sentence, he still struggles coming up with 1 word sentences in response to questions. His older brother is struggling, but he will come up with 3-4 words together, and sometimes more when he's on a roll. "D" is working on his whining. The Johnson family doesn't much tolerate whiners and tattle-tails. He's gotten to where he doesn't do it around the parents unless he's being reprimanded for something.

Our youngest daughter has begun to distance herself from us (the parents) some. I'm not sure if it's a matter of she thought she needed to be extra jovial to begin with and now she's calmed down or she is exhibiting a delayed symptoms of mild attachment disorder. We'll keep watching and praying.

We've been home with the kids a little over a month and we're moving out of town (not far, but far enough to have to change churches, doctors, schools, etc). STRESS!!! This is especially stressful for Pam. She'd been trying to transition her position at work for a replacement, but that person didn't work out. So now she's prayerfully considering taking on a flexible way of working it partly at home on a lap top and driving back a couple times a week. All that while trying to figure out packing, changing utilities, preparing to visit the new schools for the 3 newest recruits.

Prayer needs - Wisdom, Strength, Family Unity, Tenderheartedness, (and as much as I hate to say this) Patience.

Through good times and through bad

In adoption we are to take each other through the good times and the bad. One of the hardest things in parenting older children is convincing them that we will love them through the good times and the bad. We will love them through obedience and disobedience. We will love them when they show love to us and when they shy away from us. We will love them for being A-students and for being the ones who struggle for years just trying to grasp the most simplest of concepts. We love them for their laughter and through their tears. We will still love them after we tell them how disappointed we are for a certain act or behavior. We will love them when they cling to us and when they run away from home.

It ain't easy, but we promised them. When we took our children in we promised them that they matter to us, to the rest of the family and especially to Jesus. We promised them that they will never be alone again. We promised them that they will always have a home to come home to. We promised them that we will do everything in our power to protect them from harm. We promised to raise them in the Lord and His Love, mercy and admonition.

We have to let them be children after knowing that they spent so much time being little adults. It's hard to let them be children and try to get them to mature at the same time. So many disconnects in their lives where they have stopped maturing in parts of their psyche's and having to be hypermature in others. We have to work at getting all the parts to run in unison within their hearts and minds.

We try.