Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Choosing to do it differently!

We have raise 5 wonderful children! We love them with all or hearts and I have to say I think they have "turned out" quite nicely!! Not all five are a finished project but they are well on their way!

Our five older children have been raised more "mainstream". They had many activities, many friends, the went to public or catholic schools. Our friends were the parents of their friends. We basically did what everyone else was doing but we still had a bit of a flare that was all our own! We had lots of fun and lots of busyness!

When I look back I can see a few mistakes we made. We let our children go to their friend's cabins and miss time with Grandparents, we were at times too busy and lost our family time, we put too much importance on our children's friends and what others were doing and we did not outwardly share our faith we kept it hidden inside (we still have a tendency to do that). All of these mistakes I do regret and would love to have a chance to do it all over again but that is not an option.

Instead the Lord has given us an opportunity to do it all over again not with our birth children but instead through the blessings of adoption! This time around we are making some changes. In fact our birth children have had to do a double take and question us at times. They were happy with how they grew up and they are not always so certain about our new philosophy. Usually they come around and can understand our thought process but they still are cautious about completely agreeing with us. We are okay with that - there is not one right way to raise children. All children are unique and have different needs. We are trying to meet the needs of our new children... and to be honest we need to meet our needs also. Happy parents make happy children. I love working hard, I love giving tons of love and time but I am not a martyr- I know when I need a moment to regroup!

What are we doing differently this time-
We are homeschooling our adopted children. They have already spent too much time away from us and we want them with us. We want to make up for the lost time. This is for their benefit as well as ours!
We are trying to be more open and sharing with our faith. We are trying to walk with Jesus in front of the children and ask them to share this wonderful journey with us. We want our children to have an appreciation for God's creations.
We are showing our children all that family has to offer. With a family a child's needs are met, they are safe and secure, and their is laughter and fun. They can learn about the world in a safe environment. We would like to teach them many of their social skills within the family environment and a few friends.
We like going to the beat of a different drummer and making our own decisions. We do not want to follow the masses in a direction that may be the wrong one for this family. In other words we will not do what others are doing just because others are doing it- hope that makes sense!
We are unique and we want to embrace and celebrate our uniqueness!
We plan to make many of our family decisions through prayer and through God's direction. We love how he has guided us so far!
We would like to do a better job at encouraging our individual children's interests and talents in a low key way.
Each day we are moving forward with God's peace in our hearts. I want my heart so filled with God that their is no room for anything else!

We are more committed to enjoying the simple pleasures that life has to offer. Slow down and see the beauty! Be peaceful and pray! (Okay I know that adopting a bunch of kids is not exactly slowing down and creating simplicity but that is the plan and that is the direction!)

We feel good about our decisions. We feel we are making healthy choices for this family! To many of you bloggy loving, Jesus loving, adoption loving people out there this is not a new direction. To us, it actually is and we are loving it!


susieloulou said...

Boy, I know exactly what you mean. I have raised only the first five kids but would do things a little differently with another five! Carry on!! You are in the center of God's will :)

Mandi said...

I love that you are so honest with all of us. Too many people (myself included) worry too much about what others will think (I am a work in process). Kuddos to you for speaking your mind and for following God and your heart and not trying to keep up with the Jones'


Jboo said...

Love your honesty too! With olders (like you and I have), we can look back and see some mistakes and things we would do differently and are so blessed to have that opportunity to do so!


Pam said...

Ditto, ditto, ditto. What you have said mirrors our family EXACTLY!

Are These Kids All Yours? said...

LOVE IT!!!! We love our non traditional ways, and even though others doubt us at times. We I know seem very unusual to others, but you know I wouldn't trade it for anything!

Sally- That Girl! said...

So this is what you were going to comment on my post but it turned into a post itself!!!! Love it!!! great minds think alike okay adoptive parents who have done it all before and up to doing again think alike!!!

Love ya!

From the Erben Gang..... said...

Wow! I really agree. It is so nice to hear you say it with such open honesty! I oftentimes worry that our focus is too much on our family (it seems we do everything together) and that our kids will wish we had done things differently-but hearing you say all of this makes me feel good! That you so much for sharing.
Lots of love....laura

Janet said...

US too!! I have told people a million times that (although my big kids are great) adoption has given ME a second chance to do a better job! Love your blog! Janet

Karin said...

Love this post! :)

Sue said...

Well put and I think you learn as time goes on what works and not work. I have learned from others how to value our kids time and togetherness when they young to help them grow. you are doing awesome with all of your have been inspiration to me.

Janet and Kevin said...

Oh Jean,

I know what you mean! We are doing it differently this time around, too! Not that the first time was wrong, but the world changed, or so it seems, and we have a new focus on child rearing. And God has given us a second chance as well!

More time living our faith, more time with family, taking the busy out of our lives, and leaving in the quality in God's light.

Great post.

Janet, Kevin, Ted, Philip, and soon to be home Eli

Laura L. said...

What a great post. Absolutely, we must do what is right for our family, and what we feel the Lord wants us to do.
You guys are great parents - past, present, and future. Let God guide you and you'll get it right.
You will be doing it differently, but living differently is good. :)

Adeye said...

Oh I love your heart, my friend. Thank you for being so honest and vulnerable--and for living your life out loud for all of us to see (and learn from).

LOVE this post!

Sophie Neri said...

Jean, I love this!
THis is exactly what has been happening with us. As much as we loved God we were so busy involved in so many other things, but I always felt an emptiness, something missing from my life. My husband and I grew up in 2 different religions and finally decided to go to a Bible teaching church. What a difference, we love it! We host Bible study in our home 2x a week and I am involved in a women's Bible group as well.We work hard to make God a priority. While it is a change for our 2 teenage boys the younger kids are just fine with it. Also, adoption has changed our lives, we look forward to growing in the Lord and hope that He will bring more orphans into our home. God bless you and your family my friend

Mom to my China Posse said...

I Love this post and know exactly how you feel, I think us parents of grown kids, who are starting all over again have a little heads up and I to find myself doing things alot differant. Enjoy!