Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Saved From Ourselves OR Is It Completely Unfair...

When we started our adoption journey(s) in 2007
we decided to make a few changes in our family life.
Changes we felt would be for the better for the newly adopted children
and for the slightly older than average parents.

We decided that our focus would be-
on God and our Christian faith
and that we would not
over schedule or over book ourselves.
The children could participate in extracurricular activities
 based on their interests and needs.
(Needs meaning swimming- for strength and safety.
Gymnastics for strength and coordination, etc)
We would not spend an overabundance of time
on one activity that would take away from our family time and our values.

In other words.
NO traveling and competitive sports.

We did competitive sports with the older five.
It was a huge commitment and it took away from our family life.
Often times, one or two or three children would be gone at a tournament or a practice across town.
They would miss Grandpa's Birthday, a family gathering or even worse
we were ALL stuck in a gym for the whole weekend.

I am making it sound awful but it wasn't...
we met so many wonderful people, we learned so much
and our children followed their passions while their family supported them.
It was good for the older five and for us.

BUT this time
we were doing it different.

We have more important things to do...

Our new children need a childhood...
(truly is there anything more important than that?)

They need their health issues taken care of...
(okay... once again, is there anything more important that that?)

They needed to know the love of Jesus and learn about our amazing God!
Once again, and this trumps the others- is there anything more important than that?

No, there is nothing more important than this!

Once again,
NOOOOO, there is nothing more important than this!

They needed to learn about family and why they need parents.
They needed to learn a new language and they needed an education.
Well, I could go on and on
but you get the point, right!

And in all fairness-
we have our own selfish reasons.
We like to get away from the cold in the winter and we don't want to spend the next 20 years of our lives doing things solely based on children's activities.

So now, here we are faced with the dilemma-
Sarah is asking if she could try out for a gymnastics team.

Hubby and I go back and forth and back and forth with the issue.
yes, no, yes, no, yes, no

Then we prayed about it and sent her to the tryouts.

Sarah is a good gymnast.
She is talented and very self motivated.
But she is older than the other kids on the team.

Next thing you know,
we find ourselves talking to the coaches,
(Not what we had planned to do but the motherly and fatherly instinct took over.)
asking them to give her a chance and not to base their decision on her age.
After all, she lived 8 yrs of her life in an orphanage and look how far she has come!

They think because she is older it will change the dynamics of the team.
We keep telling them that even though on paper she is 15- she is really at the level of a 13 yr old.

Well, as Sarah would say to Sam,
as he rambles on and on and on,
(we love our Sam!)
could you please make the long story... short!

Okay then!

They do not put her on the team...

She is good enough but they had their built in bias
and no matter what we said, we were not going to change that...

It felt so unfair...

but at the same time...
we just aren't sure it would be a fit for our family.

We prayed over it and the outcome is what it is...
Sarah is passionate about gymnastics but she is also loves horseback riding, swimming, being with her family and so many other things.

So, is it completely unfair?
 has our Dear Lord saved us from ourselves?

We are choosing to trust God.
(not people)

In other words...
It was completely unfair
we were saved from ourselves!

Praise the Lord!


Sammy said...

As the Mom of 12 kids plus being my age (which is probably about your age) I say think of YOURSELF for pete's sake! : - ) I can tell from your blog your children do not go without. And, besides how many people invest all the time and money on sports and their kids in the end do not want to keep doing it? Or how many do sports like a religion with no concern for their child's after life?

Vicky said...

Loved this post!

It's a Wonderful Life said...

We too choose to live life the way you do. We have had the same scenario come up more than once and each time the Lord directs our path. It is disappointing sometimes but I can see that our lives and focus are just what they are supposed to be. I love that I can gain support from a great family and person like you.

Jennifer P said...

Thanks, Jean for sharing this perspective. These decisions are tough when a child asks but somehow seem to work out, thank the Lord!

just me said...

Hello! My daughter (adopted at 7 mos., now 16 yrs.) was a competitive gymnast. She started gymnastics at age 2 and just quit at Level 9 (Ohio State Champ Levels 6 & 7!). For the past 4 yrs, she practiced for over 20 hrs a week. This is what it takes to compete. It was year-round conditioning -- gymnastics is an "upper body strength" sport. They cannot afford to lose any muscle even in the off-season. It takes years to properly develop their muscles so they can safely master their skills. Then there's the "fear" issue. Gymnasts start off young -- because they don't have a fear of release moves and series. It's a great sport -- we loved watching our girl! But it takes serious dedication . . . I can't tell you how many vacations and holiday trips were scheduled to accommodate her practice schedule. I hope I'm not crushing your hopes for Sarah, but starting this late would be very, very difficult . . . especially when her younger teammates move up a level and she probably would not because it's that much harder for her to get her skills.

Sally R said...

Agree with every point stated!!! Oh, we have so much to talk about!!!!

Lori said...

We did it all with Phase 1 too... I'm happy they got to experience those things they felt passionate about, but I don't honestly know how much "good" it did them long term! It seems almost to foster a very individualistic, self-centered view of life and family and I do NOT like that! We see our Phase 2 children as an opportunity for a "do-over" and, like you, are primarily choosing to say "no" to competitive sports and extracurricular activities. They dance and they cheer at school and we encourage them to have fun and express themselves, but we stick closer to home and to each other. We are learning about serving one another, and doing life as a family, instead of a bunch of individuals who cohabitate. I pray my girls don't resent it as they get older. From my "older mom" point of view... our family life is far healthier and headed in a direction that better honors the Lord. As you say.... That IS the point!!!! Stick to your guns, Jean... You are doing an awesome job and I see Christ in the way you love your children and point them to HIM! <3