Saturday, June 1, 2013

Storms, Words, and Granny Panties

I barely woke (a little past midnight) as I heard the storm booming around me...that was until I felt water hitting my feet.

The room was black, as the electricity went out...even the cell phone towers went out. 

This little window, we keep open to keep air circulating, had the heavy winds blowing water over my bare feet. 
We are in the bed, NOT directly below the window, but across the room.

Trying to shut the window, our bedroom door (across the room) kept flying open with the harsh winds.

I didn't love the feeling of being completely separated from our kids.  Our computers were unplugged due to the storm (no internet), the cell towers were down (no calls and no text).  If there had been an emergency our kids could call our facilitator, but even she might not have been able to get through to us. Usually our Magic Jack is up all night so the kids can call in an emergency (free), but it is internet related.

We're spoiled though.  We faced wet feet and booming walls...that's it.

When we got out this morning to try to "change" a little money, we found limbs and trees down around town.  The worst of it I wouldn't take a picture of.

This tree was not leaning yesterday.
No wonder we lost power.  This is near where we are staying.

To the right...that's a gate.
A business, we were planning on asking our facilitator about on Monday, was burnt to the ground.  We assume it was a lightening strike.  This was a family's livelihood.  Please say a prayer for them. 

Tatiana, the wonderful woman caring for us, seemed to fare pretty well... a few uprooted plants seemed to be the worst.

The bank took a lot longer than we thoughts, and even leaving early, we still couldn't get to the institute on time.  Sigh...but then, I suppose everyone is still worn out from yesterday.  We actually are wondering if possibly the celebrations were for "International Day of the Child" which is today.  That is how it was translated to us at least.

We stopped by the grocery and "MAY" have picked up some more barbeque cheese meat to bribe the animals with...just maybe.  Ok, they loved it SO much.  Here's what it looks like...any ideas what it really is?  I'm a little scared to know.

We also picked up some pickle chips which I think need to be all over the place in the States.  Ya, I don't eat chips in the States anymore either.  Shoot...I'm picking up some  yummy bad habits.

I have to admit, when we arrived home, we crashed...first me...then when I woke up and got on here...Thomas.  It's time to feel rested. 

Thomas was not feeling fantastic, not sick so much, but a headache/jaw ache.  Me...just exhaustion...I think I could curl up in bed for a good 24 hours (smile), but then I'd miss Benjamin too much.

We finally made it to the institute, past all the blown down trees.  The institute faired well.

As we waited, we heard screaming from the back of the building...angry...not in voices, but as a grown boy/man stimming...melting.  Benjamin has done this and his smacks have hurt, yet this was a boy in a full sized man's body.

This has to be hard as a caregiver.  This big man/boy had a stick (we saw him briefly) and was swinging it around screaming in anger.  It must be a fearful time..for the boy stimming, for the caregivers.  You wouldn't be able to help being afraid of being injured.  We were close enough that a smidge of fear did occur.  It's so hard to know what this boys life would have been like.  Many of these behaviors can evolve.  He may have been completely different.  How do these (often) small women handle this?  Men are on the premises (at least one at all times it seems).   We ache for everyone...the situation/neglect that often creates this, the boy and what he could have become...the children that may fall victim to a rage or stimming...the caregivers that are trying (some really are)...the director trying to balance the lack of funds to help. 

It's awful to witness, there's no other way to say it.  Our son is there...many sons are there...

 On a positive note...we made a lot of progress today.  Thomas and I put the word out there that we needed to know more of the native language to guide Ben.  He's almost ten. He understands a lot and the language barrier itself, we realized, could frustrate him.  So we went to the sister-in-law Ruzanna (She's AWESOME and from Armenia), our facilitator Luda (who keeps us in line and continues to bless us each day), and some other adoptive parents.  We came up with a basic list...
*Do not hit
*Do not kick
*Be kind
*Do not throw
There are a few more that really helped as well.  Let me tell you...he did respond.  When he would start melting down because we were working on an activity that was NOT his favorite, we would say "wait".  He would wait and the meltdown would stop.  It was wonderful watching him understand so much more.  Oh, a smack did come...but it was just ONE smack.  He started to again, and when we used words he understood...just wow.

Our Heavenly Father has blessed us so very much.  We can feel the prayers as God guides us and calms Ben's spirit BEYOND what would make sense.

 As we work on preparing Ben to leave the institution, we also are working on directing him to toys that we DON'T throw.  Today we brought a little car.  He threw it a couple of times and we had him go get it (no melting down).  As he continued repeatedly throwing the ball, Thomas and I made car sounds behind him and rolled the car back and forth.  FINALLY, he didn't like not being a part of it and BRIEFLY let me teach him to ROLL the car.  I must admit we were so excited to see ANY bit of progress.  We need to find a focus that does not involve throwing for the car and the plane ride to the States (and to preserve a few windows).

One of the dogs at the institute.  There are two we count.  He doesn't like us a lot, but won't chase us, just barks if we get too close.

The other dog of the institute that roams the streets occasionally.

After a good visit, with just a little stimming, we made our way back home.  We're tired, but have SUCH a sense of forward movement with Ben after today.  We realize every day won't be like this, but what a beautiful journey we are privileged to be a part of.  What an honor God has bestowed on us in the parenting of Benjamin.

Random Thoughts, Random Pictures, Skype Pictures, and a TON of Prayer Requests

Random Thoughts of the Day and the End of Granny Panties

Yes, we get deep here.  We actually had this discussion.  If everyone in the U.S. hung out their clothes on a clothes line (as they do here), I'm thinking our holey, old, falling a part panties would probably be a thing of the past.  Granny panties would cease to exist.  We'd all have the lacey, attractive things for the world to see. 

Ok, so the reality is, we'd probably just dry the holey comfortable ones in the bathroom.  I know I would. 

Yes, I'm deep (and tired).  Shoot, my husband's asleep, so he can't check my filter.

Random Pictures

This is not a cat.  It's a squirrel in disguise (just in case anyone thought I was getting weird on cats).

Can you count three...squirrels?

These are two of many memorials in the town (above and below). 

The school in town.

Random motorcycle pictures as (escorted by the police) they kept coming and coming and coming.  I'm only posting two since they went on FOREVER.  Told you, random...

 I don't know what's wrong with me, I really don't.  I don't post millions of cute cat pictures everywhere.  I tease my husband and oldest daughter mercilessly for cracking up at cat videos.  I started though and I can't seem to stop.   I need help. 
We have almost a straight shot from the house we are staying at.  This is where we turn to go to the institute.
Uncle Steve, Gabe, and Max
Rachel wouldn't let Anna talk and was giggling like crazy (making us all giggle).  Anna starting messing with her back.  Uncle Steve just held on to both.  They were hilarious.
We continue to appreciate all prayers.  We ask that you please continue to pray for Benjamin’s name to be removed easily from the orphan registry.  It can be complicated, time extending, and expensive. 
ALSO, please pray for protection of Ben when we are not with him...not only from others, but also from his fears and anger (anger because we left him and fear of us not returning).
Please start praying for our trips to the place of Benjamin's birth on (possibly) Tuesday and also our trip back to the States.  Being in an enclosed area may cause Ben to stim.  He needs peace and calmness beyond human understanding.  Please also pray that Thomas and I know what we may do to prepare (wisdom and ideas).  Lastly, please pray everything works out in the capital to process things quicker (if it's God's will).  It looks like it may.
An  extra prayer... For a family dear to us that is fighting for the life of a family member against the addiction to drugs.  Please pray he turns to God and seeks help. 
Please also pray for another of our family members that is dealing with a neighbor that is mentally unstable.  There is limited the police can do since others in the neighborhood are afraid of retaliation should they report him.  It's serious and his actions toward our family members are scary, as well as some of the local children.  Thank you!!!!
ALL Prayer Requests

*Please pray that God continues to prepare Benjamin's heart and calms his spirit.  Giving him restfulness.  Please pray he attaches and learns to love (and learns what family is) quicker than we can fathom.  This will be scary for him.

*PLEASE pray that the master of lies hands are tied. 

*Please pray that the small town's gates are “figuratively” thrown down and God’s love floods the streets.

*Please pray our children at home (and on a senior trip) are safe...physically/emotionally/and spiritually.  Attacks on the kids happened last time we were gone on the trip to bring Jael home.  PLEASE cover them. 

*Please also pray as our children at home try to stay organized in our absence, that things go smoothly for them and time passes quickly.
*Please pray for my husband and I, for our SAFETY and that we remain WELL.  We are going somewhere VERY rural with no one that speaks English most of the time.  

*Please pray for my mom, brother, and friends as they care for our children (safety, smoothness, etc.)

* Please pray that the current trip has a speed that can only be explained as a blessing of God. 

*Please pray that our trip home with Ben is peaceful and uneventful.  Please pray that calm (beyond understanding) reigns for our sweet Benjamin and that we see what we need to do to help him.
*That ALL paperwork needed is sped (by God's Will) in country (with NO hiccups). That the registrar quickly and easily removes Benjamin from the orphan registry, making things easy.
*Please pray for comfort as we continue to mourn Jonathan.
*Please pray for us to have a connection with the head of the institution. God has given us a love for the head of the institution and the caregivers.  Also, please pray for our connection to those in the village.

*Please pray that the head of this institution shows us where Benjamin has resided these last two years...and around the institution and laying rooms.  This is a wish, but we respect their decision.

 *Please pray the trip  itself is smooth.  There are NO issues.  That every blip, every ironed out before us.

*Please pray that our lines of communication with our children are successful (Skype, Magic Jack, international texting).  We will be in a very rural region.

*Please pray that we will feel rested and adjust to the time change while here.

"About Benjamin He said:'Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in Him, for He shields him all day long, and the one the Lord loves rests between His shoulders.' Deuteronomy 33:12

1 comment:

  1. The memories behind the green gates and the white block wall. The sounds and the smells still fresh memories. Appreciate your posts and your efforts to bring the light of Jesus to Benjamin and the other sons still waiting.


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