Welcome back. Day 2:
“My Child Would Never….”
Let me start by saying, I currently have six children. We are a foster family. I have four biological children; one adopted son (#samiam), and a placement who has been with us a long time. He had me at hello. But, that is a story for another post. I speak from experience when I say: do not ever say: “My child would never…” If you say this, they will do the very thing that you said they would not do. Furthermore, if you say your child won’t do something while you are pregnant, the bad ju-ju cannot be filtered by the placenta.
My first encounter with this phenomenon, and yes there have been others I am a slow learner, happened with our third child. I was about seven months pregnant when someone bemoaned her trials with her 3-year-old daughter. The trial? The child refused to wear shoes. After leaving a pot-luck lunch, I said these words:
“Oh, my word! Suzy is such a hick. ‘Ashley won’t wear shoes.’ Puh-lease! Just put shoes on the child. Who is in charge in this relationship?”
When I said these words our unborn son’s DNA, neurological make-up, and destiny were chemically altered. When I say our son would not wear shoes – we had to put him in counseling because of his disdain for socks; FOR SIX YEARS. Horseback therapy to help him to make some sort of cognitive brain connection so he would not lose his ever-loving mind if we drove past a Payless. We had to go into marriage counseling because of the strain on our relationship from ongoing shoe battles. One time we had to be escorted out of a Sears by a mall cop because of an incident in a Footlocker; we are still banned from all Footlocker’s in the western states, and Kentucky I think. As he entered his teenage years things continued to decline. He is 6’4″ at the ripe old age of 15. How do you make someone that size put shoes on?
He now attends school at a Marine Military Academy. He is smart and has just been promoted again. Rumors around town were, he got in trouble and this was his punishment. This is inaccurate. We couldn’t get him to wear shoes. Apparently, the only humans that can get him to comply with the societal rule of footwear: The Marines.
I say these things to you because I care about you. Do you have any idea how much military school costs? There is only one way you can be sure that your child won’t do something you find lacking or disobedient:
DO NOT SAY HE WON’T DO IT.
If you see a child throwing a wet cat fit in Target you say:
I hope my child acts like that every day of his life!
If you see a teenager with piercings and tattoos, with a t-shirt that says ‘I hate you’, and dressed all “Goth” you say:
That child is pure sunshine! I wish I had 12 more just like her!
If a mother says to you “I can’t get my little guy to eat? He will only eat flamin’ hot Cheetos and chocolate milk.” You say:
That seems like a reasonable diet for a toddler! That is what I will feed my baby too!
If you see a nine-year-old with a pacifier and a baby blanket getting off a school bus you say:
Awww! That is the cutest thing I have ever seen!
If you hear a family sent their son to school with Marines:
You drop and give them 50.
Do you follow what I am saying? This is sound parenting advice you won’t get from Dobson. But its impact on your child’s future is second only to his or her commitment to Jesus. Scripture tells us, “Raise a child up in the way he should go and in his old age he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6
This promise from the Lord and never saying never are your only hope. These little people are counting on you to shut up. You just never know my friend.
You have been warned.
All fun and kidding aside, I have been overwhelmed and touched by the outpouring of love for my writing. Glory to God. I feel as though I have a thousand new friends. I have boohooed over the interest in foster care, respite care, and transitional care. I am hard at work on a static page with more information for you. Again, Glory to God. I want to continue to share the funny ups and downs and with that comes the joy and the heartache. We are an average family. With average struggles. We love Jesus and each other. Foster care families aren’t perfect, so please don’t let that hinder you in your pursuits. It is always easy to look from the outside and think you would do something one way or the other. You can’t possibly know until you get there. We have made decisions we thought we would never have to make, and they have always been made with fervent prayer. Life is sticky. But God is Sovereign. When you feel you have dropped the ball, ask Him to pick it up, and fill in the gaps. I hope your day is filled with blessings. Thanks for reading!
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami