My wife has officially started our new schedule. Moving over the Holidays is not for the faint of heart and I am pretty sure it is not going to become one of the Hambrick Holiday traditions. Needless to say it has been crazy around this household for the last few months. At last the light has dawned! Its no longer at the end of the tunnel, but here! We are settled in, have plans to give Zoe a real nursery located outside of our closet, and are quickly learning the quickest routes to our favorite places in the area.
I love my new job. The best way to describe it is discovering what you were made for. I know it sounds like a line out of a pop song, or one of those fortune cookies at the closest Chinese buffet, but its the best way to describe things.
Along with the calming of our seas, is our new schedule. Jenn and I sat down at a local bookstore a few weeks ago and ran through our daily schedule. With four kids preparation is key to an orderly household and less grey hair. If I were completely honest with you, it took me about 2 days to process all our schedule entails; but I won't be honest and tell you I was right with my wife on this.
My wife is a pretty incredible person. I am living with the epitome of the Proverbs 31 woman. She hates it when I brag on her, but I am the head of the house and sometimes get to act like it.
But I digress. School is a major priority in our lives right now. Ella is eager to learn and an excellent student and the boys of course have to be involved in whatever she is doing and getting attention for. So, to include them my wife has come up with a pretty cool system. Each week we focus on a new letter for the boys. What sound it makes, how to write it, finding things around the house that start with the letter...that kind of stuff.
As I was tucking Eli into bed last night I just asked "What does A say!" He answered "Ahh!" He got it. Now you have to understand that this is quite the achievement for this little guy. By the time he was two he was living in an orphange, moved to another orphanage, and exposed to at least two different dialects in Ethiopia. Needless to say Eli did not get the building blocks to learning these things as a baby.
I was proud. I was excited because I knew how hard it had been to teach him this simply concept. A says Ahh. I moved to B. In eagerness. B says Bah. We repeated it, sang a song, said it loud, quiet, upside down, inside out, shaken, still, pretty much every way it could be said. Then I just had him repeat it. Over and over and over. We were making progress. Then I asked him. "What does B say?" The moment of truth. Had it gotten in? Had I stumbled upon the right strategy to help him learn? He said "uhmmmm...r?"
What?! He had just said it! He had repeated it, giggled it, said it on his own 10 times not 3 seconds before! Needless to say I was frustrated. I quickly went back to what he knew. "What does A say?" "Ahh" he said. "What does B say?" "Uhmmm...Ahh?"
Adoption is a beautiful thing. Having children opened up a whole new world to me on how God loves us and calls us His children. Adoption made that come alive even more. Not only does he call us His children and love us like His own, but we were NOT His children! Eli didn't smell, act, look, or feel like my kids when we first brought Him home. We had to learn to love him. Grow to love him. Ask God for grace to love him as much as our own. I am positive he had the same reaction to us!
As I was teaching Eli last night, I quickly became frustrated. Why wasn't he grasping this? What had I gotten into? Then the conviction came.
Another world was opened to me. How many times has God been trying to teach me, His adopted child, to obey, learn, and grow in Him and I just don't get it. I struggle, check out ,and ignore His simple, loving instruction. But thankfully, He takes the long view of my shortfalls! He patiently renews His grace every morning. He persistently calls out to me. He quietly teaches me. Every day. Even when I am just not getting it.
So for Eli, his education may be a long, hard road; but I know that he can do it. And I have a great example in my heavenly father of how I should be teaching him. With great patience, diligence, and confidence.
"he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will--" Ephesians 1:5
"being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus" Philippians 1:6.