Adoptive Momhood – Chapter 4: Several Confrontations & A Bright Note

I know, you’re all just dying to read what we’ve been up to the past few months, but it’ll have to remain somewhat of a mystery–unless you want to read between the lines of our new website,  http://customcomfortmt.com, since the start-up of our business has been the reason for delays here.  I started to write a few times in the past week, but I struggled to condense a few months into one post so I bagged the whole thing and decided I’ll attempt to weave in some details as I move forward. That’s what I gotta do!  Just keep swimming, just keep swimming. (That’s not to say this post won’t be long.)

I will back up to last Monday, though. It was the beginning of several random confrontations that would ensue over the next two weeks.

Monday, 6/8: My car got hit. I’ll put the story in a post of it’s own. I wanted to tell off the girl who hit my car, but I didn’t.

The next lovely series of events have come in the package of a 10 year old. Yep, since I last wrote, Samantha has turned 10. And if I gave any indication of her stubbornness before, it pales in comparison to her present status. Besides school being out and having some more new changes to adjust to, I think the fact that she’s grown a few inches since she came to live with us has something to do with this new stage. What do I know!? Well, I do know this: She’s a Unique and tries our patience. It’s a darn good thing we love her to death!

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Tues, 6/9: The blessed iPod is lost. Life has not been the same. Not only does Samantha cooperate less, but we don’t have the iPod to use as a bargaining chip at the moment. This is not the only thing she has lost since coming to Utah. And I’m sure the behavior is not uncommon for kids her age. Please tell me this is true and what you do to help solve the problem.

Fri, 6/12 I don’t want to go! This is her answer to anything that involves something she hasn’t done before. I was going to a bridal shower for my awesome friend Shanna and was excited to spend some time with Samantha. She grumbled, but seemed to enjoy herself while there. But when we walked in the door after getting home and Alan asked how it was Samantha said, “Horrible.” I was not happy and told her she hurt my feelings because it should have been enough that she was with me and I know she enjoyed herself. She apologized and later said she did have fun.

Mon, 6/15 – The reading battle leaves me exhausted! It’s good I’m stubborn too and value the activity very highly because I haven’t given in yet. After several attempts to find a book she’ll stick with, leading up to a 20 minute debate about the importance of reading, I think we finally found a book that, while I’m reading it with her, she will not act like a caterpillar inching in endless circles…uh, wait…she did do that last night. Drat! (Seriously, the girl cannot sit still!) At least she chose the book this time and seems interested in the story: Chronicles of Narnia: Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Maybe we’ll actually get passed Chapter 2 of this one!

Mon, 6/15 – A thief. There is a neighbor girl who comes to call on Samantha regularly. Samantha never seeks her out because she doesn’t really enjoy playing with her, but it’s often a situation where she’ll play with her just because she’s there. This little 8 year old has been getting on my nerves from day one for many reasons that have to do with a lack of respect for adults and other people’s homes. I’ve had to set her straight on the rules at our house, but we’ve suspected her of taking things from our house and so I was happy when I caught her red-handed. Samantha told me she took my reading glasses. When I saw her out on the corner riding her scooter with the red framed spectacles on, I called to her and told her to bring the glasses with her. She quickly handed them to the girl with her and said, “They’re mine!” Uh-huh, right. I gave her a little forceful talking to as she handed the glasses to me.  We haven’t seen her since. Hmm…maybe that’s where Samantha’s iPod is???

Mon, 6/15 – Bullies. There’s an 11 or 12 year old husky boy across the street that likes to call Samantha the “B” word and other names. Knowing Samantha’s tendency to dish out a rather healthy dose of attitude, she could have done something to provoke a reaction from a bully, but Samantha insists she didn’t in this case. When this boy happened to be on the same corner as the aforementioned twirp with my glasses at that moment I confronted her, I did not hesitate to give him what-for. I was kind yet forceful in telling him to stop calling people names. He said, in a whimpery sounding tone, “Ok. I won’t.” Unfortunately I’m too nice. His behavior has worsened. It’s Alan’s turn next!

Mon, 6/15 – Quilt, hand-stitched-by-my-sister Quilt. Notice the date. Why yes, there’s more! After an already harried evening as illustrated above, things had calmed when we were all three kneeling down at Samantha’s bed to say our family prayer before bed. And then I noticed marker on the quilt. Samantha has been told several times about the importance of the quilt. I growled at her about the marker and covered my eyes to keep from letting the anger get the better of me. Alan went ahead with the prayer, spending 90% of his pleas asking for help with us all being able to let go of the frustration we were feeling. If I weren’t so heated at the moment I would have laughed like I do now when I think about it. When the prayer was over and we stood up, I yanked that quilt off the bed and put a different bedspread on and walked out without a word. (Luckily the marker came out easily, thanks to washable ink.) I had great intentions of having Samantha help me hand wash the quilt in the tub the next day, but we had company and Alan washed it while I was at work.

Sat, 6/20 – A little talk. This event will happen on Saturday when Samantha and I have a girl’s day out. It’s time to have a conversation about appropriate behavior between boys and girls at her age. This is for good reasons I’ll leave out of my blogging. I know it won’t be the last time we’ll discuss the subject so I’m gearing up with prayer. Any advice on the subject?

And the bright note of the life of Samantha Jean Brown Pentico is that she still loves us and is most always making great effort to be obedient. She’s always on her best behavior when it’s just me and her (thus the girl’s day out–she vies too hard for Alan’s attention when he’s with us and she’s never willing to fully listen when it counts the most). She’s been working very hard to follow through with her daily chores without complaining (one house cleaning chore a day, sets the table for dinner, helps with her laundry, showers, and helps weed the vegetable garden as needed). Alan is a wonderful “Mr. Dad” –as they now call them–and so great at helping Samantha have a well balanced day of structure and love. I’m so grateful for him!

The moment I wanted to jump up and down and squeel with delight happened this past weekend when she was playing Scrabble with my niece Sydnie. She came into the kitchen where I was cooking and asked, “How do you spell ‘murmur’?” Now, knowing the books she’s been reading (or lack thereof), I know without a doubt this word became part of her brain’s Scrabble supply from reading The Book of Mormon. The moment has given me more hope that something we’re teaching is sinking in.

2 thoughts on “Adoptive Momhood – Chapter 4: Several Confrontations & A Bright Note

  1. Sorry! I wrote you something earlier but i don’t know if it got published. So, i was saying that patience is all the advice i have to give. we all need a little more patience, i will pray for you and your family. I hope that with time, you may see more improvement with samantha (i don’t mean that in a bad way). hope you find the Ipod.

  2. Oh. You sound like you are doing a really good job. And I am terrified for harrison to grow up. What in the world am I going to do with a 10 year old?

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