Try this recipe for left-over Mashed potatoes....yummy cavatelli
I grew up as the youngest of 4 girls, with one bathroom (without a shower) in a tiny bungalow in Illinois. My mother was a single mother from the time I was 8 years old. I dried my hair by sitting in front of the furnace. My mom worked 4 jobs to pay the bills and there were times when I ate mayo and peanut butter sandwiches for lunch.
This morning our bedroom door bust open at 7:15 am. Our adopted children woke us up to inform us that they wanted to change rooms and that their plan was for us to change our plans to accommodate their idea of FUN on the day before Thanksgiving in moving furniture, dresssers etc. My agenda had included getting the turkey defrosted and preparing for Thanksgiving. As I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes, somewhat annoyed because I wanted to sleep in until at least 8am, I informed them that there would be no room changes now or in the near future. My 9 year old Ethiopian daughter Ella wasn’t taking ‘no’ for an answer and in her usual spirited fashion kept pushing for HER WILL TO BE DONE….. . Eventually, this led to her proclaiming how she never gets what she wants and that all of the other kids she knows basically are parented by people who always say “YES” to every whim of their children. I then sent her to her room because I have come to the realization that I have no patience for any individual who feels entitled or is ungrateful.
When you go through the adoption process you have to take these DVD parenting classes required by the HAGUE. Most of them are extremely helpful. We still use 90% of the techniques that are recommended. But I have to say that I disagree with the advice to never let your children think that somehow you have done them a favor by adopting them and increasing their life span by 50 years through adoption. Okay…let me explain. Many child psychologists recommend not pointing out to your adopted kids how fortunate they are to have what they now have. I take exception to this because I don’t care if a person is from Park Avenue, Beverly Hills or the streets of Guatemala City or Addis Ababa…I HATE WHEN PEOPLE ARE UNGRATEFUL FOR THE BLESSINGS GOD HAS GIVEN THEM….
Oprah had this segment that she promoted often which included a ‘gratitude journal”. Oprah I know is not perfect…but I do think expressing gratitude for all that we have is an awesome thing to do. If we expect this from your average American why do we decide it is best not to remind our orphaned children of the same? I want all of my children to be grateful to God for our lives. I realized as I pondered what Ella may be thinking while I had her ‘reflect’ in her room., that the reason Ella is constantly dis-satistied, is that she still is mentally coming from a place of lack and a place of being robbed. She lost her mother, she lost her culture in some ways…she lost life as she knew it. I don’t want to diminish her pain in anyway. But I also don’t want her to grow up to be an adult with a chip on her shoulder thinking the world still owes her something. She is not living in lack and seems to have her eyes closed to the treasure that abound all around her. It is my job as her mother to open her eyes and direct them away from the lies of lack and the truth of the treasures. She has been blessed. She has the word CHOSEN all over her in spite of her past. She has an opportunity to give a testimony of how God redeemed her life. But if she lives her life waiting for THINGS to fill that empty space and if I allow her to grow up with that chip present than I personally don’t think I would be helping to nurture a healthy adult. If we keep ignoring the awesome blessings God has placed on their lives by bringing us all together then we are being ungrateful to God Himself. There are still many children in Africa, in Guatemela, Ukraine, China that don’t have 3,4, or 5 bedrooms to choose from.
It had been announced to me that Ella wanted to run away after being denied ‘a different room.” I told Ella to make sure not to take any of the clothes we had given her, or shoes, or food or bike. I know!.I know! Not really the DVD parenting advice you get on the adoption DVD’s. I went up to see Ella and she had been writing a scathing letter of how much she hates us for not doing what she wanted when she wanted it….I sat down calmly and asked Ella these questions. How big was your house in Ethiopia? She said she didn’t remember. I told her that I remembered because we had visited her great grandfather’s house where she lived after her mother had passed. I told her it was the same size as her current room. I said “Did it have a bathroom attached and was it air conditioned?” I know! I know…awful parenting. Then I told her the horrific stories of how when I was little we had to put air conditioners in the windows…”OH NO!” She gasped!!! And how we didn’t have computers or even a cell phone or a dishwasher…OH NOOOOOO….to her I had been an abused and neglected child…Then a light bulb went off in my mind….I thought I would discuss why we had THANKSGIVING and how people who came to America had no food then PILGRIMS AND INDIANS shared their food (sort of like we do with eachother and friends)…I then told her how sad and sorry I am for her for the death of her parents and how it makes me sad too…but then I told her…”isn’t it amazing that God loves you sooo much that he brought you a new family? Isn’t it incredible that you can even choose between bedrooms? Isn’t it awesome how you have so many friends and that you can live a long life and that one day you too can adopt a baby from Ethiopia because you will grow to be a healthy strong Ethiopian/American woman? Not all Ethiopian girls can grow up to be Ethiopian women or mothers or grandmothers (their life expectancy pales by many years to hers)…. I told her that she has an excellent chance of all of the amazing milestones that were stolen from her mother….
Why shouldn’t the orphan be grateful? We all should be grateful…Why shouldn’t the orphan be reminded to praise God for where they are and what they have? We all should Praise God for where we are and what we have….Why shouldn’t the orphan be reminded to speak with respect to the people who took a leap of faith to commit their lives, hearts and finances to love them? We all should respect our parents when they put their lives on the line for us…I don’t want Ella to feel condemned or that she should be constantly shouting THANK YOU to us…but I certainly don’t think it is healthy for the memories and realization of blessings to be stripped from them because of some advice from a psychological study that may or may not work with my real life child in my bedroom at 7:15am..
Ella is upstairs making pumpkin pies with her Aunt Denise right now. Her room is clean, She played with her 2 Chinese girlfriends today. Tomorrow she is in charge of collecting a list from each child of what they are Thankful for ….I am so grateful for the parenting DVD’s we were required to watch in order to be qualified as parents…but sometimes there is something to be said for parental instinct and a divine HOLY SPIRIT intelligence that sometimes dominates in our parenting….
I am grateful for my beautiful children but feel free to join me in reprimanding them if they pull any entitlement crap in front of you…it is THANKSGIVING and we will be giving thanks in spite of what they WANT!!!!
We are having a FUNDRAISER ( EVITE ) to raise money for MOTHER THE WORLD.
We are committed to raising funds to raise awareness and support HIV ADOPTION. Some of projected projects are using video to interview mothers who have adopted or are fostering HIV positive children...we are also planning a recording project to include a choir of HIV Positive kids and children orphaned due to AIDS to present to churches in an effort to encoura
ge adoption of HIV....one of our campaigns for 2011 is MOTHER HIV PLUS.
Our fundraiser on 11/18th is unique in that
we will be buying gold so please bring your gold and silver and you may be able to sell some of your old jewelry you can then take the cash home or also buy products for our fundraiser....You then can immediately use the funds to also buy jewelry, (my friend Lori Dillard will have her items available for purchase)
and my book.
These funds will go toward supporting MOTHER THE WORLD efforts and help Darren Phillips (the man buying the gold)...in supporting the adoption of his 2 new sons from ETHIOPIA....
Please come and invite your friends as well... You can click on the evite above or email us at email@example.com