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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Using Humor To Diffuse

I am a strong believer in using humor as a tool to diffuse a situation. :)
We had a FABULOUS day to my surprise yesterday. I fully expected some fall out from the Holiday weekend, and there was none!
It just waited for today.  I guess it was an act of mercy so mama could get rested from the weekend, and over the shock of the letter I got from the IRS requesting a bunch of information about our adoptions.
We need receipts that date back to 2005. UGH
(that is a whole different blog post) LOL

Today started out fine, and ended FANTASTIC.... it was the inbetween that I will post about tonight.

We were having a rather uneventful day, when Guess the dog started barking at a cat.  Anna went out to calm him, and Alli went out to tell Anna dogs should be allowed to bark as much as they want.
Anna tried to explain that it isn't good for dogs to bark all the time, and Alli would have none of it. She went into defense mode, even though Anna was being very kind in her responses..... Alli stormed out of the house and was "pouting".

After a few minutes I approached her and asked a question to which I got no response. Nothing, NADA.... I was being IGNORED.
So, I said very gently, "Alli, it is not ok to ignore Mama." Do you know what Ignore means?  I got the shoulder shrug.....
I brought her into the house after a little coaxing and we settled into the rocking chair.  Honestly, I didn't know what to do, as her reaction didn't make sense to me at that point.
So, after rocking a few minutes and her withdrawing into herself, I announced.... "I have no idea what to do except pray." SO I prayed out loud that God would give me wisdom.  I prayed for Alli and then, I was silent for a few minutes. We just rocked. I could feel that she was melting into me.... just in silence.
The next thing I knew, I was trying to think of a way to break the ice..... Her jaw was clenched and she looked distant and angry.   So I put my finger to her lips and spread them open and said,  "hmmm I wonder if she bites?"  She suddenly opened her mouth and pretended she was going to bite,  and then she smiled at me, making eye contact.
"You silly girl!"  She said, "Silly mama!"
And then the conversation began.... within a few moments she was diffused and breathing with me.
After that, she was ready to get back to a normal day as if nothing had happened.

About an hour later, I took her with me to the  post office... and we stopped at Sonic to get a 1/2 price drink. I figured she could talk to me then.
BOY DID SHE!
We talked about what a special time it is to be alone with mama where you can share ANYTHING!

I then asked her what goes on in her heart when she is so distant....
She shared a LOT....about her previous families and how they dealt with her anger.  She then said,  "I'm not really angry..." "I don't know what it is... but I just escape."
I think she is correct. She gets HURT when somebody other than me tries to correct her and her withdrawl is a defense mechanism.
She was actually worried once again about being loved.
Poor kid.  I told her we were going to work on facial expression and tone of voice. This is a real problem sometimes, especially for kids who come from Eastern Europe.... tone of voice sounds rude many times, yet it is unintended.
We found this to be true when we were in Ukraine:  Listening to others converse in Russian made us think everybody was mad at each other, when they weren't.
We had to work alot with Erika on Tone of voice, and now we will need to work with Alli.
She divulged that she got in trouble a LOT in her first home for the same behavior.

So I said to her..... It seems to me that punishing you will not really help. But giving you new ideas on how to deal with different situations will! She agreed heartily.
So we agreed over a Sonic coke, that we would work harder to communicate.
And when we got home, she apologized.  She also decided that it is right that guess not bark too much.

The rest of the evening was stellar. :)  She was even worried if I was ok having to dig up all those receipts for the IRS! LOL
I told her the best thing she could do for me tonight, was go to bed QUIETLY!
And she did. LOL

5 comments:

:)De said...

During this transition, has Ali had or desired any contact from the previous family?

Mike and Christie said...

Her original adoptive family does not want any contact. I am hoping that they will change their mind, for at at least a letter.
The second family I cannot speak of freely. Alli has called them a few times but has not asked for a while.
She is more at peace with leaving that family than the first one.

:)De said...

It's so sad the path that our kids have to walk to get to a place of peace, but praise God that He lights that path. Everyday she sounds like she is growing closer to you guys and towards God. Very inspirational!

ManyBlessings said...

Just a side note on the IRS thing. They are requiring from ALL adoptive parents who claimed the tax credit. Our paperwork also goes back to 2005. For 4 children. It ended up being about THREE HUNDRED pages of copies. I sealed it up and sent it. Laughing. Let em' enjoy going through ALL THAT. hahahahaha!!!

LOVE YOUR BLOG BY THE WAY!!! :)

Mike and Christie said...

Everybody we know who has adopted is getting the same thing. We don't have 300 pages, but we have plenty! :)
I am SOOOO GLAD we asked for a receipt from our facilitator before she dropped us off at the airport. We had asked a couple of times and didn't get one, and then before we got out of the car we told her we really needed a receipt. She wrote one out. YEA!

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