Autumn is in full swing with the first good rain visiting us in the last day or so. The temps at night have dipped low enough that we no longer keep the fan in our window as we sleep. Our air conditioner has run on high for much of the summer, but it’s been absolutely quiet for days.
I love it. This is my absolute favorite time of year.
Ireland is now in the 8th grade, her final year at school up on the hill. Volleyball is in full swing and we are having so much fun cheering her and her team on. Watching her play volleyball and basketball have become one of my favorite things to do!
Sage is in now a Sophomore. He’s loving his drama class and comes home every day telling us all about it. He has been chosen for the part he wanted and has plans on how to execute it well. I can’t wait to see the play!
Lennox and I are both encouraged in the growth of the kids over the summer. It started a little rough and we’ve had some challenging moments. Yet, we have all grown in relationship with one another. Both of the kids are more open in talking about some struggles and we all really enjoy being together. We love how each one of the kids will come home and chat with us for a long time about their day.
Last spring Lennox and I attended a training that specialized in how to connect with our teens and help them heal. It was specifically for parents of kids from hard places i.e. adoption, foster care, trauma, etc. The main thing we took away from it was to have one-on-one time with each child every week for about an hour. No screen time or money spending and the it’s totally child directed. It was hard at first and not very enjoyable for any of us, but we kept it up. No matter what, the kids couldn’t lose this time with us. Even if they had been raging and angry, when our time came around for one-on-one time we did it. We had already been doing weekly Family Nights, so with that we just made sure we kept it up consistently. If we were all separated for a couple of days for any reason we made sure to have a Family Night right away. It helps ground us all by connecting as a family again.
As any foster/adoptive family knows, navigating trauma triggers can be tricky and can come at you from out of nowhere. It can be something a friend or family member said, a a birthday (which it often is), maybe it’s food, or any number of things that we have yet to discover. We just had our first fall birthday of the household, 3 more to go before Christmas is here. All of these can be hard. Valuing relationship over everything, including poor choices and behavior has helped make these challenges more smooth.
One of our great successes involves laundry. One of my kids hates mixing their laundry with any one else’s, even if it’s a only a sock. They’ll take everything out of the washer to start their own laundry. In the past, if I’d ask them to just leave a few of the towels in there to get washed with their laundry it would set them off. The other day they came to me saying, “Mama, does the laundry in the washer need to be washed and do you have anything to wash? I just have a few things I want washed.” What? This is a HUGE thing to us.
As we are flying through the month of September we are feeling so encouraged in how things are going. We are looking forward to little Christopher’s 2nd birthday party this month. October brings a birthday and pumpkin patching. November brings 2 birthdays, Thanksgiving, and a baby shower for a new grandson. Then Christmas comes along with said grandson being born around then.
What are you most looking forward to this fall?