Friday, February 20, 2015

Eye Contact

Jeff and I think we are getting this parenting thing down.  We've implemented a schedule and it is still working. Except we did put them to bed tonight and forgot to have them use the bathroom and brush their teeth. They woke up and asked to use the bathroom, so at least they remembered. HA  We did not remember about the teeth until after they went to bed for the second time. No one reminded us of that one.

I have been wanting to braid Elliana's hair.  She always is braiding Barbie's hair but never lets me do her hair.  Today I tried and she went into tear saying "No Mommy no." So we did not touch her hair. We wonder if someone may have been rough with her hair.  Later in the day I let her play with my hair. She was very happy with doing that.

We took the kids to the park again this morning. Elliana did not walk nearly as much as she did yesterday. We think she is not used to the amount of walking we are doing. So Mommy and Daddy are very sore tonight. We also tried several more clothing stores. I find this so odd but again the stores that sold kids clothes had one or none in her size.  Out of 5 stores I only got 2 pants!  I did not care what they looked like only that they fit her and were not too long.  She is ok if the waist is too big but not too long. It really bothers her about the length. I think it is because if you roll the pants it bunches in her knee high boots. We tried on as many smaller boots as we could find but honestly they were still too high, too small or too big.  Her feet are also special so she needs almost a special type of shoe.  We also had some good positives today with her.  She shared a piece of cheese with Daddy, normally only me and her brothers. But she want out of the family room and into the kitchen to share with Daddy.  Afterwards she came to me and said "Daddy said Thank you", all in English. We were so proud of her. Her first full English sentence. 

Today we really tired hard on getting eye contact from the kids. Spencer will give you a split second and then cover his eyes with his hands.  We also noticed that after we give him positive reinforcement he will go into doing something bad immediately following.  We think he is trying to mentally process good attention. He may have only known bad behavior gets attention, so maybe that is why he thinks he needs to act out. We are doing time in not time out. That means Jeff or I sit in a chair with him. No toys just sitting and watching a clock. We want him to know we love him and we don't want to send him away just because his behavior was bad. He is not bad just his action.  He did cry today which he has not done before. However when I went to comfort him he pushed us away and went into the bedroom.  He finally let me just rub his back and wipe his tears. He only gave me a split second of eye contact while I did this.

Hunter being the youngest tries to do everything Spencer is doing. However, being 4 years old, he is not as coordinated. He falls often. He will cry for a short bit and he will let me hold him. I am working with eye contact with him as well.  He will just keep looking away.  We think he is getting more comfortable with us. We are starting to see more of his personality.  He does have the biggest smile that light up his whole face when he wants to share it.  We do need to get him to a dentist.  We were told that when he was taken into the orphanage he was only given a bottle and was 2 years old. His front 4 teeth are super small and dark gray. The foster Mom said the teeth point in his mouth. We will get him checked out when we get back to the states.

Tomorrow we are going to the zoo! We can't wait.   


  1. Remember that their eyes are the window to their soul. Eye contact is very intimate contact and they may not be ready for that yet. They are still trying to figure out who you are and if they can trust you. Also the bad behavior is testing whether you will still be there for him. Kids from hard places are very scared when they do something right and you praise them. They enjoy the praise but then quickly become afraid of getting close to you. You are going to have a lot of push and pull happening for the next several years ( yes, I said years) Keep plugging along and know that we love you and are here for you. Believe it or not, you will make mistakes and that is just fine! I am on child number 5 and still learning! Praying for all of you!


  2. Hey Spud.. Does Elliana wash & brush her own hair? Do they draw pictures? I agree w/ what Monica said. I'll be praying for you all. I am here all weekend Sat & Sun if you want to Skype with Ava and I. That would be fun. Ava drew a picture of Elliana and her and said she is a movie star just like her kuzin. lol -- cute. We are excited and happy they are part of the family :)

    1. Hey Angie. She is very capable. They said she has an issue with her hands, yet she french braids barbies hair. If anything maybe her left hand. But honestly besides her feet you would never know. She is picking up English fast too. She is good kid that maybe with better schooling and parents that will work with her, she will be fine.

  3. Love can over some many obstacles, just be patient. Being a parent has taught me about myself. It is a road of bumps and curves but the rewards are great and a life time of learning. Remember God is a parent and he knows our struggles and he gave your family, church family, and friends to help you. Jeff and you are not alone. Love Mom

  4. "the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control." Galatians 5:22. God has blessed and prepared each of you with these gifts. trust that. You are doing great.