Why We Call Our Blog the Miracle of More

The miracle is a beautiful image of Ephesians 3:20--more than I can ask or imagine. Every day is a miracle. Every moment is a miracle. Specifically for our family, the miracle of more is our family growing in ways I would never have imagined when we first committed to adoption 8 years ago. But, the greatest miracle is the change in ME!

If you have questions about adoption, our work in South Africa, or spina bifida, please email me at rbmattox@bellsouth.net

Monday, September 24, 2012

Pooh Bear's Progress

When we first came home with Drew, he quickly became known as Mama's Monster, a name fitting of his behavior. He was the loudest, naughtiest of all of my children. He did not at times even attempt to conform. He seemed to be openly defiant, while considering his antics quite funny.

He has earned a new nickname, however. We often call him Drew Bear Pooh Bear now. He has begun to love to snuggle and be loved on. He gives sweet hugs to those who love him.

He can still be naughty, however.

We met him first, almost a week before Gotcha Day. He ran, and he played, he hit Ellie, and he ran. Oh, did we think we were in TROUBLE! He was in perpetual motion.

Not much changed after Gotcha Day. He would run from us and laugh no matter how sternly we told him to,"Stop." He seemed to find pleasure in being naughty.

After coming home, things were a little better. Not EVERY day was difficult. But several times of EVERY day were difficult. Some days held more difficult moments than others.

Six months later, I can say, "Oh, how I love my Drew Bear Poor Bear hugs!" I think I have gained much insight into his behavior.

I've been reading, "The Connected Child." It was recommended by two friends, and a third friend even had a copy. If you have adopted a toddler or plan to adopt a toddler, PLEASE read it!

I cannot say I was surprised by what I read, but it has kept some thoughts to the forefront of my awareness. I am reminded of the great struggle our children experience EVERY day as they learn to love, adjust, and bond with a new family in a new culture.

The biggest, "Oh, wow!" moment came from what I read on page 51. "We have encountered many...children who are not truly hyperactive; instead, they are hypervigilant." I have begun to notice that Drew is the most active in new situations. He is calmer when our day is following its normal routine.

When I first took him to the doctor, he became the wild and crazy monster when the doctor came in the room. He was not yelling or cryings, so I didn't recognize it as fear. Every time the doctor touched him, even just to lift his shirt, he would laugh and try to pull away.

The book also mentions sensory overload while suggesting using a soft voice, turning down the volume of electronics in the home, etc. I can REALLY tell a difference in Drew's activity level, based on the volume in a room. And.... when he is naughty.

The louder the voice that corrects him, the naughtier his later behavior becomes.

He may stop what he is doing, but in just minutes after correcting his behavior, he has chosen another inappropriate action.

Speaking softly while holding his face tenderly and looking him straight in the eye....brings the most positive changes in undesirable behavior. And, later we don't usually find him in a tail spin.

Mind you, he can still be ONE WILD MONKEY!

Like, Ellie he loves life and lives it LOUD!

He still seeks attention from negative behaviors when he thinks he needs more attention, but he is  doing so much better.

He is following the rules and school and often talks about the rules. Like other 4-year-olds, he often says, "My teacher said....." He has come quite the rule follower at times. Only one major incident has occurred at school. He um.....

hit a little girl int he face.

But, he felt his behavior was perfectly acceptable. She wouldn't share the toy.

After much discussion at home and the next morning, I had high hopes that he had learned NOT to hit at school. I was not disappointed when I picked him up that afternoon. He came running to me with his hands held high shouting, "Mommy, I not hitta girl to-day."

He was first to show affection to Zeke, before Zeke showed him much.

The first super sweet moment occurred at the beach. As the waves got rougher, Zeke had backed away from the water. Drew as not deterred, but he seemed to think Zeke should not be missing the fun. He said to Zeke, "You not scared. I holda your hand."

Six months....

Six trying months of trying days.

But six months of more blessings than I ever could have imagined.

These six months have once again show me God is...

  The Miracle of More!

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