Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Once Upon an Idiot

I am using much self restraint to not talk about summer and how it’s right around the corner and how we only have less than a month of school left and…….. May?  Can I talk about it in May?  Okay. May.

These weeks just keep whizzing by and I am always surprised that I am not writing.  One day I’ll be able to tell all the stories of why I am drained of all my energy to WRITE.  And why there are days that if I wrote, it would do no one any good- especially me and specifically my, kiddos. ; )  I wouldn’t have one edifying thing to say except, “I need Jesus.”  One day, I can tell you ALL the stupid things I’ve done as a mom and the wisdom I am gleaning— it turns to wisdom after about 20 years, yes?  So come back in 20 for the wisdom part.

However, I think today, it’s safe to share this particular “stupid”.

You’ve heard me talking about our parenting roles changing— and you also probably know, me and change are like oil and water, unless it involves pillows and seasonal things around my house.  Other than that, oil and water is a positive separation.  I am slowly trying to widen some boundaries and try out some new things. That means saying “yes” to my kids regarding things that never even crossed my mind-  more than once.  There is a show that came out a couple of years ago that I remember seeing the previews to and thinking, “How creative. I wonder if it’s something we could possibly watch as a family?”  Woke up the next morning and never thought about it again until about 5 months ago when Julia asked me if we could watch it.  I said I would look into it.  It was holiday time and it took me too long to do the research- my bad- but she mentioned it a couple of more times so I went onto Focus on the Family’s Plugged In app and checked it out.  Once Upon a Time.  It was rated “PG”.  Hmm.   Okay, so I read about a few of the episodes.  There were several so I didn’t read them all— which equals, “I did not do thorough research.”  {And to be fair, I did not know -what I know now - I should have been looking for.}  But what I read seemed fairy tale-ish enough to me.  It was free on Netflix and a Friday night at home was coming up so we made a plan to watch the first episode.  I knew it was still “iffy” because WHAT on television besides the Duck family, home improvement and cooking shows is safe to watch?!  Maybe I am exaggerating.  Maybe I am not.

To get to the point, so none of you who watch this show with or without your kids feels judged by me, the HUGE problem was that the pilot undermined the fabric of the way God put our family together.  By adoption.  My research fell short and the 47 minute show was LONG.  Possibly the longest 47 minutes of my life, curled up on the couch with my girl tucked under my arm- and B under Jeff’s.  Hit pause and talk?  Stop the whole thing entirely and talk?  Was that more awkward or just let it play out?  Jeff and I exchanged silent paragraphs over the heads of our kids that night.  Thankfully, he was in charge of the remote.

We’ve talked honestly—and now because of their ages— quite frankly about their adoptions. They’ve had lots of questions, many of which have been difficult to answer, but we’ve committed ourselves to answering truthfully.  They cannot understand it all but we know - and we tell them-  their birthmothers loved them— still do— and placing them with us was an act of love and sacrifice Julia and Brighton won’t understand until much later.   God’s plan for them is good and He always meant for Jeff and me to have the privilege of being Mom and Dad and those are cherished, significant roles that we will never take for granted.

This is completely skewed in the pilot of Once Upon a Time.  The adoptive mother {modern day} is the evil wicked witch {fairy tale day} who cursed the whole kingdom and the birthmother is the Savior of the fairy tale kingdom— finding this information out from the son whom she’d placed for adoption.  He rebels against his adoptive mother {Of course, he does.  She’s the EVIL wicked cursing queen.} and desperately tries to bond with the birthmother- who, in this particular episode, isn’t interested at all.  It’s painful to watch, people.  And more awkward than you can imagine watching with your children whose story includes adoption.  I so get that people who are removed from adoption wouldn’t catch on to this— and that’s okay and completely understandable.  I didn’t.  Before.

This is more about one of my more stellar moments as a mom— not necessarily trying to educate people on the many movies and TV shows that highlight adoption or “misplaced” people in a dark light.  Adoptive mom or not, we’ve all got our work cut out for us as we parent and as we help our kids/families make good choices as to how to spend our time in front on the screens we all love so much. My research was shoddy— I couldn’t even prepare them as I like to do if I think something might surprise them.  All of our sweet kids have insecurities and vulnerabilities that can be painfully aggravated by the world’s agenda— and it can come from anywhere.  It’s not possible to shelter them from all of it but we can put forth a heroic effort and engage them as we encounter it.  Talk, talk, talk.  Ask, ask, ask.  Get them alone. Spend the time.  Don’t shy away from any topic.  Be a safe place and listen.  Do your homework so you are ready.  They will feel more secure when you do.


Kathie said...

Love you for caring so much and pursuing the Lord for guidance.

Lizzy R. said...

Bless you. Your humble honesty spoke wisdom to me. I'll be honest--I shied away from "Jungle Book" for the adoption piece, so I'm pretty leary! SO hard to find adoption portrayed well. Prayers for you all~