Monday, December 26, 2011

Reflections on Christmas

There have been many things on my mind this Christmas season. A post about Carter's first Christmas will be coming soon, but I wanted to take a minute to bullet point some of my reflections of experiencing Christmas at ACCH.

-For some of our kids this is one of the hardest times of year. This can be wonderful as we can help make it very special for them. On the other hand this can make it hard because it can mean an increase in frustrating behavior because of the emotions they are dealing with.

-Many, many groups of people want to donate to our children at Christmas. This is a huge blessing!

-My perspective on giving gifts to others in need at Christmas time has very much changed since being here at the Home.

-We did not even give our children everything that was donated. If we had, they may have received upwards of 40+ gifts each. I've learned it gets a little ridiculous. And this is AFTER turning many people away that want to donate.

-It's really hard to teach gratefulness when these kids have not been taught that before AND they get EVERYTHING they could possibly want.

-I've learned that some of the people giving to others at Christmas are actually doing it for themselves not for the ones they are giving to. We had people that wanted to come see the kids on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day to sit with them for a while and give them gifts so they would not be alone on Christmas Day. When we explained that they are not alone-they are a part of a family with normal family Christmas plans and activities and therefore they could not come people were truly upset. They did not want to drop off gifts if they could not come on the big day. If we told groups we had more than enough gifts for Christmas would they be interested in coming for a birthday or at Valentine's Day or some other activity they would tell us no-only Christmas. We have more people "interested" in our kids between Dec 1st and 25th than the entire rest of the year combined. To me this has been heartbreaking, and I've had to work on anger regarding this as well. I've also wondered if I ever gave to others during the holidays for my sake more than theirs? Hmmmmm... I pray I never do that again!

-Despite the emotions of the holidays for my kiddos, Christmas still allows them moments to JUST BE KIDS! For just a minute they can forget about adoption processes, visiting parents in jail, wondering if they will ever have a "normal" family, and all the other things going on in their young heads that I don't even know. They were able to JUST BE KIDS! It was wonderful to see!

It's been an emotionally overwhelming holiday in many ways. I'm so thankful we had 3 of our kids with us for Christmas. I pray that in some precious way we have touched their hearts this holiday with the spirit of Jesus!