Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Justice Update

On August 17th Justice started school as a big old second grader! One of the few pictures I have of Justice from Ghana was a school picture taken about halfway through our adoption process. I’ve used it previously as a comparison, but I’ve got to use it again so you can see how much he has changed in just 1 year of being in our family (September 23rd will be the 1 year mark of him being home with us):

Last year I took Justice to school every morning, but this year I signed him up to ride the bus. What is it with kids and riding the bus that makes them so excited? He asked me to set his alarm for 5am on the first day of school because he wanted to make sure he was ready! He stood out on the curb for almost 15 minutes that morning just waiting and waiting….Jo-Jo waited with him. :)

So far he is loving 2nd grade and his school work is all coming back with stars and stickers and perfect marks. Right now they are working on handwriting, writing sentences, identifying verbs and nouns, putting words in alphabetical order, identifying spelling and punctuation errors, addition math problems, and some simple word problems in math as well. We are still plugging away at reading, and his word recognition is getting much better.

Last week Justice hopped off the school bus and burst in the door flashing a brand new $20 bill! He told us that he had sold ONE Pokemon card to a boy at school for $20. He actually had been talking about it all week, but none of us thought he was serious (I mean really, what kid his age has $20 sitting around?). He was pretty excited about his salesman skills, and was ready to spend his cash right away. Jake and I gave him ‘the talk’ about saving, but he was already seeing a beyblades purchase in his near future. With his leftover birthday money and his hot salesman cash he bought a beyblades stadium and a few spinning tops. If you don’t know what beyblades are you can check them out here: http://see.walmart.com/hasbro/beyblade/
you have these little metal tops that you use a launching tool for to ‘Let ‘er rip’ which sends the tops into crazy spinning mode. You go to battle against other spinning tops and whoever’s top is left standing at the end wins the battle. This sort of game is right up Justice’s alley, and he’s got our whole family addicted now!

We were in Ghana over Justice’s 7th birthday so unfortunately we missed it! My mom handled the celebration for us, and of course we got him something extra special since we were going to be gone….

A little motor scooter. Hands down, this gift has been enjoyed more than any other gift we have ever purchased. Justice tootles around town visiting his friends, and of course JJ loves to go on rides with him too. He has been so responsible with his scooter….always wearing his helmet, obeying the traffic rules and being aware of cars, and plugging it in to charge it whenever he is done. It’s actually been great to offer him the opportunity to be responsible for something ‘big’…he really does a good job with it.

And just this weekend Jake taught Justice how to mow the lawn! He was SO EXCITED to learn, and took the job very seriously. He was so proud of his accomplishment when we was all done. I think he is really going to like having this new responsibility too!

Thanks to the Lord, the struggles of Justice adapting to our family have been very few (at least the way I see it). Here are a few things we are dealing with now: Justice and JJ are best buds, but as brothers do, they can also fight a lot, especially when they are in a competitive atmosphere. I didn’t grow up with brothers or sisters close in age to me, but Jake assures me that their little cat-fights are ‘normal’. We are still in the middle of teaching Justice to be mindful of his abrasive tone which comes out especially when he is upset. On our recent trip to Ghana Jake and I were reminded of the atmosphere Justice grew up in, and that the kids can be extremely disrespectful to one another (yelling at each other harshly, bopping each other on the head, and lots of loud talking and threats – if you don’t do ____ I am going to _____). Slowly we’ve been trying to root this sort of talk out of Justice, to teach him to speak gently (yet firmly) and to problem solve when he’s upset about something (instead of just yell). We continue to press on in teaching Justice to show respect and compliance to adults, authorities, and those older than him. He also has a tendency to sport a visibly bad attitude if we ask him to do something he doesn’t want to (he’ll still obey, but will purposely drag his feet almost to prove that his heart isn’t in it). Of course, we deal with this same thing with our other kids too, it just comes out in different ways ~ Jayla right now chooses to fall down onto the floor and scream and cry if she doesn’t get her way. :) I can sum this all up by saying that Justice is learning social behaviors now that most kids learn around the ages of 2-4. I sometimes get frustrated with his immaturity in this area, but from where he started to where he is now is a night and day difference. So we keep plugging along. :)

Justice’s love for God is really coming out. He literally ‘studies’ God. He wants to know everything he possibly can about who God is, and what being a Christian means, and how to follow God. He asks tons and tons and tons of questions about the Bible, especially about the character of God. At least once a day he’ll say that he can’t wait to get to heaven to “see how God can watch the whole world all at the same time” or “to see what God looks like” or so that he can ask God all his questions….like how He made the whole world. The other night at bedtime I asked Justice if he had anything he wanted me to pray about for him. I will never forget what he said, “Can you ask God to give me the Holy Spirit?” Among other things, adoption in its own unique way is a chance at fulfilling the Great Commission right under your own roof. How cool is that? :)

1 comment:

the girl said...

HI! i am a friend of Caitlin Wandling and she pointed me in your direction because we are thinking(or mostly me right now! hahah!) of adopting a sweet 5 year old girl we are doing respite care for. She is a lovely girl that needs SERIOUS love and attention and a family. We have three kids right now (5-boy, 3-boy and 1 girl) and was just wondering how it work having older adopted kids. I am liking your blog, so think I'll keep up with you and find out bits and pieces of how it goes. THanks!