My ball, my rules

Playground basketball is a tough arena.  Beat up asphalt instead of hardwood, chains hanging from the rims instead of the swooshing nylon nets, and the privilege of getting in a game might only come once every other hour, so you play as hard as you can while you’re out there to keep rights to staying in the game.  But, the guy that has the real advantage is the one who brought the ball.  If he says we’re scoring 1’s and 2’s instead of 2’s and 3’s, it goes.  If he decides defense calls their own fouls, blood’s gonna fly today.  And so on and so forth.

You don’t like the way it’s going today?  Either go home, quit whining, or next time you bring the ball.  The worst thing you can do is irritate the guy the brought the ball to the point he takes it and go home.  Then no one wins.

Raising kids sometimes feels like the guy with the ball.  Everyone around you seems to have suggestions on what the rules for your ball should be.  Everything from what you should feed a toddler to whether or not to play travel ball to what the right age to allow them to have a cell phone births opinions from all sides.  All well-meaning, no doubt, but done so matter-of-factly that it can easily rub you the wrong way as a parent.  What’s right for me and mine may be different than in your house, but it certainly doesn’t make either of us more right for it.

This truth is nothing new to us, as Kara is fast approaching her 12th (are you kidding me?) birthday.  (Ten years ago, she was mowing down a pacifier while chasing a too-big-for-her basketball down the hall in front of my office while I coached the Humboldt Junior Lady Vikings.  Now, she straps up against them, getting a little varsity playing time for Milan Middle.  Ugh.)

But, a new version of this has surfaced since our newest addition has hit our little world.  I guess since the light has shined a little more brightly on us because of the adoption, many people are interested in how he is doing and, more importantly to them, meeting him.  We have not turned away anyone that has stopped by the house, but there are some hesitations in just taking him out into the general public, and that causes some angst and confusion for other self-proclaimed parenting experts, apparently.

Pause for a moment if you want to and Google all you want about the first few weeks and months in an adopted infant’s life.  I can save you the time and tell you what it says about their confused state, even though some (including Kane) never physically met their birth mother outside the womb.  A biological child has already bonded with their birth mother for 40 weeks.  He knows mama’s voice, and it’s just natural for a bond to forge very quickly with her.  On the other hand, Kane met us physically one hour after he saw the light of day, but it still takes an adjustment period to bond with us.  I would say he is there, especially with Jaclyn.  He responds to her voice, her smell, her touch very quickly, and will do so with Kara and I also.  (JP’s voice seems to make him nervous for some reason.)

Going back to my version of the research – you will find that most of it tells you that Jaclyn and I need to be the ones responding to his needs as often as possible in order to both expedite and cement that bond.  We have done that, and it has helped him be a calmer baby, in my opinion.  Anytime he gets passed around, so to speak, he struggles for a day or so afterwards.  As long as those days are isolated, it isn’t a big deal, but I couldn’t imagine him having to do that every day and try to cope with it.  So, our families are awesome and rightfully and expectantly want to love on him, which is perfectly fine and great.  But, if we played hot potato with him for 3-4 days in a row, I would be nervous to see the results.

Further, for all four of our children now, we have keep them quarantined until their final round of baby shots have been administered, around 8 weeks old.  This really gets some expert parents in a frizzy, if that is such a thing.  We will hear everything from “you’re not exposing him enough” to “it won’t hurt to get him out” to “we got ours out the week we brought him home and never had a problem.”  I’m sure that everyone we know are better parents than we are, but I go back to the theme of the blog.  He’s ours (as is Kara, Gabe, and JP) and so we will do as we dang well please, thank you so much.  Feel free to finish reading the blog, or go home after you hear that Kane is still at home and say what overprotective, silly parents that we are.  We can take it.  And, for those that really, really know me – you know how much the opinions of others about what I do or say affect me.  And for those that don’t, that would be – none.

In all, Jaclyn and I are both ready for next Monday, when Kane does get his 8-week shots and we can be a little less nervous about getting him out amongst more crowded situations.  I know that I personally am ready to be around my church family again and have a newfound appreciation for the value that the constant fellowship has on my personal walk with Christ.  But, if I had it to do over again, I would gladly sacrifice 8 more Sunday mornings to stay home with my son and listen to services on the radio.  But even though we will be out and about with him come next week, we won’t be passing him around like a peace pipe, or dropping him off at a mother’s day out anytime soon.  Roll your eyes if you will, but it’s our ball, our rules.

Do continue to keep December 19th in your prayers.  We have gotten the court’s approval to appear telephonically, saving a trip back to Phoenix.  And we know that God will take care of the other details both leading up to and during that appointment as well.  Then Joshua Kane will be a permanent Scott.

Today, instead of a bible verse I will quote one of America’s greatest philosophical minds.  It’s pretty much the theme of my blog as a whole.  Enjoy.

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”  -Dr. Seuss

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