Saturday, December 13, 2008

It could be easier

Sometimes it seems life would be much easier if we would just let things slide. But it's incredible to see changes that occur when we stick with it and enforce what we know will benefit us all in the long run.

Dima's behavior has made remarkable improvements since we tightened his reins a bit over the past couple of weeks. It hasn't been easy, though. Due to some undesirable behavior at school a week ago, he missed Mark's office Christmas party that Friday. Mark and Zhenya went and I stayed home with Dima. He also missed out on a playdate and had to come to band rehearsal with us last weekend (not exactly punishment for him, but he had to sit and he didn't get to play at their friend's house--so close enough). It's all worth it for days like today.

Mark played in TubaChristmas today. This is something like his 20th year participating, so this is an annual tradition for us. This morning, the boys and I dropped him off for rehearsal and then made a Walgreens run. We went home, played, and had lunch and then went to the Galleria for Mark's concert. Dima did so well during the concert, but better than his good behavior were his actions towards me. I spread out the boys' coats on the floor for them to sit on as the marble tile was a little hard, and he figured out he could stretch out and lay his head in my lap. He then asked me to rub his back as he lay there and if I stopped he would ask me to start rubbing his back again.

This from a child that 12 months ago would not touch us, and wasn't sure what to do when we touched him. If we picked him up he was stiff as a board--he wouldn't wrap his arms or legs around us at all. If anything, he would put a death grip on whatever clothing (not us--only our clothing) he could get ahold of out of fear of falling. The changes in his emotional state over the past year are nothing short of miraculous. And I really am serious about that. There have been times over the past year when I really wondered if Dima would ever be able to function normally emotionally. He just had so much baggage and so many survival skills that he had developed. And I wondered too if we were really the right people to be able to help him through this. While he will always carry those early memories for the rest of his life, I hope that he is learning to manage his baggage better, and that eventually he will be able to turn it all over and rest in the One whose yoke is easy, and whose burden is light.

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV)

6 comments:

S & B In Asia said...

That is great to hear about Dima. It gives me hope and encouragement. This week I have been reminded of Phil 1:6. I can't wait to see the progress we make in 12 months.

Tina said...

Wow. What incredible progress! - We think you are definitely the right ones to help him through all this.

Tonya said...

You are ABSOUTELY the right parents for Dima. No question. God doesn't make mistakes when He puts parents and children together. Dima will grow up to be a healthy, godly young man due to the mercy of God who provided for him, and the love of his Daddy and Mommy. I am so glad to hear about his progress. I just love you guys! We definitely need to plan a camping trip sometime so we can hang out IRL!

DoveFamily said...

Wonderful! I love to read about moments like these. Warms my heart :)

The Flying Eagle said...

great job as always :-) but I must say that Garrett had to scroll back 5 pages to see a picture of his friends :-) We miss those sweet faces!!

Ashley said...

How precious....

This also warms my heart...wow!