Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care, and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child with sensory processing disorder. Have fun!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Good Doctor's two cents on parenting

I once told the Good Doctor that I would be more than happy to be the primary parent to our infants and small children but that I would definitely be passing them off to him to raise as teens.  This was back in the day when he was a youth pastor.  While I wanted to partner with him in this endeavor, I spent too much time wanting to put my hands around their necks, shaking them, and asking, "What. Were. You. Thinking?"  Don't worry, I've never done it nor will I, but the fact remains that I was scared to death to take a child past middle school.

But then I had my own children.  I love, love, love the babies!  Yes, even the grub stage and since Andrew says Victor is pre-grub, I love even the pre-grubs.  The toddler years make me laugh (better than crying on most days) and preschoolers are so curious.  My middle schoolers, even though getting close to high school,  love this stage, too.  And my teens?  Yes, I've found that I love even this age.

When I had three young children, I attended a Sunday School class on parenting led by my father.  I remember him saying that he loved each stage as it came.  Must be genetic because I can now agree.

What changed?  I still don't think I want to go back to being a youth pastor's wife so I think it largely has to do with being able to raise them from little on up.  We've been very purposeful in our parenting to raise godly Christ-followers who can relate to a broken world, strive to follow God's path for their lives, and love those God puts in their path.  There is no entitlement, there is no selfishness, and there is no clamoring for the top in this model of parenting.  There is an emphasis on wisdom, servanthood, and community.

Part of being purposeful in our parenting has been looking at ways to usher our children into adulthood.  After those youth pastor years, the Good Doctor moved up to young adults.  Coupled with what we saw in some of the teens, now we were shocked by what has happened to 20 somethings who don't have drive or motivation.  It's so pervasive that some groups have raised the range for adolescence to include 20 somethings.

The Good Doctor, when deciding where to focus his dissertation energies, decided upon a topic we had been exploring since our children were little, how to usher how boys into godly manhood and how to usher our girls into godly womanhood.  Many cultures, possibly all but western cultures, have rites of passage so that their children know when they have moved from child to adult.  He recently shared some of his work and research in two guest posts on The Blog of Manly.  The second post, which can be read here, focuses on how we've chosen to do this.  For all who are parents, I encourage you to read this not for the sake of copying what we've done (although you are welcome to do so) but to begin to think about how you can do this for your children and what that will look like at various ages.

And while Victor has a long way to go to reach the first of these rites of passage, he's moving right along.

He has done so well at 1.5LPM!  His settings remain much the same as they were at 2.0.  In fact, for a period of time he had removed the cannula for his nose while hidden under his bed cover and while he had a few minor desats, nothing major.  Praise God and pray that he keeps this up.

And the best text I've received in a long time:  "PA gave verbal approval for ICPC."  Praise God!  We are now free to go home.  Well, whenever Victor is healthy enough for discharge.  No legal entities standing in our way.  Of course once we get home we have to start the post-placement visits and are looking at another six months til his adoption can be finalized, but we're not going to think about that right now.  Now we're focusing on going home and doing so before July 26!

Yesterday the nurse and I talked about all of the ways Victor has amazed in his two short months of life.  Go God!  And go, Victor!

I love how one friend keeps sending us a phrase from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, "Go, go, go Victor, you know what they say...."  Appropriate for Victor and appropriate for our family since some of our children have been in this on two different occasions now.

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