Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Eastern European adoptions and RAD

I read a blog post over at World Magazine's blog related to the recent Russian adoption fiasco, where a family sent an adopted child back to Russia. This story was about another family who had managed to keep their adopted children, also Russian, instead of giving up. These children were all under 5 years old when they were brought into their new family. Now--
Ruggiero’s younger daughter is 17 and still screams. Ruggiero wrote poignantly that she doesn’t really have any real relationship with her older daughter who’s 19. Their 20-year-old son left home and lives on his own; he doesn’t communicate with the family. “There isn’t any doubt that we love them,” Ruggiero wrote, “but I think it’s hard for them to understand what love means.”
I continued through the story, and started reading the comments. Some people mentioned something called reactive attachment disorder, which is apparently a big problem with children adopted from orphanages in Eastern Europe.

I never knew this existed. But, it seems that with some special parenting techniques, these children can be changed and continue to live normally, and to trust, and love. Read the comments at World Magazine's post for some really interesting stories and insights into the difficulties with adopting kids who have this disorder.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Communication at a Christian college

So, someone I know made an interesting statement tonight:

"Nobody at this college is good at communication. Except if they talk about Jesus. Then they'll talk without stopping."

Or something like that, anyway. I don't remember the exact turn of phrase. The unfortunate thing is, she's completely right.

On multiple occasions, administration has failed to properly notify students or staff or faculty about important information/changes. Sometimes they do eventually straighten things out (after the damage has been done), but other times it's just glossed over. The bad thing is that it makes plenty of Christian students disillusioned about Christianity in general, because this institution is so identified with the religion that when the institution fails at something, the religion also gets the blame.

So, yeah, this college needs to get a lot better at communication. If we can talk about Jesus so much, I should certainly hope we can talk about other things too.

(P.S. yes I know it's more than just "talking." The simplification was for the sake of the allusion.)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Blog redesign

Hello all my faithful readers--well, those of you who actually come to this website and do not rely on your RSS readers--

I just made a quick redesign of my blog, due to difficulties embedding the slideshow and YouTube video in the previous post. I do indeed plan to add some more graphics (photos), but that will have to wait until the weekend, most likely.

Of course, that's providing I can find something that will work well. Here's hoping.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"God came to save us from our sins, not from our minds."

That quote is from the philosophy department chair at my college. (Remember, it's a Christian college, so they can talk about God and all that.) I thought of it as I read a thought-provoking post over at Stuff Christians Like--one about how Christians tend to think people would always choose the right, logical choice, if they knew the consequences of the wrong, illogical choices, when in fact that's quite definitely not realistic. He makes a good point, and he makes it better than I could. Go read it.

I'm not exactly sure why I thought of the quote as I read the blog post. But they must have something in common....

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Who says I'm called?

Well maybe I'm not. Maybe it's just a good desire that I have.
Meek went on to say that reducing our hunches and desires to a “calling” saves us the trouble of thinking, drawing on Scriptural principles, and wise understanding of the world, and absolves us of responsibility when things don’t work out well.
(on World Mag Blog)

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Guest post: Is that contestant on American Idol a Christian?

(Today, a guest post from Jon Acuff, writer of Stuff Christians Like....)

The “Is that contestant on American Idol a Christian? Scorecard”
73. They mention they have never seen American Idol before because they don’t own a TV = + 1 point
To add up your score with over a 130 other ideas on this scorecard, visit stuffchristianslike.net.

Now for my own notes: in other words, the full list is here! Up next: #74. It's a progressive dinner of scorecard! And for the record, I really have seen American Idol. Despite not having cable at home and only pulling in one channel with the digital receiver box. (At least we have a TV.) I rather enjoy all the singing, though I could do with less of some other aspects of the show.

My youth group at church used to watch it on Wednesday nights, in the first season or two. I didn't often stay for it (which had more to do with the youth group than the show), but once or twice I was hanging around while it was on and I managed to catch a few minutes.

P.S. I also downloaded the audiobook of Stuff Christians Like, but I haven't listened to it yet. When I have the time... this summer.... maybe? But it was free, so I couldn't pass it up.(At first I thought it was an April Fool's joke, but it really worked.)

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Bike tire replacement = ugh.

When I came home for Easter, I intended to take my lovely old green Schwinn bike back with me. Then, my sister informed me that one of my inner tubes had a pretty good leak in it. So I decided to replace the inner tube, like I did to the other wheel last year, and go on with my life. I've done that before and I was confident I could do it again.

This morning, upon pulling out my bike and taking off the back wheel (with the dysfunctional inner tube), I realized that the tires were old. So old and decrepit that there were cracks all over and it had no tread left where the wheel touches the ground. Therefore, I got my mom to go to Wal-Mart with me and get me some new tires too. I was bound and determined to fix my bike, even though I'd never replaced a tire before. I figured, it can't be much harder than replacing an inner tube, and that was pretty easy.

But then came a difficult, frustrating, and tear-inducing part. The tire would not go on the rim. I tried for over an hour, and slightly punctured the new inner tube in the process. I finally came in and told Mom what was going on and begged her to call somebody who knew what they were doing.

My brother and I ended up driving across town, picking up some tube patching on the way (and a new inner tube just in case), to the house of an older gentleman from church who said he'd help me. And he did get the first side of the tire onto the rim, and helped me patch up the new-but-punctured inner tube. Then we attempted to complete the task, prying the other side of the tire onto the rim. This was difficult, again. The older gentleman told me he thought the tire was actually too small for the rim (despite its being the exact measurements, per printed box and lettering on the side of the tire, as the old tire which had fit perfectly--I made triply sure). But we did get it on.

And then we found more punctures in the inner tube. *sigh.* On to the other new inner tube, the one without the irritating punctures.

So we got the new-and-not-punctured inner tube into the tire again, and pried the tire onto the rim again--after making a side trip to Big Lots (like a discount department store) to see if they sold tires; we hoped to find a different brand and try it on for size. Anyways, we got the tire & inner tube on, and pumped it up... and it held the air. Success!!!

I remounted the back wheel while my brother and the older gentleman replaced the tire on the front wheel--the inner tube there, you remember, had been replaced last year and was still good--and soon enough they finished with that wheel and I remounted it too. I took my bike for a spin to make doubly sure of the inner tubes (and to see if I'd reconnected the gear line right), and all seemed well.

But of course, as my brother and I arrived home from the other side of town, it started raining. So I must postpone my "real" bike ride yet again.

Remind me not to get Bell brand tires for my Schwinn brand bike. Even if they do say 26" by 1 3/8".

Friday, April 02, 2010

Humor on the way back from church

My siblings are funny.

On the way back from my church's Good Friday service (which was attended by all of maybe 40 people, out of a church pushing 200 on Sunday mornings), my brother told me something he'd found out recently. It went like this:

"If you eat a bar of chocolate every day for 36,000 days, you'll live to be a hundred."

(Think about it.) Anyways, the catch was he accidentally told me (the first time) 3600, not 36,000. But once we got the facts straightened out, I laughed.

Oh, by the way, the website where my brother had found this gem of knowledge was My Life Is Average (MLIA for short). My sister reports that about half the stuff on there is quite funny.