It started with Cam. Hacking up a lung (practically) all over the house. Soon dad was starting to hack, along with Kitty Kat. Then our niece, Debbie, then Mal, Chloe and now MOM has it. Yep, they've made me sick.
And it's never pretty when mom comes down sick. I feel like crap. I'm hitting the asthma meds as fast as possible, hoping to ward off a hospital stay. Let's hope it works. Cam woke us up Sat night at 5 am bawling something fierce, I recall bits of a dream I was having and was sound asleep then I heard sobbing and was totally confused. Nice ear ache to go with the cold. Ugghhhh. Gave him tylenol, hit him on the head with a hammer (no, not really, MOM) and he went back to sleep for awhile.
I don't know what happened yesterday with the kids, I went to lay down and nurse my oncoming cold, when Chase was on the computer, Chance was annoying him over and over, Chase started yelling at him in Chinese, of course, then Baba said Chase flew off the computer chair, jumped up on the couch and started kicking and hitting Chance. WOW. Baba flew into BOTH of them and yelled at them. So when I got up they were all laying quietly in bed looking like they were sick and I was thinking they had been like that? Uhh, no, they were in trouble and they knew it!
Chase came down later and had a nice bruise on his hand, swollen knuckles, but nothing broken. I had him put ice on it and told him "no, no and NO, we do not hit or kick anyone here for any reason." He was saying "sorry, sorry, sorry." Before I was even done talking. I can't say I have ever seen them do that to one another, they are rough with each other, they yell at each other, slap each other, but I don't know if just got out of hand or what?
I put a restriction on the kitchen again, they were cooking noodles constantly, adding eggs (used 4 DOZEN of those in 1 week) tofu, shrimp, you name it, in the noodles. WELLLL... Chloe let it slip that they don't really like noodles that much, they are just eating them because that's ALL that's here. Yeah, right. Hello, we have AMERICAN food here.
So I cooked spaghetti for lunch, I made rice, beef and yams for supper and told them snack time is Popsicle, popcorn, apple, NO COOKING noodles. I told them we ate Chinese on our trip, they can eat our food in America and I sang "Living in America" while doling out their food. They weren't thrilled but guess what?
They ate it. And they ate seconds. So they CAN eat other things and learn to like a few more American meals, to make it easier on all of us. I don't mind cooking noodles and rice and things I know they prefer over others more often, but they need to learn to eat regular meals and different things. BTW, I think Chance is growing taller already, possibly Chase too.
As far as the boys learning English, we were told they were in English classes. Sadly many of the schools that orphaned children are sent to are not top of the line schools. The schools do not want to take orphaned children as students and all 3 of ours had to go to different schools because one school would not take 2 of them. They are considered so "unlucky" parents do not want to send their children to school with an orphan:(
Since we were told Chloe was getting "English instruction" and she came to us with a vocabulary of about 10 English words, we didn't expect any more than that for the boys. And we were not disappointed:( They can count to about 4, they knew "hello, goodbye, no, and WC" ( does that count?) and that's IT. As well as their formal education lacking huge portions of whole subjects.
Math is universal, they are usually pretty good in math and they have no learning with calculators so they really KNOW how to work out the math. They are taught evolution, something we obviously do not believe in. They do not know a man walked on the moon. In many ways they will grow and learn like a toddler but it's very much fast forwarded for them, it happens in a matter of months. Other things, like spelling, word meanings, they take much longer to build.
As well as working on them with behaviors, they do not know how to act when they go places. In church we have a fellowship time before Sunday School classes, we have snack time, and Chloe had her brothers call people "pig". So I had to stop her and them and when we got home hold her accountable for her behavior. She said someone else said it first but I told her that didn't give her the right to have brothers say it without HER being accountable for it. That she can teach them good things and we can be proud of her or she can teach them bad things and she will be in trouble. HER CHOICE. She is behaving poorly often, falling back in the "we can do whatever we want" and being called on it because they CAN'T do whatever they want.
We also had to be prepared to hear her and brothers say they liked it better at the orphanage. Now we COULD say "WHAT- you horrible little heathen children!" But what they "liked" better was the freedom to go and do whatever, just be back by bedtime. Playing all day, no worries about baths, homework, mom and dad watching if you slap sis, etc. This does not mean they are not happy here, it means that they have to get used to having a family and realizing that means we care about them, about what they do, how they act, etc.
For children that are about 10 and 12 for maturity levels, this is not their idea of FUN, being allowed to do whatever is their idea of fun. So we can't take offense to them saying that and think "WELL- you ungrateful children, we'll just ship your butt on back there". Uhh, no. Not thinking that (not even for a second MOM) because we do not look at it as we SAVED these children. We brought them to our family to be a part of our family as God wished. They are a blessing. Even when they say things like that.
Are they aware of what could happen if we did not adopt them? Kinda of. I think they know girls that have been married off, I know they are aware that if they are not adopted by age 14 they can't be and that means they will be sent off at/around age 16 to the streets. But they also have that whole "it won't happen to me" idea that children possess, I would figure to be a coping method for seeing kids they care about "go". To never see them again.
I personally am glad they don't think they "owe us" for going back for them, they owe us to be children, to let down their guard and let us love them. And they are "owed" love, patience, understanding, security, food, clothes, an education, a decent home and the right to be children. With their siblings. And we are happy to give them that. But I share this because older child adoption is a different road, a wonderful one but it's can be very hard to know where your child is coming from or what to expect. I always would rather expect the worst, then get a pleasant surprise if it's better than we thought. Than to be slammed with "our child said they like the orphanage BETTER!! What? How could they? Do they even want to be here? "
So IF you are considering, going through, just got your older child, do not be discouraged by the negative, because I can tell you, I have no regrets. NONE. Even through the journey back to the boys, the rough patches with Chloe regressing, the tough time finding a middle ground for Cam and Chance. The crazy noodle eating, the funny things they say, the amazing sound of Mama, mama, mama, from them, it's priceless. My advice? You gotta have faith in God, priorities and a sense of humor, a big sense of humor.
I am thrilled to be the mother of many and to have been blessed by these kids.
I am going to ask for prayers for Sarah, Holly's little girl who has blessed her family, she reminds me so much of our Kat, she has been diagnosed with cancer in both her eyes and is already less one of her eyes. She may lose her sight completely. I KNOW God picked her family to get her through this, she most likely would not have gotten treatment had she not been adopted and instead she is in the loving arms of her family to fight this fight. God has not left you Sarah, He is right there, in the hug from your mommy and your daddy. Pray for Sarah, won't you please?