Chase is doing okay. I know you all are worried, so I'll start with that. He cooked us all dumplings last night, for the first time ever. And they were delicious.
Our college student friends came last night and spoke with him at length after getting the gist of what happened and what we wanted to tell him, ask him, know from him. And his issues were what I thought, the loss of control over the sibs, the blending into a family, the birth family issue, and the language.
He is wanting to learn more of the language and is bored in school. He's not getting enough one on one time with the ESL teacher so I have talked to the school already today to see what they can do about this. He really likes school so if we can get this worked out he will get the socializing he likes, but also get more instruction getting him learning and not him feeling he is just putting in time.
He is clearly frustrated as he is bright and wants to learn. I am sure he feels trapped in school, with no one but Chloe who speaks his language. He wants to be able to communicate in English. So my goal is to get him help he can use to learn faster. Giving him more freedom. One thing we are changing is the free speaking of Ch*nese in the home, our kids are old enough they are adding on English, they will not lose their Ch*nese language.
We thought they should be encouraged to speak English at home but the ESL teacher said "no, they will be tired of English by the end of the day." Well..... tired or not, they are wanting to learn English and it will make that happen faster if all they hear/ speak is English. So we are going on our feelings of what is right for our children and making home all English for now. Not that anyone gets in trouble for slipping up, it's just encouraged.
One thing that really hit me, the issue of not being "wanted." I chatted with an older teen adoptee who is struggling with this issue. And they were adopted very young.
I feel pretty well prepared as an adoptive mother, but I am seeing how at different points of all of our children's lives we will see this issue of their past losses, depending on their age, personality, maturity and even sex and possibly see it over and over. It's really painful for them.
I believe WE (meaning all adoptive families) need to stress to our children that we WANTED our children. That even as a second family or sometimes even a third family that we WANTED them to be ours. As well as GOD WANTED THEM to be loved, He always wanted them to be safe, to survive no matter what they have been through. They are special children to God. Not one of them a mistake since God doesn't MAKE mistakes.
For Chase, God is an uncertain entity, he is learning about God, but he doesn't totally get it. We are fine with that, so for now it's about US for him, making sure he knows how WANTED he was by us. I know he is/ will struggle with his past and feeling unwanted over and over and WE are the key to giving him the ability to let him work through this.
Our children ultimately have to make the choice but I feel we have to stress to them that one part of their life being very bad can ruin their life if they chose to focus solely on that. Or they can take the road of healing and lean on their new family, their friends, hopefully God and find healing. We have to give our children the tools to do this, not just think they "know" how to do this.
They need frequent reminders, even something as simple as bringing up how hard it was to wait for approval to go get them, or how long we waited to have a baby girl/boy, or how we wished we could have gone when our teens were young and brought them home then to spare them things that happened to them. That we really WANTED them.
It's a HUGE issue for our kids. It's so hard to understand for us, we think, "well, of course, we wanted you, I did 5 million papers, traveled for them, suffered through every step taking sooo long, cried for them, yearned from my very soul for them", but THEY don't know that.
THEY aren't really sure WHY we wanted them. To just love them when they were unwanted in their society and by their first parents is inconceivable to them. They NEED to hear this from us, over and over and often. It's NOT the "given" to them that it is for us.
We wanted this son, we wanted him home. We wanted to love him, to cherish him, to learn about him, to take pride in him, to give him our name to carry with pride, to watch him grow, to see him with a full belly, a smile on his face, safe in his bed sleeping. To guide him as he grows into a man of this world. To give him the knowledge of his creator.
He knows he is wanted today, when he was talking and laughing, then crying, then laughing with the college kids, I was crying when he cried. They told him I was crying for him- hurting because he was in pain, that I love him so much, that we wanted him to be our son so badly. He came and he hugged me and kissed me and I told him I loved him and he said "me too." He usually just nods "yes" to me, when I tell him I love him:) Our college kids were such a blessing and really helped him work through his feelings.
I have to say I shouldn't be amazed by God's provisions, I should know by now He has us covered, but it's funny how many things that happened in my own life, losing my dad when I was 10, my childhood being a mess after he died, how so many things taught me ways to cope and help my children. Chase looked at me quite differently when I told him my dad died when I was 10, you could just see those wheels turning in his head. "WOW- mom knows what it's like to lose a parent. And to survive and even move on to parent ME."
So just for me today, if you have a child, adopted or NOT, give 'em a hug and tell them a little bit about how much you WANTED them into your life, no matter how or when they came into your life. Not just that they are loved, but how WANTED they were and how they are everything we parents ever wanted in a son/daughter. Just so they KNOW:)
I promise it matters, I promise it will bring a wonderful memory up for you and you will make your child's day a little brighter. We all need to feel wanted......