Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Comin' up for air

It's been just a few days past 6 months since the boys came home. PHEWWW. We made it. In more ways than one. First we got them home. Both of them. Relief, mixed with joy, as well as fear, of the journey to make them our sons.

Yes, on paper they were. Our sons. But we knew so little about them as people. Personalities, likes, dislikes, what made them tick. It was hard to get the real picture when they were so adamant of remaining in their little threesome family and not allow anyone in. As well as the dirty trick Chloe pulled telling her brothers in China to dislike Camden. Rough waters for sure.

I didn't feel safe letting them anywhere alone with the other children for long, adding to the pressure of feeling like we were parenting a bunch of 4-5 year old kids. Naughty kids. That looked big enough to know better. But they didn't. They really didn't even know how to live with one another, their roughhousing was too rough, Chase was like their father, Chloe like the mother and Chance the misbehaving but adorable baby. OIY.

Then came the pain of them realizing this was going to be hard, no one really told them that, and the terrible homesickness for all they had left. Their friends, smells, freedoms, caretakers, culture. All of it. Having to start school with people that look nothing like them, dress differently, talk too fast, too much and too boldly.

I'm not going to say it's been a blast. No way. I'm not going to say when we first got them I didn't cry and wonder would they ever really FEEL like we were their parents. Would we feel that deep love for them other than just "it's my child, we love them, we would do anything for them." The DEEP soulful love, like our Father shows us? I mean, they aren't cute cuddly babies who needed us, and uhh, to be honest I think they'd rather have seen us go away than to listen to us and build a bond with us.

BUT......I finally feel like I am coming up for air. That they are settling in, we are getting a routine going, they feel comfortable and know what to expect and what is expected of them. And we are learning about who THEY are. And liking them as the people they are, not just loving them because they are our kids. Knowing that when Chance is happy he is singing, doesn't have to be in tune, in one language, but singing he is.

Chance came home today with a note for a girl and the other 2 went after him to take it, I couldn't believe it but when I told them to "Stop, leave him alone." They did it. They listened, instead of dealing with it like they would before, on their own.

I've learned Chase WANTS to help out, not out of obligation, or thinking he won't be fed if he doesn't do something, he just wants to help his momma out. He has seen me make numerous trips up and down 2 flights of steps with laundry, over and over, heard my knees cracking with the effort, and he has taken over the up and down of the laundry.
If I get the wash going, he will fold, haul and deliver to the owner, the laundry. I've come to understand he's just like that. If he can do something to make it easier for me, he will. Or really for anyone else- he will not watch anyone struggle to do something, even a stranger without offering to help.

He is still very much a child, wanting to watch movies, go to karate, enjoying youth activities at church. But he is a thoughtful and very special child who is going to be an amazing adult in this world.

Then we have Chloe. I think we have had the hardest time of all with her. We were the least prepared for her issues, that's for sure. The jealousy, then the whole calling me "mother" issue, she was determined not to call me mom but the boys did and she wasn't going to be outdone by them! She cracks me up in some ways, in others I hurt for her.
She told me, out of the blue, that she had been taken home from the orphanage by more than 1 auntie and asked if she wanted to be their daughter. But she always said no. When I asked her why, she said "I didn't want to call a Ch*nese person mother." WOW. She's got some huge pain deeply buried there.

Pain that I think God knew she would need an American momma to heal. To give her someone totally different than the only momma she remembers.

To give her a new beginning in a place where her orphan status is not a factor in her life, nor will it ever be. She can do anything she wants here, in the land of the free. She can grow up with her brothers, as she should and know they are not suffering somewhere unknown. To give this girl whose life has been disappointments, one after another, a way to learn about God and how He worked for her to finally bring her healing. That He loves her and always has and always will, no matter what.

Most of all the last 6 months have brought us deep understanding of how brave and awe inspiring these 3 kiddos are. Their story might be amazing, but THEY are even more amazing. They wake up each day looking forward to their day, they don't look back. They are accepting that we love them enough to care what they are doing, how they are doing and are willing to stand by them no matter what.

I can't say we don't have issues, and I feel we have a long road ahead once we have better English with Chase and can get some more of their history brought out. I know he has the best memory of what happened, and they all 3 will have things to cope with over their past. It is a part of them and of who they will always be.

We are the most thankful for God, for guiding us through these uncharted waters, I felt so alone at times, no one else had our dynamics, it was tough but we always have had God to fall back and it has strengthened our faith, it has allowed us to rely on each other like we have never had to. We are thankful for all the people who had a hand in getting these guys home, that we have honored your prayers, generous donations, and help to get these boys home, as well as the after.

I can say today, they are my sons, they are my daughters, I feel no different toward them than the ones I've borne, they are without a doubt, a perfect fit:)

Now before you get too mushed out, here's what they are up to---
Arguing with me and telling me they can't possibly live with just one Ripst*ck that is Chloe's who doesn't want to share it, that they EACH need their own? OIY, that American dream has gone straight to their teenage heads. They are soooo, well,

Isn't it GREAT to see??


rachel.a.rasmussen said...

Loved this post. All the things I never think of, being the outsider reading your blog . . . your whole family is truly amazing!

Holly said...

Happy 6 months!!! What a wonderful post. God does get us through it all, doesn't He? I can't wait to hear the one year post. Great things are in store for them and your family. I just know it!

Family said...

Bravo...not only well said, but obviously true and from the heart. just what this mom waiting for a teen needs to hear. As always, thanks!
BTW I will probably send a letter to Ty with a christmas gift so if your kids want me to pass anything on to him just email me

Sue said...

Vickie, thanky you so much for this post, I needed it. This is been a hard road with rewards in them.

Sherri said...

Awesome post Vickie! Happy 6 months and all the children look so happy. Your doing a wonderful job with our children! God has blessed you for sure.

Lori Lynn said...

Yes, it is really wonderful to see how time adjusts everything. You have worked so hard and there is so much more to do to get these kids ready for life as independent adults. They will always carry deep wounds with them, but your love will show them that the world can be a happy place.

Your story is touching, amazing, heart-wrenching, and most of all, inspirational.

Keep up the good and challenging work!

Heather said...

Love this honest post! It is difficult and I can't imagine how hard it is with teens. VERY rewarding too! I love hearing about your family!

Marie94 said...

Wow - Thanks for sharing. What a ride He has you on. I love to check in and see how you are doing.
Keep up the awesome work!
Robyn in WI