Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Chat with Chloe

As the children had off school again yesterday, I decided it was a good time to tackle Miss Chloe. Not literally. But tackle her I did. Some issues we are going to be looking at for a long time to come, over and over. Things we "could" ignore"- which would be sooo much easier, but also wrong to do that.

So first I made a big paper heart. Then little hearts with all my kids names. And dad. First I asked her to come sit while we talked. And calmly explained to her that when I wanted to talk to her it was not always meaning she was in trouble. As well as, when I raise my voice, I am not always "mad" at her or anyone else, sometimes PEOPLE here don't listen when called and I have to get louder.

Once we got through that, I asked her if all the little name hearts fit in my heart. Yep, sure do with room to spare even! Then I asked her if I needed to kick anyone out of my heart to love her. Nope, sure don't. We talked about how I couldn't treat everyone the same, but that didn't mean I loved anyone MORE than someone else, just that different people need different love. They all stay in my heart. No matter what they do too.

Then we got into how I did not have an easy childhood and I really struggled with wanting my mother/daughter relationship to be different than mine was with my mom. And I have worked hard to do that, but I am also human and will make mistakes, hopefully Chloe will take those and say "I will do this different," when she is a mom. But that I always try my best and I want/ed to be her mom.

Next was the explanation how God gave me sons, even when I asked for daughters from the very first son. But that I needed to grow and learn before I could really be a good mom to girls. He even gave me Mal when we blended our family, that I could learn and grow in caring for her. She has taught me so much, and I love her dearly. Our home became what it is today, mainly due to issues Mal had with her other mom and needed our home to be a safe haven for her. And it made it a safe haven for not just her, but MANY children we have been blessed with.

When Chloe asked we touched on why sons are so important in Ch*na with them being responsible to take care of their aging parents, unlike here, where we have the freedom to love our children equally, male or female. And that I found boys easier to parent, but that doesn't mean I love them MORE.

And I pointed out that everyone was in my "heart" and no one's "heart" was any different. That God gave me all these children, some by birth, some by fostering, some by adopting, some blended, but that they all were MY children. That I didn't care HOW they came to me, they were MINE. Gifts. From God. And I was thankful for each one of them.

I told her we didn't adopt her, or Kat, or her brothers to "save them." We didn't adopt them to make us "look good." We adopted because we wanted to grow our family, and they needed a family, that God brought us together for a reason. I told her about how we found her, after adopting Kat, and fostering. That we had a "hole" between Camden who was 8 and Donovan who was 14 and we wanted to put an older child in there after we learned more about the plight of older children who did not get adopted from Ch*na. And we knew we were meant to look for an older child.

That we saw her picture and knew God wanted her to be our daughter, but another family was applying for her and we had to wait. That we considered other girls but we just knew SHE was the ONE. That days later the "other " family decided not to go forward, and that was fine, because we KNEW God wanted us to be her family. And that God KNEW about her brothers, how we would respond and that we WOULD go back and bring them home too. That maybe her brothers would have been lost to her forever if she had gotten that other family. But God had this all planned out. He KNEW how this needed to go for the three of them.

I explained to her that we didn't adopt them for them to come here -- we feed them, house them, get them schooling, and they go off, get a job and as soon as they turn 18 we say "okay see ya!" That we still parent and LOVE them for good. We aren't a "pit stop." We are forever. Their parents, their family, here for them no matter what. Accepting them 100% no matter how they came to be our children.

Next was telling her that some of her behaviors affected this whole family. Like little things she did to Camden and Kat. And that I knew she was jealous of them. But that she needed to understand that it wasn't their FAULT that they were here first, or a bio that looks just like me. And that believe it or not, Camden had actually complained that HE was the ONLY child here with no "other" mother or dad. That HE was jealous of HER. And I told her that hurting someone because they were here first or a bio, was not okay.

Chance, her nosey twin, listened in on most of the conversation, and I let him, figuring he could grasp the concept as well. And since he was sitting there, I told her to pick on HIM was not right either. That he is NOT her and Chase's CHILD to yell at, make fun of, to berate. That he is MY son and I would not allow that either. I would protect him and expect him to be treated as well as any of my other children. I KNOW it meant something to him because he hung his head and he cried. And she saw him crying.

I told Chloe I was talking to her about all this because-

1. she could understand me
2. she's been home almost 2 years and it was time we work on these issues
3. I understood she never had the mom figure she needed in her life and we are going to start working on some things she needs to learn that she never got to learn
4. she can make a huge difference since her brothers are looking to her to learn how to be a part of a family
5. she needs to start being a bigger part in making this family work how God means it to

I've seen a BIG change in her since our "chat." Because Chloe has huge holes in her life, one being no one was a "mother" to her until me. And she really doesn't know what that means sometimes. She doesn't KNOW how to be a daughter. And she has been telling me that she is having dreams over and over that she is "dumped" or"taken" from me. Sent back to Ch*na.

That's one of the big reasons I knew she needed this chat, she is working through the pain of never having a mom and now having one and not being sure what to DO with me. I know without a doubt she loves me, and she has a wonderful heart. I'm so glad God "paired" us up to give us what we both need. ( I told her that too:)

The boys still have some behaviors I'm not thrilled with, some of the same jealousy as their sis, but their acceptance and love of us, especially me, has clearly been easier for them. They had a favorite auntie they called "Mama"at the orphanage and she clearly treated them as her children.

They are miles ahead of Chloe in that department, they transferred that love to me. Easily. I am sure we will have "forever" issues for them, but I have no doubt how happy they are here.

So for now we continue to have a peaceful home, I feel so much better having tackled that with Chloe. She is such a precious child, and even though one might think, wow, she needed that talk? at age 14? Again, age is but a number, in this aspect, Chloe is much more like a 6 or 7 year old. It's a gap in her life, one she missed out on, so we go back, teach her what she missed to make her whole.

And I don't think she'll forget that big paper heart anytime soon. She and the other kids messed around with it all evening, it was fun to watch them. Mixing the "people" up, saying who was in their hearts, exclaiming about how big "my" heart was. Learning.

Oh, BTW, Chance kept his "I'm bored" to himself for his last day of vacation, too bad, I had a whole list of things I was going to put him to. What a shame, huh?

Another shame, flooding in our area and didn't these kids come trudging home early today. OIY. As if they haven't had enough of vacation. Really? I mean just LOOK what Chloe did to the poor baby Jaxon, yes, that's HIM in one of Kat's hats, doll clothes, and Chloe the guilty party for his pink- ness. He's gonna beat her up some day for that.

I did manage to trim hair on 2 more of the kiddos tonight, Chase and Chloe. Chloe decided to go for bangs. I was a bit scared of Chase's hair, had never cut it before since it is so straight there is not much leeway for goof ups. He also has the thickest hair I have ever seen, it was like cutting 3 kids hair instead of just one!

I did okay, he wanted it shorter up front so he hacked at it after I decided I was done and it looked good, so any complaints will be blamed on HIM:) Phewww, that leaves me off the hook:)


Heather said...

What a great post. Thanks for sharing all of the ups and downs of parenting older adopted kiddos. Your kids seem to have such tender hearts....especially your boys. What a sweet moment and one filled with great instruction

Suzanne said...

Thank you so much for sharing this, you are teaching me to be a better mother, even though I only have one...

Corlia said...

I think I'm learning a lot from you! I like how you are honest with your children and manage to address the root cause for behaviour issues. I hope that I will one day have the same wisdom and insight with my little one.

You must tell them that there are peope all over the world that adore them, it is wonderful to see them grow and adjust as members of your family.

God bless!!

Family said...

I treasure your frankness and it is obvious by the comments left on your blog that you are teaching so many people as you learn and go..your openess makes me a better mom...thank you! BTW we are LID now so pray for quick LOA so we can go get our boy!

mum22 said...

I agree with everyone else. What a truly wonderful post. I hope you don't mind but I'm thinking of stealing that idea.... I think you should of put a patent on it. lol
What you said about Chloe not having a MOTHER in her life and she is unsure how to act as a daughter etc rings so true to me and our girl. She too is jealous sometimes of our bio son and our other child from China who was adopted as a baby and why she had to wait until she was 14 years old to have a family. I learn so much from your posts and your honesty and humour. Keep them coming and they are obviously enjoyed by so many.
Julie & Family

Holly said...

What a great chat. Something I'm sure was so helpful for many to read. And helpful for me to tuck away for someday. Thank you for your blog! Love you...