I know our house has been at the forefront of our minds and my blog posts. But nothing to say except painting- up, down, day after day, color after color- too boring. But it's such a blessing to be getting close to moving in.
SOoooo--- this post is all about the kids. Yep, you got it. The kids. I know you are missing hearing all about them (mom).
I'll update on adjustments of all the additions, not to slight Camden or Donovan. Because just as adoption is for life, adjustment is ongoing.
I'll start with the oldest newbie. Chase. He seems to have stopped growing/ gaining weight for the present time. He's about 5 '7 and 129 lbs. Healthy looking. He is having good success with the witch hazel someone commented and said to try for his "bubbles aka pimples." (THANKS!) Although even with less bubbles he is still looking at his face 100 times a day.
He seems happier. He is settling in. He still struggles with letting us parent him- even understanding what being a child of 16 means is difficult for him. He is so used to be "the man, the provider." It's hard when he has done that for so long to realize he can let that go now.
I would say he is still in "survival mode" in some ways, that is- he will take care of something himself before he asks it of us. But in many ways we see him trying to turn to us more, knowing we can be trusted. We realize his progress is going to be ongoing and we see improvement so we are encouraged by that.
He has lost that scared look, every time something goes wrong. The look of "Oh no, that's it. They will be done with me." He is still surprised that we will not "garbage him." As he says it. "Nope", I tell him, "We don't garbage any children, he is stuck with us forever." We hear that much less often, maybe once a month or so, just checking that it hasn't changed, I guess.
And it doesn't. He's here for good. In many ways he is seeing the good of being here, he is making friends, he is learning English, he is interested in a girl here. He is understanding and accepting he is important and we love him. Gaining self confidence. It shows. He can handle some teasing, some fun, he is lightening up and dropping some of the total seriousness his life has consisted of till now. Becoming a child.
He is closest to dad, because they are most alike. Quiet. Strong. He doesn't quite know what to do with a mom who isn't needy, who wants to take care of HIM. He is helpful, will do any job asked of him and some we don't ask.
He loves music. He tolerates the dog and cat barely, still doesn't get why we have them for PETS, in the house, animals, pets.
He's very protective of his things. He takes immaculate care of his clothing, shoes, bedding. Anything that is his.
He is a treasure. I can not even imagine him being left behind and am so thankful he was not. He is where he belongs. We see him relaxing and getting that more and more each day. I don't wish him to grow up too fast but can hardly wait to see where his life goes. He's a wonderful son.
Chloe. She is still in girl's 14 clothes, much to her dismay. I'm happy 'cause the clothes are cheaper but she doesn't like the selection. She is very "into" how she looks, a typical teen. Both her and Chance are about 5 ft 2 but she is around 98 lbs and he is over 100. Again, looking healthy and fit. Both are very active.
She is a diva, even though she won't admit it. She's sometimes prickly, but she is learning to be much more accepting that the world does not revolve around her:) She has the biggest heart. She is signed up and joyfully working and saving everything she can to go on a mission trip to Costa Rica in Feb 2012 with our church group.
She is so eager to go and HELP. People in need.
She is still the queen of questions. Asking stuff all the time. She actually told me and dad that she "knew what we did when we went to bed." We were thinking "HUH?" When she said "You lay down and go - ahhh- with a sigh of relief that I am finally asleep and quiet." Ha ha- we told her she was totally right. She can be exhausting.
But she reminds me so much of me, as a child. You see, I too, was a prickly girl, having lost my dad before I was even 10 years old and feeling like I was "different" because of it. I didn't let many people close to me, as they could hurt me. You keep people out, they don't hurt you.
So I understand where she comes from. And she must see the kindred souls that we are because she is leaning more and more on me. Wanting to be mothered when she really never had a mother and has struggled to understand what that means. But she's getting it. I'm here for her. I've got her back.
I'll pull her up if she falls, I'll correct her if she is going the wrong way, we love her. As is. She's a beautiful person, inside and out. She can be very funny, but also very insightful.
As we dined out (rarely can afford this) and the kids totally enjoyed a buffet supper, they got to talking about being rich. Chance wanted to be rich and own a buffet restaurant so he can eat any time he wants as much as he wants. And Chloe made this comment- "But rich people don't adopt a bunch of kids."
She was not being mean about people being rich, she was just understanding that they have money, but they don't have what we have- a bunch of adopted kids. Kids we didn't expect to have. But blessings, each and every one of them and we wouldn't trade them for all the money in the world. No way.
She understands the best how God provided in bringing her brothers home. How He is there for her. How He brought her to us, thus bringing the brothers as well. It seems she has gained the most from them being reunited and adopted to the same family- it gave her faith. Because we take NO credit, it was all GOD. She knows that.
Chloe is very fussy about her things, very neat and orderly. Dedicated to learning. She wants help with her homework and it has to be NOW, not later.
She's also getting what it means to have a dad. That he is there for her. He can "funny" (tease) her- she slaps him:) She has asked him to put her bed together as soon as her flooring is done. Not asking me to ask him. She likes to say she came from "my belly" as she sees us as the only parents she has ever had. Almost 13 years to get us. That makes me sad, but thankful she didn't have to NEVER get us.
On to Chance. He is still growing. No wonder with everything the boy eats. He can put away more food than I have ever seen in one sitting and I have teen/ adult sons. We've talked to him about not eating things he doesn't like just because it's there. We worry he still thinks he will not get fed every day 3 times a day plus snacks. He's taking the longest to settle down on the eating.
He's girl crazy, he wants to have a girlfriend badly. And I am sure there is no shortage of willing girls, I saw a whole group of them crowding around him at Open House:(
School is tough for him. He is getting more support this year because we are fairly certain he has some type of learning disability. He says he is "dumb or stupid" but I correct him by telling him he learns differently and we haven't figured out how to teach him. That he is in no way stupid nor are we upset with him- something he worries deeply about.
He has accepted the fastest and easiest of all 3 teens that we love him and are keeping him. No garbage questions out of him. He calls us mom and dad, not "mother/father." He accepts that we are his parents and he doesn't have to use the highest form of respect (Mother/Father) as other kids don't usually do that- besides Chloe and Chase:)
He is so social and outgoing, so rarely in a bad mood, it's hard not to like him. He's not the least bit shy like Chloe and Chase. He's also the messiest, fitting in with Camden quite well. Matter of fact, they are buddies now. They hang out together the most and really get along well.
Although Chance doesn't ask as many questions as Chloe, his mouth runs all the time. He is either talking to himself, singing, talking with someone all the time. He is only quiet when he is sleeping:) He always says to us "good morning mom, good morning dad." Even when it's evening:) He is polite and fun to be around, making him quite popular.
It helps too that he is just stinkin' cute, where Chase is more handsome and mature, Chance is just plain cute. That smile that is almost always on his face is hard to resist. He does seem to worry more about long term than the others, he questions how long he can live with us and we assure him for as long as he needs/wants to.
He is always telling me things that make me laugh, even if he isn't talking directly to me. I overheard him in the van coming home from church Sunday saying this- "Ohhh- there's a deer. I'd love to shoot it, but can't because mom doesn't like guns and killing animals so I can't kill deer. No shooting, mom says, it not nice. So no shooting deer, even though we could eat for long time. That mom, too bad."
Another treasure. Almost lost, sitting on a list, waiting for his family. We are so blessed to be the ones to share this child's life. So meant to be:)
Miss Kitty- well, "total princess", the kids were all complaining how she got "another new pair of shoes"- they don't realize her feet finally went up a size from toddler 10 and she needs new shoes. They think she is spoiled but they dote on her as well.
She is getting taller, almost 5 years home now and she is 42 lbs. Still tough to get weight on her, she eats more "Chinese like" than the other 3. She is not willing to try things they are. But she is healthy so we don't worry about it.
She adores her PoPo and Gong Gong (Chinese grandparents, formerly her foster parents) but refuses to hear much at all about a "Chinese birth mother." Doesn't care, for her- I am her mom. That's it. And Dad, well, dad is the love of her life. She adores him. He sits, she's right there wanting to sit with him.
She's very bright, doing well in school, but sensitive as can be. Yesterday the teacher kept them over by accident and Kat (along with 3 others) missed the bus. So they called me and when I got there she was stone silent. Standing there. Waiting for me to fall apart, I saw the storm coming and as soon as she got in the van she did. Cried. Upset. Scared.
Typical 2nd grader, which mom easily calmed down with saying "No big deal, it happens, I'm late sometimes too." Then I got to calm Chloe down when we got back too, even though I left her a note, she apparently got extremely worried and upset before coming in the house and READING the note. Because lil' sis wasn't on the bus. And she should have been.
Looking out for each other. Picking at each other. Laughing with each other. Sharing with each other. Keeping tabs on what each other gets. Worrying about school, girls, pimples, driving. Pretty normal teen stuff on a daily basis:)Thinking about what they want to do someday for jobs.
Dreaming of a future. Knowing they CAN. Because their future will be safe, secure with a family to back them and help them get where they want to go. It seems so small, what we "do" for them. But it's a freedom for them, freedom from the label of "orphan." Of the label of unwanted. Of the label of unworthy, unable to get work, unable to go "home" to family.
To them it's priceless, and for us they are a gift- a blessing from God- sharing the good and the bad, they are our children. Adding to us, not taking away. They bring joy, laughter, fun and bumps to the road of life here. Not a boring day in our world, that's for sure. And we can't imagine our lives any other way.
So there's an update on the adjustment of the kiddos- long overdue.
Now back to work- painting. Oh joy.