So if you ever think that adopting older is for you then you need to be prepared for some really typical teen behavior. Tonight I was bombarded, Chase & Chloe and these were the topics--(my answers in red)
Mother, can you pick out my white hairs? (Chase with tweezers in hand) No, I don't ask you to do that for me!
Mom, can I have another earrings? (Chloe, wanting a second earring hole)
If I say yes, then what's next? Another hole, piercing your nose, your eyebrow, your lips?
Mother, can I change my name? Will you call me AJ? How about TJ? How about Steven? (Chase)
No.Your name is Chase, not changing it.
Mom, can I perm my hair? (Chloe)
No, it will fry your hair
Her reply? I didn't ask to COOK my hair!
Mother, can I dye my hair, not all, just streaks of color? (Chase)
No, you'll look like a SKUNK (see picture)
Mom, can you call me China? Or Nicole?(Chloe)
No. Your name is perfect. CHLOE
The two of them had me pinned into my chair, I don't often allow them to do that for too long, as I feel like they are suffocating me. No personal space to be had in China and my children do not "get" the whole personal space thing. I have to remember they need the closeness, and they have learned if I tell them to "back off" it's not as an insult. I just need A-I-R:)
As Chase twirled a piece of my hair (I kid you not) and we discussed an adoptive family with very dark skinned children and we worked on the prejudice that Chase has been taught in China, that darker skin is bad. NOT what we want our son to believe.
We want him to understand God has made us ALL perfect, no matter the color of our skin. Just because lighter and whiter skin is desired in Chinese culture, mostly due to the poor workers being easily identified by their sun darkened skin. We saw many, many women carrying umbrellas on sunny days. And yet here, people (not me) get "bed tan" as Chloe calls it.
Trying to get darker. Aren't we just silly? We want to be darker, they want to be lighter, they want lighter hair, we envy their blue black hair. It's tough to be a teen these days, and accept that someone else's looks aren't "better" than yours. That they are perfectly and wonderfully made by God as is each and every person.
We have been encouraged by Chase recently, I have talked to him before telling him that I believe his anger is related to the lack of control he had over the past in China. And that he really needs to share with someone, anyone, some of that past to understand he was a CHILD and couldn't control what happened.
Only then will he heal and be able to move forward. And yes, he has a counselor he can share with if he would rather.
But tonight, he decided to really open up and tell us some of what he remembers about their birth family and their past. And surprise, surprise, they have a sister. (MOM do not have a heart attack) She is OLDER and would not be available for adoption. She stayed with a grandmother and grandfather when birth family issues arose. She is now a child/ young lady of my heart:(
I feel so encouraged by him sharing. You could just see him lightening his load, as he shared and I said "You need to write down all you can remember while you remember this." And he said "Why?" And I told him we would like to be able to take them back SOMEDAY and try to find any family still there and alive. And that any info he remembers would help us do that.
Poor Chloe though. 3 years home and what does she say? "You won't make me stay there will you?" And I quickly said "No Chloe, you are MINE, mine, mine, all mine, I'm never giving you up no matter what."
So she was cool then with him talking and admitted she doesn't remember a sister at all. But she was also curious about going back to find family if that is possible. This would be a "someday" trip when all 3 are older and we feel they are ready for such a trip. Because it's very likely we would find no one and they would need to be prepared for that.
It's a sad reality for our teens, the memories they have and don't have, the things that trigger their fears. We have always encouraged the teens to speak of anything they wish of the past, but never push them till they felt ready to discuss it. For Chloe it was fairly quick because of her brothers being left behind. For Chance it was quicker, as he trusts us and has a very open personality. But Chase has taken a long time to realize his past is important to us for HIS sake, that we can be trusted to tell us what he can recall and it's the most as he is the oldest of the 3 of them.
What always gets me right in my heart about the teens is their amazing ability to come here and blend into our family, to accept the offer of love, family, being a son or daughter. Because they have, all 3 of them. I can't help but be proud of their strength, their bravery. Even with the struggles, the ongoing teachings, the wishes for hair dye--they are wonderful sons and daughters:)
We love them so much, and encourage others to explore if an older child is a blessing you are prepared to parent?
For us today, no piercings have happened, hair is still black (with a few white ones thrown in there) and everyone still has the same name. Phewww.
I give no promises about tomorrow though:)