Have I mentioned how much she reminds me of Chloe? If not, I have been amiss because I have figured out our comfort level with her is because she is very much like Chloe but yet, her own person.
Sings all the time. Quite good too but puzzling to us how she manages to NOT have an accent when singing American songs. How does that work?
I told her what all I had blogged about her so far and she had no problem with any of it. She just wanted to know why I didn't put on MORE pictures of her on my posts. She also told me how when she went to her first school that everyone knew her name and she didn't understand how everyone knew it was her.
I swear (not really mom, don't call) I had the SAME exact conversation with Chloe before. And I said the same thing-- "Well usually you are the new Chinese girl (if not the ONLY Chinese girl) so that kinda does it. Everyone knows you."
She told me everyone in China and here tell her she is "cute" and she wanted to know why she wasn't called "pretty?" So I explained to her that she is smaller in size and often people think smaller is "cute" and pretty is for an older girl. I assured her I think she is quite pretty and I am thrilled to have a girl with freckles like me:) She said she thought hers came from the sun, I told her as a red head I was BORN freckled.
Chloe and Kat have a random freckle here or there but Paisley has the prettiest (NOT cute) sprinkling over her cheeks and nose of freckles.
So I asked her what I should say about her and she said this- she's "very happy"-- she got mail, a favored stuffed boy doll she left behind that was mailed to her from old friends, and a book of pictures sent with a boy adopted recently from her orphanage.
She learned that another child, a girl, will be adopted soon and she was able to write her a short note to tell her how to reach us when friend gets home.
She also wrote a note for a teacher at the orphanage and I gave her a few pictures to include (friend's mom is going to take this stuff when she travels to adopt) and we had a small notebook that the other mom suggested we make a book to help her daughter adjust to English and help with her adoption:) Paisley loved the idea of helping her friend.
So we raided my scrapbooking stuff to find any and all pictures of stuff, animals, phone, bus, car, snow, etc. And we stickered pages then I put the English word and Paisley and Chase then later Chloe worked on the Chinese version for her.
She insisted I put a cross (was happy I had one) and she wrote an explanation of church, not just "cross" which I thought was very good of her.
I caught some pictures of the kids on the deck, I started with Camden and Paisley was inside the doors behind me making faces at him. He couldn't keep from laughing.
So then when it was her turn he was so kind to return the favor and she did her best to not smile but lost the battle:) When we looked over the pictures together she loved how I narrated them- "Oohh, trying not to smile, nope, not gonna smile, ohh hint of smile- nope, not gonna, oops, smile slipped out." She laughed and told me I should post that.
Okay then Miss Boss-say:) She really wasn't being too sassy, just spunky, again, totally reminding me of Chloe. Kinda rough at times around the edges, but we will get there. We are already seeing the softening of those rough edges.
Paisley knew Thurs. night was her turn for dishes. And without even being told, she did them. She also got her clothes and put them away. Also without being told. Just as the others do.
I'm so thankful she wants to fit in. It's made a big difference. I was sitting on the deck and first Camden asked me for something, then I heard "mom, MOM", again, I soo thought it was him, but nope, it was Paisley. Calling me because the naughty doggy shredded tissue while she was doing dishes and I was on the deck.
She also called me mom yesterday when she needed to ask me something about one of the stickers she was needing help to know what it was. (Shopping) Although friend's new mom might not want that one?
Paisley sat on my chair arm, we bought furniture with BIG arms just for that. I can fit at least 1 kid, on each arm of my chair easily, sometimes even 2 of them on each side. We figured we'd go with it since we have not ever totally been able to get the whole "personal space" issue completely understood and really, it keeps them from being on top of me. I find I don't mind the closeness they need as much if they are beside me.
It can be tough to give enough closeness to teen treasures with them having the Chinese cultural "no personal space needed" verses "not respecting my personal space is rude" of America. It's not something they get for a long time.
I've learned to be much more patient and tolerant of it- although I do not ignore it because it's another thing our children have to learn to get along in this culture/society.
I just allow a lot of time to ease them away and teach that space is respected here, so they don't feel rejected. It can seem odd to see a bigger kiddo practically in your lap, but if they need it I believe they should have it in the beginning.
The last thing you want to do is hold or cuddle a younger sib then NOT allow a bigger kiddo the same. They WILL feel rejected.
As odd as you may feel, if they want to do that and it's as innocent as knowing you care enough about them to let them sit very close too, then DO IT. Ignore their long legs and bumping elbows. More often than not, with an older treasure it's difficult not to feel awkward trying to give physical affection.
We find a pat on the shoulder, a twirl of the ponytail, these things show our love and don't overwhelm children who seem to have to be right in your face but who also freeze up in discomfort when hugged. I've also learned enough Chinese to tell each of them I love you son, I love you daughter:)
And I've shared that with all of them, including our newest Paisley. So far she just kinda looks at me with that teen look, you know, yeah, sure mom. Whatever. I would expect no less from someone so cute-ooops, I mean, PRETTY.
What else did she tell me to say? She likes the dogs. She didn't know the cat's name but when she went and called her Kitty she looked at her so she believed me when I told her she would answer to that probably better than her real name Toffee.
We feel so blessed to have her in our family, she's a precious gift.
I continue to hope and pray her wonderful adjustment to her new life here is nothing but relief and healing to her first family.
They have given us a lovely, cherished daughter. Our deepest thanks doesn't seem like enough. God's love is so clearly covering both our families as well as this precious and don't forget----