Who this time? Well, guess? 2 at once???
Chloe and Chance the big 17. Gosh it just can't be. So I think I'll say they are 16 again, okay?
Chloe says she "doesn't care" since we don't know for sure their real ages, she likes to say "I think I am 20" as well as "I'm a WOMAN." Both of which I tell her I think she is 12 and she's a GIRL to me. She usually says, "Okay, because that means I can live with you longer." (I'll take it, for sure-- one thing we see with older kids is the sadness that we don't have much time with them, the years FLY by)
I would love to say I know exactly how old they really are and there are some bone tests we could do, some guessing by teeth, but really, age is just a number 'round here and I think we are as close as anyone could get to right. Just look at the neat card her friend made her for today--
So as for the big 17, um, well, not much changes around here. Still no driving, Chloe is practicing for the written test but is scared to take it so far. Chance is not ready (per us) to drive anything. (MOM-- you were not there when he was driving a MOWER with a cart full of kids and the cart tipped and he just kept on going, totally oblivious to the children on the ground.) No one injured but it's incidents like that that make up my nightmares of him driving on a road with a vehicle, OIY.
I don't think there's enough hair left to whiten on my head for that boy to drive. (Maybe ever, ha ha)
ANYWAY--- No biggie celebration today, saving that for later in the week when I have a night off. No big, huge gifts, they asked for MONEY.
No surprise there, they like that green stuff.
I did want to touch on one answer from the last post, as well as--- so here goes---
"Background differences of adopted children" Because that can be a huge issue for families/adopted children.
It's funny because we have children who have the same story and yet it's different for each one. So what I try to make sure we do for each child is for them to understand that "their" story is special. It's all about THEM.
Just as you say "I was pregnant and we couldn't wait for you to be born, etc." I tell our kids all about our "paper pregnancy" waiting for them, how we knew they were ours, how God knew when we were supposed to have them.
In a way, I guess you could say I give this over to God. Because it was His doing, His guidance, His timing when we got each one of our children. And each one has a very special story of that.
So if one has issue with being older when adopted (like Chloe feels) I do not just push that off as unimportant, but I do tell her I don't know why God gave her to us older but I am so thankful He DID give her to us.
Her whole story, which I am not sure I ever shared here is nothing-short-of-amazing.
You see back in 2008 when we found our Chloe, we had asked for her file. Saw a picture of a girl with her hair in ponytails and knees pulled up sitting in the grass. Nothing extraordinary to anyone else but for us, she blew us away. We were looking at our daughter. We just KNEW THIS. It really didn't even matter what her file said, this was our girl.
BUT-----just as we asked for her file, we were told she was "taken." On hold for another family. And I asked- for sure, they are serious about her? And was told "Yes." Was asked to review 2 other older girls files, which we agreed to do. As well, we were looking for a home study agency who could do our HS for a low fee, a mere $800. That's what we had saved to do it.
So as we looked at the files of these "other 2 girls" over a weekend, we prayed and I cried, because I knew in my heart these other girls, not a thing wrong that would make them unacceptable to us to choose, they were NOT our daughter. The girl with the pigtails was our girl.
Come Monday morning, we were sad, but resigned, maybe this wasn't the right time? The feelers out to get the home study done were not coming back with any news, so I was feeling really bummed.
Then late Monday morning I got an email, an agency willing to do the home study for that amount. Great, I thought, but still sad about "the one", our girl being taken.
Within AN HOUR I got an email------------ the girl, the ONE, "Did we still want her? " Because the other family had backed out. She was OURS.
WHOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOO there was some crazy screaming going on that day in our house:))
Funny enough, wayyyyy back then, when I still needed many a lesson in TRUST-- trusting God that is, because I asked Him for a sign that both Kat and Chloe were meant to be ours.
And with Kat as soon as we were locked in for her, we were told new updated pictures had come in, they were sending them to us NOW. And there she was, name already chosen as Kat, after my grandma, with an outfit on with a cat face, even whiskers:))) "UH, thanks God, gotcha." was all I could say.
So what was Chloe's? Well, agency had blacked out the "last name" given to her. We got Pre Approval and I asked, by the way, what is her last name? Ummm-- MIN. I seriously said "Naaahhunnn." They said "Uh, yeah, that's her name."
What's the big deal with the name? Well MIN was Kat's Chinese last name! AND I knew by this time that MIN was not a common name, matter of fact it was only used by Kat's very small orphanage for ALL the children and Chloe's orphanage for only a few years. I've not found ANY other orphanages that use that last name.
It was our "sign."
Now with the boys, I have to really stress to them that GOD chose them for our family. They saw the pictures we had sent Chloe. They had accepted that we "didn't want them" because we had many sons. We didn't go looking for 2 more sons, but let me tell ya, they are no less special. We had no idea they even existed when they were accepting we wanted their sister and not them:((
And they were saying "Goodbye" to her forever, or so they believed and were all accepting that she had been chosen and she would be better off to go, even though it meant leaving them behind.
It just breaks my heart to think of them believing we didn't want them when we had no idea they existed. I will never get out of my mind the image of Chance with a huge smile-- yelling the loudest out the doorway full of kids"Bye, bye, BYE" in ENGLISH. As we left the orphanage from visiting I didn't know that was him at the time (I wasn't allowed to "meet" the boys in person)and he caught my attention only because he was yelling it in English.
I guess what I am trying to point out is that we can't go back and "fix" the past. Our kids' pasts are part of who they are. I don't think it's any easier to say "Well, Kat you got us sooner, you are better off" because she lost her Chinese language getting us sooner.
And Chance and Chase, who know more about Chinese culture, living, language would most likely not gotten adopted at all- but they came later when it was harder to learn English, to blend in to a family.
You see, it's always going to be what "someone else" had/has. We have to teach our kids it's okay to have their OWN story, different from others, and special to them. They got US when they were meant to.
I've always been a HUGE fan of life books for this reason. Even if you have no clue about scrap booking there's a ton of sites to make a book out of your own pictures, it doesn't have to be a fancy scrap book. Just showing your child they were born (even older kids because someone was excited/ hopeful of their birth) then moving right in to the first pictures we saw of them, bits of info about them, where they are from, then us meeting them, etc.
And yes, that means for some, we have days old picture (Phoebe) but then nothing for years after that. Kat's got a first baby picture of 5 months old. The teens have NO baby pictures. They just don't. And when they bring it up I tell them I am sorry. (Chloe always says "Why you sorry, you didn't do it") It means, I am sorry for them. I CARE.
That's as much as we can do. Care. Show them acceptance of when we did get them-- no matter when that was and of their pasts, their lives before us. Because that's how they learn to accept it themselves.
It doesn't mean you say this once, at least not in my household, but actually it's an ongoing thing. Because without a doubt with Chloe and Chance's birthday there will be some grumbling out of Chloe about not knowing her "real" birth date. And I will assure her that GOD knows and that we accept her even if she is 12 or really 20:)
No one else like her, that Chloe. Or like our Chance:) 2 precious kiddos we are honored to call "ours."
Happy Birthday Chloe and Chance!
Other answers to last post coming up next, so if you have any others, get them posted and I'll do my best to answer.