here are some pictures of how terribly the children are getting along...
i called UCONN Adoption Services yesterday and said, "i think i'm doing it wrong. everyone is happy. when is the shoe going to drop?"
the coordinator assured me that it might. although it might not. she gave me some resources for if/when they do.
the children, all four of them, are getting along beautifully. one of the things i mourned before leaving for China, to finalize the adoption, was the loss of my nice, quiet, tidy life. my bio-kids would always play nicely together. i never have had to pull them off of each other or get out the hose to stop a fight. they would get up quietly in the morning, get their own breakfast, and start their homeschool work. bedtimes were usually calm and quiet by at least 8:30 every night. respect, manners, and harmony reigned in our house.
i thought that by adding two more kids everything would change. be waaaayyyy harder.
mornings are semi-quiet.
meals are civilized.
the children all play nicely and quietly.
they are bonding well.
everyone pitches in with the housework-mostly without even being asked.
there has not been one fight or meltdown.
not one tear.
bedtimes are still calm and quiet-teeth brushed, faces washed, pjs on, and goodnight kisses freely given.
my house has not been trashed (yet).
nothing has gotten broken.
manners are being modeled and learned.
it is QUIET.
it is CALM.
it is HARMONIOUS.
S and i cleared our lives to cocoon with our new family. to ensure successful grafting of new personalities into our existing family. well...we are bored silly. we have wandered around looking out the windows like cooped up house cats. the laundry is done, dishes are washed, suitcases are unpacked(OK the carpets look like they are shag instead of oriental, but that is chosen laziness on my part). it is too quiet. scary quiet. several people have emailed saying they were afraid to call because they know we are busy and overwhelmed. we MUST be doing it wrong, right?
we try to interact with the newest additions and we do. basha asked baba to play "go fish" with her yesterday. he did, but halfway through she handed her cards to me and made us play while she watched. i first thought it was because i had walked by and kissed his head. she makes gagging sounds whenever anyone shows affection, so i thought i invaded her game and she quit. but now i am thinking she revels in seeing our tight relationship. in spite of all her gagging theatrics, she constantly asks us to kiss each other. of course as soon as we comply, she grabs her eyes and play-retches. perhaps she let me play because it was fun for her to see us duke it out over a competitive game of cards. maybe it makes her feel safe when we model a good marriage.
today she asked baba to throw her over his shoulder and carry her around. (that is the extent of allowable touch still) after carrying her to another room, her tickled her, and stole one of her socks. she came to me to show me what he had done... laughing with glee. she uses me as a safe base. every 15-30 minutes she comes to find me and check in or show me what she is up to. whenever one of us is out of eyesight, she asks where we are. definite bonding behaviors.
shianna still seeks me out for spins, piggy back rides, and tons of kisses. but for the most part plays with A and works on puzzles. tonight when baba went to worship team rehearsals, she asked where he went. again a good sign they are attaching.
today i was out for most of the day at a dear sister-in-Christ's funeral (which was so beautiful and a testimony to a life well-lived, well-loved, and full of faith). something we all should strive to attain. may God rest her soul and give her loved ones peace.
anyway, when i returned home, the children ran over to the car to greet me. i got kisses from A, E, and S and a high five and an i love you from B. then they ran off to play some more.
here we are making spring themed window clings for our triple sliding glass doors. we look so stressed and sad, don't we?
tonight during dinner i had to answer a phone call. when i was off the phone, i went downstairs to find dinner had been put away, dishes put in the dishwasher, and my dinner covered up so the kitty-pets would not eat it on me. the children were already in their room getting on pjs and brushing their teeth. i was stunned. where did my little "barbarians" (affectionately named) go? where did my crazy, wild, hyper Chinese children go? E and B had done kitchen duty without being prompted. it is not one of the children's regular chores. as a matter of fact i have never asked them to clean up dinner before.
don't get me wrong-i don't miss that undesirable type of behavior, but it has only been 17 days since Gotcha. they have gone from terribly behaved to almost angelic.
OK you have permission to call me the child-whisperer. snicker snicker.
i jest. wait until i take them to church this week. i am sure i will be forcibly dragging them out to the lobby for time outs. no fair tittering in front of me church friends. please be polite and do it behind my back.
i had grieved for a life i thought was over. i was right! it is over.
i have a new one. a better one. a life with more love than i ever thought possible. a blessed life. a content life. i am so glad i said "YES" to my God when he asked me to care for two more children.
i could have said "NO" and clung to what i knew, but look what i would have missed out on.
now i am not naive-ok i am-but i am still realistic. things could go sour after the honeymoon is over. fights could happen, the fur could fly, resentments, jealousy, and defiance could rise up. we have the name of a good therapy practice only 20 minutes away, i also have a friend who is a therapist, my will is stronger than any child's, i have a huge group of adoptive moms that will offer help and advice. i have friends who will make me a cup of tea when i am stressed, cut my hair to hide the bald patches from when i tear my hair out in frustration, and offer childcare for when i have had enough and need a break. my husband is the most loving, supportive, and patient man ever. we'll be OK with whatever comes our way.
besides a dear friend told me today that even if it becomes awful, i only will have to suffer 8 years until every one of my children are 18. i can do 8 years.
for now...on day 3...i revel in my peace. i rejoice in my blessings. i praise my God.
THANK YOU DEAR FATHER FOR EVERYTHING. FOR LAYING ME LOW. BUILDING ME UP NEW. CREATING AN OBEDIENT HEART IN ME AND MY FAMILY. PROVIDING FAMILY, FRIENDS, FOOD, SUPPORT, ENCOURAGEMENT, AND MOST OF ALL LOVE. SHOW ME HOW ELSE I CAN LOVE YOU. HOW ELSE CAN I SERVE YOU? HOW ELSE CAN I WITNESS HOW AWESOME YOU ARE? THANK YOU HOLY SPIRIT FOR REVEALING YOURSELF TO ME. THANK YOU JESUS, FOR SAVING ME. THANK YOU FATHER FOR GIVING ME NEW LIFE AGAIN AND AGAIN. AMEN.