Friday, May 29, 2009
Our agency had given us instructions as to what to wear to the board meeting. For women they suggested either dress pants or a dress/skirt. I had spent alot of time before we left picking out an outfit to wear. Dress pants were the end result.
It was one of those situations were you feel like you have to do whatever is necessary to be able to adopt your child. There seems to be quite a few of those situations.
I responded in the affirmative. We would figure it out, we have 5 days, right?
I am fairly certain my shirt DID NOT match my skirt. Neither color nor material.
But the Munchkin did get to come home with us! :))
I am not sure what I really expected of the meeting. I know I expected the board members to be mostly men. Not sure why. We had 3 ladies in our room.
I was too hot to be nervous prior to the meeting. As indicated, there was no air conditioning where we waited our turn. I had fallen the day before so I had a swollen left knee and twisted right ankle. Both were swelling by the minute and were visible due to the skirt situation.
Then there was the fact Jet would be asked questions as well. Let's remember he was not fond of Mama. (Really that puts it rather mildly!) What would they ask him and would he answer them?! He had taken to not responding to Thais when they spoke to him. UGH!
The meeting was enjoyable. I liked seeing these ladies and knowing they had probably played a part in making our family what it was about to become. I was able to silently pray for them and all their efforts to find homes for these children. I could hopefully display to them a little bit of "us" and how blessed WE felt to be Jet's parents. My labor.
Their questions ranged from how long have we been waiting to adopt, our schooling plans to the kids back home. They had our homestudy in front of them and went through it as they asked questions. We talked about Thailand, our impressions, how long we had been there and they made suggestions of places to go.
They spoke to Jet. He was hesitant at first but then he warmed up. We, of course, were clueless as to what they were asking him as well as his answers! He had the ladies laughing many times. A few things they did translate for us.
He eats hot dogs for breakfast.
He sleeps in the middle. LOL
Hot dogs=sausage links
We had a king size bed. We had him in the middle so he didn't fall out or leave the room in the middle of the night.
Thankfully, they were laughing...even if it was with a little bit of a hmmmm in their comments.
After that one board member asked the ages of our other 2 children. As we started to answer, another member found the info and laughingly said,
2000, 2001, 2002! They all found that funny.
It was over.
As we were getting up, I was reduced to tears as one woman softly said,
"Thank you for giving him a home."
No, THANK YOU for allowing us the privilege of calling this boy SON.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Bug was able to share with me this morning he is struggling because he hasn't had any Sissy (AKA Peanut) time. Just Sissy time. I am very thankful he and I were able to figure it out, yet I am sad. I will admit I was concerned about the changes to Peanut and Bug's relationship. They have been inseparable for years. I didn't realize a brother and sister could be as close as they have been. I really loved how they cared for each other and were always together. Papa and I talked many times about how we thought it might be impacted by the adoption. Were we doing the right thing? we wondered. I know it is very early in the whole process, we are still just trying to figure so many things out. This is my outlet--my place to share my thoughts and feelings, even if they are a little scattered! I pray we are able to nurture and grow all 3 to have wonderful relationships with each other.
Gem really hit it on the head, I think, with Jet's reluctance to hold Peanut's hand! Thank you, Gem!!!!! As soon as I read your comment I remembered reading about not holding my hubby's hand or kissing him in public in Thailand. Then I read her link and more, coming to the conclusion it must be a factor. I will admit I am surprised it would be stressed to one so young, but I know they were often out performing in shows, etc...
I myself have been struggling the last few days...ok, probably the last week, feeling down. Not too sure why, my long awaited son is home! Not sure if it is the let down from the last 20 months or what. I don't feel like there should be a let down as I have my son here, I have my 3 kiddos together.
Two times today I have been FILLED with a wonderful burst of "blessings". I have no other word for it. I have walked away from an interaction with my 3 munchkins, feeling like my heart is literally being filled and the same 2 words pop into my head at that moment. GOD and BLESSED
Two times, same feeling, same words.
I am so thankful God is willing to use a God for Dummies approach with me!! I finally get it God, thanks! I AM so blessed. I think I will post-it-note it all over the house. :))
I pray you are all feeling blessed tonight!
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
I loved being in Thailand, for the most part. I will admit by the end I was ready to be around people who could understand me and whom I could understand. I feel so terrible thinking, let alone writing that down, but I am human. And I am committed to laying it all out for other families journeying down this path.
What makes me feel terrible is the fact that Jet is now in that situation. And he can't go get on a plane back to what is familiar. Frankly, the poor kid can't even tell anyone if he wants to!!
He hears us talking, alot. We are a talkative family. And he is understanding more and more. But I do remember how tiring it was trying to understand and be understood. I had an end in sight, I knew my uncomfortableness was short term. I also had my husband with me who did understand me (even if he doesn't want to ;))
I wonder what Jet is thinking. I wonder if he is tired of not being understood or of understanding us. I see him at times trying to say something to me, if I don't understand the first time, he is reluctant to keep trying. I was NOT good at understanding Thai's in Thailand at all. Papa could understand them much better than me. Papa has gone back to work though. So Jet is stuck with me. He doesn't get mad, I just feel bad.
It makes me appreciate his resilience and determination even more.
I learned a few things today!
1) A shopping trip is a wonderful opportunity for English lessons! We went to Walmart and I believe I heard my favorite Thai-accented Mama about 100 times as Jet wanted to know the name of everything! We have stayed close to home so this was our first adventure out in the overloaded America we are. I notice alot more myself, like the fact one whole aisle is dedicated to pens and notebooks. Do we truly NEED that many choices? Shameful, IMO.
2) I so totally have no idea what I was thinking when I went to the grocery store with 3 children!! For our first real outing, with a HUGE list for groceries and another list for the other side of the store!! I had not been to the store since well before we went to Thailand and since I have been sick since we returned, Papa had gone to the store. Add in the "100 times Mama" and I am EXHAUSTED tonight. And I will not be doing that again anytime soon!
3) Jet has a big issue with holding Peanut's hand! I knew it was a problem before, but he has never really liked holding anyone's hand. I have seen him hold Bug's hand recently on his own, though. So today I needed him to hold Peanut's hand in the store. Bug is a dreamer and I wasn't sure I could count on him to pay enough attention to me and Jet. Jet was not being cooperative and I was letting him know how important it was. He was in tears over it. Obviously something we need to try and figure out, a much bigger deal than we thought.
Things are going well. I am finally almost over my cold and will be posting more frequently! I promise!
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
What an amazing few weeks we have had! The trip was something to be remembered forever. Seeing a country on the other side of the world, witnessing the way of life for them has affected us in ways we are still processing. The opportunity we had to see where Jet spent his first 8 years was a complete privilege. One I hope many others try to take advantage of. There are images I will never forget.
Jet is a good kid! He has been seen by our doctor and dentist. He is completely healthy, no cavities, no parasites. His teeth have even been treated with enamel!
Jet reads and writes in Thai. He was playing with a little Thai boy in the US Embassy while we were waiting whose Mama spoke good English as well. At one point she told me the boys were challenging each other with math problems!!
I woke up this past Monday morning ready to get back on a routine for all of our sanity, so by 9am we were starting school. I started with addition flashcards for Peanut and Bug figuring Jet would be able to watch. Jet knew how to count to ten in English, we knew that already. So after Peanut and Bug each answered one, I flashed an easier one to Jet and said the problem out loud to him. He gave me the answer....in English!! I did rounds with all 3 of them and Jet even knew 7+4, we didn't even know he knew 11.
I told Papa I needed to do some shopping for new home school stuff!! He was totally ready to jump right in, we did handwriting and English words that day.
He is fairly picky with eating, not too good when you are super skinny! I will be taking out stock in rice and Thai noodles!! I thought we went through alot of rice before! Jet does not like mac and cheese, that was the worst face I have seen him make yet!! (Annie's Gluten free)
We are still working on the western potty thing. So interesting....keeps things hopping I guess. ;)) I am not too sure how we are going to fare when Papa goes back to work next week!
Jet does like his Mama now. He started the day before we left Thailand to warm up to me and actually slept on me for part of the plane ride. He is definitely more comfortable with me but has his limits overall. It really hasn't been that long so we are doing well.
He sleeps well at night, has since the beginning. He has a difficult time staying on task for very long and is definitely use to being outside alot.
Speaking of outside.....this is the first day Jet hasn't worn a pullover fleece hoodie with his t-shirt and jeans all day long. Even outside. It has been in the upper 80's to low 90's here. What on earth is he going to wear come WINTER!!
The kids are doing well, all things considered. I am going to leave that for another day. Peanut is doing very well in role as "big" sister. Bug is struggling. Both are opposite of what we expected. So fellow adoptive parents, beware!!
A bit of the honeymoon seems to be wearing off as we move into a new stage. The kids were all in bed at 7:45pm tonight, if that is any indication. :))
Yes, we know there will be hard work involved. Yes, I think older child adoption is amazing!! I don't think I really anticipated it to be this dynamic!
Papa and I are such nuts about adoption and our journeys it was all we talked about while signing our life away refinancing today!! They could have gotten us to sign anything. They asked questions and we talked, the gal tried to slip in a few words about what we were signing but hey....we know paperwork!!
They asked if we were done....having kids
or if we were going to adopt again.....
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
We were late arriving and in typical Thai fashion, Mass had NOT started yet. Thank you, God! I so dislike walking in to church once Mass has started and knew we wouldn't be able to slip in unnoticed--2 white folk with a Thai child! LOL
A sweet older man who had been greeting parishioners came down the aisle, scanning the crowd, right as the first song starts.
I know....instantly I know
We had been asked to bring the gifts up. We have NEVER been asked to bring the gifts up in our parish at home.
The Lord is righteous in all His ways and loving toward all He has made. The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all whom call on Him in truth. Psalm 145:17-18
We felt so honored. I felt it was such a blessing on our son, for his first Mass. We were recognized as a family--only 2 days in to the start of our adventure!
And God was reminding me that no matter where I go, what I see, He is always there, holding my hand, loving me. And even though I SHOULD never need to be reminded, He will always give me what I NEED.
Thank you God for being there for me and for blessing our family so!
*This post was started when in Thailand.
Friday, May 15, 2009
At least part of it.
Lost in translation was the fact we needed to take 3 planes. First plane-6.5 hours, Second plane-11 hours, Third plane-1 hour!
It started the day before we were to leave when we had to go to the US Embassy VERY early to turn in the necessary documents to hopefully get our visa that day. While waking him up, I said we needed to go to a meeting so we could go to America. He bolted up, got dressed, etc...and when I turned around he was putting his backpack on and trying to gather up all his new toys.
Oops! America is tomorrow! We will be back, I promise, to pack everything up. Poor little guy! But he trusted us and left with us, leaving it all in the hotel room. What a trooper!!
We boarded the plane the next morning. Words can not even express how exciting it was to see his expressions and the noises he made as we took off! He loved looking out the window (a must in my opinion if you have an older child!). It was fascinating to be witness to his amazement and excitement over what we take for granted. Seeing the wing out the window, hearing/feeling the wheels go up, clouds right out your window, the shining sun.....
We talked about it being Thailand under us as we took off. He pointed and said Thailand a few times. We talked about going back. I was much more emotional about leaving Thailand, at least on the outside.
Less than 1 hour into the ride, land comes back into view and Jet points and says quizzically "America"?
Not by a long shot, sweetie!!
Jet did amazingly well! He was cheery and excited with ALL 3 takeoffs and landings. He slept for about 6 hours on the second flight.
We are home, a family of five!! God is so good!
I miss Thailand.
Interpreter services--5400 baht
Change in flight plans--$400
Listening to your 3 children play Star Wars legos--PRICELESS
Monday, May 11, 2009
Eventually Papa moved to "Full" while patting his tummy, often accompanied by a sigh as he would lean back to show his hand patting his stomach.
We still weren't too sure he got it.
Until one day he finished eating before we noticed, leaned way back in his chair in a slouch, let out a big sigh while patting his tummy and said "Full"!!! We busted out laughing!
What crazy things he must think we Americans do!
My heart is full today. It is my sweet Peanut's coming home day. The day I truly became a Mother. She has been home 8 years. Unbelievable really. I can remember the wait for her like it was yesterday. I can't wait to hug her and watch her coming home video this weekend to celebrate.
My heart is full today. We got our visa and will be leaving within the next few hours to be reunited as a family of five! I will get to hug all 3 of my children at once very soon!
My heart is full today. I was missed by Bug and Peanut even though I am a "mean" Mama and make them do school and chores! I can't wait to hug them both.
My heart is full today. Jet leaned on me, really held my hand and initiated sitting on my lap!! I can't wait for this journey to continue!
My heart is full today. I had my best friend, my husband to make this journey with and i thank God for putting him in my life.
My heart is full today as I thank God for the way He is creating my family and for the many blessings we have been given. May we always remember to never take those for granted.
My heart is full today. I am so grateful for the opportunity to share with others this adoption journey. To pray, help and learn with others similiar to our family is a HUGE blessing. Thank you for being here and for sharing your journey with me as well. You are all in my prayers!
"See" you in America!!
I give up! I lost it again!!
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Happy Mother's Day!! It is amazing to know I really am a Mama to 3. And in just a few days I will have all 3 together with me. (God willing)
I have many posts floating around in my head. The visit back to the orphanage post has been started. There is so much in that post I want to share. But it is hard to spend time in that place while I am also sharing in my son's new life. I am trying to process all that is happening. There is so much. So forgive me for the general randomness. I promise the others will come!
We are nearing the end. We leave in just over 24 hours. I am ready to be home in many ways but in other ways I feel like there is so much more to see and do here. This is a moment in time that will never come again. One I don't want to end.
Somebody needs to write a book on older child adoption. Not so much about statistics, but about the heart of the matter. The nitty gritty needs to be put out there, the real case scenarios, some "you are not alone", some "funnies", what seems to work, what doesn't.....You get the idea I am sure. I am not talking about the "scare your pants off you" RAD book. A book sharing the joys and the struggles. It seems there is so little out there about older child adoption, yet it is such a beautiful thing!
Randomness--I warned you! :))
Two nights ago I discovered my sweet Jet sucking his thumb. This made me so sad. Common, I am sure, as a self soother (is there even such a word?!). I look forward to the day he can turn to Mama for soothing instead. I pray he is able to feel safe, loved and know someone is ALWAYS there for him.
Again, please continue to check back! I will post more often.
And let me know who you are! I love to see the traffic counter moving and to hear from you would be fantastic!
Blessings to you all
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
When we were done swimming, we ordered room service and that turned out to be a very wise decision. Our sweet son didn't make it through dinner. While we were starting to eat I noticed he wasn't looking at the table/his plate, he was trying to turn the other way. He had started crying. Mama swooped him up while Daddy got his two crocheted dolls he had brought with and his new blanket from us. He fell asleep within 15 minutes or so, cradled in my arms.
We have had many fun moments since that first night. As expected, there are times when our son is withdrawn or quieter. It is hard at times to relay what we are doing or where we are going which I am sure makes it more worrisome for him. We have spent alot of time at the hotel. He loves to swim and the minute we get back from somewhere he is immediately signing and asking Mama if we can go swimming. It is one of the only times he initiates anything with Mama, so off we go!
We did make it to the Grand Palace/Emerald Buddha. It was incredibly hot and Munchkin #3 got very weak and shaky. We left rather quickly. It was an incredible place to visit.
Such a contrast to so many other parts of Bangkok, it is hard to take in or understand. As we were leaving there was a young woman dressed in a short skirt arguing with one of the guards/soldier. She was refusing to put on pants to cover her legs. While I may not understand the reasons for the displays of gold and jewels, it is part of the country I am visiting. (Never mind my son's birth country!) I am a VISITOR here. IMO we need to respect the customs another country holds if we are choosing to spend time there. Whether we agree or not! Worse, I am quite sure this woman was an American. If I hadn't been so hot and worried about my son I would have stopped and spoken to this woman. My hubby says it was a good thing I didn't. ;))
Big post coming tomorrow on our visit back to the orphanage to visit his friends and take lots of pics!
Monday, May 4, 2009
I had slept enough over the last 20 months
The feelings are indescribable. The meeting with our Thai SW, short and sweet. Very nice lady, to the point. Addresses what is necessary and we are done.
Works for me, I am through with paperwork.
Upon arriving at the orphanage we are meet by SW workers for the orphanage.
Uumm, is there a copy in English instead of French?
I was an emotional mess watching one family's son be brought in to them. How was I going to fare in a few minutes when it was my son?
A few minutes later our Thai SW said here he comes, and he is ready to go! Backpack and everything on!
What a beautiful little boy! He knew who we were, he was tentative and shy, yet had an undeniable sparkle of excitement in his eyes. It was so amazing to hear him speaking in Thai. Within a few minutes he was warming up to us and had our camera figured out! He started taking pics of us!
We spent the next hour or so being given many items from our son's past. We were shown his cottage, his cupboard, his bed. We were given a huge book of scrapbooked pictures, an envelope full of pictures, his school uniform shirts and hat, gifts from volunteers, he got to choose 2 stuffed animals from his cupboard. He went to lunch and we followed, seeing how he ate and what the food looked like that he was used to eating.
There is no doubt our son was well loved. We are beyond amazed at the care he received and the many precious "gifts" he has been given during (and from) his first 8 years.
Our son has fallen in love with his Daddy. He tolerates his Mama. He has many english words, trying new ones everyday. He has learned no very quickly, how to say it that is, and to use it correctly! He tries new things with assurance from Mama and Daddy.
I love the way he says Daddy with a Thai accent.
And though "Mama" may not come as often as "Daddy", it sure sounds amazingly sweet!!
Sunday, May 3, 2009
It was night time but we were able to see plenty from the lights on the highways. The large beautiful buildings next to the run-down shacks. Such a huge contrast. The elaborate golden decorations for the King.
We came up to a stop light and were immediately surrounded by kids and an adult selling flowers and cleaning windows. KIDS It was around 2am. These kids were no older than our oldest. No older than the son we were there to adopt. They were walking on a street with very fast moving cars, with taxis driving back and forth, with scooters zooming here and there. It took my everything not to look at them, not to open my window and hand them all my money. Papa knew it. At the time, we just looked at each other. Wide-eyed.
Papa finally said he hadn't been prepared for this. Can one ever be? I really wouldn't want to be. I wouldn't want this to be acceptable ever. I wouldn't want to be desensitized to such a travesty. A child's innocence and childhood evaporated...gone.
How blessed our children are. We let them know their job is to be a child. (Yes, they do have chores and responsibilities. You know what I mean! ;)) ) Their job is to learn the qualities and characteristics needed to be good and holy servants for God. To love, honor and serve Him. To love thy neighbor. To love and honor one's parents. To play and run in the outdoors, playing tag, swinging on swings, catching fireflys, playing baseball, eating watermelon, playing hopscotch, swimming.......
Just a reminder of God's blessings and to say thank you to Him, everyday!
Saturday, May 2, 2009
It appears Japan takes possible epidemics seriously.
Thank goodness, we had a little over an hour between our flights. They claimed Japan would be holding all flights since all incoming flights were being questioned, however there was alot of last call boarding announcements. And alot of passengers running. It was a bit crazy!
I did stop in the bathroom, taking my camera with in case I got to see this. Alas, my tushie was not warmed! ;))
The next flight was fairly uneventful all things considered. Papa was comatos for basically the whole flight and I was able to sleep on and off, in between keeping Papa from using our row-mate as a pillow.
(Please excuse my spelling, it appears the Thais must be great spellers as the red squiggly lines don't show up here!)
So we landed and as we had a highly recommended gal meeting us to take us to our hotel, were feeling the end was near! Our high got even better when right at the end of the walkway from the plane a Thai gal was standing there holding a piece of paper with my name on it! No way, how awesome! Wait, no she wants to see my passport?... there are 3 of them to drive two of us to our hotel?....at 1 in the morning? HMMMM seems someone wrote the first number of my passport down wrong, making it a passport that had been lost. YIKES, I am surprised an armed guy wasn't standing there, but wait they did have those walkie talkies to call for back up......
Our night wasn't over! We couldn't find Miss Oh or her driver. We couldn't figure out the computers, phones or how to talk to anyone. I was very hot and tired by that point but we perserved and once we found out there had been a miscommunication, God directed us a good person. Within 15 minutes we were on our way to our hotel! Thank you, God for Your constant care and attention to all details for us. Many times through the trip we were mentally on our knees while we gave thanks for His provision.
Back tracking just a little, I would like to share with you my thoughts as we were flying over Thailand. It was such an incredible experience. Knowing those twinkling lights represented the country my son had been born in. He has history here. His biological family stretching back who knows how long. He has current history here. As in he has lived here for 8 years. Memories he would most likely remember. Time spent with us here he would hopefully remember and have pictures to prompt those memories. It was also very exciting to me to know we were THERE!! We had done it, we were about to land in Thailand. We were just days away from meeting our son! Days from becoming parents to 3 children. Days away from holding, touching this long awaited child. Those twinkling lights represented a new future...for our family, our son, our future generations. I just couldn't wait to see his land, his nationality, his birth country.
And I couldn't wait to see him!!
Tomorrow you'll hear about us meeting him!! It was amazing and he is INCREDIBLE!
Hope you'll be back!
OOOPPPSSS, lost the siggie again!