Sunday, August 23, 2009

Name Game

When looking into older child adoption I found stories of kids who wanted an American name and others keeping their given name from birth. Papa and I knew we wanted to give Jet an American name combined with his Thai name for his new name. He had a nickname we liked and his Thai name was a fairly easy to pronounce name, so we felt comfortable with encouraging him to have a say in his name. We especially felt this way as the adoption time frame stretched out and we were bringing home an 8 year old instead of a 6 year old.

In Thailand (and at home before travel) we used Jet's Thai name and nickname. If I remember correctly Miss Oh did ask us if we were giving him an American name and I am fairly certain she did mention it to him. But we never discussed it there. We had more important things to discuss, like potty etiquette!!

Once at home I used Jet's American name with his Thai name as his middle name when calling the kids sporadically. I am a full name kind of Mama. My munchkins get called by their first and middle names often. So it fit. And I used it as an explanation for him. Bug and Peanut have part of their Korean name in their middle names so it was fairly easy for him to grasp.

We had spent 20 months calling Jet by his Thai name, it was a hard habit to break. And quite honestly, Papa and I had never sat right down and said we felt it had to be done one way or the other. We had time and felt Jet had choices. We simply made him aware we had chosen an American name for him.

After we had been home about 7 weeks or so the munchkins and I went to a musical performed by dancers from Peanut's dance studio. We ran into a family from our home school group we hadn't seen since returning home. My friend was introducing one of her son's to Jet and I leaned down to Jet and said can you tell him your name? Jet immediately said his American name! I was stunned. I hadn't yet thought to put the question to him. It hadn't seemed like enough time had gone by to me!

Shortly after that we were getting ready to attend a 4th of July party and I sat Jet down and asked him what he wanted to be called. He chose his American name and said he wanted us to call him that too. So that was how he was introduced.

Some of us in our family are better at using his American name. Bug calls him by his Thai name almost exclusively. Papa uses his nickname the most. Peanut and I use his American name.

In typical toddler fashion, Jet uses his name when referring to himself as he is at that stage in learning the English language. He uses his American name. Except when talking about his time in Thailand. He uses his Thai name then. It is honestly quite funny. He will change the name if he gets confused and says the "wrong" name. The first time he used his Thai name when talking about himself in Thailand I was quite surprised!

He answers to all and doesn't get upset about any name he is called.

Just a little over 2 months left and we can let you know what his name is and show you a picture!! Can't wait!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Western Style

A topic I had not given much thought to at all was potty time. And the differences between the states and Thailand. I put plenty of thought and concern into my needing to use the bathroom there considering I do everything to NOT use a public bathroom here. But I never thought much past "how do you say bathroom in Thai" for our new son.

About 1 week prior to traveling to bring Jet home, it hit me, Jet would be standing! I had stuck with the non-messy sitting down method with Bug. He is an easily distracted kid and I simply didn't want to deal with it. (Terrible, I know!) YIKES! I wasn't sure how ready I was for the "big boy way" from a little boy.

That was more MY problem..... still not much thought on the differences and communicating those differences with our language barriers.

Jet's reaction to the western style toilet in the bathroom was our first inkling this was going to be an adventure! I was SO thankful Papa was the favorite at these times, for sure!! It was a mix of peaked interest and of being terrified.

We quickly realized Jet never asked to use the bathroom. He would go for hours and hours. I am assuming there was a set schedule for everything at the orphanage. The caretakers, quite frankly, would not be able to get anything else done if they took each child when they needed to go. Way too many children and not enough caretakers. Plus Thailand is a country that uses the elimination communication type method. After a few days he began to initiate needing to go on his own at times. Yeah! This was pretty easy, huh?!

Since I wasn't the one assisting with the bathroom time it took a couple of days for us to realize (ok, for me to ask!) he wasn't sitting to do anything. If you catch my drift! ;)) He must have had one uncomfortable tummy by this point, poor guy!

Jet had no desire to sit on this western style toilet and our hotel had HUGE toilets, too. I couldn't blame him too much as his tiny Thai bottom was LOST on it! And I will add for the benefit of others adopting older children, a different method is used which doesn't use toilet paper. So that needs to be taught as well. Jet was NOT thrilled with this concept.

Jet seemed to have NO idea when he needed to take time to sit and go. He still only seldom is aware of the need. I have to try and keep track and remind him. A couple of weeks ago I realized he will use our Thai version "hong nam" for a quick visit and use of American "potty" if he is going to "sit"! LOL I have to work hard to remember this because I will often tell the kids to go potty before we are leaving the house. That gives Jet cause to stop and look at me with a questioning face!

I assume the method used to potty train is the cause of him not knowing/realizing the signs telling him to go. Not regularly going and the change in diet has created some uncomfortable situations for all involved. In Thailand, I would typically need to leave the hotel room for the duration of time needed and here at home, nobody likes to go near the bathroom for awhile after. TMI??!! Just keeping it real!

On another subject, thank you very much for the prayers and kind words about Papa's job. He had an interview this evening for a job he would LOVE to do. It is with his company, but a long shot. We are down to 2 weeks and I had panic set in this evening. I had been doing well, knowing it was in God's hands and He knew this was going to happen. And He has a plan. It is so easy though to let fear and doubt creep in, allowing despair to take over. We know despair is not of God, however. When searching through my Bible, I came upon this--

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.

And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 2 Corinthians 12: 7-9

After reading this chapter and specifically these verses over and over again, something seeped in to my heart and soul. It is in my weakness, my despair, that I am at my best with God. When I allow myself to cry out to Him, He gives me everything I need. It is so easy to go about our daily hectic lives, hopefully remembering to give Him some time. Yet it is in that moment, that time of crying out, I am reminded He is in charge of my life and that is EXACTLY as it should be.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Absence & Prayers

Sorry for the delay on posting here. Last Thursday we received word Papa's entire division is being eliminated. 30 days notice. Papa has worked for the same company for over 8 years. We have great benefits and an adoption reimbursement after Jet is finalized. He isn't to be finalized till December.

Rocked our world, even though we know the economy is in trouble. Praying hard it doesn't rock our adoption too much. We will be contacting our agency tomorrow.

We are praying another area of the company will be able to offer him a place. If you could join us in that pray we would appreciate it.

Will post again later tonight about adoption.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Food Fancy

I thought I would give an update on the food, eating situation for Jet. I am going to give more detail for others who are venturing down a similar path to us.

A description of the food served at the orphanage-- We received a definition as well as saw 2 lunches being served. It is a clear broth with pork balls or chicken, thai veggies, and chinese noodles or noodles. They are served a bowl of rice after that with taro, mango or banana.(or just rice)

Take out stock in chicken broth!! My best piece of advice!!

When we first arrived home, I made quite a few stir-fry's, fried rice and pad thai meals. All were well received, I thought. Then Jet had a tummy problem (tomorrow's post!) and I went out and got chicken broth to make soup. It was the first time Jet said "good" without being asked if he liked it! Well, duh!! Our version of soup--broth, rice, chicken, carrots--is what he ate everyday, three meals a day.

It has become quite comical because every time I have a whole chicken out, he points and says with hope in his voice, "soup"!! (I tend to cook a few whole chickens at once, then pick the meat off to use in recipes)

Jet had definite dislikes in the beginning. Macaroni and cheese, peanut butter, sandwiches, oatmeal, beef of any kind, mexican food, name a few.

One thing to point out, I know the baby books say to try something many times before knowing if they really don't like it. I equate the process with Jet over the last 3 months, in many parts of development, to be similar to a baby/toddler's. Only on mega steroids!! The process, that is, not Jet!

He now loves macaroni and cheese, doesn't gag on his oatmeal and finds peanut butter tolerable.
He doesn't grumble about sandwiches but still prefers chicken and turkey to beef.

Soup still does reign as best!!

A side note, the soup is eaten with a spoon and a fork. Actually, Jet likes to eat most anything with both utensils. And they use them at the same time! Not one and then the other. For a while after we got home, Jet wouldn't use both. I assumed it was because his siblings didn't. However, in the last few days, he has gone back to eating that way.

When we first had Jet join us in Thailand it was obvious he was expected to eat what was on his plate. Being unfamiliar with quantities and wanting him to try new things, we had to pay close attention to whether he liked something or not. We always had something we were fairly sure he would like as well.

Papa worked to get Jet to understand he didn't have to completely clear his plate. Papa would exaggerate full by leaning back in his chair, patting his stomach and say full. Near the end of our time in Thailand Jet leaned back in his chair, patted his stomach and said FULL!! We laughed till we were crying!

And when I say clear his plate, I mean clear his plate. He will literally eat every little kernel of corn, piece of rice, noodle, not leaving anything on his plate. He still does, unless it is something he is not fond of.

We did go through a phase where he thought he could say no thank you to something that was being served. LOL

I can count on one hand how many times Jet has asked me for something to eat. He still isn't too confident with full and hungry. He did wai in the beginning each time we would offer him something to eat in between meal times.

The orphanage gave us a bunch of boxes of milk to take with us. They were soy and cow milk. We have many allergies in our house so we have all kinds of milk--goat, cow, rice, soy and almond. His favorite is the rice milk, vanilla flavored.

We do very very little soda and the bubbles drive him crazy! He is a very fast drinker and that is uncomfortable with fizz.

Hope this helps plan for some easier transitions in your house!! Any questions ask!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Who will?

Who will answer for these children? Harry Holt said this after helping to bury an orphan child in S. Korea.

I have never been able to get this out of my heart. Our first 2 adoptions were through Holt International. I read their stories over 9 years ago, while waiting for our first child. It is a driving force in continuing to pinch pennies, drive older cars, not have cable and more.

It is even more relevant to me today after having been to the orphanage 3 months ago. I know one day I will stand before my Lord to answer for my life. I hope to be able to say I have answered for these children in every way I felt you wanted me to, Lord.

MckLinky Blog Hop