Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Stories to tell

Back at the end of August, beginning of September Jet told me a story about his life in Thailand. At this time, I am unable to remember the first story he told me. However the second one came while we were driving to IL. Papa really didn't believe me when I had told him Jet was relaying something from his time in Thailand. He almost drove off the road when Jet started to tell us a story!!

Bug was telling us about something that scared him. We were talking about it and how God fits into it all. Jet spoke up and said when in Thailand he told his "Moms" about monsters scaring him. He then touched one of the bracelets he came home wearing saying the "Daddies" put it on him because it would keep him safe. I knew what he was telling us, what I was understanding, between his broken English and hand gestures fit with what we knew to be true. When in Thailand I had asked Miss Oh if she knew of the significance of his bracelets/strings. The one he was indicating was only available at a Wat, the monks would be the "Daddies". He went on and on about how they reassured him about the bracelet protecting him along with the particular Buddha they made an offering to.

First, we were amazed at how Jet was able to understand "scared" and relate it to feelings he had in Thailand. Also amazing was his ability to use English words in place of Thai words. Creating a relationship to our God protecting us and Buddha protecting was not what one would expect from an 8 year old who had been speaking our language and heard about God for 4 months either!!

Almost 2 months later the stories continue and have become much more clear as his grasp of the English language grows by leaps and bounds. Even when one wouldn't think that could happen!

We have learned some absolutely wonderful things about his past. It is so great to be able to share in his first 8 years in such a way! He has been able to give us a huge understanding of the Buddha worshiping he was familiar with, different outings he went on, school experiences..... Some of the stories are more difficult to process (accept, not understand), some we are hoping are still a little lost in translation, all best left for our son to keep close to himself and us as his parents.

Last night as we sat down as a family (of 5!!) to watch N*mo, Jet explained to us he had seen it in Thailand with 3D glasses in the movie theater!! With all his friends!! What a hoot!!

Today Bug told me Jet had alot of America in Thailand! Is that a good thing? I am not sure, however it does makes the transition easier for our older adopted children.

We have even moved into a new phase. Jet is now teaching us Thai! Is that not just crazy!! I love it! Tomorrow morning he will be teaching school in the beginning of our day....Peanut, Bug and I will be learning to count to 100 in Thai!! I better go get some sleep~

Sweet dreams!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Winter in October?

On Sept. 7th we were swimming, boating and hot in IL with our friends.

On Oct. 10th those same friends were in SD for a surprise visit. They were able to see Jet experience his first snow!!

Who would think??!!

Jet has been very anxious for quite some time about when he would get to see snow. We have let him know many times he really didn't want the snow to come yet! I mean really, he can't hold an orange just out of the fridge long enough to peel it or an ice cube tray to get more than one ice cube out!! LOL Snow = COLD

No more than 2 days prior to Saturday Oct.10th, I had talked with Jet, again, emphasizing we wouldn't see snow for about 2 more months. We would have fall, albeit a colder than normal one.

Please don't tell anyone I am to blame for the snow!

I got to make Jet's night twice that night. First, telling him he could finally wear the footed sleeper for bed. He had been waiting for this since we had tried it on in fall!! And second, having him look out the window!! It was a good thing it was a footed sleeper!!

He flew out the door and danced around on the deck with his brother and sister. They tasted snow together and made small snowballs.

He was SO excited!!

There was one small moment of indecision of whether to be excited when he realized the snow might mean he couldn't try his new skateboard he had just received.

No problem......

.....he didn't even stop to take off his knee and elbow pads!! Or helmet!! LOL

A snowman was even built! It was a little wobbly. You know, nobody was willing to make their snowball smaller so each one was the exact.same.size. Oh the competition!!!!

Our house was filled to the brim....4 munchkins, 3 adults, 2 dogs, loud laughter, fun, and lots of love!!

It was simply put...priceless. We are so blessed.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Jet's Best Friend needs prayers

In April 2008 we received a new video of Jet from when our agency had traveled there in March. We, naturally, could hardly wait to watch it. Imagine our surprise when it started and we were able to see our son playing with another little boy! We had full view of the boy our son was playing ball with. (Unheard of in the pc, privacy controlled US)

It was such a treat to see him interacting with another child and the giggling laughter from these two was pure joy!!

Then we found out it was his best friend who was also coming to America!!

At that time, we were told the boys were kept together at the babies home rather than having to move to the boys home. One less move for them since they had families that would be coming to get them! We were thrilled. We also learned the boys had been told they had families in America. It was explained to us this was not the norm, individuals within the orphanage were very excited for the boys and told them. Ordinarily, it seems the children are given much less "notice".

Jet knew for 14 months he had a family in America. His best friend is still waiting.....20 months after he heard the great news.

Yes, I said 20 months.

And his family in America has been in process to bring him home for well over 2 years now.

Mark and Shawna recently received some news that rocked their world and is leaving this adoption completely up in the air. There is a possibility their son is not considered "adoptable". They along with their 2 beautiful daughters, age 9 and 11, and 3 grown children, are grappling with this news. Trying desperately to understand the reasons behind all this wait and uncertainty.

God's hand has been on this adoption all along. They first spotted this young boy in Thailand 3 years ago. Yet they felt led down a different path towards their next child. After the door closed on that path, a new photo album was delivered and that young boy was still waiting....It was a full year later. Another door had been opened. They knew he was the one.

We have met this little boy. He turned 8 this past summer. He is a delightful, smiley, energetic, finger-snapping little boy! He loves to ride bikes and his favorite color is pink. Those are 2 tidbits I learned from Jet.

He is my son's best friend. Jet is well aware he has a family here in America. In fact today, out of the blue, Jet said, "I can't wait till my friend comes to America". I didn't need to ask who he was talking about but I asked anyway. I was right. My heart ached at that moment.

I call him their son, as he will always be their son. No matter what.

Please, please pray for Mark and Shawna, Marina and Alexis, for peace and strength in this wait. Pray for those in Thailand acting on behalf of this little boy, that God may slip the necessary documents/evidence in place. Pray for this little boy, for an understanding in his heart. That he may know HIS FAMILY WANTS HIM VERY MUCH.

Thank you for taking this family into your hearts, thoughts and prayers. I am a firm believer in the power of prayer. I wish they lived close by, so I could hug Shawna on a daily basis. I know I would need it by now. Actually, I would have needed it a long time ago. Also I did have permission to use their names in my blog.

May God bless you all~

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Precious Life

The sign reading "Adoption- The Loving Choice" is so poignant in the hands of my children.

Today we took part in an activity in support of respecting life. In doing so I am brought face to face with the reminder that my children grew in another Mama's tummy. And I am a Mama because they are, too. They chose what they thought would be the best choice for their child. They will always be a mother regardless of whether they went on to have other children or not.

I can't stand there with my 3 Asian children and not think about the fact they would not be here, in this world, if their birth mothers had not chosen life. In countries, in life situations where it would have been so much easier to make a different choice. I am brought to my knees as I pray for all life to be allowed to live as I realize my life would not be what it is. I can't help but pray for God to bless these women in unimaginable ways for the HUGE blessings I have been given. I pray they might know God and be comforted with their choice.

For us, it is an obvious answer to our children when they question the facts of their adoption, when they wonder why she didn't "want" him/her. Society dictated certain things where our children were born. (Like extreme poverty for an unwed mother and child, no likelihood of a marriage for the mother or son, etc...) But....

She made the choice to give life to the baby growing inside her.

She wanted her child to simply be. They were chosen, first by her and secondly by us.

And there will never be enough thank yous or words to express to our child's birthmother(s). Though their ages may not be far from mine, I feel an almost motherly instinct towards them. I want to know how they are doing, where they are in their life now, to take care of them, let them know how their precious gifts are doing. And at times, thinking about the fact I will more than likely never get to do that this side of heaven is just too much.

So till then....... thank you and may God bless you~ you are loved and cherished by God and by us.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Home 5 months

I can't even believe we have been home that long!

There are times Jet feels like he has been a part of our family forever. Then there are moments when it all feels brand new.

Jet's language skills continue to improve. He works so hard at pronouncing words. It is fascinating to me, having done infant and older child adoptions from different Asian countries,
the sounds present in our English language that the Asian mouth has difficulty making. My infant adoptions were at 4.5 and 5 months. It seems to me it would be in the development of their mouths in the womb, hereditary, which makes it difficult to produce those sounds. Jet watches my mouth so carefully, diligently trying over and over again to produce a sound like mine. His grasp of the English language is awe-inspiring, even grasping emotions, being able to relate it to Thailand and how he experienced the same emotion there.

I have noticed the last week or two, however, Jet relies on his brother and sister to give answers. He jumps in on the last few words making it seem as if he had the same answer! In a way it has given a false sense of his understanding. I am working to ensure his true understanding by questioning him directly, alternating between them all.

Jet eats well, has gained 3 or 4 lbs (much needed) and still sleeps well. One thing I have noticed is there is only 2 times in the past 5 months where Jet has told me he is hungry. I am not sure it is a feeling he is use to, or having someone willing/able to do anything about it.

We continue to work on knowing when we have to use the bathroom. Shortly after IL, he was talking about his stomach hurting and I suggested he go in and sit. He did and afterward relayed the whole story back to me--my stomach hurt, Mama said go sit on potty, I did and my stomach doesn't hurt anymore! Huge smiles and excitement!! I was able to explain when he had that feeling he needed to go. In the last week or so he has known 2x on his own it was time to go!! Progress!

I think this last month or so has been hardest on myself. I feel like parenting is a whole new ball game and I am not playing the game very well. Peanut and Bug were incredibly close siblings, very rarely arguing. In retrospect, I truly had no idea what sibling rivalry was. The "I want to do it, it's my turn, he is always first, etc....", along with the tattletale-ing has been new for me to adjust to and for us to figure out how to parent.

I have also had a difficult time feeling comfortable explaining myself to anyone. We wanted to have kids, a "big" family. We struggle to have these children and to be parents, how dare we feel anything other than excitement, happiness in our new situation. It feels contradictory to the waiting phase where all we could think about was getting our child home. It is a blessing, we are thrilled yet like any parent growing their family, we have struggles.

We ARE so blessed to be a family of five!