Friday, December 25, 2009

1st Christmas

One would not normally assume an 8 1/2 year old would be experiencing Christmas, Santa, stockings, presents, cookies, Christmas lights and trees for the first time. But that is the case here. Naturally none of this was celebrated in Thailand at his orphanage.

This week we have had many many first experiences.

Presents arrived from my brother and his fam. Such torture having them sitting there to just look at!! We had found out a few months ago Jet had never received a present. He had a few upon arriving home but we tried to keep things simple. But going from NEVER to Christmas! Whoa!!

Can you even think about a child never being given a gift? None for his/her birthday, Christmas or just because they are loved. I am not naive, I have known it exists, but never so fresh in my mind. Never put right in front of me, as in my son. And his friends. All left behind, with slim chances of ever experiencing the love of a family.

Jet's stocking was delivered and hung making there 5! The next day he made a letter and picture, then put it in his stocking. One minute later he *found* his stocking had something inside! It was so cute!

Tuesday this week was one of the best days!! Papa was not working so we went to sit on Santa's lap! We went in the early afternoon and timing was perfect. We arrived while Santa was at lunch, expected to be back in 10 minutes. We were second in line!! Woo hoo! Jet loved every minute of it and had to be pried off Santa's lap. He did have one minute of nervousness while we were waiting but when I explained Mama would be there as well as Peanut and Bug, all was well.

Then at dinner time on Tuesday, I whipped up some chocolate chip pancakes and hot chocolate. The munchkins put their pjs on and we jumped in the car to munch, slurp and look at Christmas lights around town! It was a blast, as it is a favorite tradition of ours and Jet's excitement made it extra special. Thankfully we did it Tuesday night as we now can't leave the house, we have so much snow!!

I truly wish on Wednesday I had counted how many times Jet said "Mama, tomorrow is Christmas Eve. Then we open presents"!! To say he was excited is an understatement!! Not that one could blame him. His FIRST ever Christmas!

It dawned on me at bedtime he thought we would be waking up and opening family presents right away. Like it had been explained to him we did on Christmas morning from Santa. Whew, he at least knew we had to wait till after dinner Christmas Eve.

Peanut and Bug generously volunteered to allow Jet open the first present, as we take turns. He was so excited!! We opened and played till almost 10pm.

So imagine my surprise when I was awoken at 3am to shrieks from Peanut's bedroom! Excitement abounded until Mama walked in. Jet did get in an excited, "it's Christmas morning" before I separated everyone to their own spot to go back to sleep.

Then we couldn't get Jet to wake up! Finally at 8:15am, Bug went in to wake him and his gasp was AWESOME!!

Christmas morning had FINALLY come!!

Merry CHRISTmas everyone!!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Winner Take All

Competition is fierce in my house.


And I mean fierce, seriously.

Let me give you an example--

The munchkins and Papa were downstairs playing a Wii bowling game. I was upstairs doing chores and could hear the fun being had downstairs. Soon I could hear many strikes were being made. All was well.

For a moment or two.

Then I hear it. Two munchkins voices going back and forth, getting louder and louder. With the third voice thrown in every once in awhile. (I wasn't sure which 2 until later. I will admit I assumed I knew who it was, but I was wrong!)

Up for "debate"--whose strike happened faster. Yes, you read it right!


My first reaction was REALLY. SERIOUSLY.

Then I laughed. Right out loud. I was SO deliriously happy Papa was witness to this scene! I strongly believe he is laughing inside at me or rolling his eyes when I talk about the competition that goes on. Day after day. And I only share when I am truly exasperated!

He had first hand experience! And one of the best! I wish you could have seen his face when I brought it up later after the kids were in bed. Dumbfounded!

I don't want my kids to grow up fast at all. But I can't wait to share this one with their kids!!


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Present Plan Flop

Birthdays and Christmas are all smooshed together in our house. From the middle of Oct. to the middle of January, all 3 munchkins have a birthday and Christmas. The rest of the year is empty.

We started talking birthdays back in Sept. with Bug's being the first to celebrate. Through different conversations and events, it became apparent to us that Jet assumed you received anything/everything you asked for.

In the past Peanut and Bug have marked up the magazines, made lists, etc... I remember doing the same with the JcPenney's catalog! But they know it doesn't mean they will receive all those items. We encouraged them to not focus too much on that this year, to lessen some confusion.

One day before Bug's birthday, I had an idea to write out a long want list. I listed everything Bug wanted or had even mentioned! My mind set was then Jet would see we don't get everything we want.

Bug received 4 or 5 items from his list. I made sure to point it out.

Not too long after, Jet seemed focused on telling me he wasn't going to make a big list. "Not many things, little bit"--he says.

It took a few days to hit me......

4 or 5 things were on his list.

This munchkin will definitely keep us on our toes!! :))

Oh, and those few things...

a drum set, violin, nintendo DS, star wars legos, remote control helicopter or R2D2


Monday, December 14, 2009

Family Forever Mine

Jet recently climbed on to my lap and whispered in my ear--

"I know why Mama and Daddy brought me to America. To help Bug pick up his bedroom."

I about died laughing!! Jet was mostly kidding.

Naturally I did reassure him we brought him here to be our son. It was God's plan and we loved him, plain and simple.

We have had to reinforce to Jet our love is unconditional. As expected for a child raised in an orphanage for the first 8 years of his life, grasping the concept of family has been an ongoing one. In a way similar to a toddler, we need to list all the members or our family including his name. We can't just assume he knows he is included or say "you".

Shortly after returning from Thailand, we had the "issue" of going back to Thailand arise. After much discussion, we realized Jet didn't understand we were referring to taking a vacation there and he assumed it was him going back. We addressed the fact he was our son and would always return to America with us. (Unless he chose differently when he was old enough.) No matter where we went.

It is so matter of fact for us, no question, not on our minds..... Not so for him.

We have been home 7 months and 2 days.

At dinner tonight with tears in his eyes, Jet asked me--

"Do you know if I will have to go back to Thailand?" What?

After many tears and much talk back and forth it came out. He still questions the permanency of his new family. I know it has only been 7 months. Versus 8 years. I still wonder how long his sweet mind has to be tortured with these thoughts. The last few nights he has had bad dreams. I am guessing we have the cause of them. Will he ever be assured of his place in our family?

Much reassurance was made to Jet by myself, Peanut and Bug. (Papa was working at the time) It is so encouraging to see our other 2 kiddos react to such agony on their brother's part. The squabbles and struggles of every day life melt away, leaving a brother and sister grieving for their brother. They want to make him feel loved, special, part of our family in every way possible. Their compassion and tenderness astound me. Just some of the many wonderful things adoption has given us all.

After we had talked a few minutes, my sweet Bug lovingly rubbed Jet's cheek with his hand. And said "you have to stay here.....who else would help me clean my bedroom?!!"

A shot of humor at just the right time.

We continue to plug along grafting a new member into our family unit. Life can get busy, Jet seems to have so much English learned, it is easy to slip into a comfortable place, forgetting there is still so much to work through. We need to take the time to make the reassurances a regular part of our daily/weekly routine so we don't fall into an assumed, take for granted mode and leave the older adopted child behind.

Still living, loving and learning....