Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Thailand monsters

When we first met our son in Thailand he was wearing 3 "bracelets" around his wrist. Two were regular looking bracelets and the other was a piece of string. We asked Miss Oh if there was any significance to each bracelet. The string was usually put on at a wat by a monk for good health, especially if one had been sick. She also let us know you NEVER cut it off. Very good to know!

Flash forward a few months when Jet starts talking about his experiences in Thailand and he says a monk put it on to keep the Thailand monsters away. I am fairly certain he still believes monsters are real. He is still trying to figure out why there aren't any in America or if he should believe us or not!!

Around 2 months or so ago, Jet asked me if he could cut it off. I indicated it was fine for him to cut it off or he could leave it on. Secretly, I have been wanting to cut that string off ages ago! It is dirty, ratty and a germ haven, I am sure. But I would never do that to him. It needed to be his decision or it needed to break on its own. He said he wanted to cut it off.

But he didn't. And I didn't say a thing.

We didn't discuss it again until today. He was Tigger bouncing around the living room and out of the blue indicated his "bracelet" and said, I want to cut it off. Same answer from me.

Straight for the scissors he went. Thankfully I snapped this first.

I am taking it as a sign of his letting go, moving on, feeling safer in our family. I can't help but correlate it to our conversation yesterday when Jet expressed to me he thought I loved Peanut and Bug more than him. Where another heart to heart, family bonding, crying time was had by Jet and I. Ya know, a YOU ARE MY SON FOREVER kinda thing. WE CHOSE YOU, WE WAITED A LONG TIME FOR YOU, WE THOUGHT ABOUT YOU EVERYDAY kinda thing. I hope it is a sign of an increased comfort level for him.

It was probably just a Tigger bouncy off the wall kinda thing! Oh well!! I can have my moment, right?!!


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Highs and lows

I wrote the first part of this post back on March 16th. Most of it was done, but I struggle with my posts being perfect and I assume I couldn't find the words to finish it. So I never did. I found it yesterday when I was going through my drafts and planned to post it today. Little did I know how appropriate that thought would be. (The second part of this post was written on Thursday)

March 16th
Today was a tough day. Tensions have been high lately, each day seeming to build a little more. I am fairly certain we hit the crescendo today.

It appears Jet has decided he doesn't feel like following rules. A bit of a 2 year old temper tantrum attitude has become more prevalent. He does his own thing and even when he is trying to help, he won't listen to any advice.

Peanut's tolerance level has reached an end. She has had to take on more responsibility due to my increased daycare combined with the fact she is a child who NEEDS the sunshine and outside time. And lets face it, not all our snow has melted yet. And today was the warmest day since last November, we maybe topped out at 46*.

They played outside for almost 2 hours!!

But at dinner tonight we were able to bring it all back to memories from when we traveled to Thailand. Cheerful, good memories. Peanut remembering how cute she thought it was when they talked to Jet on Skype. I would tell him "say hello" and he would respond "say hello"!! LOL Bug agreeing and adding how he liked to hear his voice after wondering for so long about him. The pride in Jet's voice and posture after he said "what brother" and answered his own question with "oh me"!

We are a family. Through the good times and the tough times. (I am not a fan of using the words bad times, all can be teachable moments, God can bring good if we allow Him to)

We have been heading toward that crescendo again. And within a 45 minute time frame all 3 children had a sobbing meltdown, separately.

Peanut struggles being the only girl and her brothers doing "boy" things all the time. She and Bug were inseparable and did boy and girl things together no problem. They were exceptionally close and that has changed. It very well might have changed with the ages they have turned even if Jet had not entered the scene. I am not sure how long Bug would have played Amer*can Girl or Pol*y Pockets. Though since it coincided with Jet coming home, it appears to be because of him. Jet does not like to do girlie things, surprisingly to me since he lived with quite a few girls. But most everything he was exposed to seems to be gross motor activities not gender related. And he caught on rather quickly to gender specific types, even though we don't emphasis them. Not sure how that happened. Since that was never an issue, I am often at a loss as to how to deal with the whole boy/girl play thing.

Jet has become a bit angry, more defensive in his manner. He takes most things as a slight whether intended or not. He has started talking back to the kids as well as Papa and I. We have had a few incidents of exaggerating or lying. Jet wants to make all the choices and be in charge of all situations. He doesn't have the same desire to please in doing his chores as he had before. He also seems to be having an increase in his energy level, a bit of a need for speed.

Bug is very sensitive and rather conflicted at times. He ADORES his sister and can't stand the thought he (or someone else) might have hurt her. He ADORES having a brother and all that goes along with that, like Star W*rs, Leg*s, light sabers, etc... Bug does not understand the flare for "drama" his brother and sister display. During today's situation the poor kiddo just kept repeating "I just wanted to play with the marbles and blocks" while crying.

It seems to go in waves. We have had two or so weeks of great "getting along", everybody's ideas counting, no big disagreements, good sharing, thoughtfulness to each other. Then bam! It can almost seem like we are at ground zero starting all over again. I am ever so thankful God is my constant companion and that He creates children with such incredible resilience. I appreciate their ability to forgive and forget. I can learn so much at times by watching them move past a negative situation and return to the loving relationship they share with their siblings.

It has come to my attention over the last few weeks, being a brother or sister is not a natural instinct. It needs to be more intensely taught and learned then I had anticipated. An example would be about one week ago, I was having snuggle time with Bug after the other two were in bed. An extra 15 minutes each munchkin gets for one on one time once a week. After 5 minutes, Jet comes up saying he can't sleep because Peanut was crying. I said maybe he could comfort Peanut, see if he could make her feel better. "How" he asked with this perplexed look on his face. I gave him suggestions. After Bug's 15 minutes, Peanut came up and the first thing she said was "Jet just made my year"! He comforted her! Though Peanut quickly changed it to "her day", I mean, come on, we can't make things seem too good now can we?!

I realize all the happenings in our house are natural, expected, part of the package. We have not been a family of five for even a year yet. Though we are close! But we were a family of four for 6.5 years and Jet was a child in an orphanage for 8+ years. When you compare those time frames, one MUST understand we are where we are "suppose" to be and we will continue to grow and learn. With more highs and more lows.

I strongly believe the highs and lows are what creates the strong family bond of affection. Feelings are intense, they need to be, to produce sympathy, love, unselfishness. Those things that make a family, help it to survive all trials, allow its members to be themselves and know they will always be taken care of with an unconditional love.

So bring on the highs and lows!! And let us always remember to forgive and forget.