Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Difficult Questions

I was off reading different blogs from other adoptive families and one post caught my eye. It was about difficult questions are children have or will ask. That post pushed me to write now.

Riley has started to ask some difficult questions. He is 5 years old now, and has been home for half of his life. I don't know why I wasn't ready for these questions, but I wasn't. Now, the conversations they have brought between us are so precious and meaningful. They have helped me to find my way as well as help him find his way.

One question Riley has asked quite a bit is about whether he grew in my body. I have told him he grew in his birth mother's body, but now mine. I also have told him that James is the only baby that grew in me. I think it is important for him to know this. He has asked if he came out of my body. Again, I have had to try to explain to him how things actually happened. It is really such a difficult concept for a small child to try to wrap his brain around. He is slowly getting it.

The other question that came up recently was about baby pictures. Riley was looking at a picture of Jerry and I holding James at his baptism. James was baptized when he was less than a month old. Riley asked me if the baby in the picture was him. I told him that it was James. Then I showed him a picture of his baptism. Riley then asked where was his baby picture. I then told Riley that the youngest picture we have of him was right before he turned 2 years old. I told him that he didn't come home until he was 2 and a half so we don't have any baby pictures of him. I explained that we have 2 year old pictures. We talked about how 2 years old is still a little one. He seemed comfortable with the explanation, but it broke my heart.

You see, we have a picture of Madeline at 6 weeks old. That is a baby picture. We have pictures of her at 7 months old. Again, that is still really young. Of course, we have pictures of James from before he was born (ultrasound) up to his current age.

At some point in time, I think, this may be something that hurts Riley's heart. He is the only one we don't have baby pictures of. That is tough. I think about the little "fun" activities I have participated in where you bring in a baby picture and everyone tries to guess who it is. He doesn't have a baby picture. I guess I never thought about that before. Maybe that "game" is not such a good one.... maybe insensitive...

So... this has me thinking.... and learning... and growing as a mother.

Tough concepts, difficult questions.... enveloping him in love and answering his questions, while giving him a strong faith to turn to is all I have.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The ABC's of Me!

A- Available or taken?
Taken... DH and I have been together for 20 years and married for 16 years!

B- Best Friend?
My husband is my best friend... though my friend Kathy is my closest girl friend

C- Cake or Pie?
Cake all the way... I am not a fan of pies at all!

D- Drink of Choice?
Water, sweetend iced tea w/o lemon, Dr. Pepper, hot tea

E- Essential Item?
diaper bag! Madeline is still in diapers so without it we are in deep... well, you know.

F- Favorite Color?

G- Gummi Bears or Worms?
I am not much of a candy fan, but would have to choose Gummi Bears if I had to pick

H- Hometown?
Land O' Lakes, FL

I- Indulgence?
Silly as it may sound... shopping for my kids. I love it!

J- January or February?
Probably February... I love when Spring is upon us

K- Kids and names?
James, Riley and Madeline

L- Life is incomplete without?
My family

M- Marriage Date?
June 16, 1990

N- Number of Siblings?
2 sisters

O- Oranges or apples?
Apples... I only like orange juice.. the consistency of an orange is NOT for me!

P- Phobias/Fears?
I am extremely clausterphobic.

Q- Favorite Quote?
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

R- Reason to Smile?
My family

S- Season?

T- Tag three people!
-anyone who would like to do this.

U- Unkown Fact About Me?
I am very self conscious, and therefore have only a few very close friends.

V- Vegetable you hate?
The list would be far to long...

W- Worst habit?
Procrastination and I live in a state of organized disarry. I can find what I need but it drives others crazy

X- X-Rays you've had?
arm, neck, teeth

Y- Your favorite food?
Chicken Parm.

Z- Zodiac?

Friday, January 26, 2007

Okay.... I LOVE Blogthings

Your Vocabulary Score: A-

Congratulations on your multifarious vocabulary!
You must be quite an erudite person.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

You Are Cookie Monster

Misunderstood as a primal monster, you're a true hedonist with a huge sweet tooth.

You are usually feeling: Hungry. Cookies are preferred, but you'll eat anything if cookies aren't around.

You are famous for: Your slightly crazy eyes and usual way of speaking

How you live your life: In the moment. "Me want COOKIE!"

Monday, January 22, 2007

Thankful Thoughts

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived, what God has prepared for those who love Him." -1 Corinthians 2:9

"Trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and lean not on your own understanding. In all of your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths." -Proverbs 3:5-6

Sunday, January 21, 2007

3 am

Do you know where your children were at 3am? I can tell you exactly where mine were.

James was sleeping blissfully in a tent at Camp Borein, Boy Scout camp. He LOVES camping. He LOVES Scouts. By 3am I am sure he was sleeping off a crazy game of Manhunt that ended around 11pm. Scouts is FUN!

Riley was sleeping in my bed. When Dad and James are off in the woods, Mr. Riley MUST sleep with Mommy. The past few weeks he has started to have a little fear of the dark. For some reason he thinks there are monsters that will eat him. Now, I have told him many times that there are no monsters AND he wouldn't taste good, to no avail. Riley fell asleep in my bed around 9 pm and was fast asleep at 3am.

Madeline...hmmm... at 3 am she was awake... wide awake. She was not very happy that her mother wouldn't play with her either. I rocked her and put her back to bed around 3:30 am. At 4 am she was letting her displeasure be known again. I checked on her to find a VERY full diaper. So, Miss M's diaper was changed in the dark. I rocked her again and lovingly put her back to bed. Now, normally, Miss M. is a great sleeper.... By 4:45 am she was ticked... now I am not saying that to exaggerate. This little lady was angry. She wanted NOTHING to do with bed. I chose to forego rocking and to hold her over the crib. This peanut decides to point to the crib and start shaking her head NO. Who taught her that?? haha At this point we had both been up for 2 hours. My tired brain is saying... if she sleeps now, you have a shot that Riley won't wake up until 7 am or so .... 2 more hours of sleep should take the edge off. (Wishful thinking) I kiss my sweet girl and lay her down.

At 5:20 am you would have thought someone was beating the child. She was SCREAMING. It was not a scared scream... it was an angry scream. I waited about 10 minutes before entering her room. Oh my goodness she was angry. I picked her up and held her and rocked her until 6 am. That is when I gave up.

At 6 am I made a bottle and let my girl stay up. Now, I am not allowing her to fall asleep before nap time. I have visions of us going backwards with this whole time change thing. She is one tired girl.

By 8am tired delirium had set in. Madeline is 14 months... yes I understand this, but being as tired as she is, she had lost all common sense that her 14 month old body once contained. She was now hitting a wall.... wanting to be held then wanting to be put down. Throwing herself on the floor in fits of laughter and then tears. She was pooped... exhauted.... spent. She can't focus. She has little circles under her eyes.

So... at 3 am I was awake. I have been awake since then. I feel bad for Madeline having this struggle today.... though I am thankful that these struggles have been few and far between. She is normally the supreme trooper, sleeping for 11-12 hours at night and taking a 2+ hour nap. One sleepless night won't kill us. I did have to say a few Hail Mary's to combat the negative thoughts that were pulsing through my brain around 4:15 am, though...

So... let's all hope that tomorrow at 3 am we will ALL be fast asleep... snug as a bug in a rug, in our warm, cozy beds, dreaming of happy things and not waking up until the sun rises. (A girl can dream, right??)

Friday, January 19, 2007

Loving being Mom!!

Okay, this may seem blatantly obvious to everyone, but I LOVE BEING A MOM!! It is truly the most fulfilling thing I have ever done in my life. Nothing compares....

This morning Madeline was up first. We enjoyed about 45 minutes of girl time, just the two of us. We ate, played, laughed... just little quiet things. None of this was raucous or loud... just quiet morning play time.

We then went in to wake up James and Riley. They share a bedroom by choice. James sleeps in the top bunk and Riley below. First, I put Madeline up in the bunk with James. She lovingly rubbed his cheek to wake him. He rolled over, opened his eyes and just smiled the sweetest smile. Then he leaned over and gave his sister a gentle good morning kiss. It was just such an honor to witness this exchange between my oldest and youngest.

Next, I put Madeline in bed with Riley. She crawled over to him and patted his head. (He does that same thing to her all the time!) He opened one eye, smiled and said... I love you Maddie. Okay, my heart melted twice in a matter of minutes?? Riley then sat up and wanted me to carry both him and Madeline out of the bedroom. I picked up both of them, ready to head out to the couch to snuggle. James then asks, "Where is my spot?" He was joking, thank goodness, because I don't think I can carry a 14 month old, 5 year old and big 10 year old all at once.

James followed us out to the couch. Then, miraculously, they all found a way to be in my arms for morning snuggles. All three of my babies were huddled in close. It was just so.... perfect.

I worried about how I would handle having three kids. I have to tell you, it is so much better than I ever dreamed it would be. They love each other. They love their parents. We love them. We love each other. It is almost cliche'.

James wrote a poem that really sums it up. In this poem he writes,
Strong, smart, hilarious, kind
Big brother of Riley and Madeline
Lover of video games, laser tag, flag football
Who feels bored at school, happy with family, generous at Christmas
Who gives happiness to family, inspiration to team mates, spiritual at church
Who fears heights, loneliness, snakes
Who would like to see the Great Wall of China, Paris, Australia
Who lives in a warm home with my family and beagle.

Okay... as much as some of that is just so typical of a 10 year boy, to me it spoke volumes. This 10 year old who went from an only child 2 and a half years ago to having two younger siblings through adoption is one remarkable young man. His thoughts of family ran throughout his writing. His love is deep and true. His writing, to me, is very wise and true.

I love being a Mom... but more importantly, I love being a mom to my three children. They make each day so much better.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Adjusting and Changing

Yikes!! We have been home for a week now!! Where has the time gone? I have to tell you our little Miss M has had a rough week. She had one heck of an ear infection. The first antibiotic didn't even touch it. So, we had to get a stronger one. Two trips to the doctor this week were not fun. Madeline wasn't sleeping since she was so uncomfortable whenever she was laying down. It broke my heart. One time she actually fell asleep sitting up. When she tipped over she just burst into tears. Her poor little ear just hurt soooo much.

Things have improved tremendously! Madeline is now sleeping 12 hours at night and taking a two hour nap during the day. I am starting to feel human again, too! She does protest briefly when going down. The protest lasts not even one whole minute. She is such a good girl.

Madeline is pulling herself to her feet regularly now. Before we know it she will be off and running around the house. It is so special to be able to experience so many of her "firsts" with her.

I will try to write more SOON!!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The Three Miracles... together and home

Here they are!!! MY THREE MIRACLES! This picture was taken in Guangzhou. Wow!! It still seems surreal to see them all together. What beauty babies! We could not be more in love!