Thursday, June 20, 2013

I've Become Someone I Never Meant to Be.....

...the "owner of many appliances."
Yuk.

It's true. I have recently purchased a pop up toaster (only had a toaster oven....but it's put away now....I need a kid friendly, usable toaster...not one that has oven temps, settings, and might could be left plugged in), a rice cooker (Asian girls like their rice perfect!!), and I'm soon to own a few other gadgets.
Not my style.

Seems that in the scheme of this whole international adoption adjustment period -- FOOD has been a huge issue.
Taxing.
For Molly and me.
As someone recently stated - quite wisely - "It's not that she doesn't like/dislike American food per se. Her palette is totally different from ours."
Bingo.

(Then again, if food is the biggest issue - thank the Lord. That's nothing!!)

I have the girls writing on a calendar one day what they plan to have for breakfast the next day.
I have to have this communication in advance.
Getting out of bed, wandering around the kitchen, wondering w-h-a-t to prepare....no more.
That stopped about 3 weeks ago.
THEY plan, prepare, and  help me shop for the foods they want to eat in the mornings.
We have to get ready for school, for work, for life....no time to start trampling on emotions and uncertainties during the rush, rush, get ready, get out the door time.
It's working nicely. Phew.

Molly has had some grieving times.
It's to be expected.
As I told someone yesterday, Emily cried and screamed right off the bat as I took her in my arms to rip her away from everything she'd ever known and from people she loved. Her grieving lasted about 4 weeks -- off and on.
Molly came willingly with a smile on her face - stoic.
Now, however, the reality of life has settled in. The hardness of it all. The challenges of food, language, life in a strange country....and missing the people she'd known and loved for so many years - her way of life in China.

I have not been caught off guard. I experienced it with Emily. I've read and prepared myself.
I think I "get it".
Molly has cried for her ayi -- her "auntie" in China...one of her caregivers.
She has cried because all things in her life are foreign.
She has cried because she's been misunderstood.
Good reasons. I'd cry, too.

When she started any of these little grieving sessions, I placed her on the couch in the living room. She did not need to go back into a bedroom and be separated from Emily and me. We needed to be in proximity. We gave her water, tissue, and reassurance that we care.

Words are futile during these times.
Number 1: She doesn't understand them all.
Number 2: When someone is truly grieving, it's probably best to let them have their cry. To pat their hand. To rub their little back. To be nearby.

Emily fixed soup for Molly, served it up on a tray, and Molly deeply, deeply appreciated the gesture.
Then...she snapped out of it and moved on.

Oddly enough, the next day it was Emily who grieved a bit.
Why?
She misses life the way it was "before", too.
Fair enough. I totally understand.
She adores Molly, but it's has been challenging for Emily, too.
This is normal.
Her little bouts have only been temporary; however, we have gone in and out of the "sharing mom fairly" scenarios.
I actually commented once to both of them, "Let's see. I gave you 18 grains of rice on your plate, let me be sure to give sister 18 grains, too."
They have watched each other and mentally noted who was getting the "longer hug" from me.
It works both ways from both girls.

That, my friend, will slap WEAR you out.

One person was talking about when her mother brought  home the new baby sister how she did not even like the newbie.
My comment, "Yeah....but this is not a baby that's been introduced into the family...a baby that can go take a nap while mom spends time with the other sibling. This is someone - eye level, about the same age, in the same space..."
Older child adoptions have unique challenges, but we're up for them.
It's TRULY going well, and for this...I am so very blessed and thankful.

Emily and Playdoh

Molly at the Dentist Office - She's Laid Out Flat

Linda's Rescue Kittens - Em and M Playing with Them

Emily and Molly dressed Chase and Peanut...in bandanas, little shirts, etc.
Later Emily said, "Hey Peanut. You look like a Boy Scout. I guess you're gonna have to go sell cookies."
I.Cracked.Up.
I said, "Uh....uh....I think it's the Girl Scouts that sell cookies, Sweetie."

Marlene and Girls Making a Handprint Tray