Thursday, September 20, 2012

What's In a Kiss?

A whole lot of promise!

Tonight, as I kissed Blossom good night, she grabbed my arm and kissed it. I was so touched by her gesture. I know she doesn't know enough about love to truly love me yet, but the tiny seed of love is growing within her. The desire to be love and be loved is now planted.

I see so much potential in her. She's such a thinker! She asks deep questions aleady, and is studying her new world with intensity. She likes exercise and books, playing with her Barbies and the dollhouse, and food. Yesterday, she helped me crack eggs for a quiche.

Today she went to the dentist and was very good. She is picking up English so fast, or already knows more than I realized, but as she sat herself down in the chair, she turned to the dentist and said, "Gentle!" It was very cute. And, drum roll please, she only has one small cavity!

Blossom's first real pose for the camera.

Over the weekend, Sissy gave me a real bear hug for the first time! I gave her a lesson on how to give a daughter's kiss to a mother.

This isn't regular parenting. This is raw parenting where you must be prepared to be shocked each and every day as you find new things that your kids know or don't know, have or have not experienced. Moments where harsh discipline would normally be in order, are learning experiences where tenderness and understanding needs to prevail even if there does need to be a consequence. Some would argue that they know that what they are doing is wrong, but it's so much more complicated than that. Yes, they might know it's wrong, but their reasons for doing it are not wrong, given their experiences and knowledge. For example, Sissy is the eldest sister. In a birth family, she would be held up to younger siblings as the example of behavior. A high level of expectation would rest upon her shoulders. I can't hold Sissy up to her sisters as an example in most things because she just doesn't know. For example, keeping secrets from me, like the fact that Blossom ate an orange from off the ground without asking first, when she was supposed to be playing outside, rather than saying to Blossom, "What you did was wrong. Mama said not to eat an orange without asking first."

Once I explained that I'm monitoring the fruit Blossom is eating for health reasons - she's still got diarhea on some days - Sissy understood that I have reasons for why I do what I do. After I explained that I sometimes spray chemicals outside and that the rats, racoons and oppossums play also with the fruit, making it germ-ridden, both girls truly began to see that I have their best interests at heart. I also explained that secrets about things that can or do hurt people are not good to keep. After this incident, both girls felt remorse and apologized the most sincerely I've ever heard from them so far.

Some Christian parents whose blogs I've read mention the word sin a lot in relation to their child's behavior. I don't consider these things sins because my new daughters do not know the difference between right and wrong in so many areas. Both still laugh when the other gets hurt, rather than being sympathetic or asking if they are okay. it's getting much better, but it's still their first response and it's been ingrained in them from the beginning of their lives, it's almost a habit. We've talked about the Golden Rule once or twice and how they need to put themselves into another's shoes and think about the other's burdens, but they aren't going to get it right away so I need to keep pointing it out to them. The phrase I use to remind them is, "Bu ha ha," loosely translated, it means "don't laugh."

On the other hand, all three girls willingly, and without griping, swept out the entire long driveway, set the table, dried the dishes as I washed them, help fold their laundry, and more.

I believe that even under such conditions as mine there is balance to be had and that it's crucial to maintain it. When I find this balance, I am a very happy and satisfied mama. If you want to know another one of my secrets, it's that I ask other moms for advice and ideas, or just for their perspective on something. As a single mom, I don't have the benefit of the input of a husband so I have learned to reach out and it's been one of the best things I could have done.


Anonymous said...

I'm so excited to read it all unfold. I know there will be days that seem like you are starting from scratch, but she is slowly changing. I'm so happy for you and Blossom (and Sissy)

Anonymous said...

I love following your blog! Thank you for sharing the details of how you are parenting older adoptees. I am also a single adoptive mom, and I think you're doing a great job! All three of your girls are beautiful as well as precious people! Congratulations!

nancy said...

I admire you so much for your faith in Our Lord, and for your strong love for your beautiful, very special daughters. You are truly an inspiration! Blessings.

Joannah said...

You are doing great, Mama! You have some unique gifts as a parent that will help shape your daughters into happy and productive young people. I'm really proud of you. :)

bridget said...

You are doing a wonderful job! I so agree with what you say about sin and what others say on their blogs. You share a lot of wisdom here! Thank you!