Sunday, December 30, 2012
Parenting Jie Jie has been so fun and easy. We hit it off from the beginning and have had such a great time as a family. I knew going into my next adoption that I would not get so lucky. I knew that what I had with Jie Jie was very, very rare.
As things became so hard in the last couple months, not knowing why, I didn't realize how hard they had become until about three weeks before the truth came out about what Sissy was doing. In the few lucid moments I had when I wasn't consumed with worry over what would disappear next and how, I kept telling myself that I've done one of the most difficult things in the adoption world: Adopt two older children! I keep telling myself this, too, because it's true. I'm not doing anything wrong, adopting to older kids is hard, heck, adopting one older kid is hard. But I was made for this and prepared for it my entire life. I am ready and willing and eager to mother my girls.
Now that I know what is truly going on in my own home again, and I've sorted out my daughter's accordingly, I can take a deep breath and say I have survived this and done quite well, all things considered.
Am I over the hump? I don't know. Will there be other humps? Most likely. But, and I type this holding my breath, I think we are over the hardest part. It's always hardest getting at the raw truth, being exposed and raw, as Sissy now is.
What happened at first was that she became what she was in China, but even less. She did nothing, barely had a pulse, only performed her chores because she knew she had no choice if she wanted to eat good food and wear pretty clothes. Then, as I made her talk about it all and face it, she became argumentative and also tried using my own words, but she didn't have enough understanding of them so I could see she was merely parroting me thinking that would be what I wanted to hear. When that didn't work, she became more observant, helped by me, of course, as I kept pointing things out to her.
Now, she is starting to take the initiative. No, she doesn't suddenly understand love or most of her other feelings, but she does seem to understand that there is something more and she wants to find out what it is. She also sees Blossom moving past her at a very rapid rate and she might be the tiniest bit alarmed. Tonight we talked about college. It's a very real possibility for Blossom if she keeps moving ahead as fast as she is. Sissy asked about herself. I told her that she will not be ready for college when she's 18, but that she may work hard and be ready later in her life. I told her that I'd prepare her for a trade school and explained that trade school teaches one thing, enough to get a job, and that university teaches many things so that a person may get a very good job. It's not entirely accurate, but it's the best she can understand. I asked her if she works as hard as Blossom does. Of course, she said the obvious, which is no. I told her that she can achieve more if she works more and she's starting to see that since the rest of us in the house are pretty fast movers.
I wonder if my simple explanations will come back to haunt me when they are adults and have must better understanding and grasp of the English language. For example, Sissy constantly touches her forehead. She has tiny pimples there that become huge and infected because she always touches them. I had told her to stop, nagged her, got angry, to no avail. Then, I kept telling her to wash her face. I showed her how. She never did. Finally, I told her that she must wash her face twice a day with soap and water if she wants her skin to clear up and that she'll have to wear socks on her hands if she doesn't keep them off her face. Well, it's been three days now and guess what? Her pimples are GONE. Yes, with regular washing, her oily skin dried up to normal and without the irritation of dirty fingers, the pimples healed. Now, will she come back to me at some point in the future and say, "Mom, pimples are caused by normal hormones in teenages." Will I be able to convince her that her pimples were not caused by normal hormones or will she think I lied to her? Will she one day blame me that she didn't go to college, saying I didn't encourage her or aim high enough?
I'm certainly not going to worry about this beyond typing it tonight, I've got enough real things to be concerned about, but it did cross my mind tonight at dinner so I thought I'd blog about it and get some input.