Look at my not so little girl!!! She taught herself Monday afternoon! So proud!
Originally Published January 21, 2012.
They say that blogs generally only show a glimpse of the total story and often glaze over uncomfortable or embarrassing details. This is certainly the case for this blog as somethings are simply too personal to share when one is not blogging anonymously. This was a concession I made when I chose to use our names and pictures and open this blog to those who know us in real life. But I do try to always be truthful with what I DO post and try to paint as accurate a picture of adoption and the adoption process as I can. In that spirit, today I'm going to talk about one of those more uncomfortable/embarrassing things in the hope that it will help those who are in the adoption process.
Sept 13th 2011, I walked into a large room in Zhengzhou, Henan and waited with my husband and 3 other families for the little boy who I had been watching grow up in pictures over the last 9 months. I knew only a little about him. I knew he was tiny. I knew he was delayed and not walking at 20 months. But this was also not my first rodeo as they say. I'd been here before. I'd adopted before. I'd adopted delayed children before. I'd read page upon page and hour upon hours worth of blog posts, forums, and books about institutionalization, adoption trauma, special needs, delays, etc. etc. etc. I knew what to expect. But despite all that knowledge, despite knowing what institutionalize and traumatized children look like, it was all I could do not to freak out when they
placed my child in my arms. Seriously, I had to fight down the panic. The child I was handled was nothing like I expected. He was not a toddler in any sense other then his age. He was not just delayed. He was SEVERELY delayed. Forget walking! He either couldn't or wouldn't sit up without support. His head was horribly misshapen. He response to being overstimulated was to throw his head back and stair at the ceiling, eyes roaming around. Yes, all those things can certainly be the result of institutionalization and trauma as they have turned out to be. I knew that. I did. Yet, I felt pure panic in those first few moments.
And what if I had traveled alone and had no support? What if I didn't realize that I could be looking at only institutionalized delays? Or what if I didn't even know what institutionalized delays were? Then again, in those first few days, how can you really tell the difference between expected delays and true underlying issues? What if I had not committed in my heart on January 24th, 2011 that THIS child was my son for better or worse? I don't know, but maybe I would have been so afraid that I would have walked away from one of the most amazing little boys on this plant. I really don't know... but I do know that even with all the prep in the world, you can still find yourself feeling panic when faced with the reality of your new child in a government office in China.
In these two weeks in Bible we were learning about Jesus as Lord of lords and King of kings. We talked about authority and what that means and as an activity made crowns.
Our history lessons included learning about Samuel Morse and the telegraph, the California gold rush, and the states of Florida, Texas, Iowa, and Wisconsin. We finished up our read aloud On the Banks of Plum Creek, so we were able to read Riding the Pony Express. We were learning a little bit about the Pony Express as part of the Gold Rush so it was a nice tie in. When we finished that book, we read Sarah Plain and Tall.
In music, we finished up our study of Swan Lake. We also finished our study of Spanish for this semester.
In science during week 24 we continued our study of the human body focusing on taste. Week 25 we moved on to atoms and molecules. As part of this we build models of a water molecule. The kids loved this and had fun eating it too!
It's the day every parent of a child with a visible birth defect dreads.
No matter how often you've told them how beautiful they are. No matter
how much you have affirmed that they are precious and beloved to you and
to God. No matter that they know they are created in His image and
perfect in His sight. No matter, the day comes that someone calls them
ugly or makes fun of their difference and the nasty little lies stick.
confident little Ladybug got hit. She is beautiful and precious and
perfect, and she used to know it. But a little liar told her that her
nose was "funny" and "ugly" and laughed at her. I'm not sure exactly who
it was. It may have actually been more then one child. She hasn't told
me who. And it really doesn't matter "who". The words hurt. They cut.
They left Ladybug self-conscious of her nose. Watching her face fall
when someone mentions her nose even to say something as benign as "you've got something on your nose", is enough to break this mommy's heart.