Sunday, February 26, 2012

Guest Blogging

My wonderfully talented friend asked me to write a post  for her blog  about the what I felt the  10 Things Not To Say To An Adoptive Parent  were.

So please check out the link and then bookmark it for pete's's  one of the best blogs out there!  She writes about funny mommy hood moments and offers some good tips all us Mom's (parents really) can use!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Dragon days

We had the best time celebrating Chinese New Year with our FCC (Families with Children from China) group last weekend.  This is always our groups big event and really is such a fun and well organized afternoon.  Everyone has such a blast, kids and adults alike!  It's a few great hours of catching up with our friends and letting the kids experience a celebration of the Chinese New Year.  There's red envelopes with a coin for each child, delicious Chinese food enjoyed by all and crafts galore.  There is also a lot of running around, chasing and playing with the kids!  We always leave this amazing event both exhausted and excited, refreshed from seeing our FCC family and happy for all of the joy the kids have experienced with their special pals!   

We got the kids some Chinese clothing to wear this year and I was so happy to see how much joy and pride they both had in wearing it. 

Oh but we must back track....before we could attend such an event the kids had to get all ready.  Complete with mud masks.  Really --- they loved it!
And I got in a quick picture of the three of us before we left.  

Once we were all gussied up we stopped to help pick up the food.  We took some photos to help pass the time.

And then...............time to play and see our friends!

Some of the girls that attend language class performed a special dance and they did such a great job!
After the dance all the kids took part in the dragon parade!  We have three dragon heads and the kids all form "dragons" to march in.  They all love it and it's so cute to watch!

The dragon parade leads to............bubble wrap!!!!  Our version of fireworks and so much fun for the kids!

We also attempted the "group photo" of all our darling kids!  There are so many that it was actually almost impossible to capture them all at once!  (Simone is trying so hard to hold her brother but the two silk outfits is making it difficult as he kept sliding off!)

And back to the crafts they all headed!

Group picture of me and some of my FCC Mama pals!
And we tried to get a "guy" photo as Sammy calls it.  FuDa, SP, Owen and Sammy.  How hard can it be? 

Well they all sure are handsome little fellows!!!

This year is the "Year of the Dragon" which is a special year within the Chinese Zodiac and considered a lucky year.  The dragon is a symbol of power and the only animal in the zodiac that is not real.  People born under a dragon year are said to have an aura about them, they stand out in a crowd with their power and intellect!

I hope your Dragon Days of 2012 are filled with blessings and joy !

Thursday, February 9, 2012

How can it be that my baby turns three.....?

I clearly remember my blubbering about him turning 10 months old!  How is it that he's gone and grown into a big three year old already?

But alas, he is.  A big, big three year old.
And he truly is such a big boy now.  I am proud and amazed at how he's grown in the last year, both in size and in all other way.  He is such a smart little guy and is so expressive with his thoughts, although not always through his words but always with his eyes and actions.

He's such a sweet a cuddly fellow too.  He loves to snuggle up with us and gives the best and biggest hugs to those he loves  Yet he's a rough and tumble guy and he loves to tackle you to give you some of that love!  He's also busy physically and loves to explore and will climb on anything he can swing his leg over or pull himself up on. He doesn't stop from dawn to dusk, he's the energizer bunny for sure!

And that determination I have spoken of in the past...well that has grown with him as well!  He is still the most strong willed person I have ever met.  Pair that with his intelligence and he is one tough little fellow!  He absolutely knows  what it is he wants and will make sure any around him know as well!

His favorite things right now are anything that has to do with construction.  I now know the names of every  construction vehicle on any site or roadside thanks to Sammy-Wei!  He loves to see and hear the equipment working!  He also is really  interested in airplanes.  He has always enjoyed watching them fly overhead and to fly on them, but now he tells me that when he's a "big guy" he'll be flying one too.  A blue one to be specific!

So as sad as I am that my baby boy is actually not a baby anymore, I am thrilled with all he's learning and doing and growing into.  Sammy is a joy and a blessing and just so uniquely Sammy-Wei!  My three year old boy....

And here's some random pics of my handsome and darling little dumpling on his 3rd Birthday!

Happy Happy Happy Third Birthday my sweet darling boy!!!!!  
Mama loves you always and forever.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Just Once

Just once I'd like to see how it feels to be seen as just a family.
Not as "an adoptive family" or "the family that adopted Asian kids".  Just a plain old Mom, Dad and kids.

Now I am certainly NOT complaining about adoption, or how our family was formed or how it looks. 
No, not ever.  I'm just would be so different to go out in public and be seen as "just a family".  We never step out and have people say things like "what a cute family you are" unless the next thing is...."where were they born" or "Did you adopt?" 

We get the stares and curious questions - and the nosy ones as well.  We get the second glances and the whispers behind hands.  I've even encountered the stone cold stares or looks of disbelief in our family dynamic.  We get the, "are you sure this is your Mom" when I pick Simone up from an after school event or when she introduces me to a new pal she's made at the playground. 

We never get a simple, "How do you do, Simone's Mom" with that knowing look that says "of course she's your child, look at how much you look alike".

It has often occurred to me that when you look different from "the norm" you feel the eyes upon you more.  I remember when Simone was first home and how self conscious I was in new Mommy groups.  The quiet hush when we'd walk into story time. The exchanged looks that said, "I told you she had an adopted baby".  The questions I was never prepared to answer because I was too busy learning how to be a Mom.  Learning all sort of things about this new 9 month old baby I had so eagerly adopted and was not yet ready to share. 

And I always felt different, as if I was on the outside of this secret circle where all the talk was of stretch marks, breast feeding and epidurals.   All I had to offer was how the climate in China had been last spring and my concern about the toxins in the baby formula she had as an infant.   So I offered nothing.  I would just sit there and feel the difference of my new Mommy-hood experiences compared to theirs.   And somewhere in those moments I started to wonder how it would be to just once feel how they felt.

And yes it's true still.  Some days I do think that just once I'd like to be that "fly under the radar" family.  Just normal with nothing for anyone to comment on or to goggle over..

Just once I'd like to go to a social gathering without being asked:
"Oh are they from the Philippines?"       (Huh?)
"Are they 'real' brother & sister?"     (Duh!)
"How much did it cost and did you have to adopt?"  (Personal?)
my new favorite .....being told how I really should seek therapy for RAD since "I've heard it happens with adopted children all the time, and yours seem like they may have it".     (oh yes folks, I kid you not)

And of  course there's the famous   "We would have adopted too.  That is if we couldn't have 'kids of our own' first"  line I love so much.  (Thanks dear stranger for informing me that adoption was your second choice and that you somehow now feel that we have some special bond because you thought about it once and I did it.  Ya, makes perfect sense to me too)

Did I know this was probably going to happen when we started our adoptive journey through international waters?  Oh yes, in theory I sure did.  We took the classes, read the books, went to the seminars and we certainly did our share of talking to other adoptive parents.  We attended FCC and Agency events to be able to see firsthand how amazingly in-sync and in love these already formed adoptive families were.  We were fully prepared to be a family that looks different, at least in our in our minds.  But naively we really didn't think it would ever feel all that different, how could it when you are just a family.

Often when I'm out running around doing errands I have children with me who do not belong to or another of Simone's friends.  And most of those pals look more like me than Simone does.  So people often assume that child is mine and will comments about "your lovely daughter" or ask "how old is your daughter" etc... nodding toward said child who is nothing more to me than a tag-a-long.  And it has struck me, that this could have been my normal, this assumption of what my child should look like, how my family would appear if biology had been involved.  

And me, the one complaining here and now--- well I am always the first to correct those assumptions and point out just who my daughter actually is.  So then , why am sitting here saying "just once" and yet I'm the one that never allows the assumption, never let's that feeling of "just once" creep in?

Because  most of the time I really don't care, it's just part of us.  I'm one of the first to share my story with somebody who truly wants to know the beautiful parts (and not so sparkling points) of our journey.   If my friends have questions about us I openly share any of the details I can, because I love the story of us, the beauty of our adoptions.  And because I love my children in my heart and soul not because they were adopted, but because they are simply my children.  

But sometime I do feel exhausted by it and just want to be out of the house with my darling kiddos without being "Advocate for adoption lady" or "savior of orphans" or anything else.  Just Mom.

On the flip side, I get no greater joy than walking into a room and seeing my beautiful Asian babes busy at play.  I love seeing those special traits in each of them that makes them so uniquely them.   I love holding their hands walking through the store, library or park because they are mine all mine and I love them.  There is no better feeling than the pride I have in them and the amazing beings they are no matter if our DNA matches up or not.   I often look at them and totally forget that they are adopted.  Of course I do, for our love and our bond has nothing to do with how we look.  My love for them allows me my very own "just once" moments of the love and tenderness of motherhood.

And because of that love I  know without a shred of doubt that I would never change a thing about either of them or a moment of how we became a family. 

Not once.