Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Overwhelming Cuteness!

So we are in the midst of celebrating the Chinese New Year... man, I'm telling ya, there is nothing like a 3 week long New Year party!  We've had Chinese New Year Parties at School, at the Adoption Agency, we might even be doing one as a family, party, party, PARTY!  Whooo-hooo!

Anyway, the cutest parts are seeing the kids get all dressed up and having fun.  This year, at Chinese School, the children have started some of the Special Interest Classes.  So BigD and MissG were taking the Art class, while Ping is taking the Chinese Dance class.   At this years New Year party, Ping got to dance in the talent show!  She was dancing to "Counting Ducks".  Oh so cute!
Getting the Duck ready...

Me:  So baby, this week at Chinese School you are going to dance your duck dance for everyone!
Ping:  What?  NO!  You are so silly.
Me:  What?  No, I'm serious.
Ping:  I don't duck dance!
Me:  Yes, that little dance you have been practicing, you are a duck!
Ping:  You kidding me?
Me:  No baby!  I'm serious!
Ping:  Uuuuugh, Daaaaaaaad.  You joking me.
Me:  Why do you think we brought the duck costume home?
Ping:  Really?
Me:  Yes.
I think it was about here, when she had the costume on,
that she finally started believing me.

She was an adorable duck-y...

And while the duck was getting ready, MissG was playing Duck Duck Goose in class.
Who was very shy that day.  Normally Ping hides with MissG, but without Ping there,
MissG was kind of shy.  Showed me that when MissG has to "step up" and be the
big sister she does... even though it may be in her nature to be a little more shy.

Of course there was a Dragon Dance at the Chinese School party.

"I've already seen this before...", but pay close attention, he is
sitting on Mom's lap!  And NOT crying.  ;-)

Picture with the dragon head...

I mentioned overwhelming cuteness right?!

They are pretty cute...

At the Adoption Agency party, MissG and BigD both got to be the dragon heads for the Dragon dance.

"I'm a dragon!  RwAAARRRrr!"

"And I'm cute!"

"Wait!  I can be COY too!"

"Dad told me to stop... buuuut, I don't think he meant it"

"OOOH!  I can HIT something!"

"My Dad made me do this..."

... I think his smile says enough.

But after a week long celebration with drums, cymbals, and general chaos, there is a small part of me that was asking "Why didn't we adopt from a quieter culture?!?"  But then I see how cute they all are, and its like, awwwwww... pass the tambourine!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Pick a Reason

Yea, I know, its been a while since I've blogged.  Sorry about that.  Really, I can't imagine why it has been so long... oh wait... right... 5 kids.  I remember now!

Oh sure, he is cute, but you aren't the one stuck
listening to him screaming the first month straight
I've been getting a lot of questions lately about our Bing who came from Foster Care and how he has been attaching.  So I figured maybe I should talk about that a bit.  Now, it isn't like I've been sitting here doing nothing.  I've started this posted and deleted it at LEAST 3 different times.  I am finding it hard to blog about something a little more heavy than normal without coming across as a bitter, sleep deprived, overloaded, stressed out parent... when I realized, that I AM a sleep deprived overloaded stressed out parent!

So give me a little grace while I try to highlight some of the differences I've seen between Ping and Bing, and keep in mind that some of my observations may be based in Orphanage VS Foster Care realities, and some may be based in the reality that Ping and Bing are two different people, and they process things differently.  So this is by no means a definitive list, correct list, insightful list, or complete list.  It is not a list of X is better than Y.  These are just some of my ponder-ings put down on digital paper to work though my tangled mess of emotions, thoughts and hopes.
Bing's Foster Family

So... here we go...

Parental Attachment

  • Ping:  Did not know what a Mom or a Dad was.  She knew the words, but NOT the meaning.  Trust had to be earned and learnt from scratch.  She had many "Moms" come and go at the orphanage.  She did not fully understand that she is stuck with us... forever.  As such, she would have a long road to attachment because she could not believe that when we said "I will love you, forever" that we actually meant, "I will love you, forever".  She maybe thought, "Or love me until your shift is over."
  • Bing:  Knew family.  Knew what a Mom and Dad were to be.  In fact, he had been with his Foster Mom and Dad since he was 20 days old.  So he knew what a Mom and Dad were all about.  They were to take care of him, to love him, and protect him forever.  But, HIS Mom and Dad let him go.  To go with some strange woman to a strange place, with a strange Yeti trying to talk to him in very poor Mandarin.  As such, he has had a long road to attachment as well, because we have destroyed his trust in parents (by him loosing his parents) and we now have to rebuild that.

Siblings Attachment

  • Ping:   Bonded quick with her siblings.  I guess with 500 siblings at the orphanage, this came pretty easily with her.  However, she was a little more aggressive and thought she had to fight for everything.  Her siblings giving her stuff graciously seemed to catch her off guard and she had to learn to deal gently with others.
  • Bing:  Bonded quick his his siblings.  In his Foster Family he had siblings, so he knew how to share much better than Ping, but at the same time, he appears to have been spoiled rotten and the mere mention of the word "no" by his siblings would send him into a tantrum in which he would cry so hard that he either threw up or got a bloody nose.

Siblings are great!


  • Ping:  Yes.
  • Bing:  Yes.
  • Every 2 Year Old I've Ever Known:  Yes.


  • Ping:  Rejected me big time.  Would scream and yell at me in Mandarin.  Would not be in the same room as me.  When the Wife would leave, she would scream for the whole time the Wife was out.  She would (once she mastered the English language) point out at every chance she could, that she did not love me.
  • Bing:  Rejected the Wife!  YAY!  Okay, I feel a little bad that that makes me happy... but c'mon, finally ONE child likes me more!  But there were tantrums with Mom, hitting and crying.  But we are about 2 months home and he is already MUCH much better.
  • Every other TEENAGER I've Ever Known:  Rejected both Mother, Father, Grandmother, Grandfather, Aunt, Uncle, Neighbour, Friend, Stranger and them selves.

So much nicer that she isn't yelling anymore

... to sum it up, your adopted child is going through so much trauma it is amazing that they turn out as well as they do.  Foster Care, or Orphanage care, the bottom line is that they have lost everything, and their worlds have been turned upside down.  There is no easy way to walk though this.

But there were differences between Ping and Bing.  Both grieved heavily.  However, Ping grieving was masked behind a veil of rage and anger.  While Bing has been struggling though a cloud of sadness and fear.

You provide for them a loving environment, room to work though their loss, and a little bit 'o God thrown in there, and maybe things will turn out OK.

And even if things don't turn out OK, its hard to blame the adoption when the truth of the matter is, these poor children are stuck with US as parents.  It is like blaming the car manufacture when you have an accident and you were the driver...

... unless you own an Saturn.  Then it really IS the cars fault.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Happy 3rd Birthday Bing!

Some people say that the 1st child is spoiled.  You know, the ones who have all the photos taken, the little shoes bronzed and mounted on the fireplace mantle.  I think this is absurd!  The thought that any one child might be more important or special than another is an a front to the noble institution of parenting!

Why, take today for example.  Today was Bing's 3rd Brithday!  Y'sir... 3 years old.

And what did we do to celebrate it?!  Well, lots!  Let me tell you... we got this this here toy car... hold on, I know it is some where around here.  I'll show it to you.  I just have to move all these books *ungh* of SeniorK's first year photos... just *grrruf* a few *ungh* more... books.  (20 minutes later)

Okay, so I got SenoirK's photo books out of the way... now, where is that toy car we got for Bing?  Oh, wait...  I think I know.  It probably got put in the keepsakes box.  You know... because it was our 1st birthday present for him!  It is worth keeping forever.

I'll just start digging though this here box of keepsakes... hold on...
Oh look!  MissG's art from Pre-Kindergarten... ... and kindergarten... and Seniour Kindergarten... grade 1... grade 2... miscellaneous crafts from Christmases dating back from 2004.

Hummmm... nope, Bings new toy car isn't there either.  Hold on... I'll find it!  It was great!  We spend DAYS planning his party and gift!  Oh wait, maybe it is by the Birthday cake we make... er, bought him... from... the corner store... on the way home from work.  Because we forgot it was his Brithday today.

Now we didn't really FORGET.  I mean, deep down, you know, in my subconsciousness I knew it was his birthday.  Deep... deep down.

But it is NOT because he was our 5th child... IS, IS our 5th child!  We have not lost him yet.  Er, NOT lost him, period, full stop.  We will not loose him.  Oh snap... where is he now?!  Hold on!  I just have to check on him... right after I dig out of these medals from the other kids...

... Okay, so we have NOT lost Bing.  No sir.  He is safe and sleeping in his bed!  Fully clothed.  And, er, well, maybe we forgot to put him to bed.  But he IS sleeping now!  Comfy... you know... in the middle of his floor.  Clutching his new toy car from his Birthday!  So, you know, that counts... for something.  We got him a gift he likes.

Okay, but this is NOT because of the fact that he is our 5th child.

No, sadly, I kinda blew his birthday simply because... well... we have 5 kids!  And that's a lot to remember... you know... just having 5 kids.

So was his 1st birthday a little bit of a low key event?
Yea.  Maybe.
But I think that was good for him.  Too much chaos still upsets him and I'm not sure how he would have handled a big "to do"... or "shindig"... or "hooopla", or whatever them kids are calling these here party things.

And further more... I think deep down, my subconsciousness KNEW that a low key event would be best for Bing.  So it was totally DELIBERATE that we kind of blew his Birthday.

... glad we've got the next 100 or so years to make up for it.  :-)

But it was not because he was the 5th child!  Nope.  This was sheer forgetfulness.

Hey, you know, in a way this shows that we COULD have more kids!  Apparently, after 5 you don't even remember the numbers 6 thorough 42.  :-)  I might have 6 kids right now!  Or, like 12?!  I wouldn't even know.  :-)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Floor

Bing's room is *almost* complete!
The floor.
The unsung hero of any room.
Although the walls get all the glory and praise, the floor simply goes about it's work.
Day in, day out.
Lying there.
(Hopefully) Un-moving.
Not swayed by the adornment often lavished on the walls.
Not envious of the picturesque window panes over looking fields of flowers.
Content to catch the lint, dust and dirt from the sweaty icky feet upon which master it.
Nay, no feet master the floor.
The floor upholds the feet and give them a stable place to play, laugh, run and love.
The floor noble and strong.
Naked it lays in the open, no bright colours to mask any imperfections from years of serving quietly.
Forgotten by years of renovations.
While wall colours change, windows reframed, the floor remains.
But one day, the floor will look back over his life and feel contented that it did it's job with the utmost of dignity.
It matters not if the precious and beloved baby crawling across it ever stops,
picks up his wet soggy Cherios,
and with a nod of appreciation graces the floor with an affectionate smile of understanding as if to say,
Thank You.
Thank you for being strong enough that when my Dad held me in his arms and walked me for hours so I could sleep when I was too tired to be alone that you were there.
Thank you for being forgiving enough that when I was rough and played maybe a little to hard, you never rebuffed me, you never packed up your 1/4" Spruce sub floor and sulked in the corner leaving me to play on the bare frame of the house.
Thank you that when I took advantage of you, you never held it against me.
Thank you that when I ignored you, you always were there for me.
Thank you that when I compared you against floors I have known, that you simply smiled up at me and said, 'yes, but I am yours'.
Thank You.

So what do floors and parents of (any) children have in common?

Absolutely nothing!
I'm just complaining because for the last week or so, I've been sleeping on one!
Bings room is done(ish) and has been  moved into his own room, with his own bed.
Only he hates to be alone!  He wakes up SCREAMING and CRYING.
So I have to sleep in his room with him.
Except that I can't fit in his tiny little toddler bed.
No way the Yeti is fitting in there!

So I sleep on the floor.
On a Yoga mat.
With my arm craned awkwardly up and behind me desperately trying to hold onto his tiny hand while he sobs himself to sleep.

So !@$%$ you floor!  You are hard and my back hurts!  BAH.

Were you expecting something deeper and more insightful?

Monday, January 9, 2012

911, Police, Fire or Medical?

Soooo, how was everyone's Holiday Seasons?  Good?  Good Christmas?  Good New Years?
Yea, we were doing great... having a fun time... until Saturday.  *siiiiigh*

Wife:  Lets go tobogganing!
Kids:  YAY!
SeniorK:  Oh, do I have to?
Wife:  Yes you have to!  You will have a great time!
Me:  Oh, do I have to?
Wife:  We take them every year.  It will be fun.
Look at all the ice on the hill... I'm sure nothing will go wrong!
And we were having fun!  Bing *loved* the tobogganing!  We were going down the hill together have a great time!  He was laughing and screaming the whole time.  But notice in the picture above... look at the hill conditions... pure ice.  Oh the toboggan runs were awesome!  SO fast!  It was actually raining ICE this morning, and the sleds and coats were becoming brittle as they got covered in a thick layer of ice.

So who knew that this ice covered fast as heck hill would lead to this?

So not gonna be happy that I posted this.
SeniorK:  Hey!  Watch this!  I'm gonna hit that JUMP at the bottom of the hill!
Me:  Wow!  Awesome height!  You must have been like 5 feet in the air there!
*I leave to go play with Lukai*
Wife:  I missed it!  Can you do it again?
SeniorK:  Sure!  
Wife:  K?!  K?!
Me:  Hey, why is everyone running to SeniorK?  And why isn't he moving?

From 40-feet away, I can see the Wife making the International Call 911 sign.  It looks a lot like a penguin trying to do crotchet.  One-Two-Perl-Two... or something.  Anyway, I call 911 and the Ambulance comes and takes him away on a stretcher.

He probably won't remember any of this anyway...
Now, I've whacked myself in the head a few times, and I was a some what rough and tumble kid.  I thought he would simply jump up, go "Ta-DA!" and carry on playing.  But he was out cold!  When he eventually did regain consciousnesses his eyes were wandering all over the place and now really focusing on anything.  It took a couple of minutes for the ambulance to arrive, and by the time they got there, SeniorK was talking... but not making any sense.  He was kind of babbling and repeating himself over and over again.  He had forgotten that we had Christmas, and was obviously confused about which town we were in.

Boy it sucks as a parent seeing your child like that.

A couple hours later, he was done being x-rayed and scanned and poked and prodded, and left with a diagnosed Concussion.

And though all this, I had a couple of 'ah-ha' moments.

I know I've said it before, but:

  1. Both times we have needed Ambulances have been when the Wife was watching the kids (this just makes me feel better... like I'm the "good" parent*).
  2. What would the social worker say if this happened to one of our adopted children?
  3. We can never take anything for granted, especially the health of our loved ones.
* = my co-worker pointed out that "You never break any dishes if you don't wash the dishes either"... I'm sure it was very profound in her native Chinese.  But its a good point.  Laws of Averages would lend itself to my wife damaging the children more than me just by sheer volume of activities.  So maybe I'm NOT the "good"er parent.