Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Digital Sin

Our eldest son has just turned 12. I can't believe that! He is supposed to still be my baby! Of course, he gets REAAAALY upset when we try to put diapers on him... in fact... he is starting to get upset about a lot of things. Like, uh, having to wake up in the morning! :-)

Me: Hey, get up. Time to get up.
Son: Mghhahhraaa... ahhhhh... rugggg...uf.
Me: No, I'm serious, its time to get up!
Son: Meh... zzzzzzzzzzz...

Thinking to myself, where did my little boy go?! The one who used to JUMP out of bed the moment I entered his room saying "play play play!". The one who used to wake up and sing and play and build stuff with Lego?

I grab him by the leg... and gently... ever so delicately... drag his sorry sleeping butt out of bed and toss it onto the floor!

Me: Get up! Are you up?!
Son: zzzZZzzz zzzzZzzzzz...
Me: Hmmmm... Hey, Ping, can you wake your brother up?
Ping: Yea! YEA!
Me: Great. I'll be downstairs...

... a few moments pass ...


I return upstairs...

Me: Hey, whats going on?!
Son: She dumped water on me!
Me: Ping, did you pour water on your brother?
Ping: YUP!
Me: Good girl!
Son: WHAT?! Good girl?!
Me: Yea, I asked her to wake you up. You had a choice... you COULD have gotten up when I asked.
Son: This sucks.
Me: Well, that was your choice. Which brings me to another point.
Son: Oh no. Do you want to "talk"?
Me: Yes, yes I do. You are getting to that age when you will start to be curious about... things. and... stuff... and such.
Son: Un-huh.
Me: And I just wanted you to know... that no matter what your questions are... you can talk to me. 'Cuz things are going to come up, which will temp you. And look, promising and fun and good... but they won't be.
Son: I know.

... awkward silence....

Me: Sooooo, anything you feel we should talk about?
Son: Uhhhh, no?

... awkward silence...

Sometimes as a parent, you just have to bring up the ugly things... even though you don't want to. Thats the joy and responsibility of being a Dad (or Mom).

Me: Then, what is THIS I found on your iPod?!
Son: That? Thats nothing.
Me: What do you mean, nothing?! Do you know how much of my life I wasted on this same thing when I was your age and a little older?!
Son: A lot?
Me: Yes! A LOT! And you know what, it didn't help me. It didn't prepare me for anything. It only created a world full of lies, a reality which I THOUGHT would be true... but in the end, reality was nothing like what you are looking at there!
Son: But, its harmless Dad.
Me: Oh it is SO not harmless! The guys who make this ... stuff ... only want you to think it is harmless. But trust me, it will affect the way you look at life... love... relationships... work... everything.
Son: Daaaaad... c'mon... aren't you over reacting?
Me: I just don't want you to make the same mistakes I did.
Son: Fine. So what, do you want me to delete it?
Me: No, I just want you to keep in mind what I said.
Son: Okay.
Me: Great. I'm glad we had this talk.
Son: So, should I NOT buy the College Expansion Pack for "The Sims" then?
Me: The College Expansion Pack?! You want to ruin College now too!!! "The Sims"!!! Oh where oh where did I go wrong! *sob* Its not even a REAL game!!!

Ahhh yes... my boy had purchased The Sims on his iPod... oh the horrors! He dosn't know the trap he is walking into. Just another job for me as Dad, to help point him in the way he should go, and help him stay on the straight and narrow... :-)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Hours left to vote: 13

When I first set up the Forever Family Blog... I had a "voting" feature, where you could indicate where in the adoption process you were. The "voting" had a life span of 1 year... and now... its down to 13 hours (can't believe I've been doing this for a year already).

I had started out this blog as a way to communicate the adoption story to those involved directly, and indirection with adoption.

My hope was to help bridge the gap between those adopting, and those supporting those who were adopting.

Hopefully, over the last year, this blog has been found useful and beneficial to those who read it.

So, for hanging out with me and the Family over the last year, Thank You (Xie xie).

And looking forward to the next year, lets make it a good'er.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Cat VS Car

Well, it appears, that our cat Nemo, was no match for a car.
This is truly sad. And breaking the news to the kids... well... it would be no small task.
So me and my wife considered all the different ways to bring the reality of life and death to light with the children, in some non-Oh-My-Gosh-My-Parents-Are-Totally-Going-To-Pay-For-This-Later-When-I'm-In-Therapy sort of way...

Me: Uh-oh...
Wife: Whats wrong?
Me: Uh, just got a text from the person living at our house right now.
Wife: What broke?
Me: The cat.
Wife: The cat broke?
Me: Well, the cat got hit by a car.
Wife: Oh no. We gotta tell the kids!
Me: Okay... tomorrow?
Wife: Now.
Brother: Oh! Tell 'em the cat moved to Calgary!
Wife: That is a stupid idea.
Brother: No, that's totally what our parents told us when our cat died!
Wife: That is really, the stupidest idea ever.
Me: Oh, but they threw the budgies in the fire! And let us watch. In fact, I think WE got to throw them in there.
Wife: No, wait. THAT was the stupidest idea ever!
Son #2: Whatcha talking about?
Wife: (holding son) Nemo got hit by a car. And is dead.
Son #2: (starts crying)
Me: OR, he MIGHT have just moved to Calgary!
Wife: Okay, you GUYS just... (throws a carrot at my brother) just shut it!
Son #1: Hey, why is he crying?
Me: Nemo got hit by a car. And is dead.
Son #1: Oh, that sucks. Hey, can I have those Doritos?
Me: Uh, no.
Daughter #1: Whats going on?
Me: (since Wife was too busy consoling Son #2) Baby, Nemo got hit by a car... and... (she looks at me with those big eyes starting to fill with tears) ... and... he moved to Calgary! Got a government job out there... as... a... translator!
Daughter #1: Calgary?
Wife: Stupid! Stupid! Hold her!
Me: (holds Daughter #1) Nemo died baby. I'm so sorry.
Daughter #1: (crying)
Wife: Nemo got hit by a car baby, and she is dead.
Ping: WHY? NO NEMO DEAD. CASPAIAN (our other cat) DEAD.
Wife: No, Caspain is fine. Nemo is dead.
Ping: WHY?!

AAAAHHHH!!! WHY! Perfect! Now new parents... take note here.
When ever anything BAD happens, and your CHILD(s) ask WHY, this is a PRIME opportunity to push an agenda! Which agenda is totally up to you... but do NOT let this opportunity pass without sneaking in SOMETHING you are trying to teach them.

Me: Nemo died, because she did not listen to his Mommy and Daddy.
Ping: WHY?!

Wife: Nemo died because she did not look BOTH ways before crossing the street!
Ping: WHY?!

Me: She ALSO died because she did not hold his Mommy's or Daddy's hand when she was told to!
Ping: WHY?!

Wife: She died because she did NOT talk nice!
Ping: WHY?!

Me: Because she did not eat her food!
Ping: WHY?!

Wife: She did not brush her teeth!
Ping: WHY?!

Me: She ... uh... wore socks with sandals!
Ping: Oh. She no see car and car went (acts out with her hands a cat getting squashed by a car).
Daughter #1: Whaaa?! (WAILING)
Me: Yes, Ping. Thats right. Nemo got hit by a car.
Ping: NO NO! SHE GO like THIS (again, with the hand motions and THIS time, with added "squishing" sounds)
Daughter #1 + Son #2: (wailing increases, huge sobbing)
Son #1: What about THESE Doritios then?
Me: Yes, thats right Ping. Nemo got hit by a car. Now, thats enough.
Ping: NO! NEMO! CAR! LIKE THIS! (Again with the hand actions and sounds + maniacal laughing) Muwhahaha! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAAAA!
Wife: Is she "evil laughing".
Me: Yes. I think so.
Ping: HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! LIKE THIS!!!! (she can barely breath she is laughing so hard)

It pretty much went down hill from there. I'm not even going to get into the "Frog Incident"... maybe another time.

But it is curious to see the different children's reaction to the news. With 3 of the 4, we could pretty accurately call how they would react. With Ping, well... sometimes, we're still trying to figure her out. Now, she IS very tender (at times). And she IS able to show compassion and patience... but there are some things, which she just finds funny... which she shouldn't.

Like, getting in trouble. There have been a couple times where we've gone to discipline her, and she is stifling a laugh. And a BIG laugh. Where I'm there busy in the middle of the "Good Cop/Bad Cop" routine, and she is holding both hands over her mouth trying not to laugh...


Anyway, I think its a nervous laugh, and she is trying to deal with the vulnerability she is feeling. She dose not like being vulnerable. So I think anything where she feels hurt, or gets in trouble, her "defense" mechanism kicks in... and... she... laughs. So odd.

I am thoroughly enjoying getting to know this little precious daughter of mine.

But for now, I have to go again... I can hear her doing the "Nemo/Car" routine again, and Daughter #1 is crying...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

SUPER (sleeping) POWER!

Because they can do stuff like this... fall sleep... while... slowly falling... off a couch... scrunched up in his shirt...

This is our Son #2, and he has a history of falling asleep on chairs, behind doors, curled up in a tiny ball somewhere in the house... and we find him like 3 days later.

If I have time, I'll post more pictures of him sleeping.

Ever since he was a little baby, he would run and run and run and run until he just stopped and fell right over asleep.

And you look at 'em at that tender age and think, oh they will out grow it.

Well, sometimes they don't. :-) I'm sure he fell asleep there playing.

And thats why kids are awesome.

Oh, anyway, I'm pretty sure if our Son #2 was a super hero, his super power would be sleeping... kinda like his father. :-)

I wonder what our other children's Super Hero Powers would be?

Friday, July 2, 2010

The Bravest Little Girl

Look at that little cutie in the water there swimming with her Ye ye.

How amazing is that.

Just a couple days ago, he was a total stranger, as were the other 27 people she met this week.

Ping is off in Winnipeg with the other children and their Mom. So far, in the last 5 days, Ping has met:
  • 2 Grandmas
  • 2 Grandpas
  • 3 Aunties
  • 2 Uncles
  • 1 Male Cousin
  • 6 Female Cousins
  • 3 Of the Wifes Friends and their many off springs
  • 1 Aunt from Europe
  • The Norris Family
  • Half Brothers/Sisters (the Half is only a title, its all family)
  • ... and thats just the IMMEDIATE family.

Now, throw in all the In Laws, the Out Laws, friends, Grandmothers Friends, Grandfathers Friends, people poking, prodding and questioning...

... my GOSH! That must be darned near 50 people in 5 days!

And she is still smiling and Swimming with Grandpa!

That. Is. Amazing.

Do we really understand that?!

Seriously. Take any adult... or imaging yourself, travelling over 3000kms away from home, where you can barely speak the language, and every day you are meeting wave after wave of people... with no end... crazy! I think most of us would wind up in the fetal position crying somewhere in a corner.

But not my Ping. :-) No sir. She takes it all in stride, maybe gets a little upset the odd time, but really, wow. I think she truly IS the bravest person I know!

Even the 1st time we brought our Dear Daughter #1 (DD1) home to Winnipeg, she would not go to the Grandparents. She was far too shy! I remember the Grandparents having to wait to hold her. Wait for her to walk into the room by herself. Wait. Wait. Wait. It wasn't until she was almost 2 or 3 (maybe older) that she would start to really play with them.

But we forget that.

We only look at DD1 NOW, and go "Well, she is so well adjusted! Why can't they ALL be like that?"

But she WASN'T always so well adjusted. No sir. Our DD1 would cry and cry and cry and throw a fit if her mother or I ever left her. There was only 1 poor Nursery Worker at Church who would put up with her (Thanks Mika!!! You ROCK!) and all her crying! Baby sitter? Forget it!

So am I worried that maybe Ping isn't as "nice" as some think she should be, from time to time?
No. Not at all.
Because I remember how our other children were, and I know Ping will be just perfect in time.

This isn't an "Adoption" thing... maybe some on the outside would think it is... but really...
This is just a person, being thrown into a situation which is overwhelming... Full stop. End of story.

And meeting 50 crazy Winnipegers (trust me, they are crazy, you can tell, because they still live there) would TERRIFY anyone.

Family Acceptance Rate:
  1. Our eldest son was born and raised in Winnipeg, and was used to the family pretty quick.
  2. Our 2nd child, was 6 months old when we left Winnipeg. It took him a little while to get used to the family.
  3. Our 3rd child, well, it took her years to get used to the family (we only get to see them maybe once a year)
  4. And our 4th child, is already doing so great, and I am so proud of her! :-) She is talking, and playing, and swimming, and not being distant.
  5. Our 5th child? ... well... lets just keep waiting on that one...

I am so proud of ALL our kid'lets!

I love you babies!

6 Month Update Photos

Adrian & Roberta;

Thanks for the 6-month follow-up report. We will appreciate that you
send us 2 or 3 pictures for Jade, so we can make this report complete
as required by CCAA.


Ahhh, gotta get some pictures off to China!
Here we go...

You have been sent 20 pictures.

DSC02307 (2).JPG
DSC02322 (2).JPG

DOH!!! Well, I filtered out the other 9228 photos and got it down to
20... now... we just gotta narrow it down to 2 or 3.

Which photos to send... which... photos...