NOTE: I originally posted this on No Hands But Ours (NHBO), but decided to post here as well for those who may not subscribe to NHBO. Sorry if it is a repeat for some.
So the wife is currently in China, and I'm still here in Canada.
The Wife, BigD (our 2nd eldest son) and our new son Lukai are about 5 days away from coming home.
There have been a great many thing which I've learned over the last few weeks. Some of them related to adoption, most related to our new son, and even a little about myself.
So instead of coming up with a comprehensive, well written, insightful and thought provoking blog post today (like my other blog posts have been really deep and insightful, I know), I'm going to walk though many of the emotions and "things" which have come up over the last few weeks.
I think this is a good idea, mostly because I am grotesquely sleep deprived and forming any coherent though feel well beyond reason and possibility... but also because it is my hope that everyone reading this either has, or will have had the opportunity to have an energetic little boy (or girl) throwing die-cast cars at their spouses head while you yell in vein over Skype (in chinese) to stop throwing said die-cast cars at their new mother... er, wait, what I meant to say was "I hope everyone gets to experience the joys of adopti... er family!"
Special Needs be darned!
See, I was expecting and prepared for SpinaBifida. But just a couple weeks before we left, he was diagnosed with a 2nd previously unknown special need - Vitiligo. Now, we don't really care about the Vitiligo - it could be as trivial as a cosmetic issue, or as severe as a thyroid or auto-immune deficiency. What we were scared of was *someone* deciding that the adoption was no longer allowed. Our provincial government could have decided that this special need was not "on the list" and therefore, the terms of adoption are no longer valid. Someone in China could have decided that it was no longer in the best interest of the child to be adopted. It was a few days of complete emotional panic as we tried to re-assure our adoption agency, our province and China that we still wanted to adopt little Lukai.
|1st meeting between Mom and Lukai|
Little Boys are Energetic!
It has been a while since we've had a little boy around the house. I think its been about 9 years since we've had a little high energy, rough and tumble little ball of AAAAAHHHH stop throwing things at my head!!! But that is OK.
|Looks happy, but apparently dosn't like swimming|
When the 1st Words out of your Child's Foster Mother's mouth are "He is Such a Naughty Boy"
... take it at face value. :-) Oh cute for sure. Look at that smile. Those rose coloured cheeks! How could he ever be so Naugh... hey, hey, put the car down! No, don't you smile at me like that. Finger wagging and head shaking is universal. Wipe that smile off your face. Don't you DARE throw that OWWWWWW!
|That is the foster mom in the middle|
Being Stuck at Home playing "Mom" for 3 Weeks is NOT fun
I don't know how you Moms do it. I really don't. I mean, I now understand why my wife yells at the kids. I mean, being a Dad, you sometimes see your wife snap at the kids with the old "Oh I have told you a THOUSAND times!!!", but I didn't really understand it until now. Until the 12th day of getting them ready for school as they run outside in their bare feet and no coats... and I'm standing in the door way, yelling like a crazy person "GET YOUR COATS ON!". Oh, and I understand too why when I come home after work and am all "Hey, how YOU doing?" she isn't at ALL interested in how I'm doing. She wants to sleep. I get that, now, more than ever. Because I'm not even interested in how I'm doing after a long day of work, children, cleaning, laundry, and all that stuff.
Never Judge a Foster Parents by their Picture
... even if they look so very unhappy. My wife was able to meet Lukai's Foster Mom (you can read about it here), which was AMAZING. And WAY better than we expected, after THESE photos. But I just finished an hour long Instant Message (via QQ) chat with them, and their hearts are breaking. I know that in China, if the foster family wants to adopt the child they are fostering, that they have to come up with the orphanage donation - which is something like 35,000RMB. Or roughly two years wages for the average worker. I do not know what happened with their family, if they tried to keep Lukai, if they wanted him to get a home, but I DO know that they love him deeply. They said repeatedly that they are happy he is with us, but they miss him. My Chinese will never be good enough to express my thanks to them, and pay them the respect and honour they deserve ... and it is not because I suck at Chinese, it is simply because words can not express things adequately, regardless of language. However, if I knew Interpretative Dance, I think I could have nailed what my heart wanted to say!
See, my child is still 1/2 a world away. And that is all I care about. Getting him home, holding him in my arms, hearing him laugh (Skype just doesn't cut it), and dyes, even dodging the odd die-cast car launched at my head.
All the Special Needs, pain, troubles and worries pale in comparison to my desire to simply hold my child for the 1st time.
Now, my next post might be asking the best way to bandage head wounds inflicted by flying die-cast cars...