Friday, June 24, 2011

"All About My Mom and Dad"- A lesson about love

As part of our history curriculum the kids are learning to keep their own histories by writing in a journal regularly. At least three times per week I sit down with each of the kids and ask them about a particular topic. They narrate, I write, they illustrate. Aside from being a great keepsake (and hopefully a lifelong habit of journaling), it has been a wonderful opportunity for quality one-on-one time.

Earlier this week, I asked the kids to tell me a little about themselves. Yesterday I asked them to tell me a little about their mom and dad. It was a wonderfully sweet (and eye opening) experience to listen to them share their thoughts about their dad and I. With their permission, I'd like to share some of those thoughts. I should probably mention before I begin that we did our journal writing right before dinner which may account for the constant mention of food from every single one of them (I highly doubt it is because I am such a superb cook. . .I'm really not!).

Alayna: My dad makes fries and pizza. Sometimes he makes sandwiches for lunch. He vacuums. He takes me to the potty at night. He takes me to the park. He runs errands. My dad goes to work. Before he goes he gives us hugs and sings, "So Long, Farewell." He goes to the store to buy food. My mom takes me to Philadelphia. Soon I will get my prosthetic there. Sometimes she goes to meetings. She takes me to the potty. She makes breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday. She takes me to the doctor. My mom loves me. She tucks me in at night. She makes gluten-free pizza. She cleans the house. She is helping me write my history.

Alexis: My daddy goes to work. He gives me hugs and sings me songs. He takes me to McDonalds. He takes me to the store. My mom goes to the store. Mommy makes breakfast, lunch and dinner. Mommy helps me with schoolwork and reads to me. She watches "Phineas and Ferb" with me. Mommy gives me hugs and kisses.

Evan: I love my dad. He takes good care of me. He helps me get dressed. He earns money. I love to run errands with my dad. I love my mom. I love her cooking. I love her because she takes good care of me. I love her because she helps me go potty. I love her because she helps me get dressed and she feeds me. She helps me do schoolwork.

Maren: My dad plays baseball with me. He takes me on errands. He makes yummy waffles on Saturday. He plays Hide-n-seek with me. He's in love with my mom. Mommy makes eggs, muffins and pancakes. Mommy teaches me math. Mommy helps me with my worksheets. Mommy gives me baths. I like to read and do school with mommy. Mommy makes smoothies. I love mommy and daddy.

Lukas: My dad is cute. He makes me smile. I love my dad. My dad plays with me all the time. He goes to work to earn money. My dad teaches me that sometimes you have to do things you don't want to do. My mom is cute. She teaches me lots of lessons. I love my mom. I like to do school with her. I also like her cooking.

Jacob: I like my dad because he plays baseball with me. Daddy plays games with me. Daddy goes to work. He earns money and helps raise money for our babies. Mommy makes yummy pizza. She makes me smile (Daddy makes me smile too). She makes yummy homemade fries. I like to play games with my mom. I like to hang out with her too. She makes pretty things for our house. She says prayers with me.

Joshua was "too tired" to share his thoughts with me yesterday so I will have to share them another time. Lily isn't quite ready to narrate her thoughts yet, but she lets us know how she feels about mommy and daddy in other ways (she loves to look through picture albums and point out all of the pictures of mommy and daddy. . .this is HUGE for her).

It was very interesting to see what was important to each of our children. It was particularly interesting to see how much our older adopted children (who came to us at 3.5, 7, 7 and 8) focused their thoughts on basic necessities (food, clothing, toileting, hugs and kisses), needs that often went unmet in their previous situations (Evan especially). Our biological children (who have never had to go without the basic necessities) focused their thoughts more on activities, quality time and relationships.

What a blessing it was to get such an intimate look into how our children see us. As always, I am humbled by the simplicity of their unconditional love (and their willingness to overlook our MANY faults) and I am reminded that it is the little things that matter most to our little people. They are watching us ("Daddy is in love with my mom"), they DO listen to us ("My dad teaches me that sometimes you have to do things you don't want to do") and EVERYTHING we do matters to them! Once again, I tip my hat to my children for teaching me the most valuable lessons in life.


The Dahlins said...

Thank you so much for sharing today! Thank you for being such a good example to Sean and I. We are so greatful to have learned and be learning from your experinces becuase it truly helps as we are going through the adoption process! Thanks again for all you do and for being you!

Sue said...

I so love this post, it makes us realize the little things we take for granted are soooo important to our little ones!

~Stephanie said...

This: "He's in love with my mom." Made me cry. So many children DON'T see that in their homes.

Jill said...

Maren is a true girl - it's important to know that your dad is in love with your mom. Love that. Miss you!

Tamara's Mommy said...

You have such an amazing family and I love to watch and see the progress you've made with the children.
I'm going to borrow your children's journal idea. What a great thing for the children to have when they're all grown up. What a keepsake!!!
Our daughter is from The Republic of Georgia and has had some speech delays. Although I was always able to understand what her needs were. This is the first year I can actually have a conversation with my daughter. Like I wrote in her speech therapists Thank You note this week. "I don't know how to Thank You. Because of your hard work and dedication I'm able to have a conversation with my daughter" We have her for 3 years. I think the journal is a wonderful idea for my daughter. It will give her a chance to express herself and I imagine she will start to share more and more about her past.

Molly said...

ok, the "my mom is cute" "my dad is cute" thing" slays me! It is absolutely precious!

Cynthia Curtis said...

I really enjoyed reading your transcriptions of the kids thoughts, and your observation about the content of the kids comments -- basic necessities being a conscious fulfillment, and then quality of life beyond necessities. Lots of love,
Grandma DD

Beth Benson said...

Love reading your blog...tender thoughts as usual :)

Marian Hobson said...

I especially like the observation about the different focus of the kids! You're amazing and I hope you always keep a smile on your face!

ME said...

I'm also humbled by the simplicity of their comments:)Your kids are adorable.I must say you guys are great to have adopted 4 little kids besides having 2 of your own.People like you are rare , love you guys! You'll make an amazing family!
Here's a not so serious fun test!
Your Kids or Your Mate?
Can you maintain balance between your kids and mate?

ThuyQuynhandDmitrii said...

You have a beautiful family!!! I was wondering if I could have your email address so that I can email you about Uzbekistan. We have been on our Kazakhstan journey going on 13 months now, and we need to explore other options since Kazakhstan remains closed to adoptions. I would love to email with you :) My email is Thank you and have a blessed day! said...

Love this post! So sweet! Would love to get in touch with you somehow. We are adopting a little boy - our flight leaves Sept. 11th! We are also considering bringing home a little girl with us as well but this is where I'd LOVE to hear from another parent who has more than one child that will need help to get around. (how you do it) :)