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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Everything wonderful

A long weekend doesn't seem long enough. On Saturday my husband took seven of our children to Mt. Washington. They had a blast while I prepared dinner and hot chocolate at home. Hot chocolate around here is done in a pot! Steaming and ready to go!

During our evenings we were having Wii dance parties. Saturday I made homemade Chinese food to celebrate the Chinese New Year!

What was really nice about our weekend was connecting with another adoptive family. Most of our friends are other adoptive families living in different communities. This family is in our community. In one of our conversations, this mother explained that when they told their friends and/or family that they wanted to adopt again, they didn't receive the anticipated excitement. This is where my post is shifting..... Ever since the beginning of our adoption journey, we didn't feel the excitement from others. It was questioned, "Why?" or we were told we were "crazy" When our children finally arrived throughout our years, there wasn't an outside welcoming until we met other adoptive families. There has been times where no one seen our new child/children for several weeks after placement. (Of course this wasn't everybody and there was certain circumstances that someone couldn't visit) There is a difference unfortunately. If someone states their pregnant - there is excitement in the air! Not for adoption and that's sad. Now, what's common for us is, "SO......which ones are yours?" Mmmmm......I usually respond, "What do you mean? They all are" I must be crazy because I didn't realize there was a difference. Legal is legal, birth or adopted, they're all mine. I know what they mean. I also know people don't mean to be ignorant. I do think every child deserves recognition into a new family regardless if they were born into it, or were adopted. It's a piece that's important to feel wanted and important. We didn't have adoption placement parties, we did do our own "gotcha" days. For example, many of our children received their own "Hohnstein" shirts. Of course many new items for their new rooms, including choice of wall colors and decor. If it's not really important for the child, it is for their new adoptive parents to feel supported. Adoption isn't easy. When that day arrives when you're bringing home that child/children, it's not only exciting, it's relieving, it's emotional, it is a new beginning for everyone - a time worth celebrating. Mostly, us adoptive parents understand, we get it. That's why it's so important to have a community of adoptive families to befriend, to support - that understand not only the importance from the date of placement, but to continue to understand after the honeymoon period is over, when life can become more difficult with behaviors. If I speak of our children's behaviors to people that haven't adopted, their response is, "We told you, you were crazy" or "You shouldn't have adopted" Regardless if we're crazy or not - that's not what we need to hear. Another comment that really gets under my skin is, "You're the caregivers" Yes I'm a caregiver. I am their mother. Although if my position was a caregiver without the legal backup as their parent, then I would be A. going home at night and returning in the morning or B. I would be fostering without being their legal guardian and not making any formal decisions for my child. Nor would it be correct for all my children to refer me as their mother. I don't think a family with children that haven't adopted would be asked if they were caregivers or basically forget the asking - being referred as one. Ironically people who you would think that know better, will refer us in that manner. One thing I know for sure, ignorance will never change. Ignorance is just a lack of understanding, so I'm tolerant to it but that's why it's important to develop a support network of family and friends that do understand and want to be on that journey with you and your children. Family day is not a new concept for us but now being a holiday, next year I'm thinking celebrating it with everyone that is a part of our family. That supports who we are......if that's crazy, then Family day will be a memorable one! Most importantly, our children need acceptance, to feel loved and connected. That each and every one of them are special. This includes our/your children having friends to seek support from - adoptive family friends have it all. Different cultures, special needs and similar pasts because I know children that haven't been adopted, they also don't understand and children are mean, influential and can turn something that is everything wonderful into just "care giving" It's so much's family. Happy Family Day everyone......and a family consists of people who love one another and support each other. I thought I had a large family but it's much larger then I thought! I am always grateful for everyone who's supportive for all our differences and accepts us for who we are and where we came from. On Chek 6 news there was a story about adoption through the private agency, Choices. Many children are still waiting for a family, perhaps Family Day will open a door for adoption. The possibilities.........for everything wonderful.

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