Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Enjoying the Simple Pleasures in Life!

When we adopted an 8 yr old girl- we really had no idea what to expect. I mean this little girl has been alive for 8 years without us- we didn't know what experiences she had in her former life, what she liked, and what she didn't like.  We just prayed, read books and went with it! The journey has been fantastic!

When we first had bio kids it was so exciting because you get to teach them everything- your world is their world and they grow and change everyday right in front of your eyes! With Anna I can see many similarities- she came home at 16.5 months old. She couldn't crawl, feed herself, or talk and by the time we left China she was crawling a couple steps, feeding herself finger foods, smiling and laughing.  Within 2 months at home she was walking and soon after that she started talking!

Now fast forward to an 8 yr old. I thought I would be teaching her a lot- like the english language, learning to like american food, her new address and telephone number, getting to know her home and community. What I didn't realize is that there where many things that she had never experienced- many animals that she has never seen, when her birthday was and how old she she really is, the many tastes and textures of different foods, how to play a game and take turns, the sequencing of life- like the leaves on the trees, the changes of the seasons.
I thought she had already experienced many of them.  Yesterday Sarah colored a rainbow and then she asked me what is this? Have you ever seen this? I was blown away- don't they have rainbows in China? I took great pleasure explaining a rainbow to her and told her we would watch closely for one and as soon as we see it, we will show her. 

Tonight we watched Johnny's soccer game. It was 75 and partly sunny, the grass is lush and green! Sarah was so excited to take her shoes off and run in the grass- another simple pleasure from our Lord. As we watched the game we could see the sunbeams shining down between the clouds. She was amazed at its beauty. With springs arrival she is noticing everything and it is fascinating to watch her.  

Sarah has been alive for 9 yrs. and so much of life is completely new to her but what is so cool is she can verbalize her appreciation for it, her excitement is contagious and her joy is evident! 

Adopting an older child is incredible. They don't have to be babies to have "firsts". They don't have to be babies to be attached, to learn, to enjoy humor, to accept and give love. I know those babies are so darn cute but I have to tell you the big kids are so darn fun!

We went to the local park the other day. The girls loved it! Sarah is no longer afraid of people with darker skin. When we first met her she just couldn't help herself and she had to stop and stare. We all would try to explain they are the same as us it's just that their skin is darker. She seems to be over it now. She made some friends at the park and they all had fun together!


Lori said...

Wow, that was a great post Jean! I'm sure it's just as thrilling for you as it is for Sarah to watch her excitement in experiencing new things.

Kim said...

I came upon your site from someone else's blog. I so enjoy reading your stories. We too have adopted...first a 19mth old little girl,then a 7yr old girl, and then a 4yr old little boy. Our daughters bring such joy to our family... and our son is a delight! I love the plan that the Lord has laid out for us, and I love to watch the changes our oldest daughter is making. Did I read that you homeschool too? We are also a homeschooling family and love the time we get to share with our kiddos. Thanks for sharing your experiences.
Kim S (momma to six)

Chasity said...

What a beautiful entry Jean. What an amazing Life God has given each of you. Each day need to look into our children's eyes and know that this world around us is so very amazing and such a blessing from God. God bless you on your many new experiences with your beautiful children.

Shonni said...

I love reading others experiences with older child adoptions...it is so wonderful to hear how they are doing!

Laura L. said...

Who would have imagined all of the firsts that Sarah would have? How precious that you get to see them and share them with her.
What an awesome blessing for all of you, that now she has the joy of experiencing rainbows, soft, green grass, and the changing of the seasons. That is SO cool.

Hezra said...

thank you for sharing this! We are working on adopting two older girls 8, and 13 and when I tell people they say rude things like, WHY? or bigger kids mean bigger problems. GRRRRR. I am glad to thers see it my way too. :-)