No matter what challenges we face I think we would all agree that this journey is so worth it. These children are incredible, they are beautiful gifts from God that should be treasured. I believe that having faith in God and asking for his help is essential in this journey.
Sarah has been home 6.5 months and with the warmer weather and children playing outside we have faced a few new challenges. The girls now want to play outside they want to ride bikes and play with the neighbors. Whenever they are out I also need to be out - watching them like a hawk. One neighbor is working on the landscape- and there is a lot of heavy equipment. Anna is extremely small and could easily not be seen. She want to play in the sand they are using for their patio and driveway. We have to wait until the evening when all the workers have gone home, then we can play in the sand.
In Ch*na Sarah never really learned about safety. It is very natural for her to do things that would make us gasp with concern. If a car is going down our skinny driveway she would see nothing wrong with trying to race along side of it- training wheels and all. She has no concerns that she might fall under the tires of a moving car. She will follow along behind someone with her bike not realizing that that person my stop and she would run into them and hurt them. She would open the car window and stick her head out. Well, you get the point. I feel like I have to often... okay constantly, remind her of safety rules. It is a little bit of a bummer when you just want to enjoy and have fun with your child but instead have to be so very vigilant.
Over the last 6.5 months we have spent a lot of time together, a lot of time together! I think our bonding has come along great, really great. But lately we have been challenged- I am not questioning our progress BUT I am surprised by "this situation".
We have a neighborhood family that has a girl Sarah's age. Sarah is just beginning to be able to go over and call for her. If she goes in the house she calls home to tell me- that took 4 weeks to get down! The family is different from ours and has different parenting styles and eating habits. Whenever she goes over there she has pop, candy, gum and chips- she loves this- I do not love it. Sometimes she brings her treasures home and then refuses to share with Anna. The mother has highs and lows and sometimes crosses the line of appropriateness with Sarah. She hugs her, kisses her and tells her she loves her. For an adoptee I think this is very confusing. Sarah is just learning what families are all about and how they differ from friends, neighbors, acquaintences, etc. FYI- they may seem like they (the adoptee) get it but it really takes a long time for them to fully understand these concepts.
One day she (the neighbor lady) will be calling across the yard "Hi Sarah, old buddy, old pal" and the next day she will be angry and Sarah is not sure why- neither am I?
I feel the hugs and kisses should be for her own daughter not my daughter ( me, a little jealous- maybe, she is mine to protect). I think it is confusing to Sarah to have "a neighbor" act like that. On top of it when you throw in the candy, gum, pop and chips - well our little girl is about ready to jump ship and join the others. Those treat are so enticing to her that it makes her want to run over their and play. As far as she is concerned that Mom is really really nice and ya... she yells for no reason but who cares I get candy, gum, pop and chips!! It almost renders her in capable of making a good decision. Which she is actually probably not even ready to make anyways. So now as her parents we have to set more guidelines ( I wish we didn't have too).
1. We can call for our neighbor friend but since the weather is so nice we can only play outside.
2. Mom/ Dad have to talk to the neighbor lady and set appropriate guidelines. No hugging, no kissing, and maintain an appropriate adult/ child relationship. I know I'm boring and I'm a bit strict but I can tell you that I feel that something is not right. Iam usually correct in this situation so I have to go on my gut. The neighbor lady is not approachable- I am not sure when we will be able to have this conversation.
3. We play equally in their yard and our yard.
4. We keep busy and limit our playtime in the neighborhood.
Oh argh- now while even writing this post we have already had another incident... We went out to dinner after church . When we came home, the neighbor girl was waiting for us. We decided that Anna would have a quick bath (major food in the hair) and Sarah could play for a little bit. 20 minutes later we call our daughter home. She... they walk in the door and Sarah lets me know with all sincerity that she does not need to come home... her friend that is now standing next to her "said so"... I looked at her, I looked at them and said honey is _____, your Mommy or Daddy? Since she is not your Mommy or Daddy she does not get to decide that and I said goodbye to the little girl...
The problem is ... our own daughter doesn't get it. She has listened to other children in an orphanage for 8.5 years. She will do what they say and not necessarily what her new parents say. AFTER all of this I am guessing no one will be questioning why I am homeschooling...
Any thoughts?? I need some ideas! Keep them kind please!! Thank you so much! BTW I wish I lived in the country!!