Saturday, September 15, 2012

An on going family discussion...

Yesterday we drove 3 hours to Johnny's soccer game.
Even when soccer is going well it's hard to be a college freshman boy.
A college freshman girl on the other hand is a great place to be BUT for boys it is challenging especially after a banner high school senior year.

We weren't planning on going BUT he asked us to go- and supporting our kids is at the top of our list!

The drive was amazing! Through rolling hills and beautiful farmland in southern MN into northern Iowa!

We saw lovely farms and farmland stretching for miles upon miles! And many horse drawn carriages riding along the side of the road. Their is an Amish community that lives in southern MN. I so admire their way of life.

The children are really into "Little House on the Prairie" right now so it made it even more of a learning experience.

The towns were immaculate- Chatfield, Preston, Harmony.
ALL the lawns were mowed and everything was so clean and orderly.

I did not get any pictures BUT it was definitely a picture worthy drive!
We pulled into the game just as it started.

And then we saw "THEM"...
(insert lovely music and children skipping, in slow motion toward "THEM")


I am refering to 2 adorable frolicking PUPPIES...
10 week old vizsla puppies...

Hubby and I walked up to the fence and began watching the game that was already in progress.
A few minutes later I turned to do a head count 
then I saw it...

Anna (home 5 yrs) holding the nice mans hands and jumping up and down.
Sarah (home almost 4 yrs) successfully coercing the nice man into allowing her to feed, train and walk the new puppies.

Abby (home 9 months) attempting to play ball with the nice man
Sam (home 18 months) punching Emma to show his manliness... you got it... in front of the nice man.
Once Sam saw me, he made an immediate but insincere apology to Emma.

My heart sank...
so easily they strayed, 
so quickly they forgot the boundaries.

The puppies I could understand BUT the nice man? Come on guys...

Okay...the nice man was very young like their older brothers and at that moment a lot more fun than we were...
But still...
come on guys!

It is so different with older adopted children. Maybe I'm wrong but I just couldn't see our birth children holding hands with a stranger.   

 No matter how nice he was....
And, how much fun he was...
 I know we could have gone out there and played but we drove 3 hours for JOhnny's game and honestly we wanted to watch it. 
the children had been cooped up in the car (watching a movie) for 3 hours
 frolicking with a puppy is about the best thing you can do after a long car ride...
 it still surprised me.
 How quickly they forgot 
"the boundaries"... 

I didn't have the energy to explain the the nice man about boundaries with adopted children.
One by one I just called them over - OF COURSE, Sam was first!

Soon we had all eight standing next to us... longingly looking at the puppies.
 I did pet them (and yes, I do want one) and we all interacted but I'm trying to keep this as brief as possible so I will spare you some of the details.

At half time we went back to the car and reviewed appropriate behavior with strangers... no matter how nice they may be! 
My guess is, this will be an on going discussion...


Rebekah said...

Our 2 have only been home 17 months. We, too, have had this discussion many times. Thank you for sharing.

Sally-Girl! said...

I totally get this post and so do 90% of other adoptive families. The hard part is the non-adoptive families who think we are crazy for being so aware of these things!!!

We will continue to have these same conversations!

Janet and Kevin said...

Yes - I get this post so very well. A few months ago a casual acquaintence of ours, a man in his late 50's who just loves that we bring home our children from China, stopped his car as we were playing in our front yard. Then he proceeded to play tag with my littles, catching them in bear hugs and kissing them before letting them go! It simply knocked my socks off, and Kevin's who arrived home a short time later.

My littles, who had acted quite shy a few minutes before, were just eating up all of the attention. I stopped it as soon as I realized what was happening, and we went inside. Then we had "the talk" too about how easy it is to step over boundaries! Oh my, I shudder each time I think of how quickly it happened right in front of me!

Their attention and affection can be turned in the blink of an eye! We will continue to have "the talk" many, many times in the future, too!

janet and gang

Angie said...

I think this is one of the most challenging things we've had to deal with, and unfortunately, people don't always understand and think we are mean parents. But we have one child in particular that we have to "watch like a hawk" because this child LOVES attention and if we aren't giving it, then the child will find someone else that will. It's exhausting, but so, so important.

Vicky said...

Boundaries, that's a hard one! Thanks for the reminder to be ever watchful that our established boundaries aren't crossed!

I love the photo of the Vizsla puppy! We had a Vizsla when I was in high school. The best dog so loving and protective to our family.

Jennifer P said...

Their (the children) point of view and sense of discretion is so different. We had a similar conversation with our twelve year old who tends to stray to any neighbor. She assured us that she would never talk to strangers and certainly knew better until we mentioned something similar to your scenario. I.e. a dog involved. She squirmed when we told her she would most certainly walk off with anyone who had a cute dog to share. This side of adoption is so important to share. Thanks for bringing it up.

Ps from a new parent whose new daughter calls every single woman Ayi (auntie) and means it.

Mama D’s Dozen said...

Oh. Those. Boundaries.

We adopted 3 "older" children (ages 6, 9, 12 when they came home). Even after talks and talks and talks . . . the older brother would go right into peoples homes (multiple times). Neighbors we had never even met, would suddenly invite our son into their homes??? Who does that?

And the hugs . . . with strangers . . . as if they are greeting their favorite grandmother. So hard to explain . . . to the stranger and to the children.

The part that still infuriates me, is when strangers (at church and such) will go all out to greet and welcome and talk to my "little African" daughters, while COMPLETELY ignoring their little white brothers who are standing next to them. It happens ALL THE TIME. Let me tell you . . . it is HARD to have two African daughters "twinned" age-wise with two bio. sons. We live in a very "white" town, so I think people go out of their way to prove that they aren't racist . . . but then go over the top and treat our daughters VERY differently than they treat our bio. sons. Sorry for the rant . . .

Keep talking to them. Keep explaining. And . . . keep your eye on them.

Keep up the good work. You are doing a GREAT job!

mama of 12