Unbelievable, the kids have been in our life & home for 8 months already. We arrived in Canada on March 5, 2008 but it feels like a life time ago. It is hard to remember life before they joined our family.
Things I have learned the last 8 months:
1. It wasn't easy to parent my newest children.
2. Children who have never had material possessions don't take care of things they are given.
3. Children don't naturally/ instictively know how to play & pretend.
4. Kids thrive on a strict routine, I don't.
5. My theory that I would be way more tolerant & patient parent this time around was a misconception.
6. Orphanage behaviors - screaming, tantrums, spitting, sassiness are not condusive to a harmonious family life.
7. Orphanages are a poor replacement for family, but sadly perhaps better than they had.
8. I have questioned my sanity / decision to raise a second family on more than one occasion.
9. Little kids have a lot of energy & make a ton of noise.
10. I didn't know that a child had to be taught how to live, love & function in a family.
11. At the six month mark, life began to settle into a new normal.
12. By the 7 month mark; they were a joy & my time off from work was up so I didn't get to enjoy the easy times with them as much as I would have liked.
13. Kids can learn a new language extremely fast!
14. Kids grow at an amazing rate.
15. Hearts are knit together with shared experiences, laughter, tears & time.
16. I look forward to coming home at the end of the day & having the kids clamour for my attention, both telling me all their news within the first minute of being home.
17. Adopting Christolla & Dieunelson was the right thing to do for all of us :)
18. Seeing Ashley & Brandon loving & spoiling their little siblings warms my heart.
19. Observing Christolla & Dieunelson looking up to & idolizing their big brother & sister makes me remember why I am so proud of them too.
20. Experiencing all the firsts with the kids makes every new opportunity & holiday something to look forward to.
21. My love for my children grows stronger every day.
22. This is the hardest & most rewarding thing I have ever done.
23. This is NOT the easy way to have children - far from it.
24. Children cannot be counted on as your weight loss program.
25. My children wanted a family to love them, but at the same time tried to push me / us away.
26. Little kids can eat as much as an adult.
27. Too much stuff overwhelms children that have not had toys, presents or clothes.
28. Little kids wake up way to early in the mornings.
29. I am so lucky - my kids love to eat everything. Not having picky eaters is a added bonus.
30. My kids love to go to bed at nap & bed times. Just tuck them in & they go right to sleep.
31. We have been fortunate & never encountered anyone that has been rude, bigoted or intolerant in any way.
32. My heart will break when we do encounter discrimination. How do you explain that to children?
33. The sound of children's laughter can bring a smile to the face of the grumpiest Mommy.
34. I am so thankful for children who poop in the potty.
35. I am thankful that I don't have to miss another occasion waiting for the kids to come home.
36. I love that the computer doesn't consume all my evenings anymore as I checked email, blogs, adoption groups sometimes compulsively to keep updated in the adoption process & long for photos or updates.
37. I have no desire to adopt any more children, my family is complete (unless anyone knows a single eligible employed man who isn't scared away by a woman with four dependants). Oh no - now I will be checking my email compulsively waiting for all of your responses. ;)
It is way past my bedtime on a work night so just know these two little Haitians who have found their way into my heart & home have made me a better person. I am honored to be their Mom. They are not lucky children to have been adopted & given access to food, medical care & the opportunity for a education. They are two children who have experienced loss, rejection, poverty, lack of food & family, inferior medical care, who have finally been given a small break. No child anywhere should ever experience these things & all should have their basic needs met. It's so sad little ones have to deal with such complex issues that could bring an adult to their knees begging for mercy.