I rarely watch TV but the other day while waiting for dinner, I sat down with my son and daughter who was watching Kung Fu Panda 2 on HBO. Although I saw the original movie, this sequel for me is a much better one. The adoption part of the story appealed to me being an adoptive mother of 2 kids, my now 21 year old son and my 4 year old daughter. Needless to say, I sat through till the end of the movie.
Monday, August 13, 2012
Monday, February 27, 2012
I used to think that bringing up kids wasn't all that hard. My parents raised us their 3 children (1 girl and 2 boys), fairly and without biases. We all had the same privileges and got the same kind of punishment when we did wrong. I never felt any more special than my 2 brothers. But when I became a mother to a 3 month old baby boy in 1991, I realized that it was not easy at all and that parenting is the hardest job in the world where there is no retirement ever. And so when I took home a 5 month old baby girl (who was born severely premature) for Christmas in 2008, it was an act of faith and trust that this too is God's will for me and my family. You see, raising my son was a relatively fun task for me, maybe because as the eldest in my family and the oldest grandchild, I grew up looking out for my brothers and playing with my cousins, majority of whom were male. I have always been partial to boys, even as a child. I remember each time my mom became pregnant, I would always wish for a brother. Being used to boys, I understood them better than girls. I was worried not so much about the fact that she might have special needs, but that I wasn't too sure that I knew how to handle girls! If I just based my capability on the limited interaction I had with female cousins and my family's not too great experience with adopted or fostered daughters, I probably would have gotten cold feet. On the other hand, I love children regardless of gender and this angelic, fragile and helpless child stole my heart forever. Indeed, time flies because Preemie girl will be 4 years old in July. She is so different from her older brother when he was her age...in fact, she is the exact opposite. While my son was an obedient and quiet child, my daughter asserts herself all the time and could hit the right decibel to cause temporary deafness when she does not get her way. She is hyperactive and needs to be entertained, quite unlike her older brother who used to play with his toys for hours all by himself. She is inquisitive and a quick study, but is such a handful that I could not help but compare her to Big Brother who is now 21 and the only one who can make her obey at first try. He adores her, of course and enjoys being called "dada" instead of the usual term of manong (respectful title for older brothers). And thank God, except for a really fast metabolism and hyperactivity, she is as normal as any child her age. She is smart and adorable. And she can be so sweet when she wants to. She is all girl...loves using pink lip gloss and polish.
As I write this post, I am inclined to believe that the difference in behavior (aside from genetics, of course) between my 2 kids at that particular age (2-3 years old) is probably because I nurtured each of them a little differently. I had my son when I was a lot younger and with less responsibilities at work, so that I had more energy and time for him. I used to come home for lunch and spend part of the afternoon with him before going back to work. I would put him to sleep and even tutored him. When my daughter came to us, I was at work the whole day, coming home early evening just as she is getting ready for bed. Although she sleeps with me, the time I spent with her is considerably less than the time I used to spend with my son. She spends most of her waking hours with her nanny and since I would bring part of my work home, it was also her nanny who would put her to sleep. Now that I am out of work, I do have more time with her but I have to admit that at my age, an active child is really challenging. We will be putting her in nursery school this summer in preparation for the regular school year this June. I hope by then she learns to sit still, stay quiet and pay attention...otherwise, we are in big trouble.
And Big brother? Well, let me just say that he outgrew the docile behavior by the time he was in grade school...but, that's another story and for another post (big wink).
Thursday, October 13, 2011
There are many suggested methods on how to tell a child about his adoption. Based on others and our own family experiences, it is a proven fact that not telling a child about his adoption brought about dire consequences for everyone involved especially if the truth is found out from people other than parents. In the case of my aunt, she found out when she was already 10 years old from well-intentioned relatives who wanted to help her parents resolve her habitual lying when she got caught doing something she shouldn't, like playing hookey from school, for example. Needless to say that was the start of her years of rebellion. I heard other "horror" stories so when the time comes, although I never really thought about it, I knew that I will tell my child the truth. My turn came around the time when my son was around 4 years old when out of the blue while playing in my bed, he reached out to my stomach and said..."I came from here". My initial reaction was to say, "no sweetie, you came from mommy's heart"...but my son, gave me a look and vehemently said...NO! I came from your tummy! That's when I realized, it would not be as simple as I thought. So I sat up, faced him and said, "No my love, you did not come from mommy's tummy...you know what, let me tell you a story..."
"One day, Jesus was walking in heaven's garden and he saw that mommy was sad and alone. And so Jesus was worried and thought, what can he do to make mommy happy? As Jesus was walking around Heaven, he suddenly had an idea..."I will send mommy a baby to love and make her own...oh, but how can I do this because mommy is not young anymore to have babies in her tummy (well, I was in my early 30's)? I know!, Jesus said, "mama will be the baby carriage, she will carry the baby for mommy!" Now who among the little baby angels in heaven wants to be mommy's baby? As Jesus was thinking aloud about this, he saw a little hand waving and waving...it was Angel Ramie! he wants to be mommy's baby! So Jesus asked mama to carry Ramie in her tummy and when it was time to be born, mommy was there to receive her baby and was very happy and grateful to Jesus for giving her Ramie and making her his mommy."
My little boy's facial expression was beaming...his smile was from ear to ear and that was I think one of the most blessed days in my life. I could actually feel God's presence in the room while I was telling the story. After that, all other things were easy to explain. I think the fact that he knows he came from God made everything else immaterial and unimportant. My son took things in a matter-of-fact way...he calls my brother "papa", my cousin, "daddy", our mechanic, "tatay" (which is the Pilipino term for dad) and when people asked why he has so many fathers, he would roll his eyes and say..."just because". He was quite proud of the fact that compared to others he had more than one father. The down side is that when people asked him why he has 2 mothers...he says " because that one is too old to carry me in her tummy". Hahahahah! My son will be 21 in less than a month's time and motherhood has been a rollercoaster ride all the way...fun but terrifying at times too. Thank you Jesus for the gift of motherhood.