This weekend, I attended a program our Families with Children from China (FCC) group put on with Sherrie Eldridge, an adult adoptee who wrote the book, "Twenty things adopted kids wish their adoptive parents knew".
I did not get to hear very much of the program as I was selling books or running here and there, but heard her briefly comment on how adopted children NEVER lose the fear of abandonment as well as their fear that they are too much to handle.
On Sunday, I snipped at Annabel about some very unimportant detail, and she responded with tears, followed by returning her allowance money, followed by returning her art supply case.
Trust me, these moments are so hard. You know if she had stolen the car, killed the dog, or even lied to me about something, I think I could better understand her feeling of rejection and abandonment, but this was just one of those things that I should have ignored, but instead brought to her attention, and for her it was a MAJOR event.
Even though she did not appear to listen, I talked to her about the fact that she is my daughter for now and always, that it will never change, no matter what she does, I will continue to love her. I make sure I say it every day, but think we will pursue getting her Texas birth certificate, framing it and putting it on the wall, so she knows she is here to stay!
While at the program I met fantastic people who have adopted and some who are still in the waiting mode.
The wait for an infant girl from China used to be 1 - 2 years. Now it is over 4 years! The Chinese government and our government, continue to change the rules and it has made it more difficult to adopt all the time.
When I went for my first appointment to Hope Cottage, the social worker tried to talk me into adopting an infant from India. I had my heart set on China because I wanted my niece, Darcey, to have someone else in the family who looked like her! The last thing she mentioned was the waiting child program. This was fairly new at the time and there was not much known about it. The Chinese government did not think anyone in the US would want their older children who had any "special" needs, even if it was just glasses!
Once I found out that I could adopt an "older" child and not just an infant, I knew I had found my answer.
I would go to the support group for the families waiting to be matched with their babies and they worried and wondered about how much formula and how many diapers to pack.
I knew the only thing I would have to worry about was where was the closest McDonalds.
Adopting an older child, well children, has been the best thing and makes me continue to advocate on behalf of these kids.
I wish more people would take a chance on these beautiful children and find the happiness that I have.
All of this is leading up to a story but I had to take a few rabbit trails to get there!
Last night I was cleaning off the table and slammed my baby toe into the leg of the stool sitting there.
You have all done it and you know I let out a scream! It hurt so bad I could not stand to touch it or look at it, and was trying to figure out how and when I could get to the ER and get that wooden shoe they give you because I was sure I had broken most of my foot!
As soon as the first sound came out of my mouth, both girls rushed to my aid! Grace trying to examine my foot and Annabel holding me by the shoulders, ready in case I passed out.
I went from crying to screaming in pain to laughing so hard I almost fell off the stool! They were so sweet and so ready to take care of me that I felt like a big baby crying with an 11 and 12 year old ready to render aid!
When I finally did touch my foot I realized it did not really hurt and laughed even harder! They would have amputated my toe if necessary or figured out how to drive to get me to the hospital if necessary!
See infants could not have done that! Older kids are much better!