I've told Mom that recently I feel like I introduce myself as, "Hi, I'm Jerri. I have 2 daughters I adopted from China and my sister died."
It's amazing how many new people I can meet in one week and how few I don't disclose these two parts of my life to even if they are casual acquaintances.
And I'm not sure why.
Now I am adding and my sister's daughters are staying with us as much as they can this summer!
This is the way I like it. It is difficult not to look at her two beautiful daughters, growing into beautiful young women, and feel loss, concern, fear, and worry. I have fought to overcome treating them like "damaged goods". I want to censor anything about losing a parent or anyone or anything dying.
For Darcey, who was only 5 when Jana died, I know she needs memories of her mother.
What makes it really hard is that Jana was her third "mom".
Darcey had her birth mother in China, a foster mother in China, and then what was supposed to be her "forever" mom in Jana. She is the reason I adopted my daughters.
Gillian was 8 when she died and has memories, but there was so much more that she did not have time to learn, history, how to handle the future, how to shave your legs, etc, etc.
At first I just could not mention Jana without tears, but now while they are here, I try to bring her up and relate the current to her history as often as I can, trying to impress in them her story, to help them recall it easier.
But there are also very real practical matters that girls growing up need help with and tonight we attacked a few of them. We meant to have spa night, but instead got held up trying to remove all excessive facial hair! Now men probably have no clue as to the work we do to try to make ourselves look gorgeous, but it is work!
Gillian is much more aware of the girlie kind of things.
I think I forget to do them, so my girls don't see it in practice and besides all of them are really young! BUT at least at this point they all still think I know what I am doing and will listen and let me help.
So tonight they decided they needed to do something with the caterpillars that double as their eyebrows but did not want to do tweezers and knew they did not want to try waxing. We got it done with some special stuff I had bought at Sally's. They have no idea how nervous I was and if you see them, please don't look too closely. I think all stylists are feeling a shift in the earth's core due to the odd way I did it, but it pleased them.
Tomorrow night we tackle facial scrubs and masks!