A little Adoption Rant

Adoption Peeve Rant: 

My peeve is this, when someone, even 50 years later, still regularly introduces their son or daughter, as "This is my adopted son......" or "This is my adopted daughter......". 

Especially someone in a high profile position, who makes that distinction regularly....and the introduction usually includes race, and place of origin as well.  

 It makes me all like "GAAAH!".   

Adoption is a PAST TENSE VERB, not an adjective!!  

Their culture of origin should be respected (and even embraced), they should know about their adoption, and their race is a part of who they are.  Those things need to be acknowledged and celebrated  throughout their life.....but our children are not the sum total of those factors.  Do they constantly need us reminding them, in front of others, that they are different?  A different sort of son or daughter?

The word "adoption" describes how that child came into your family it does NOT forever become their title.  It does NOT describe them as a person, or describe their position in your family. 

We don't go around saying stuff like,

"This is my caesarean section son" 

"This is the fruit of my loins daughter" 

"This is my IVF son" 

"This is my 'I pushed for four hours' daughter" 

...so why do we not find it strange when people do this with adopted children (especially into adulthood)?

I wonder how people would respond if we started introducing all our children by describing how they came into our family, or the situations surrounding their birth?  

Would you introduce your child as:

"This is my 'We got frisky in the back of a pick up truck' son" or

"This is my 'oops, the condom broke' daughter" 

Not likely.  If you do, you have issues. 

Would we introduce our daughter for 50 years as  "This is my premature NICU daughter"

Do you honestly think a person wants to be referred to as "my adopted son" their whole life? Do we not think that would make our child feel like a second rate heir?  Do we want them to feel like they get our second class love? 

I will introduce all of my children as either "this is my son" or "this is my daughter" because that's what they are, regardless of how they came into the world, and into our family. 

I'm proud of them, and love how God brought them into our family through the gift of adoption, I will continue to talk about and advocate for adoption.....but they are now simply and truthfully "my child". 

 Obviously two of my kids look nothing like me, and if someone wants to come up with their own conclusions (even incorrect ones) I don't actually care. If they are genuinely curious and want to inquire more, I am happy to give them situation appropriate answers. 

 I'm obviously not trying to hide the fact that a couple of my kids are adopted, from them or anyone else.  I see adoption as a beautiful thing, not as something shameful, or secret, or a second best attempt at being a parent.....BUT we have to be careful how our own kids view the word "Adopted" and how their identity is formed (or preferably not formed) around that.   Constantly referring to them as "my adopted son" is a great way to make them feel either indebted, or resentful.   

So here's the thing....

I am my kid's Mom.  I'm not someone merely pretending to by their Mom, or acting as a life long babysitter.  I'm just their Mom, no more, no less.  

They are "my child".


Hobo Town and Harvest Time

Every once in a while, all of my kids enter into their own little imaginary world
Although their imaginary worlds tend to create all kinds of creative mess, 
it really is bliss (for me).

The Kidlets spent three whole days in the world they created.  I actually have no idea what it was they were playing....but it looked like a hobo town to me. 

A very well armed hobo town. 

One you wouldn't want to just sneak up on,
 hoping for a cup of coffee from their fancy, broken, garage sale coffee maker they had drug out of the garbage bin.

It looks like they also might be signalling for more small hobos to join their ranks. 

I'm not sticking around long enough to find out. 
They scare me. 

One year ago today, after several months of working, wondering, waiting, glitches, and set backs, this little face popped up in my email inbox.  
Our official "Child proposal". 
Our match.
Without a doubt in our minds we replied 
"We will pursue this child, we intend to make him our son. "
I think it was a miracle that we would even *know* or trust enough to sign those papers for a child we'd never met.
I can't explain how we both knew this was our son, but we did.  I can't even begin to explain it.
I was willing to go to the ends of the earth to find him, 
and I'm so glad we did.

It was nothing short of a gift of God's grace, provision, and providence...
in our life and his. 

A beautiful, life filled, joy bringing gift.

I still find it amusing that the name given to him in China was "Qiu" meaning Autumn/ harvest.  
Somehow this time of year is significant, marking not only his name but most major milestones and transitions in his life.  
(Including his birthday which is coming up in a couple weeks!)

His "birthday", 
his abandonment/ finding as a toddler, 
a couple different major transitions between foster care and orphanages, 
and his forever parents claiming him as their own
all happened during harvest season.

I'm not one to read too much into things like that,
but this time of year does cause me to pause, give thanks, remember, and celebrate all that the Lord has done in his life....and will continue to do. 

Harvest 2013 has officially begun.

Soli Deo Gloria,


Just Cece

My beautiful Miss Cece, growing up too fast.
Seriously, she was the baby...and now she's a full fledged little girl. 

This little one has kind of gotten lost in the mix lately.
She's still the youngest but was bumped from the "newest"...
and in many ways even "youngest" position.  
That might be easier to handle if you lose your "baby of the family" position to an actual baby.  
When you're bumped by a brother who is bigger than you, who plays with your toys, takes a lot of mom's time, and doesn't always fight fair...
it can be a lot for a little girl to handle.  Not that she and Elijah don't make great play mates most of the time, and I know she adores him....but my princess has had to re orient herself a bit, and get accustomed to having some competition. 

This year my super compliant, easy toddler has morphed into a naughty mischievous, high maintenance three year old.   I don't know if was the change in dynamics or just a natural phase she's going through....like hitting the terrible twos a year late, but this little one keeps me on my toes these days.  

She is a spunky little sweet heart.  Even under the frequent grumpy attitude is a girl who loves to "mother" her brothers, to snuggle, and to show affection.  She has a soft and tender heart.

And really gorgeous eyes.

My biggest daily challenge with her health right now is her chronic eczema.  It's just always, always there...all over.  I lotion her from head to toe about three times a day (even her ear lobes and eye lids) and apply heavy duty medicine twice a day.  Her itchy, scratchy sores are made more complicated by other chronic health issues.  Constant vigilance can leave my nerves a little bit ragged sometimes.  Even in the heat of summer she is usually wearing leggings with socks, and often a long sleeved shirt as well.  

Words like "high viral load" and "elevated liver enzymes" weigh heavy on my heart some days, because there is nothing I can do about it.  It seems there's nothing anyone can do about.  Increasing fatigue, moodiness, excessive skin problems....all signs of an insidious virus making her body and liver work so much harder than it should.  That and so many other "unknowns" stacked against her, can leave me struggling to lay down my fears.  Despite it all I know she is here, and alive, and in our family for a purpose....even affliction has purpose, even though I may never fully comprehend why. 

I know that it is doing a work in my own heart though.
Trust, fear, control, letting go, frustration, patience, selfishness, grace.

Despite it all, she has a smile like no other, and a giggle that bubbles and overflows like a bottle of champagne being opened. 
She is my Lovey.  

I am so thankful for this little Princess, and the privilege of being her mommy.  
She most certainly still has her Daddy wrapped around her little finger.

She is a precious little treasure, and I sometimes still can't believe that she's forever ours. 

Soli Deo Gloria,


It's that time of year again

The combines are all ready to go.  The fields are ripening more each day.
I'm trying to psych myself up for busy season, which isn't working so well since it kind of feels like all of life is busy season.  It's all perspective though, in a couple weeks I'll think this was pretty slack.

I'm not sure how many hours, if any, I'll log into farm operations this year.   I wouldn't mind trading a day with the howler monkeys for a day sitting in the utter quiet, boring ,solitude of a combine cab.  

Either way...
single parenting season is upon us. 
Just lone Ranger me and the Kidlets. 
Good times....good times. 

Peas waiting for harvest

My best little raspberry picker, and notorious berry thief.  

 Crab apple jelly, and strawberry/ rhubarb jam.

I'm so thankful for my biggest girl and the great helper she is.  
Here she is enthusiastically, begrudgingly snapping beans.
...well, where she may lack in consistent eagerness she makes up for with quality of work accomplished.  

It's that time of year again.
The garden is in full production.
The days are getting slightly shorter.
We are starting to wrap our minds around another year of home schooling three kids, and buying supplies for one child in regular old public schooling.  We're an eclectic, odd mix as far as education goes right now.  Which is ok, because my kids are a pretty eclectic and odd too. 

Harvest season is upon us.
There is something about harvest that I love.  All the momentum, the focus, and the nostalgia of decades filled with the same sights, and smells.  There is also something that I dread about this harvest season....
the signal that summer is pretty much done. 

...and I will not speak of the season that comes next. 


We miss them already

It's been a couple weeks since our summer house guests left. 
I miss them already, 
and our visit seemed short this year.
I guess three weeks is a long time to have two extra people around...
but it's usually the only time in the year we get to see them. 

My husband and his sister, one year apart in age.  Separated as kids...reunited about 25 years later, now good friends who talk on the phone all the time and text even more.  
We are glad Brook and her son have been able to make the trek up here from the Washington state for the past four summers.

 Brook knows better than anyone, after all the time she's spent living with us, that we are an imperfect family.  We are washed in grace and she loves us well, despite our rough edges. 

Our nephew may be 12 now but he's not too big for a snuggle with his Mama.
My sister in law is such a great Mom.  She is the rock star of single moms toughing it out, working hard, advocating for her son (who is marvellously quirky), and always doing what's best for him. 

He was so sweet to his newest little cousin.

Of course Cece sill adores him.  Actually that might be an understatement. 

The feeling may be mutual.

I love this kid.  I'm thankful that he's a part of our life, and that we get to see him grow up. 
We all miss them already...
and look forward to another summer visit next year.


Our week at Family Camp


For  the fifth summer in a row we spent a week enjoying "Family Camp" at a local Bible camp.  This was the fourth summer that we've had my sister in law Brook and her son with us. 

A few of my family members were also camping nearby for the week.  
Grandpa even brought a quad to shuttle kids around on.  

A highlight for my kids is the "tuck shop" where they spend their hard earned money on all kinds of sweet treats.

Elijahs favourite was the popcorn.  Cece preferred icecream. 

It's been an unusually cool wet summer this year, but it warmed up enough for a few afternoons at the beach.

The Hubby got some quality sailing time in.  This is our new little boat.  We sold our big Tanzer 22 last fall to fund our Mexico trip, but then came across this little gem being sold online for $400.  It took a little TLC but is worth so much more than what we paid for it.  Sail boats seem to be our most effective savings accounts.  Buy them cheap, fix them up, have some fun and then make a buck. 

Just big enough for Dad and a kid.  Roman is the biggest sailing fan, 

and adrenaline junkie.

Silas prefers to play.

Headed to the beach with all the essentials. 

There were a lot of activities to keep the kids happily entertained.  One afternoon we had a bicycle parade.

The kids all decorated their bikes and themselves. 

Elijah wasn't so sure.  He was pretty convinced we were all going crazy.

Another activity was the tug-o-war.
We were on "team yellow"

It's a good thing they had Elijah on their team, I don't know that they would have won without all that enthusiasm.

Lots of camping food.