I finally had another free moment to update the blog, so here goes! One thing for future reference, I will be referring to my children by letters. The eldest daughter will be S, middle daughter will be C, and youngest boy will be P.
Last friday we picked up S (oldest daughter) for our weekend together. Joel and I were both so excited about the time to spend together yet anxious at the same time. The same weekend we had a family wedding that we were involved in on Saturday and the rehearsal was Friday night. We tried to plan for the least amount of stress and overwhelming introductions and family time for S. We picked her up and all went together to the rehearsal dinner. About 3 seconds into the dinner, S used her code word to take a break outside with me. She was being introduced to Joel’s grandparents. Come to find out later that we may have some ageism taking place in our eldest, but on our first day I figured we will deal with that later, even if family members were to be offended.
S and I went outside to a bit and talked about who the people being introduced where and that at dinner Joel, I and S would all be sitting together. Joel came back out we all went back in as a family. Unfortunately we had to wait for all the people for the rehearsal to get there so we were sitting there awhile. 😦 Thank the blessed Lord above, this particular restaurant had color pages for a color contest and books. We all colored together, I colored a picture for S and wrote “I love you”. S colored a picture and then when writing who it was to she asked Joel to spell his name, crossed it out and asked Joel how to spell my name and then gave it to me.
Then it was time to eat. Many, MANY, MANY people there were aware that Joel and I were adopting S and would wave, comment, or come talk to her. She was obviously getting overwhelmed, but I was so proud when she pointed out to me a person she noticed really looking at her and waving at her and telling me that she felt uncomfortable. I reassured her that they were just excited for her but that I would always be by her side. We took 1 or 2 more breaks and she ate a good dinner, well she at something which is good for her bird like eating.
After the dinner, Joel had to go to the actual rehearsal but S and I opted out for some one-on-one time. Instead we went swimming at a local hotel. It was SO much fun! We went in the hot tub, in the pool. S was obviously more comfortable with me and had a ton of questions on her mind. She asked about the house, about her siblings, about Joel and I, and the big questions of the night. What she could do if she didn’t want to take our last name. We talked about how important the connection with her birth family was and how important her connection with her new adoptive family will be. We ended by agreeing to talk again with Joel and the social workers (Update: we spoke with the social workers and S can’t keep her last name and it is important for us to have our kids share our last name. Joel and I have agreed to discuss have S keep her last name as her second middle name)
At the end of the night we drove home, watched a movie and ended up putting S to bed at 11:30 (WAY later than her bedtime, but Joel hardly got to spend any time with her so we decided to do a one-day exception).
The next day we woke up early, had breakfast, went on a walk, and got ready to head out to the wedding. Joel had to be there early for pictures so S and I dropped him off and went out to eat. I got to take S to a restaurant that I had frequented as a child where we ate and played arcade style games. We had so much fun. After lunch we changed clothes and then went to the wedding. They weren’t ready for us (family pictures) so S and I walked around the grounds as the wedding took place at a gorgeous garden. We came prepared with a bag full of activities so we colored and played uno while waiting.
Before the wedding, S and I took a trip to Target. She was insistent that she come with me and not stay with Joel (guess we know who will be her main attachment figure at first). We went there for a lot of reasons, one of which was to get googles. It was necessary as we were going swimming again that night. S got a little upset with me when I said no to a $50 snorkeling kit. We settled on regular googles. Later S asked some heartbreaking questions about what else I would say no to. We talked about wants versus needs and how we would always say yes to needs.
During the wedding, S kept leaning over and asking questions. I would explain things such as why they were doing communion at a wedding, why the bride was the only one that got to wear white, and most importantly that it was OK that Joel walked down the isle with another girl (he was a groomsman). When Joel walked down the isle, S looked at me with wide eyes wondering if I was upset. Throughout the wedding and reception S was full of questions and had a grand old time. Clinking the glasses was her favorite! There were also candy jars that she could fill and had a blast filling them for everyone at the table.
Then Joel, S, and I went swimming at the pool, there was some pushing limits when S didn’t want to leave the pool. After driving home we put her to bed and MAN was I exhausted. I went to bed right after she did!
Sunday was awesome. Church was awesome and I was so excited to introduce my daughter to my church family! Then we got lunch at McDonalds (per her request) and started painting her room. It wasn’t as bad painting with an 8 year old as I thought it would be. She picked PINK pink for her room. If you have never heard of “Drunk Tank Pink” google that and that is the color of our daughter’s room!
Taking her home was hard as we just wanted her to stay with us! Overall, I LOVED having my kid in my house and I cannot wait for when all three live here full time!