So, we’ve been a family of four for one whole year already. Twelve months. Twelve crazy months. It’s been twelve months since we sat in the Family Court trying our best to look decent and respectable so that the scary silent Judge man would let you come home with us. We managed to convince him and suddenly with a signature or two we became your parents, Kira Pie. Just like that. After all the whole tedious screening process, this signature was the magic wand of permission. We became yours and you became ours.
Today is your adoption day and we celebrate that you are part of our little tribe. We are your forever ever family and this is worth celebrating BIG TIME but we also grieve the loss of your first family. We weren’t first, but we are forever. We may still be waiting for some official documents to prove it for reals, but you are miraculously our own little one.
Yes, I’m sure I’ve been sprouting my own mom-isms for the longest time, but now my three year old little boy is following suit. I like to think that most of what I say around my kids on a daily basis is very affirming, life-giving, extremely patient and downright hilarious, but here are some of the phrases that my darling little one has chosen to drop into conversation these days:
– ‘Mom, can you do me a favour?’ (followed by make me a bottle/wipe my bottom/hold my shoe for a minute)
– ‘Mom, listen to what I’m saying.’
– ‘Mom, I don’t like how you’re talking to me.’
– ‘Kira, I said stop it. You are making me upset. Come here now.’ (To his 15 month old sister)
I’m not so proud of some of these (especially my cross mom tone is imitated), but here are two of the more impressive phrases he’s picked up from his mama:
– ‘I want to watch the Michael Jackson video again. Please.’ (Of course my boy. MJ is the greatest performer who ever walked this earth. Why yes, let’s watch ‘The way you make me feel’ at least twice more.)
And the winner:
– ‘This is my clavicle.’ (His physio mom is very proud, but Dad thinks the other kids will make fun of him at school.)
My boy is growing up too fast! Slow down little one, slow down.
I answered a few fun questions for Becoming you and it was featured on their blog this week (blush) and I thought I’d reblog it here too. Thank you Kathryn for being so lovely.
Love makes a family
A few of my favourite things:
Spontaneous sloppy smooches from the kids
Sleeping baby cuddles
Being summoned to family hugs by our three year old – ‘Family hug happening now!’
Hot tea, especially when delivered to my bed in the morning by my awesome tea-making husband
Working my way through a to-do list
Salted caramel scoops from the Creamery
Slap chips with that tomato sauce that stains your fingers pink. Yes.
Sneaky flat white dates with my man while the kids are at school
Playdate afternoons that turn into five kids in the bath and a glass of wine
That Granny & Grandpa live down the road
I’m having a pretty good reading month – my ‘Most of us like to read books sometimes’ book club girls will be proud…
‘Adoption Conversations – what, when and how to tell’ – highly recommended for parents who are thinking through age appropriate ways to share your kid’s story with them.
‘The Number’ by Jonny Steinberg which gives insight into prison gangs at Pollsmoor.
‘Kisses from Katie’ which is an inspirational biography by a young American girl who has made Uganda her home and is in the process of adopting thirteen young girls. So real and so challenging. Read it.
My littlest one to start saying ‘Mama’ because it’s all ‘Daddy, Daddy, Daddy’ at the moment (and ‘woof’)
My kids’ new birth certificates – come on, Home Affairs!
To be a good mom and wife and to teach my kids to be kind
To grow accustomed to our stipled walls that taunt me every day
To shake off any compassion fatigue lurking in my bones and seek social justice in our city
To be spontaneous again – it’s so much harder with kids
Mostly clothes decorated with snot and food stains.
All you need is love. Cheesy cliché, but it’s true.
So, I was reminded the other day that this time last year we were eagerly anticipating the arrival of our daughter. This time last year we hadn’t met you yet, dearest one, but now we’re family and I am your Mom and Dad is your Dad and Ilan is your besotted brother.
December 2013 was a flurry of home visits, interviews, book reviews, psychometric tests, police clearance requests and the tricky family profile (‘how to self-promote just a little, in a creative way’. Super tough.). Then suddenly you arrived on the scene, lovely littlest one. Our agency phoned us one Thursday afternoon in January to say that you were turning three months the next day and that we could meet you that weekend. We could meet you! We had to wait six forever weeks to meet your brother, but we could meet you that very weekend! It all happened so quickly, so very quickly. I hardly had time to wrap things up at work and we hadn’t even told many friends that we were ‘paper pregnant’ yet. So quick, but so perfect. God’s timing is perfect and He knew what he was doing.
It was the strangest feeling in the world to drive to visit you that Saturday. We picked you up and took you to see the monkeys (well, your brother was really the one interested in the monkeys and you liked sleeping). It was hot and it was surreal. I carried you in a wrap on my chest. You were so teeny and as light as a feather and I held you close to my heart. Strangers told me how cute you were and they were right.
Our love grows for you every single day and although you are still so tiny, you are now a walking, talking, sandwich-gobbling, ‘hey, that’s my toy!’ kind of fifteen month old. When will you say ‘Mama?’ I keep asking you little one. Ilan says ‘Friday’ and maybe he is right.
I love hugs. Who doesn’t? I have a super cuddly three year old who lavishes me with cuddly love and I know I’m one of those lucky moms in the hug department so I shouldn’t really complain, but I’d still love MORE. Little boys grow up too fast and so I need to capitalise right this very minute while hugging mom is still sort of cool. I have a few tricks up my sleeve when it comes to this, so I thought I’d share what I do to get my little one to hover in my embrace for more than a second. Here they are:
1. Hold and release. Enjoy a good deep squeeze and then loosen on up. No one likes to feel trapped in a hug, least of all a little boy. Release him before he wriggles way and you might buy yourself some time.
2. Secrets. Tell him you want to whisper a secret into his ear. He has to come close for this, he probably has to even sit on your lap. Bravo, now you just need a nice loooong secret to keep him there.
3. Be the hug monster. Little boys love monsters and moms of little boys like hugs. There we go.
4. Be the tickle monster. A fit of giggles can be very exhausting. Your child may need to collapse in your arms to recover. (Bear in mind that being a tickle monster can also be very exhausting. Especially if this game is played on repeat.)
5. It’s all about timing. Hugs happen best when your little one is sleepy or when he is trying to buy some time before bed or when you are hiding under the duvet together and waiting for Dad to come and find you.
6. Start a family hug tradition. This is the flavour of the the week in our home at the moment. Ilan summons us for a family hug by shouting, ‘Family hug happening now’. We are often summoned at inconvenient times but I’m game if it means I get a hug from my boy.
Voila. There you have it. The easy peasy guide to getting hugs from your three year old. (Sometimes they work, sorry no guarantees!)