Thursday, September 07, 2006
A Princess Lives Here Too
Reading back over my posts , it may seem as if I am the mother of one.I am not. I have an incredible, funny precocious daughter also.Her name is Macy,and although I am slightly prejudice.Once you meet her, you won't likely forget her. When you have a child with learning issues it sometimes becomes a balancing act and quite often the scale tips in their direction. It is not something they have ever been aware of or anyone else has ever noticed. But I must confess that in times of idleness or right before sleep my mind is more often dwelling on an issue involving my son rather than my daughter. They are so alike in so many ways, considering they are not my bio children or bio siblings. In fact, it would never cross anyone’s mind that either of those things were the case when seeing or meeting them. For one, they look just like my husband and I . They also look more alike than most genetically linked siblings. Both of their adoptions went very smoothly and each one took exactly 9 months from application to bringing them home. They were from the same orphanage, which we had requested. They are truly best friends and we have very little sibling rivalry. Here is where they differ. While my son was malnourished at adoption, did not talk until very late and did not walk until he was 18 months old, my daughter was the polar opposite. She spent two months longer than he did in the orphanage, but she was fat and sassy from day one. When we met her at 8 months old, she was already trying to walk, she was trying to talk and her outgoing personality was already front and center. By the time we brought her home at eleven months, she was walking . By the time we arrived home with her , having spent 5 days with us ,she was already saying Momma, Dada and ball. In English. And she hasn’t stopped talking since. She is self motivated and competitive. She has a passion for learning and soaks up everything like a sponge. At age 3, she sat at the dining room table for hours until she mastered writing her entire name because her brother was writing his. Finally. At age 5. At age 4 she decided she needed to learn to take a shower on her own. By the end of the week, she did. She can do about anything on the computer and mastered my digital camera so well, we bought her one of her own. She takes better pictures than her Dad. She is almost obsessed with drawing and art and will produce mass quantities of pictures that you can actually recognize everything that she has drawn. She was highly insulted last year at age 4, that she could not go ahead and start kindergarten. Telling me that quite indignantly that any rule that just went by your age and not when you are ready was ridiculous. (her words exactly).All summer she was worried that kindergarten would not be hard enough or that her classmates would be far behind her. Really, we had quite a few conversations about kindergarten curriculum. I assured her she had quite a lot to learn and they would find some way to keep her busy. Two weeks before school started she announced that she had to learn to read before her first day, so we began that night some intense Reading 101 at her direction. Two days later she had read through the entire collection of Dick and Jane. She loves school more than any child I have met. She is trying to decide between being a veterinarian, a dentist, a photojournalist or an artist when she grows up. She also recognizes that her brother is not quite like other older brothers. She’ll tell me that Riley just has trouble with words sometimes. She also is very compassionate that he is also behind her in academics despite being 2 years older. God surely placed a sister like her in Riley’s life on purpose, because not only does she just naturally help him but she also pushes him to keep up with her. She can carry on a quite adult like conversation with you about heaven and souls, recite every school, road and child safety rule ever written, the story line and moral of every Disney movie ever produced and critique her wardrobe and yours like a What Not to Wear Episode. She amazes, confounds and delights me everyday. With a little frustration, deep sigh and eye roll thrown in. On both of our sides. I am sure she is like most other 5 year old girls. Or 5 year olds in general. I really don’t have a basis for comparison. Comparing her to my son is not fair to either of them. Or to myself. But you can see why I tend not worry about her or her way in the world. I am not sure I would have the energy to. She makes being her parent very easy. I needed easy the second time around. So did her brother. I just wanted anyone contemplating or in the process of adopting from Russia to know that spending time, a year or more in an orphanage doesn’t always dampen the spirit. Without parents, without love and attention , without so many of those essential things does not mean the child’s own natural resiliency, strength and light will not shine through. It is possible to come through it unscathed and emerge a butterfly from the start. My son is just as much a blessing and full of light and personality. It just took him a little longer to emerge from his cocoon. You will be lucky to parent a child of either. I feel double blessed to have one of each. They have made us appreciate the differences and similarities more than we ever would have, together they have opened our eyes to relishing each accomplishment and to not take a single thing for granted. We know that the journey to an end can be more rewarding than crossing the finish line and sometimes veering off the path and not finishing can be more fun. That being the best ,while personally satisfying, is not mandatory.
My son may always need me a little more, my daughter a little less.
They each think they are my favorite. That’s the way it should be.
As long as it feels equal to them.
Or maybe it is equal just in different ways and times.
I guess mothering or being a Mom cannot be weighed or measured.
Except by how it fills your heart.
Your mind.
Your soul.


Blogger MMrussianadoption said...

Even in biological families siblings can be so different from each other. It really is amazing how all children are unique in their own ways.

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