Monthly Archives: August 2013

I don’t look like you.

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The delicate topic of race. Who would have thought this would be a discussion I would have with my son and not my daughter.

Mr.D is becoming keenly aware of differences in how people look. Not just the obvious stuff, but some pretty specific attributes. When asked the names of his new friends at school he shrugs and then describes their physical appearances instead.

“He is the boy that shows his teeth when he talks.”
“She has yellow hair that bounces when she runs.”
“He is the short kid with brown skin.”

When he was younger he would state the obvious about people.
“That person is really fat.”
“Boy, that person smells.”
“That must be a girl because of the long hair.”

There were quite a few awkward moments that I had to tactfully work around. We are now past that stage of embarrassing statements, but he still makes questionable comments. I then wonder if I am teaching him enough about the world and the people that make it up. Especially, now that he has a sister who clearly does not resemble him.

He does have the tendency to point out any person of Asian decent and compare them to Dragon. At one point if he was in talking range, he would ask them if they were adopted from China. (I quickly put a stop to this line of inquiry.) Mr.D insist that he doesn’t look like me or Hubby. If asked if he looks like his baby sister, he says yes. He compares ears and noses and says they are the same. He says she is “crazy” like him and that makes her look like him. In his opinion, his little sister is almost his mirror image, except for her dark eyes and hair.

Interesting logic.

This leads me to wonder how do others perceive our multi-race family. I have noticed since bringing Dragon home, we as a family, bring more attention to ourselves. On almost every family outing I am approached by a complete stranger who makes a comment about Dragon. I don’t ever recall this happening when Ms.A and Mr.D were small.

It may be just the clerk commenting on how cute she looks or the grandmotherly women who stops me in the parking lot to share the adoption story of her niece. I always appreciate those positive interactions, but then there are others. I have had questions ranging from where she is from, how much did she cost, and even why didn’t I adopt domestically. I try to keep it simple and move on. There has only been one occasion that I just didn’t know what to say, so I walked away. Thank goodness that Dragon did not understand what was going on.

I have a terrible feeling that these episodes will not end and that Dragon will have to endure the ignorance of those strangers who feel the need to question us. Growing up is a hard thing. Adding any adoption issues and race issues is even harder. Hopefully when the time comes and she has questions about race, I’ll have it together enough to answer.

When asked what do I see?

It’s weird to say, but I don’t see her race anymore. It even weirder to tell you that I think she looks like us. Same round face, little ear lobes, cute little nose, poker straight hair. She couldn’t have been a better match. She is the beloved youngest daughter, the very spoiled daddy’s girl, the “crazy fun” little sister, the very much wanted child.

Dragon describes the year of her birth. Dragon describe her ferocious spirit and drive to survive. Dragon is a symbol of her culture and her race.

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Speech or no speech?

Dragon has qualified for occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy since February of this year. OT and PT began as a weekly appointment to now only a monthly visit. We are so pleased with her progress.

Speech is a whole different disappointing story. We have been on the waiting list for services…waiting and waiting for her number to be called up.

In June I made a call, wanting to know her status. I was told she was number 11 on the list. Dragon is 17 months old and has less than 10 words. It is obvious she is delayed. As a former special education teacher I know the importance of early intervention. I have tried everything possible to enrich her, but I am not a therapist.

I put another call in today. The response was that she is number four on the list.

So the dilemma is…
wait until she gets called up…
or start looking for a private therapist.

Our insurance does not cover private therapy.

Mr.D had great success with all his therapies at the school Dragon is waiting at.

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She has so much to say to us. She gets so quickly frustrated with us. I know that words will open the world for her. Once again, another decision we need to make.

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The summer’s end

It’s the end of summer with school starting this week and yes, I am saying this with a big smile on my face! Ms.A is venturing into the world of middle school, while Mr.D is just starting his career as a Kindergartener. It seems like these last few days of summer were filled with us running around trying to find school supplies (those impossible to find Jumbo size glue sticks and the oh so expensive scientific calculator), clothes and shoes that fit (who knew they would grow so much over summer), and getting activities to work in our school/mommy taxi schedule.

Ms.A has to be at the bus stop by 6:55 in the morning, which has thrown me for a sleep deprived loop. I really need to stay organized in the evening in order to keep my sanity. That means no more leaving dishes in the sink or paperwork to be done for the morning. I haven’t found the perfect routine yet, but I am sure by week two I will have it down pat. Mr.D’s bus arrives at a very reasonable time of 8:20. However, we have been up since 6 ish and honestly I could crawl back to bed for a nap. No luck for me, Dragon is at full steam and ready to start her day. There is not even a chance to sit down for a breather.

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Even though the majority of the household is excited about school starting, there is one little person who does not like the change in routine. Dragon seems a little lost without her big brother and sister to entertain her.

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Yes, that’s her sitting in the dog crate. Her new favorite place to hangout. Just send the parenting awards to my home address. I have a few 8 by 10 frames that need filling.

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17 months of Dragon

What is going on with Dragon lately…

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She is walking. Let me rephrase that. She is running all over the place. She started furniture walking during vacation and when we got home, she just took off. It’s been about three weeks and she is solid on her feet. We are just venturing into crawling up the stairs with mommy closely behind. Going down is a whole different story and we will need to work on that.

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She is officially driving Nala crazy. With her new found independence she seems to always be in Nala’s face. Nala is being very patient with her, but I think I hear her sighing ever once and awhile.

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She has to be securely tethered down if we want her to stay in one place. Go, Go, Go, is her new motto! Although her gross motor skills are just exploding with new abilities, she is also showing vast improvements with her verbal skills. Her current words: Nala, Dadda, Mommie, down, all done, baby, night-night, hi, and bye. She can point out her nose and ears. She can sign: eat, music, up, all done, and more. She knows when I tell her to go upstairs, get her shoes, can fetch certain toys, and loves to dance.

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School is starting for the big kids next week. That means Dragon and I will have plenty of time to have some fun. Ms.A with be starting middle school and dare I say it… Mr.D will be a Kindergartener!

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Can I keep him?

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We went on a family outing to the county fair. A first for our family. Mr.D was in heaven with the barn after barn of beautiful animals (rabbits, poultry, sheep, goats, pigs, cattle, and horses). I had the hand sanitizer out after each barn.

Needless to say, he made a few friends that he wanted to bring home.

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