Friday, April 27, 2012
Monday, April 16, 2012
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Parenting Noah these past almost four years has been an adventure. And I don't mean adventure as in the happy-go-lucky theme park adventure. Our family has travelled a long winding road covered with pot holes, fallen branches, and road kill. Up to a year ago I was on the brink of pulling the mini van over, jumping out of the drivers seat and storming back in the direction I came from with my hands waving in the air yelling, "I GIVE UP!" But then, something happened. Netflix. Netlix and Gilligan's Island.
Jeff and I started watching Gilligan's Island with Sam and Noah about a year ago to help them wind down that hour before bedtime. We began with episode one and each night we would checked off two episodes in our quest to watch all 98.
Always the inquisitive one, Noah asked that first night, "What's this show about?"
Smiling, I responded as I was confident I would never have the chance to voice the synopsis of Gilligan's Island to such innocent ears again. Holding back on my hearty-har-har singing I began to speak with dramatic animation, "Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, A tale of a fateful trip that started from this tropic port, aboard this tiny ship. The mate was a might sailing man, the skipper brave and sure. Five passengers set sail that day on a three hour tour. The weather started getting rough, the tiny ship was tossed. If not for the courage of the fearless crew the Minnow would be lost...the Minnow would be lost. The ship set ground on the shore of this uncharted desert isle with Gilligan, the Skipper too, the millionaire and his wife, the movie star, the professor and Mary Ann. Here on Gilligan's Isle."
Noah grinned at me with a wide open smile. Yep, I had him at 'Just sit right back'.
So we started watching Gilligan's Island and as we did I realized how extremely frustrated I got with Gilligan for messing everything up. Every. Single. Episode!! I don't know if it was my hyper-mothering-I'm annoyed with you- radar or what, but Gilligan just really started to bug the heck out of me...big time! I would pull my hair and yell at the tv. Then I noticed when Noah would do things that got him in trouble I would have the same reaction! I would start to pull my hair and...yell. When I would return to the TV to watch another episode I started to witness the unconditional love the castaways had for each other. Even though Gilligan messed up over 90 rescue attempts, they continued to embrace him in their island family. Everything he did, even though he messed up, he did to be helpful. He was never mean spirited. Or cruel. He did what he did for his people because I know he wanted off that island as much as Ginger or Mary Ann or the Professor did.
And then, like a ton of coconuts, it hit. I am raising my very own Gilligan. He washed the car with a bucket of suds and pebbles because he wanted to surprise me with a clean car. He put a hard boiled egg in the microwave because he wanted to find a more efficient way to reheat and peel hard boiled eggs. He wanted to help with laundry and added "a lot" of soap to make things "super clean" and didn't know it would flood the room and burn up the motor. There are at least 98 more episodes of Noah's troubles and then some! Now, whenever he does something that tries my patience I silently sing the Gilligan's Island theme song before I react.
Awhile back I shared my thoughts with my husband Jeff. Then I asked him, "With Gilligan as our son...are we ever going to get off this island, Skipper?"
He laughed and smiled, "No Mary Ann, I'm afraid we're stuck on this island for the long haul."
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
So, once your child arrives you are allowed one powerful blow to the chisel on the granite for every unanswered question reveled in regards to your child's history. One blow...only one...regardless of how big or how infinitesimal that information is. Because, really, what good would taking twenty whacks to a piece of granite really accomplish or change? At first you'll be taking two, three, even ten whacks a day because that's just how it is the first several months. Their language is so primitive the only thing you will learn are his likes and dislikes, not a whole lot more.
Then things slow down and there may be days you won't even have the need to pick up the hammer. At this point the statue is looking a little dinged up, but still maintaining its integrity. Soon your child will begin to express himself through our spoken tongue. It isn't perfect but it is somewhat understandable. The hammer is once again in hand several times a day as memories surface and are spoken. Some are wonderful...some not so much. Chisel away. One blow...regardless of how big or how infinitesimal that memory is. Because, really, what good would taking twenty whacks to a piece of granite really accomplish or change?
Then things slow down again and the hammer collects a fine layer of dust. The statue is pushed aside, not so much a focal point anymore in your life or the life of the child. You are cruising through this parenting thing. You've got it down. Nothing but smoo.... wait! More memories surface. Significant memories that alter your perspective of what is just and what is unjust in an innocent child's life. You pull out the statue, grasp the chisel, clutch your hammer, and pull your arm back so far that the force of inertia when the hammer meets the chisel would break (you would think) the hardest of surfaces. Once the two meet a small ding the size of all the others appears. Regardless of how much force you landed on the statue, the damage was no more different in size than the one you landed two years ago when you found out he was left handed. You look at your statue...your question mark. It is damaged from reveled history. But for as much damage as has been inflicted on that question mark statue there are still parts that are polished, smooth, and just about as perfect as perfect can be...just like your adopted child.
History has damaged many of our children...some more than others. But the bottom line is that regardless of how many dings and divots history has created in our child, it is up to us as adoptive parents to find the polished, smooth, and just about as perfect as perfect can be in our child. It is our right, our duty, and our honor.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
A moment away from Noah...to reflect on his big brother's birthday 8 years ago....
As I write, it is the early morning hours of February 3rd in Seoul. I have always spent the day before my adopted sons birthdays with thoughts to honor the women who gave birth to them a world away. So today my thoughts are in Sam’s birth land. Eight years ago today a young woman began to feel the pains of labor somewhere in the crowded streets of Seoul. Eight years ago today a young woman was in her final hours of hiding from her family a pregnancy she did not expect or want. Eight years ago today, in Korea, Yoon Jae-Bum became and orphan as his birthmom walked away from her newborn son in a city hospital. Eight years ago today a hero was born in my heart.
Nearly 96% of unwed pregnant women in South Korea choose abortion according to their Ministry for Health, Welfare and Family Affairs. 96%!!
Many people ask, “How could a mother leave her own newborn baby?” I could never...ever...ask that question of Sam’s birthmother. She courageously chose to face social indignation for carrying a child in her womb as a single woman. She chose to be that 4%. She chose to carry our Sam Jae-Bum...the beautiful gift she gave our family...Eight years ago today.
Happy Birthday Sam Jae-Bum.