Sunday, March 3, 2013

Family, friends and a pink shirt...

 This last week was crazy busy with our "youngest big" Kelsey coming for a visit with our little grandson. They went home on Friday and then friends came from Victoria for the weekend. It was a great week, full of laughs, moments of sweet snuggles with the little man thoughts and conversations about life and adoption, funny childhood stories and about "our stories". Adoption for decades was somewhat clandestine and secretive. Here we were sharing funny stories and realizing we were Miss G's age when we first met...(our men rarely keep up but Ian had some winners this weekend) It had been at least 43 years that we had known each other and funny thing is our "history" is ours. We both married and then there is "history" that includes our husbands.  Children were raised and now we had two littles making new "history" but with huge gaps in their "first years" history.

Adoption has changed, for many families they have contact with birth family, not as often in international adoption but definitely in domestic adoption. Children grow up in schools able to share that they are adopted, and teachers modify assignments that focus on heritage and birth. Organizations are born out of the desire to build relationships with other adopted families and that is a blessing. The Internet has linked us into relationships with families that I treasure and I cannot imagine having to walk this road without them. These cyber friends get it. They understand in a way that I cannot explain or describe. I value the wealth of information we have as a team. Alone we are coping, together even if we never met face to face, we have travelled a road together and we are doing it...winning..strength in numbers.

It is hard some days to protect your kids from "life" but not shelter them.
Do you understand what I mean...protect vs shelter?

This last week was also Anti Bullying Week,. with a special day to wear pink and talk about being a buddy vs a bully and what bullies looked like. In our home, this year it took on a whole new meaning. Miss G wanted to know if kids that called her black were bullies. I stood in my kitchen catching my breath as I had honestly by passed it in my head. She was in grade one, and I was more concerned about finding her a pink shirt and get her out the door with a quick explanation on anti bully day and instead I was stopped in my tracks.

Had someone called her black, did someone hurt her, did she beat some kid up (she can hold her own) because they said something. My head was like shooting stars...

So I decided we needed to properly explain "what is a bully"  "What are differences?" and "What is respect?"
It was something that I must have talked to my bigs about, but they were always the type of kids on the receiving end and or the ones that walked away and not actively the bully type, so I was exploring new territory. So here was a kid that was a little fire cracker if she was wronged and I had to make it understood from both the bully and the bullied. She needed to understand both roles in order to make her own judgement and perception and to chose to do the right thing, I am not always there to protect her from things kids say (and adults). I will not shelter her away at home either. Fine line, how much do i tell her, how much do I leave out. What is the impact of bullying?

So we talked about respect, we talked about being different, we talked about examples of how to deal with a bully and we talked about how it feels to be bullied.  It was a conversation that was forced upon me because of timing and school but i think i was negligent in truly making her aware of the many differences that cause people to go down the path.
She looks the same as her sister, I look different. She looks different from me but I look the same as Kelsey. I like coffee she doesn't, she likes hockey but her friend likes soccer. She loves to wear blue and her sister loves PINK. (understatement)
It's grade one and that all worked for this year. But it won't always be that easy. That is what breaks my heart. One day my girls will be the brunt of another persons joke or ignorance. So I will prepare and gather the right words, I will teach them to respect everyone...I will guide them along life's highway and help them in relationships...and one day I pray racism will be something we read about in history books. Tall order, you bethca.

Please remember to pray for all the kids out there that are feeling threatened, for the kids that are teased, of course it gets worse in the teen years but for kids in general. There are so many things that shape character and some of them out there are not the best choices.
I pray that I will chose choices that build, challenge and direct our girls to be socially and emotionally strong in who they are. Here are some pictures of the fun we had this weekend, kids being kids, and a little west coast sunshine...long awaited...I might add! Thanks Auntie Tracy for being a great photographer, I am actually in one picture instead of being behind the camera!

Swing time in the sunshine

At the beach 

This is Miss G watching the other kids play hockey and wishing it was her...soon!
 Miss P taking a time out in the penalty box for splashing....rain rain go away!
G and Jude 

Yep we are the cutest!!!!
And my favourite picture of all.  Miss P washing her nephew Jude's feet. This picture captured a smile deep within, because the simple acts capture the beauty of our family!

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