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May 20, 2015
bitsofthepast

2 comments

Friendship and Sincerity

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I received a gift the other day from a mom whom I see when I drop of my kids at Tae Kwon Do.  Her son, and my two boys, became friends long ago when I was a teacher, and they attended the same school together.  The three of them have become great friends, and Little Bit gets herself right into their mischief too.

The mother is from Korea and very difficult to understand, but that has not stopped our friendship, and has actually helped me to become a better listener.  When I have to focus so much on what she is trying to say, I block everything out, and concentrate solely on our conversation.  She has recently gone through a very difficult time, and I have tried my best to help her in many different ways.  I feel like it isn’t enough most days, and wish I could do more.  The other day she surprised me with the most touching gifts.  I know she cannot afford much as a single mom, and honestly, I never help her to receive something in return, so I know these gifts were from the heart.  She said I needed to relax so she got me some lollipops from Korea, some facial masks, a hair tie and a tea mug.

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Words cannot express how this made me feel.  I have a sincere and loving friendship that has crossed cultural boundaries, and has sparked love and understanding.  I am so grateful for the chance to know her and her son, and be a “family” with them.

Thank you so much for the heartfelt gifts and the sincerity behind them!

I feel so loved.

Love,

Suzy

May 20, 2015
bitsofthepast

no comments

Crossing Over

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Tonight, Middle Bit crossed over from Cub Scout to Boy Scout.  We are so very proud of him.  He accomplished all of his badges, and received his Arrow of Light.  He is truly an amazing boy, and when asked what his favorite project this year was, he announced to the crowd, the puppet show/making project.  This was a big surprise to many, as he is so full of energy, and I think we were all expecting him to say running up the mountain!  But, it did not surprise me.  Never surprises the mama, does it?  He loves to create, and he loves to act, so this really was the perfect activity.

As for us, we are so excited because now, both Oldest Bit and Middle Bit have Boy Scouts on the same night!!! No longer two separate nights for us!

It is the little things in life, that make us so happy!

Love,

Suzy

May 19, 2015
bitsofthepast

4 comments

The Weekend and Monday

It was an extremely busy week last week, and the weekend was no exception!

Saturday, I hosted a mother/daughter tea at our church.  The tea is one of our major events every year, and this time, I decided to use it as a fundraiser.  We raised money for a local women’s shelter and a couple of women who go every Monday and host a movie night.  They provide ice cream and a movie for the families who live in the shelter, but more importantly they have grown relationships and trust.  One of the women I asked to speak for us, and let me tell you, she is amazing.  Truly, I may even do a post solely on her one day if she lets me!  The tea went well, and was so much fun.  But it was a great deal of work, and I was exhausted by the evening!

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That same day, the boys and my husband participated in a Lego convention in which they actually submitted a build!  Pretty cool, but also very long day for them!  just short of 13 hours at the convention, but they had so much fun!

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Yesterday, we all began to feel a little off.  Well, my husband felt yucky on Saturday, Oldest Bit yesterday, and I have been yucky all day today!  But that did not stop me from doing a ton of laundry!  How does this stuff accumulate so very quickly!

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Today I also read a blog post that has greatly affected me, and I wonder what I can do.  Puts so many things into perspective when I am feeling tired and overwhelmed.  Please click here to read it.

I hope you are all enjoying your spring.  It has been raining nonstop for days here.  I refuse to wish it away, since we are part of the drought stricken west.

Love to you all,

Suzy

May 7, 2015
bitsofthepast

2 comments

Yarn Along-Making Progress

Joining Ginny at Small Things for Yarn Along

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I am finally making progress on the afghan my son wanted me to make.  If you remember, I think it started in February, but I have not been excited about the colors.  Green and Brown.  Ugh!  But I only have a few more rows and I hope to show you all the finished product next week!  As for the book, I had another recommendation from a friend for Ladies of Covington Send There Love.  Such a great and sweet book about older women who have all been widowed and are starting over.  So wonderful!

I cannot wait to see what you all have been doing!

Love,

Suzy

May 5, 2015
bitsofthepast

8 comments

Adoption: The Hard Truth for Some

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Many people have said to me, “Oh my goodness, you adopted!  What an amazing thing!  Your daughter must be so happy that you saved her!”

When I hear this statement and ones similar, about us saving her, or how amazing this must be for us, I cringe just a little, and realize that before we picked her up and brought her home, I too had this romantic version of adoption in my head.  I had my thoughts focused to how happy she will be that we took her from the awful situation she knew.  That she would love and hug us everyday.  That she would quickly and seamlessly integrate into our family, and never look back or have thoughts of the horrible place she came from.

Oh how reality hits, and hits like a brick sometimes.

On the day we swooped her up in our arms, we quickly realized that our story would be quite different than the others that were with us.  First, she was older, second she was more vocal.  None of which are negative, but when adopting can be difficult.  She would scream from the top of her lungs in public place that she hated us.  Because it was in Chinese, we did not know what she was saying at first, but learned from our guide.

When we brought her home, all her anger and frustrations was directed on me, which makes it difficult for the bonding to occur. I will admit to distancing myself, and diving right into work, which looking back, I have realized that was the worst decision I could have made.  Hindsight, is a wonderful thing.

But, lets fast forward five years later, to today.  You would think that all of the hate and negative behavior would be unlearned, and the statement of, “She must be so happy”, would be true on some level.  I guess maybe on some level it might be, but she is still angry.  She tells me she hates me and wishes for a different mother at least once a week.  She tells me she only loves her dad.  She tells me she is an orphan and the orphanage nannies were so much better than I could be.  This always makes me shocked, because she came from an orphanage with 2,000 kids, the pictures told of no bathing, lice, and filthy conditions.  When we got her, we quickly discovered the bruises on her body, where a cane would strike her.  She has mental bruises from sexual abuse.  She went through PTSD therapy for two years, and is going back again, since the relapse seems to be causing her little mind so much anguish.  She tries to gain control so she will not be hurt, like she has been so terribly hurt  before.  Her tantrums are not the screaming and stomping feet kind.  They are kick holes in the wall kind, they are the kind of tantrums in which she tries to let out all the hurt she feels from feeling strange and alone.  She is not happy we took her from all of her pain, because now she has to think about it, which can be worse for a little girl who fights so hard.

The comments above make me laugh loudly, because she is the one who has opened our eyes to the hard reality trauma can cause.  She is the brave one, that keeps going even when she does not want to.  She is the one that faces all her demons, and wants to love, but just cannot bring herself too.  I recently talked with a gentleman from our church who adopted a little girl from Korea in 1971.  He is now 80 years old, and his daughter is estranged.  He tries on a daily basis to get into contact with her, but she will not talk to anyone in her family.  He said looking back there were warning signs, and in the 1970s it was still taboo to talk of such things.  He looks back and thinks of all the ways he failed, but has also realized he raised a little girl who must be a good citizen because she has never needed money, which he still tries to send, he has never received a call from the police etc.  This is the way he consoles himself, and gives himself comfort that he believes she is safe.  My husband asked what his thoughts were on helping our child feel loved, and this gentlemen said something that has changed my world forever, “It is not about feeling loved, it is about helping her understand that she is secure.  The love will come after that.”

Oh, security, isn’t that what we all need?  I need to be secure as a mother, my husband needs to be secure as a father, she needs to feel secure as our daughter.  She needs to be secure in herself.  She does not even feel safe in her own mind, constantly on the verge of feeling like she will lose this “good thing” forever.  Must hurt us before she gets hurt.  You know , self preservation.

So how have I changed, that should be the real question.  I now give her baths, rock her to sleep in the rocking chair.  Rub her head, feed her food.  I know this sounds ridiculous for a nine year old, but what would you do for your baby?  How would you help your baby feel safe?  These are things, I should have done years ago.  Again with that hindsight business.  I take her to therapy, I pray with her when she gets angry, because I need that to.  I need to be just as secure that I can parent her, as she needs to be she is our daughter.

I am thankful for this older gentleman who was willing to share his story with me, but my heart breaks for him and his daughter.  His story is now the story that he tells to help others heal, even though he cannot heal.  We still have time to change our stories.  He feels like he is out of time.  He looks at me and says the next time we come over, he wants to show us pictures of his daughter.  Says he takes them out and looks at them every so often, wondering how she is.  A tear comes to his eye, and he hugs me.

What do I want to tell others who have adopted and are struggling?  What is my story?  I do not know yet.  But the man above told me his so that I would have a different one.  So that I can remember that it is so much bigger than me feeling sorry for myself.  It is about a little girl desperate for security.  Grasping for it, and it slipping from her fingers.

She is my baby, and I am her mother.

Thank you for reading this long post.

Have a wonderful day everyone,

Suzy

April 29, 2015
bitsofthepast

1 comment

Thirteen

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Thirteen has always been considered an unlucky number, but I find it very lucky.  I was born on the 13th, and even on a Friday.  I share a birthday with a beloved grandfather who was also born on a Friday.  I have worn the number 13 on a jersey, stayed on the thirteenth floor, and now, I have a thirteen year old!

He is an amazing young man.  The most giving heart, he will make sure no one feels left out.  He can be frustrated with his brothers and sisters, but when one gets hurt, he makes sure all their needs are met.  He is not afraid to be himself.  I find him taking on more and more leadership roles in Boy Scouts and at church.  He can be shy, but will announce from the rooftops that his favorite singer is Johnny Cash, and his favorite instrument is the banjo, which he plays.  When so many kids want to be like the super stars, singers and sports stars of today, he want to be like his grandpas and dad.  He wants to be tough like them, gentlemen who have seen many things and have been strong enough to live through them mentally and physically. Courageous and loving like his grandfathers. He does like basketball, and his favorite player is Kevin Durant, who is giving and courageous.  He is taller than me, can reach things on shelves without using a step stool, but still knows that I am his mother.  He gives me hugs every morning, and I love this more than anything.

I cannot believe that I get to be this young mans mother!  And I think thirteen is going to continue to be a very lucky number indeed.

I love you son, and Happy 13th Birthday!

Love,

Suzy, Mom

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