What you are about to read is top secret and you must solemnly swear that you will not disclose any of it!
Who am I kidding, you all know I'm an open book.
A few years ago, when I was thrown into the adoption world, I had no idea how naïve I was and how much knowledge I would soon learn. You see, besides all the attachment and childhood trauma we learned about, there's a whole new jargon for adoptive parents. There's new words,nicknames for words, and abbreviations for words. It is sometimes like being a spy.
And since I've now been in it long enough to feel like James Bond, I thought I might give you a few OO7 tips.
In some circles, saying the words "gotcha day" will get you hog tied and tar feathered.
Some people think it implies that the child was kidnapped on the day they met their families. Just don't say these words in groups with adult adoptees and you'll be okay.
If you plan on asking about vaccines or whether or not to circumcise your new son, I have two requests.
1. Make sure I'm added into the group.
2. Send me a pm ten minutes before you post. This will give me time to pop some popcorn and pull up a chair. I have to get comfortable for this show. It won't be pretty but darn it I just won't be able to look away!
Really though, ask these types of questions in very small kind trust worthy groups. Believe me! I learned the hard way.
There's a phrase in the adoption community that goes something like this, "Adoption isn't all rainbows and unicorn farts." I'm not sure who coined that phrase but it's taken off like the unicorn's farts have enough force to send a jet into orbit.
A lovely visual, I know.
Basically, it's a warning to adoptive parents to be honest about adoption so that new or potential adoptive parents have a honest idea of what adopting will be like.
Adoption has a lot of loss involved. It is NOT all rainbows, though there are rainbows. Some of the most beautiful rainbows I've ever seen! However, families will need to push through the hard muck to get to the rainbows.
Touching u.s. Soil means she is now a u.s. Citizen. This was in L.A. She wasn't so pleasant at our next stop. Lol
Our little Iris Mei has been home a month today.
She'd been fairly decent on the plane home, only crying for ten minutes every few hours. By the time She flew into our home state, She was tired, confused, and was just done with this new life that had been handed her!
We touched down and she started crying and has pretty much been crying ever since. Not really, but that is how it has seemed, at times.
She cried all the way through the airport and she screamed bloody murder while we waited for Baba to come with the car.
I had three people stop and ask if they could try to comfort her.
"No! She's been traveling for over 21 hours and we're not even done yet so back off!"
Haha... I didn't actually say that but I'm sure I gave them a dirty look. Those poor people.
There is really no place like home! We were so glad to be home.
Iris Mei totally surprised us by smiling at the kids. Rainbows.
It was so unexpected because on the plane, if a child walked by, she would scream at them.
We all showered and got settled in.
Iris went right to sleep. She slept all through the first night in her forever bed. With us, her forever family, in awe that she was really FINALLY here!
Her first few days weren't too bad. She had a couple of hours that she would cry.
We took her to her first pediatrician appointment the fourth day home. It was awful! She screamed the entire time.
It was very traumatic for her.
That seemed to be the beginning of a few really rough weeks.
She didn't know what she wanted. She'd push and arch to be put down then scream to be back up.
It was, and still sometimes is, like taking care of a newborn. She doesn't have any language skills so we're constantly guessing and trying different things to console her.
She decide that second week that Chu was the enemy or competition for my attention and she started hitting him when he's gotten near. Poor sweet Chu...
She does eat excellently well and when she eats we get a break. But eating is also the problem.
I've made mistakes these last few weeks and one was this - Lydia wanted a cheerio and I absent mindedly said, "Just grab one of Iris'."That sent Iris into a tail spin and now she's hyper-protective of her high hair tray. She throws her arms out to cover it if anyone walks by.
Our poor girl has known so much starvation and her eating issues can be very frustrating. Chu has eating issues but he's come so far that we've forgotten how bad the issues were when he was first home. Iris panics if anyone even walks within a few feet of our kitchen. You see, she's so afraid someone's eating and not sharing.
One night, I went up and looked over a precious disk of pictures from when she first came to House of Grace. These pictures are breathtakingly sad. I won't share the worst of them.
Heavenly Father was giving me a good smack. "Lacy, this precious soul that I've entrusted you with needs your compassion! She's a fighter, a survivor! She knows only the hard of this world and you'll have to be patient while teaching her the soft."
And thank heavens, Heavenly Father blessed me with my China momma friends who were honest, for not just writing about rainbows and unicorn farts, because it helped prepare us for the hard! No, it's still harder living it then hearing it but we know that what's she's going through is very normal.
We are wading through the muck.
Some days I might only get 30 minutes of rainbows but gosh darn it! I'm taking pictures of those rainbows and I know there's so many more to come.
Here's some rainbow pictures from the last month...
Iris with Violet. Iris adores her non-Asian sibs. ;)
She's so excited to eat.
"Oh, it's so fluffy! I like it! I have to have it! It makes me laugh."
I think she was on to me. She knew I was leaving that box out to entertain her while I got some laundry done.
The first didn't go this well. ;)
And back to our "AdoptionJargon for Dummies"
PA- means you've been "pre-approved" to adopt a most worthy precious darling child that will challenge you and make you grow.
HS- Home study... They are not only studying your home but your medical and mental state.
They may also take a sample of your toe jam and and send to NASA for an inalisis. ;)
1800a- this involves fingerprinting for immigration saying you "might" be worthy of bringing a foreign child into the states.
Dossier- A 400 pound book of paperwork and ever detail of your life, including the toe jam inalisis, that will be sent to China.
Loa- by the time you get this. You'll forget what loa stands for but you'll still fall to your knees with happy tears on your face and praising the good lord. (Long run on sentence intended because at this point your Cray cray)
Then you'll pick yourself up off the ground because you'll realize you still have to wait 3-4 months to get your child.
You'll check "yes you accept this child" that China has approved you to adopt and send that LOA paper right back in the mail.
You'll start packing and nesting!
I800- the real one will be approved saying "yes" you are not a criminal. In case, you were not aware.
Then there will be some crazy steps called Guz and Art 5.
Your probably not sure why your doing them at this point but you'd do anything to get this child home including sell your kidney on the black market.
But keep that to yourself, because remember, immigration said your NOT a criminal!
Then one day, TA or travel approval will come!
You won't believe it! You won't.
You'll be speechless! You may not even cry because your shocked.
Then it will sink in, wholly mohlly WOMEN!
But plane tickets!
Clean your house!
It will seem like TA came out of the blue even though it didn't.
You'll be running around like a mad women with your hair sticking out.
Then you'll fly to China and you'll forget your scared of flying because your baby waits at the other side of the world.
When your feet touch the ground you'll be in quiet reverie that China really does exist!
You'll wait patiently the few days til "Gotcha" day! Or "the day you get your child day" because Gotcha is bad.
And when it happens, you'll feel your child's warm skin against yours. Your arms are finally full. In that moment, you'll know and you'll see how God has had control of this every step of the way!
That only HE could write this story!
That place in your heart will be so full, it will leak out of your eyes.
Now, China might be hard. Your Child might be hard, but China goes so fast
and soon you'll be home.
Suddenly, you'll realize you've been home for a whole month.
And you'll see your precious child smile
And rainbows will burst from your heart because they are HERE!
They were worth the hell of a wait and THEY. ARE. HERE!
Your child is with her "forever family."
Forever family is a magical awesome REAL adoption phrase that Satan and some fools on some fb group Hate!
And you won't care that they hate it because love wins! God wins!