Tuesday, August 24, 2010

“So mommy. Are you going to adopt another kid, or what?” Liana asked me earlier this summer.

I’d certainly thought about it. I thought about adopting two before Liana was even home. But life gets busy and routines get comfortable and I am getting older and the world of international adoption changes, and it had fallen to the back burner.

But Liana’s words gave me the push that I needed.

Most of you know this already. But it is official. I am paperchasing for adoption number two. I would like to adopt a little girl, one or two years younger than Liana, from Ethiopia.

Liana is BEYOND excited.

I have explained to her that it is going to take a very very very long time for her little sister to come home. I am sort of thinking Fall/Winter 2011.

Liana nods stoically, and says “Ok mommy. I tell you what. I’ll go to school on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and you bring my baby sister home on Thursday. Ok?”

That is a very very very long time indeed. But it will actually take even a little longer than that.

Liana is a social kid, and she is happiest when she is with a group. In a clan. In the middle of something busy and noisy. I know that sisterhood will ultimately be great for her. But there will be difficulties too. She promises she will share her things generously. We have talked about the fact that she will get less individual attention. That if both she and the little one are crying, I’ll pick up the little one first.

She nods, stoically.

I asked her what she would do if her little sister broke her favorite toy. Without missing a beat, she proclaimed “I’ll put her in time out.”

Ummm. Liana has been in time out about 3 times in the past year. And certainly never for breaking something. I suddenly felt very insecure about my own parenting, as my daughter’s words seemed to contradict my basic philosophies.

We reviewed the fact that time out is only used when mommy asks Liana to do something once, twice, and then three times, and Liana still doesn’t do it. We also established that mom, not Liana, will be responsible for enforcing household rules with the little one.

Liana agreed.

So I asked her again. “What would you do if your little sister broke your favorite toy?”

She thought about it, and then said:

“At first I’ll be angry. And then I’ll be sad. And then I’ll forgive her. Because that is just what little sisters do.”

And I hugged my beautiful, bright, amazing little girl, and regained my parenting confidence again.

On with the paper chase.