Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Guest Blogger, Here's Aunt Nancy
I didn't write that title - Sue did! I am not doing this of my own free will...nobody around here is doing anything of their own free will these days. I am only kidding of course. I have been here for almost six days, and there is much I would like to write about, but there is one overwhelming first impression that I have and it is this: Sue and Scott have committed themselves to a life full of challenge, sometimes confusion, occasionally chaos, often sleep deprivation, but always they seem to meet these challenges with love, patience and determination to make this work and turn these five people into a truly caring, loving and mutually respecting family. I must admit that I was a bit intimidated by E-man before I even got here because of the stories of his 'melt-downs' at the Cape, that I had already heard about from various family members. E-man is challenging, there is no doubt about it, but let's not forget that each of these children is challenged and challenging in his or her own way, and it is not always easy to know when to comfort, when to punish, when to be consistent, when to forgive and just hug, and when to just laugh. Sue and Scott however seem to be truly and deeply caring and loving to these children, supportive of each other, and they manage to do this, at least until about eight o'clock at night, with a good sense of humor. I have been a tremendous help to them these last few days, she says facetiously, by staying on top of the laundry, babysitting, playing with the kids, hollering at the kids, (this too depends somewhat on the time of day!) and last night I was a really big help when I almost fainted at Scott's feet when he walked in about 9:30, and said "Boy, am I glad to see you!" Previously I had looked down on mothers who said to their kids "Just wait til your father gets home" but I now understand the enormous sense of relief that can provide! And much to my chagrin, within minutes of his arrival. all three were in bed asleep, and we heard not another peep from them.
I have a family of my own, but you can't really compare raising your own biological family which you get used to and learn from one child at a time , or even in the case of multiple births, somewhat gradually, to this kind of "instant family" consisting of children from different races, life experiences, cultures etc. The fact that the parents are never going to know with any kind of real certainty exactly what these children have gone through, makes many things so much more difficult than with your own kids whom you have been with every day of their lives. I have been in awe of Sue and Scott ever since I learned of their decision to adopt African children, just as I am in awe of all of the families who have made similar sacrifices and commitments of compassion. But now that I have seen how Sue and Scott are living their lives on a day to day, hour by hour basis, I admire them even more. Emmanuel and Abegail are to be baptized later this month, and after hearing about a recent appointment with E-man and the eye doctor, I said they might want to rethink that. E-man apparently didn't care much for the doctor, and thought he could do a better job anyway, so snatched the light from the optometrist's hand and shone it in his eyes! Wonder what he will do to the priest??!! But I'm sure they will forge on with determination and humor, just as they meet every challenge. It really has been a joy to be here and I just wish I could stay for that big event!
Hats off to the Richardsons and all other adoptive famiies!