Adoption through the Eyes of a Five Year Old
Many pages in this blog have been dedicated to the antics of our almost kindergartener. For a while there, I referred to him as “Pilikia,” which is just a fancy word for trouble that I got from one of those word of the day calendars. But Pilikia generally fits as this little boy is rarely still, and If he’s quiet, you better be wary!
When we started our adoption journey, he was a year old. This summer, he’ll turn six. He’s grown up with a fundraising, spare change saving, adoption-talking family, but it’s just been in the last year that he’s started to absorb any of it.The first time we completed our home study, the social worker couldn’t really interview Pilikia because he was only two and didn’t have a lot to say about the matter. When we updated it last year, he hid in an upstairs room and refused to talk to her because he was afraid to talk to the weird lady with purple streaks in her hair!
But at home, when it’s just us, his little mind is whirling with questions, many of which we can’t answer yet. The thing he knows, and that he tells people, is that he’s getting a baby sister, and it’s going to take a long time.
Last week, he decided to name her. Ultimately, he decided her name should be Macy. I told him not to count on it as she may have a beautiful Haitian name that she’ll want to keep. I love the idea of giving honor to her birth mom by keeping her chosen name – if that turns out to be her story. It’s too early to know right now.
The five year old is also concerned that we don’t have enough girl toys around, and he’s worried about where she’ll sleep. Sometimes he says we don’t have enough rooms. Other times he says he and his brothers will all have to share so she can have her own bed.
And the household ratio is a topic of discussion. Currently, I am outnumbered by the boys in my house. But once there’s a baby sister, if you count the dogs, we’ll finally be even. These are important things to think about!
The thing that intrigues me most about his comprehension at this stage, however, is his desire to do something to help bring her home. He is starting to take part in some of the things that we do to save up for her, even if he doesn’t fully grasp the big picture, and he’s quite proud of his efforts.
Pilikia knows that we still have that same adoption jar, and that we still put virtually every coin that comes into our house into it. He loves to be the one to push the coins through the slot, and even emptied several of his own into it the other day, completely by choice. But when it came time to roll those coins and deposit them in the bank, he turned from a help to a hindrance, and then finally got upset and yelled at his biggest brother because now we didn’t have any money for his baby sister! This led to a conversation about banks and the amount of coins we were actually saving... which led into him asking if we were buying our baby sister! Heavens no! But how exactly do you explain this to a five year old? Everything I tried seemed to lead to more questions, and more confusion, until one of us finally gave up on the conversation! (That would be me.)
The other night, Steve was working on the puzzle and Pilikia sidled over to help. He looked at the letters Steve was putting together spelling out “Butterfly Migration,” and then informed him that he was going to make the star. There’s a sort of compass thing that joins the words together, and Steve wasn’t even contemplating that part yet.
Then, very unexpectedly, Pilikia started picking up seemingly random pieces and putting them together exactly in the right spots, turned exactly the right way. Steve was so started by this that he started asking him, “How are you doing that?!” And then remarking, “You did it again! You did it again!” In no time flat, Little Mister had put together the star, like he said he would, seemingly without any effort whatsoever. He continued working his magic, pulling pieces out of bowls and piles of chaos, until Steve started assigning him specific chunks to work on. He was one very proud five year old!
The part he didn’t understand was when we hit our quota for the night and needed to stop because that was the number of pieces we’d sold. He doesn’t comprehend this puzzle fundraiser at all – he just knows that somehow it’s going to help bring home his baby sister, and he is very anxious to be a part of making that happen. Now I am supremely motivated to find ways to promote this thing, if for no other reason than for the joy of watching him at work, and enjoying the pride he feels at being big enough to help!
So what is the puzzle fundraiser? So glad you asked!
We purchased a 1,000 piece puzzle. For every $5.00 that is donated to us by Pay Pal, or directly by cash or check, we write the donor’s name on the back of one of the puzzle pieces. People can buy as many as they want, and as often as they want. When all of the pieces have been sold, we’ll complete the puzzle and frame it in glass on both sides. Our daughter will have a keepsake for her room bearing the names of people who helped to bring her home on one side, and colorful butterflies on the other.
I look forward to going over the names with her. I’ll tell her about the high school classmates who found us on Facebook or through the blog and donated. I’ll point out the pieces of the friends who traveled to Haiti with us on our first trip there who have encouraged and prayed for us along the way. I’ll tell her about the family whose finances are super tight, but thought this was important enough to squeeze out of the budget, and who wrote a blog piece promoting it of their own.
Some of the names will be familiar and some of them won’t be people she knows at all, but I’ll never forget that they were a part of her story, and I’ll always be grateful to them for giving!
Of course, this will all go over her head for a while, just like it does with Pilikia now, but I won’t mind. Adoption is forever and we’ll have plenty of time to go over it until it makes sense.
If you want to add your name to her story, click here. We’d love to have you! There are plenty of pieces for everyone!
“Give thanks to the Lord. His love endures forever.”