Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Date Nights and Special Days

I think individual time with each child is so important to build a strong and close relationship with them. We had started having "date nights" with our children when we first brought Zoe home, about four years ago. Once a month, either Bill or I would take the other children out individually for some one on one time. This is not a "hit the arcade or spend a lot of money" kind of thing. This is truly to spend some quality time with each other, learning more about each child, their interests, their concerns, what is important to them, also it is a great way to model respectful behavior - manners, holding doors, etc.

Last summer we also started having "Special Days". This is a day when one child gets to have mommy and daddy all to themselves for an extra special thing that the child chooses. Those are truly wonderful times, and I learn so much more about my children and who they are becoming.

It is during these times that Zoe shares her fantasies about China and her China mom - something completely age appropriate and expected. I am so glad that she talks about it with me. Carter and Maraya, recently had their individual dates with us - they both talked about Ethiopia. Carter even asked me on his date "why you brought us here?" It was a good opportunity for me to hear more about his memories, what he misses, what he loves and his thoughts and feelings about America and his new family. Of course we always talk about his Ethiopia mom and how wonderful she was, as well as his uncle and brother that they both remember.

Jack - what a great kid he is. He is really becoming a wonderful big brother - patient, kind, helpful and loving. He is my nature boy - loves bugs, trees, animals, science. His perfect date is walking around a nature park and talking - gotta love it.

Maddy - What a beautiful girl - inside and out. We recently went to get her nails done and then to Clair's for some "fun shopping" as she likes to call it. She tried on hats, glasses, held up ear rings, etc - she looked great in everything. Yikes - my tall, beautiful, blond girl with green eyes and a tan that looks great in everything - I am very afraid of boys in her teen years!

Maraya - she is such a joy, fills me love, reminds me of what is important. She loves to try new things, isn't afraid of much at all and is always so happy. She loves it when I do her hair, or really just spend time with her. Her and Bill recently went to a park, then the rose garden then some ice cream - a wonderful time.

Carter - he is ALL BOY - no nature walks for him - give him cars and sports! I took him to pump it up recently - he bounced all over the place. I bounced a bit with him - until I picked him up in one of those things and hurt my back - oh well - it was better in time for me to go down the bouncy slide.

Zoe - She is my thoughtful, caring, sweet as pie girl who prays for everyone - then on the other hand does everything to cover herself and get someone else in trouble. She has come a long way though - typical sibling behavior. She just wants to cuddle and have time with either Bill or I. Her favorite place to go is the zoo and then out for Chinese food. I have a special surprise though - for her next date - I am taking her to the Chinese gardens then to Chinese dinner. She is very China focused right now.

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