There is an elderly couple who got married late and were therefore unable to have children, so they adopted. At first I hadn’t even known the children were adopted. They had a little 3 year old at that time when I first knew them, and I thought it was their natural child. Then a year later they adopted a 2 year old, and everyone was telling her congratulations on your new baby. I was thinking to myself “wow, that’s fast”. When I realized that it was an adopted child. They adopted them from some country far out. The second one was from Guatemala I think.
I’ve babysat by them a few times and noticed some differences. For one, since they are their children by choice they treat them much better, and are much better parents towards them. Sort of reminds me of BT’s when they become frum. Because they had felt something was missing they decided to take action and do something about it to better their life. So they obviously see the children as a gift and treat them well. Also, there’s a certain familiarity you naturally have with your own children that would cause you to get annoyed with them and not appreciate them. When it’s adopted children you respect them more.
So last night I was babysitting there, and right away I was looking at all the kids arts and crafts hanging up on the walls and the toys on the floor, and the toys in the bathtub. It seemed strange for it to be in a house of an old couple, but yet it made the house look so much more inviting, warm and friendly. The other times I had babysat there the kids were sleeping, so I would just do my school work. This time however, the kids were in bed, but up.
So the 4 year old comes out of bed and starts taking books out of his bookshelf and using them to build a house. I thought he was pretty smart in how he built it, perhaps a future builder. He barely talked, kept saying the word “book”. I helped him out a little and he was open to my ideas, so I bonded a little with him. Then after he had used all his books, I asked him if he wants to show me his room. (I always say that to get the kids to go to sleep, it’s the first step). So we go in his room and he continues being busy with his books, so I ask him if he wants me to read him a book. So after going through a bunch of books, he picks one for me to read. It was a version of “The Three Little Pigs”. It was a bit different and put more emphasis on the wolf and the 3rd pig, but the beginning was the same. So when I read the parts where the pig would answer “no, no, no, not by the hair of my chinny chin chin” and the wolf would answer “Then I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow you house in”. He would look at me and start laughing. So I was glad that he enjoyed the book. So then after I read the story he put away his books and went to bed. I told him I’m proud that he was a good boy, and he smiled.
Then the 2 year old started screaming and crying. The father had told me that he was teething so he was going to see the dentist the next morning. The father said that if the kid starts to cry then I should take him out of his crib and hold him on the chair and he will stop crying. So for a while I just patted the kids back in circular motions to see if it will calm him down before I take him out. It worked for a little bit, but then he started crying again, I asked him if wanted to come out, and he stood up. So I took him out of the crib and held him, then I sat down on the chair with him on my lap. I was so surprised that he just sat there not crying or making a sound. I’ve never seen a kid like that, that just sits still waiting for you to say or do something. Then the kid eventually fell asleep on me like that, so then I transferred him to the crib.
Meanwhile, the father had been calling and left messages. I hadn’t gone down to the phone since I was busy with the kid. Then when I went down I saw 9 new messages, I’m like wow, that’s a lot. So here is where parents of adopted children are different. They are very protective of their kids. So he wanted to make sure everything was ok with them, so on the next time he called I picked up and told him that the kids were now asleep. I noticed they didn’t have caller ID, and I think their the only ones I know that still don’t have caller ID, I see it as such a necessity because I’m used to it. Anyways, back to how he’s protective of his kids, before he left he told me that the younger kid likes to put his blanket on top of his head, so after he falls asleep I should go up and lower the blanket.
What’s also interesting, is that even though the 2 kids aren’t siblings the older one treats the younger one like his brother, he will help him out and be patient with him. But so far I haven’t seen them fighting.