Friday, June 28, 2013

Evolution of an Imagination

From a parenting standpoint, it appears that speech and imagination are directly related.

In the not-so beginning, there were only a few words, parroting back what was heard.

Then, we progressed on to more and more words, phrases and sentences even, strung together by growing minds.

Creative play began to grow, initially repeating things seen on tv or read in books.  We were (and still are) constantly amazed by the amount of information toddler brains can retain.

And then true original thought emerged.  Stories we had never heard before, elaborate playscapes created out of blankets or an old shoelace.  Despite what you read here, we do give them real toys too, I promise!

When they're not at each other's throats, these two nearly-three year olds have some amazing adventures together.

Wednesday - I filled up a 3.5 gallon bucket of water for the kids to play with on the back porch.  The kids alternated who was being Jesus, washing each other's feet.  "Momma, we're being Jesus, just like He washed the Apostles' feet!"

Thursday - clad in rain boots and fireman hats, carrying fireman axes and an ever trusty "rope" (the aforementioned shoelace), the kids hunted dragons for a good hour.  The story line changed a little as the play progressed.  Sometimes the dragons were good, sometimes the dragons were bad.  And occasionally, the twins became dragons and came to roar at me while I was cooking dinner.

Friday - The kids like it when Bryan or I pretend to sleep and then wake up having a bad dream.  Cora and Mac will then rush over, ask us what our dream was about, pat us soothingly, and then tell us to go back to sleep. 

             Episode 1:  I "dreamed" I was a bird in a nest and a big cat was coming to eat me.  My protectors yelled "kill it!" and rushed away to get "poison".  They proceeded to climb on the bed carrying their "poison"-filled teacups and hurled the potion at the ceiling fan, saving me from all predators.  we're not a violent family; I don't routinely, or really ever shout out "kill it!"

             Episode 2:  Mac pretended to have a bad dream.  "Momma, Momma, I dreamed I was a bowl of ice cream and someone was trying to eat me!"

I'm watching brains grow and minds develop.  And it's incredible.

Monday, June 24, 2013

How to tell your child about embryo adoption

A lot of bloggers right now have been posting their own ways of introducing embryo adoption to their children.  In addition to regular, child-led conversation, I made this board book for the kids and gave one to each of them for their first birthday.  I've shared this script before, but thought it a good idea to share again.  Plus I'm kinda in a blogging funk and didn't want to leave my blog "inactive" for so long!
It is interesting to note that going through the embryo adoption process again with the twins at the age they are (2.5) has made for some great conversations about EA, miscarriage, and even life and death.  Mac still is very sad that the baby seeds were called home to Jesus before he got to meet them.  We've named all eight of our snowbabies that bypassed our arms for the arms of Christ - Mac can rattle off all their names.  Just had a conversation about our eight snowbabies in a fast food restaurant bathroom the other day - never know when little minds will latch onto an idea!

Cora and Mac: Welcome to the Family!
Picture on each page plus front and back cover
Pg 1. Once upon a time, Momma and Daddy fell in love and got married.

Pg 2. We loved each other so much, we asked God for children.
Pg 3. God heard our prayers and said “I have something special planned for you.”


Pg 4. Meanwhile, God gave another mother and father lots of blessings – three big babies and some little bitty baby seeds.
Pg 5. This other mother and father said “our hearts are full! Let’s share our little bitty baby seeds with someone who doesn’t have any.”

Pg 6. Some nice people helped introduce us to the other mother and father.
Pg 7. We agreed to adopt the little bitty baby seeds and love them forever and ever.

Pg 8. A doctor put the little bitty baby seeds in Momma’s tummy to grow bigger and stronger.

Pg 9. Two little baby seeds grew and grew and grew.

Pg 10. And Momma’s belly grew and grew and grew.

Pg 11. Finally the doctor said it’s time to meet your babies. We were so excited!

Pg 12. You were born on July 18, Cora first and then Mac.

Pg 13. We rejoiced! God had answered our prayers and had given us two beautiful healthy babies.

Pg 14. And one month after you entered our family, you were baptized and joined Jesus’s family.

My blog header is actually the picture from the back cover and I used a different picture of the twins for the cover.  It took me weeks to get the script to my liking.  And then, I discovered that finding pictures was even harder! 
As the kids age, we've tweaked language a little bit.  Originally, I read an abbreviated version of the story above.  Remember, they got these boardbooks for their first birthday.  Bryan was deployed when the kids received these books, so the pictures of Daddy were of extra interest at the time.  The picture of their genetic siblings has always been of interest (side note - right now, we just call their three genetic siblings by name and gloss over the exact relationship) because Cora looks a lot like her genetic sisters. 
With our recent EA process, I've started introducing slightly more correct language, "womb"  and "embryo" and even "uterus" have entered our conversation.  I've used the words interchangeably with their simpler counterparts "tummy" and "baby seeds" to ease the transition. 
So far, so good, though I'm pretty sure Cora and Mac think this is how all kids come to be.  :-)