The beautiful blissful "in-between"

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Thank you for all of the wonderful insights from the last post. As you can tell, I was hesitant to share our new found perspective but I think there was a healthy exchange of ideas which makes us all better parents in the end. I do want to say just a little bit more about this all though.

First of all, I (personally) would LOVE to celebrate these milestones in our family. I am all about a celebration and making a big deal over joyous occasions. I am just not sure if it is the healthiest option for Kate or for the boys. If she were in a family of only adopted children or an only child, I might feel differently. Over the years, people have said things to me such as the longer you are a family the less important it becomes how you got that way. And I have to agree. I know it will always be an important part of Kate's history. But there is so much more to her and to our family than adoption. When I look at Kate, I see my daughter. I often forget that she is Chinese. I know some of you probably find that hard to believe but it is true. And in the end, she is God's daughter first and foremost. I just get to enjoy her here for a while.

Secondly, I loved Casey's perspective that you are "damned if you do and damned if you don't celebrate." I totally agree. I worried that Kate might come to me one day and say, "Why don't we celebrate the day I came home anymore?" There is a fine line here. So, I have given that a lot of thought. And this is what I have come to (sorry it is so long but I really contemplate these things)...

Right now we are in what I call the blissful in between. Finally, Kate is over all of the attachment bumps that come the first few years of adoption. She is completely adjusted and feels safe and secure in our family. She has trust and makes friends easily. Kate knows on a cursory level that she was adopted from China. She says, "when I was a tiny baby I lived in China." and "Daddy and Willie brought me home on a plane from China." But that is the extent of it for right now. She does not delve deeper and I don't push it. She has never once asked about or mentioned another Mother. She has never asked if she grew in my tummy. We have all of the China adoption books for children (and have read them too) but she never chooses those (even when I reach for them). Instead, she prefers Fancy Nancy or Pinkaliscious or a princess book. She is blissfully unaware that she is "different" in any way. She thinks we look like twins. She screams "MOMMY!!!" with unbridled joy everyday when she sees me in the pick-up line at school. She runs to "Daddy-O" beaming with happiness each day when he comes home from work and she greets her brothers the same way after school.

She doesn't "get" that she came to our family any differently...yet. She is blissfully unaware of the beginnings of her life. Selfishly, I want to hold onto that for a little while longer. I was looking at her belly button the other day while giving her raspberries on her tummy and a sea of emotions came over me. I know that sounds silly but I kept wondering about her belly button and whether it was tied in a hospital or a house, by a relative or a doctor. It pained me not to know and I know these things might pain her later on.

I know that by kindergarten the tough questions and realizations start to come. I will always take her lead on this and answer her questions thoughtfully and as honestly and lovingly as I can. This brings me to the point that when Kate is old enough to understand, I will offer her the option of doing something special with me or Dave or the entire family on April 4th (which is the day she came home and met me and Harry too). I have no doubt that my confident, strong-willed and JOYFUL little girl will be able to make the decision that makes her feel comfortable.

This will be my last post about this stuff for a while. It is too emotional for me. Tomorrow, it is back to the normal "fluff" of 3 Peanuts.

And just for fun here are some photos of Kate before Mass on Sunday. She does not often wear pants but she has these gorgeous, super-model, mile-long legs. We were in a hurry so they are not my best photos by any stretch but I think she looks so cute. My Mom always insisted on no white before Memorial Day (except Easter, maybe?) but here in TX, the rules don't apply;) People wear white all the time.



I know the awful sun on her face...bad photographer!

She is taking a "picture" of me with her tinkerbell phone.



  1. I agree kim that you go at the speed of your child. We all will get to the questioning point but right now there is a blissful inbetween time where our girls just know they came from china and thats about it. Mia sounds very similar to Kate in many ways and I like where she is right now- blissfully inbetween!!

    Love the Kate pics. She looks so cute. I love that she is so tall. Gracie in our adotpion group is also very tall for her age and has long legs. Poor mia is so petite-- not too short but still weighs 26 pounds at 3.5! I think mia is supposed to be about 5'5" so not too short--im 5'7" and most think im tall so 5'5" is pretty good.

    have a great day!!!

  2. Kim you and Dave are wonderful parents and I know you will continue to make the best decisions for Kate. I also have adopted a little one and I know someday those tough questions will come, but for now, we are too busy blowing bubbles, playing board games, picking out princess tutu's and just all the stuff one happy little girl can stand!! I know what you mean about "not seeing the difference"! Our baby girl is a the same race as us, but I know the day will come when her friends ask if we are "grandparents' instead of Mom and Dad!LOL!! As for now, she see's NO AGE DIFFERENCE from her parents compared to her friends!

    I just love when I pick her up from school and she comes barreling thru a sea of kids screaming MOMMMMMY!! Or when Dad picks her up she screams "THERE GOES MY DADDDDDY!!!! Oh the joy in our hearts!!!!We feel blessed that God entrusted this child to us and we will be there for her thru the questions, the unsureness and tears! We are spiritually and emotionally equipped as are you and Dave. May you and your family have a BLESSED EASTER!

    BTW...I'm also a TEXAS girl and I wholeheartedly agree! WHITE ALL YEAR 'ROUND!! Kate looks adorable in her outfit!

  3. She is just darling! Can I have that outfit in my size?

  4. Aside from the seriousness of your post, I must simply state that I adore Kate's outfit! if they made that in big girl sizes, I'd be on my way to the store right now! She is absolutely adorable!

  5. Oh, I just LOVE that dimple!! I could look at it all day!!! She looks so grown up. I must see her soon before she gets to big!!!!! One day we will be at High School Graduation parties wondering where the time went! I love your perspective Kim. Truly what else can we do but love our girls right where they are at. And, to trust that when the questions come, that God will give us the strength and the confidence to answer them in truth and love!

    Happy Blissfully In-Between!


  6. Love your perspective on this, Kim!
    And the pictures of Kate are DARLING... those dimples... oh MY!!
    P.S. Lent is almost over!! ;)

  7. Well, as you already know, I greatly appreciate you 'hosting' this topic, as I feel like a sponge these days, soaking up and learning all I can from those of you who have gone before me. So much insight and perspective. But I agree, that you should live in the present moment and just take things one day at a time, meeting Kate where SHE is! I'm pretty certain that is the same approach I will take with Khloe. Thanks again, Kim!

    And those photos of Kate are ADORABLE...sun in the face, and all! The outfit...STYLE'IN!!! The dimples... KATE's trademark! :) Beautiful, beautiful girl!!!

    Have a blessed Easter!! <><

    love and hugs,

  8. My SIL says the same thing , she doesn't notice her daughter is chinese at all, she also has two biological children and they are all just her kids , wonderful .

  9. Kate looks so grown up and beautiful!!! You have done a great job sharing your perspective on the gotcha day/family day thing. Your family is amazing and inspiring!!!

  10. I love the pics! Her dimple is precious! I LOVE EK's dimple and wondering if SJ has one- she has yet to smile... Blessings!

  11. This post so touched my heart I was moved to tears. Especially the part about her belly button :) I find it great that you mentioned the longer you are a family teh less it matters how you came to be because I have actually been dealing with coming to terms with that in my hopes for a future and trying to blend a family of grown children with on both sides and just praying about it to all meld together. While that is very different from your situation, it still hit home for me. You are a beautiful and precious mother, and I mean that soulfully. And Kate...well she is absolutely gorgeous!

  12. That dimple melts my heart...don't know how you'll be able to tell her no to anything! ha! I don't think I could. As always, I appreciate your honesty and insight into a very tough/touchy subject that we all think about.

  13. She absolutely does have beautiful mile long legs!

    Great topic!


  14. Oh, Kate Emerson... you take my breath away....
    Oh, how I understand... I want to say that I do not think you are being selfish in anyway for letting Kate be the one to guide as to when the knowledge of the beginning of her life is shared. I agree 100% with allowing our children to let us know when they need more of the answers. And you shouldn't feel bad for enjoying this special time together. I think it is a wonderful idea to let her choose... that way she knows it is a precious day to you and Dave and she can decide if she wants to celebrate it.
    I am certain you and Dave will do just what is needed for your little Peanuts.
    God's peace,

  15. I too well know the emotion that accompanies this topic. I have unanswered questions and she undoubtedly will have more. I want a JOYFUL daughter and we are almost there. (2 years later) And I want to be careful and thoughtful not to jeopardize any of it.
    Your comment about forgetting she is Chinese is so true. I asked my sister once, "Does she really look Chinese to you?" She laughed and said she certainly does...I don't even see it anymore. And I think she looks like me!

  16. Hey Kate - do you think I can find that outfit you are wearing in ADULT size? So cute!!

    And one thing I have learned (or really JUST one of the many things I have learned) through reading blogs of so many really learn so much from others perspective! Even if you tweak it a little - you grow and see others opinions and I feel I have grown so much from reading the peanuts blog! Thank you!

    And enjoy your shopping next monday :)

  17. Love the photos.. glad things are going well.
    Take care...
    Love ya..

  18. I totally agree, I don't see LiLi as Chinese. She is just LiLi. I remember I told that to a friend before and she just thought that was crazy. About a year later, she agreed. She no longer saw LiLi as Chinese. She is just crazy LiLi with a big smile. Every once in awhile, I see LiLi in a picture and then I am reminded that she is Chinese-beautiful!

    You do what your family wants. I am sure Kate will be perfectly happy no matter what you do. She is loved...bottom line. She will not care what ya did and didn't do. I sure hope LiLi doesn't care about all the things I don't (or can't) do. I hope she just remembers all the fun we had and that I loved her more that anything else in the world. Do worry, you're a GREAT mom!!!

    Kate's outfit is soooooooooo cute!!! The weather looks great there.

    Have a Happy Easter.


  19. Maggie is in the same place too. She knows she's from China and she lived there when she was "a little baby" and David and I came to get her. Other than that, she doesn't say too much about it. And I will fully admit that I get a few butterflies in my stomach when I think she's about to ask me a BIG question. So far, she hasn't but I know it's on the horizon.

  20. I love that last picture of her dimple!! She is so sweet and her personality just shines through her eyes!!!

  21. Kim, you are so eloquent with your words and although I do not have to consider these things right now in my life, someday I pray it will be "my turn". Thank you for lighting a path and being so honest:)

    On the other front - do you think they make Kate's outfit in my size??

    Blessings, Ashley

  22. I am soaking all of the pearls of wisdom in, and LOVING these photos!! She is just the cutest thing ever!! I love the pants...and top...and sandals ;)

  23. She is SO cute!! That dimple in the last picture just gets me.

  24. I have enjoyed your blog for awhile. I am the mother of a daughter adopted from China and two biological sons (who absolutely adore their sister). Your last couple of posts have prompted me to respond - usually I just enjoy reading and looking at the pictures.

    Your comment about no longer seeing your Chinese daughter but your daughter rang so true. My husband and I comment on this all the time. It was funny watching our Morgan singing with the kids at our church a couple of years ago. My husband thought she really looked Chinese that day. What we finally determined is that we no longer look at her and notice. She is OUR daughter trusted to us by God!

    Our Morgan is 7 1/2 years old and in the first grade. I had expected many hard questions by now - but she is content to be loved. She finally asked about being in my tummy - but was satisfied with the answer I gave her. I don't know when the hard questions will come - but I know God will give me the answers.

    I like to tell everyone Morgan was our "Plan A" for our family. God knew plan before the adoption seed was planted in my heart.

    Blessings -- Debby

  25. everything you said!

    I have already shared alot with you but I just wanted to say.....
    I LOVE THOSE DIMPLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. Kim, I know exactly what you mean about their sweet little belly buttons. I remember looking at Kerry's for the first time in China and being struck unexpectedly with all of those emotions and questions. I've been meaning to dedicate a post to this vey subject for a while now, in fact.
    On a lighter note, Kate is stunningly adorable in that outfit. And that get's me every time I see it!

    Gin =)

  27. All I have to say is... Kate you are a very lucky girl.. and Kate's family is more lucky.. God gave them you!! You are her family and true love knows no color, race, religon, it s pure in the heart!

  28. About a month ago Hudson pointed to his belly button and asked me what it was....I too felt like you did. I did explain to him what it was but it totally went over his head and he was just fascinated he had one as did the rest of us.....he too really doesn't want to talk about China....he says pretty much the same thing as Kate. For the first time ever two weeks ago he asked me out of the blue how old he was when he lived in China. It was the first time he has asked anything about China...I have heard questions typically start around 4 or 5....

    We just had our anniversary the day before Denise....LOVE that we became friends thru Maggie and Hudson....

    Have a joyous Easter!!!!

  29. I love her outfit and of course her sweet dimples. Kate is so precious! I have really enjoyed reading your posts lately and we apparently think alot alike. Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom on this subject.
    Happy Easter!

  30. I love your perspective. One thing is for sure, she will ALWAYS know she is loved!

    Pants or not, this girl of yours is a doll!

    Happy Easter!

  31. Oh what a sweet and sassy little outfit! I LOVE IT! And oh my goodness, you have the most precious header I have ever seen. You should have the picture framed! It is so sweet! I haven't been back since your blog became unprivate. It's nice to be back!

  32. Oh what a sweet and sassy little outfit! I LOVE IT! And oh my goodness, you have the most precious header I have ever seen. You should have the picture framed! It is so sweet! I haven't been back since your blog became unprivate. It's nice to be back!

  33. I -too- thank you for hosting this topic. My dh and I are really enjoying the discussion. Em is in that in between phase too but she has started to ask about birth, birth mother, etc. and we are starting to answer some questions. She seems to accept any answer though so that is a good thing! Guess the tougher questions / answers are to come...

    When I was reading your post, one thing I thought to myself is maybe I'm wrong... maybe it is more "Ok if we do, Ok if we don't celebrate" I was feeling like I couldn't win in any choice with Em... like she will automatically have resentments, etc. But maybe it is more a matter of no matter what our choices are as parents, our children are going to end up well educated and they are going to be given the emotional tools to handle ANY situation that comes his or her way. That's the prayer anyway. lol.

    Thanks again for posting this discussion. And HOW adorable is your Kate. Love the one with the phone too!

  34. "she is God's daughter first and foremost. I just get to enjoy her here for a while"

    Be still, my heart! Your line above says EVERYTHING! I couldn't agree more!

    Have a most wonderful and blessed Easter!

  35. Wanted to thank you for your sweet comments on my last post. I do worry about all that is out there! Not trying to shelter them too much... and I talk to and with them about almost EVERYTHING!

    Love the pictures of sweet Kate. She just looks like so much fun! Reminds me of my niece, Crazy Caroline!

  36. These are some of my favorite photos of Kate - she looks so grown-up and tall!

  37. Beautiful pics of Kate. I love your comment about Texas and white. I LOVED living there because of that! hehehe. I had a lot of fun with spring looking clothes (lily, etc) March - October in San Antonio! HA!

  38. KIm
    Ditto to what you sid as well as wht others have said too;)
    Hope you had one more GREAT easter! THe weather has been beautiful and I so love the white pants on KATE that beautiful smile and those little dimples! She is precious;)

    HUGS to you!


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