One thing about my Liberian children is that their vocabulary has a way of entertaining us. They have aquired so much of the language and for the most part they use it correctly but every once in awhile a word slips into a conversation in the wrong place.
This morning we were in the van chatting about a teenage girl in our old church that Bub used to have a crush on. How that when he was little he used to say he was going to marry her when he grows up. His response to this conversation was "Ok mom, too much information, you are making me bluff."
Close but no cigar.
I enjoy hearing how they use the language. It reminds me of times gone by. I miss the way they used to talk when they came. It's been six years and I wonder at times where those two little African three year olds went. The ones that used to say fini when finished with dinner, rye for rice or mo soup for more gravy. When they first come as a parent you want to make up for lost time, give them a leg up and help them learn everything they can. But before you know it it's all gone too quickly. One day you wake up and they are sitting at the dinner table sounding like American kids, wearing their favorite team t-shirts and talking about the next track meet.
Teaching them the language and the way we do things here means that some of the things that make them African will disappear. That's the part that makes me sad.
My encouragement is to enjoy those first few years and pace yourself. The language will come, the bonding and attachment will come, the new normal will come.
I have been feeling very nostalgic lately. I remember those feelings of trying to teach them the language, the way to behave here, how to play and how to be in our new family. See they aren't the only ones who change. We change too. Our family will not look like it used to. It becomes a new creation really. Before they came plantains were not a Thanksgiving tradition, but they are now. Before they came we didn't listen to African choirs in the car on the way to church, but we do now. Before they came we thought the American way was the right way, but we don't now. Sometimes I wonder if it's it not the parents who change the most. Hmmm, another post maybe?
In conclusion, they arrived, I blinked and it's now a precious memory I hope to never forget. Blessings to those of you who are in the first few years of creating your new family. It is a precious, precious time and I sometimes envy the place you are in now even as hard as it is at times. It's like having a newborn. It's the hardest most sleepless time of your life but yet when they a few years go by you wish you could go back and do it again.
It is time you will never get back and it's worth every minute.