Christmas Trees and Memories Old and New

(Side note:  Has anyone seen an ornament that is for a "Welcome Home" or "First Christmas Home"? I bought one for Grant his first Christmas home. It is a blue glass painted ball with the Kazakh and American flag together and says Welcome Home First Christmas. Can't seem to find it again to buy for Jake. I know its been several years. If you've come across one, please let me know! Thanks!)

Sunday after we drove home from NC, picked up the dog and the tree (thank you McD family), unpacked, and did laundry, we set up the Christmas tree and got to work on decorating it. 
Jake was not as concerned with the actual act of decorating as he was playing with all the new toys ("ornaments").  Then, to top it all off, Eric set up the Polar Express train underneath it. Oh my, does he enjoy it! He's pretty proud of the tree too!

Jake story to remember:
As we were walking into Walgreens yesterday, Jake became so excited that he could not get his words out fast enough. He was trying so hard to tell me something as he was pointing to the side of the building. His eyes were lit up and he was stuttering a mile a minute.  He kept pointing saying, "Chinese mommy have that!",  "I help Chinese mommy with that!". He was pointing at the Blue Rh*no propane tanks.  I asked him a little more about it (and of course sounded really excited too as I didn't want to disappoint him!).  He said his Chinese mommy used that in the house to cook with. Yikes!  I asked him if he was sure she used it inside the house, and he mimed out how to hook it up and cook!  He seems to know how to hook it up and use it pretty well. Another little tidbit on Jake's abilities that I had no idea about. He can cook indoors with a propane tank, shuffle cards like a Vegas dealer, play a pretty mean drinking game, and toast like a 60 year old man! He is definitely an old man in a 4 year old's body.

It's interesting to see how certain things set off a memory for him. Eight months home, and he is still remembering things like when he went to work with Chinese Daddy and saw the big trucks, when he cut his finger with a knife while trying to cut an apple, when Chinese mommy cut the heads off the fish they caught for dinner, propane tanks, Chinese mommy's noodles she made for breakfast, when Chinese mommy cried with Chinese daddy left, jiu, jiu and more jiu, and on and on. He frequently will tell me he did not have a toy, but tell me about a little motorcycle that sat on a table he was not allowed to play with. Then there's the tire. Evidently, there was a flat tire that we would roll around outside and roll it into the house as well. Jake really enjoyed doing this as he talks about it frequently. Part of me REALLY wants to have been there to see how his life was and part of me thinks it just may be better not to know. Culturally they do things so very differently. Things they may think are fine for a child, I may not think are appropriate or even safe. I think Chinese mommy was not a particularly loving, hands-on type mom which is the Chinese way. This does bother me when I think of it. Even though it is in the past and we can always move forward, it is important to remember all of these memories, good or bad, as it is what makes Jake, well "Jake". 

Julie  – (December 7, 2010 at 10:06 PM)  

Your comment about them doing things that we may not think are appropriate or even safe made me think of one of our experiences during our trip. While we were trying to do our paperwork the driver for the orphanage director actually entertained Emerson with the flame on a lighter. REALLY?!

donna  – (December 8, 2010 at 11:47 AM)  

have you tried this site?

perhaps there is something there you would like.

Kristi  – (December 8, 2010 at 2:35 PM)  

Your little guy sure lived a different style of life before you...
Glad he is with a mommy now that is loving!

Annie  – (December 10, 2010 at 3:42 PM)  

It is so great that he remembers all that Heather and likes to tell you about it!!!! I know what you mean about wanting to know but also not wanting to know! Sigh!!!

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