Saturday, 3 December 2011


J Summary (2Y8M28D) - Unconditional Love


J is eating well at least one meal a day. He looks forward to his super porridge breakfast every morning. During weekends, he would bug me to wake up to make breakfast for him. He would eat a full bowl (Chinese rice bowl size) of super porridge and an additional bowl of oatmeal porridge. His super porridge currently consists of 3 cubes of mixed grain and beans, 1 cube of carrot, 1 cube of french beans, 1/2 banana, 1 tsp of wheatgerm, 1 tsp of brewer's yeast and the rest of the bowl top up with oatmeal.

Life skill Development

I got very upset with J today over his lack of interest to be more self-sufficient. He didn't want to feed himself and wanted me to feed him. He got very upset and gave up trying to eat by himself, when he got the rice noodles all over the table. Compared to many other children his age, most children are a lot more independent. Today, I taught him how to put on the jacket by himself, but he wasn't too serious either and was jumping around.

Language Development

Danish-wise, J speaks Danish to himself. I know he is practising his Danish. I think he thinks in Danish.

He continues to be our translator. For example, when he bugs me to wake up in the morning, I will tell him in Mandarin to ask his dad to wake up. He would go to Daddy and ask him to wake up in Danish. In return, Daddy would tell J to ask mommy to wake up instead in Danish. J would then come to me and translate Daddy's instruction to me in Mandarin. This would go on for a few rounds, until one of us wakes up to make breakfast for him, well, usually me.

English-wise, we know that he understands a lot, but he is not speaking it himself. He only repeats what we say in English word-by-word. I know he understands it, because once during mealtime, I was telling Daddy that I was thinking of making pancakes in English. A few minutes later, I turned to J and J asked when I will be making pancakes in Mandarin. I wondered how he knew, since I didn't tell him. I realized then that it was because I had been talking to Daddy about it in English earlier. It could also be that J is learning to understand selective English words, and since he loves food, pancake is one of those English words he chose to understand!

Our neighbour's boy who is 2.5 months younger than J could now recognize 60 Chinese characters, but J is only interested in recognizing 4 Chinese characters, namely mom 妈, dad 爸 and his own Chinese name 慨恩. To see the silver lining in this cloud, it was very sweet that J placed so much importance in recognizing these 4 characters, because it showed that these are the things he is placing the most importance in his life.


So, if I have a chance to exchange J for my neighbour's boy, would I do it? The answer is NO. Although I am clearly upset that he is not inclined to be more independent nor showing more interest in learning Chinese characters, he is our boy, and we love him for his very existence. We love him for being J. We would not exchange him for anyone else. We love him unconditionally, faults and all.

Through these little incidents with J, I come to understand my own love for J. It also helps me to understand a little more deeply God's love for us.

At times, we can be upset at ourselves for not doing certain things better or for not achieving in certain areas, and start questioning our own self-worth and value in this world.

If I as a mother would not exchange J for anyone else, similarly, God our Heavenly Father would not exchange me for anyone else. I am valued in God's eyes simply for being Elaine, simply for being who I am, faults and all. Because God values me so much, I will value myself simply for being in existence, and not accord value to the achievements I achieved in this world. This does not mean that I get complacent, but it does mean that to have a healthy self-esteem. Our self-worth and self-acceptance should not be directly corelated to our achievements.

We need to understand God's unconditional love for us. Having received God's unconditional love, we need to love ourselves unconditionally and from there go on to love others unconditionally. Thank God for this lesson  to me today through J.

Through this incident, I also see and catch my own tendencies to place high academic pressure on J, even already at the age of 2.5 years old. I have to watch that.

The Bible says:

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast. - Ephesians 2:8-9

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us the capacity to love J unconditionally as parents. Thank you for giving us your wisdom to see and understand your love for us. Help me to strike a balance, that I would not place unnecessary pressure on our boy, and rob him or us of the joy. Help me to work on my own weaknesses. In Jesus' most victorious name, Amen.

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