Temperaments and MOPS Adoption

This Friday I had my adoption tribe over. A few hours before they arrived I was so tired, the sun was setting in gorgeous colors and the week was over. I thought to myself: “couldn’t I have just enjoyed this evening in silence?” I often feel this way, and yet I think I socialize, I initiate, I gather people more than I ever thought I would or I could. Sure enough, when the ladies arrived I got so energized by their company. I never regret getting out of my comfort zone to serve by creating space for such meetings.

We watched a 19 minutes video, the introduction to the temperaments. My daughters saw the colors and the preparation and asked if they could watch the video too. I did so the next day. Conrad joined us and we ended up watching it twice, because it spoke to all of us. It created the space to discuss and so we did. Jackie is yellow, choleric, but leaning so much into red (the sangvinic) that she is a light orange almost. She fidgets. She is loud. She interrupts and craves attention, validation. She is an artist and a leaders and a storyteller. Ițm not sure it goes with her temperament but she is the only one who says she wishes she was not a yellow. Albeit she is the only extrovert in the family. And she was rather concerned that she different than us. We discussed at length about her intrinsec needs and why she acts the way she does, a bit messy and disorganized, and much louder than all of us put together. Before adopting Ivy, as Jackie was the center of attention, she thrived. Her bucket was always full. She challenged us and we adapted to her. We validated her uniqueness and spark and sense of humor. Her questions were answered and she had many. She still has. When Ivy joined our tribe, she was hoppy to have a sister but soon realized that our attention is now divided, and she is not the center of the family. I told her itțs not Ivy’s fault. This lesson is best learned now than when she is an adult. We are discussing it, adapting, and helping her understand herself while we discover marvelous things about our different temperaments.

Ivy on the other hand is a blue. Melancholic. She is task oriented. A rule follower. Cautious and hardworking. I too am like her but my life experience and older age pushed me into red. Into sangvinic almost pretending to be an extrovert. My task oriented personality makes me take action even when it’s uncomfortable. I see something that needs to be done and I think: if not me then who. So I mobilize and I take heart and I speak up. This is totally not my modus-operandus but it was close enough to my blue pensive self, who likes to meditate, read book, take silent walks, follows rules etc. I get along so well with Ivy because she is so much like me. I still challenge her when I speak the truth without too much sugarcoating. I used to take things so personally. I Was sensitive. I was cautious or rather afraid. I could see the danger and adjusted my route my path literal or theoretical/spiritual.

We were just talking about how Jackie was challenging but it was so good she was our first kid. We didn’t know any different. Put in the added bonus of adoption, and the unknown and the trauma, and it can get heavy and complicated. God blessed us with an easier addition because the last few years were complicated and heavy and dark enough for our own reasons. The pandemic, cancer returning, Jackie’s scoliosis, house finishing… and as kids grow, though they are more independent, they are also more challenging.

I haven’t forgotten Conrad in our adventure of temperaments. He is a well defined green. Flegmatic. Not in a rush to do stuff and he is sarcastic. I must say the last 16 years of our marriage he has changed and has grown so much. He toned town his sarcasm and when it comes to tasks, even if he does not see the urgency of them, because he knows I will do them before the day is over, if they are evident, and he will race me to it. I feel very much loved when he serves me by taking care of house chores. Dishes, vacuum, trash out. The one task I have no timeline for him is the garden. He is drawn to gardening like flowers to thew sun. And we have a beautiful garden design because of him.

Indeed, this show videos have given us food for thought. I think Jackie’s big blue eyes softened at the understanding of herself better. Ivy is happy and she and I have a lot in common. And Conrad is happy to know that his longing for quiet, for respect, are part of his temperament and his irritation with the incessant noise is valid. Even so, we all work to love our neighbor better and better, with flexibility and grace, with understanding, and an effort to do better.