Saturday, April 18, 2009

Where the boat leaves from...

MORE IN SETS Pictures, Images and Photos
The boat is leaving today & I will be on it with a drink in my hand.
I'm ready to relax and enjoy some island time with my bestest island friends!
I need to clear my's completely overloaded.
I had horrible dreams last night, haunted by my girls living conditions. I'm pretty mentally prepared for the worst, but read some very enlightening emails & posts yesterday that I guess just played into my psyche. I do appreciate the knowledge, though it's hard to read & know my Emerson is still there.....
We are aware there could be some issues with her eyes not tracking correctly. I asked my pediatrician about it earlier in the week since J & my Mom were all over it & since then I've rec'd a few very sweet emails & one daring *snort* phone call. I'm thankful for the information, the links and the recommendation to the best eye docs in my area. Love ya Mare! Just one more thing for us to prepare ourselves for.
Not to mention all the RAD~PTSD stuff I'm reading. Preparation is key & I feel as though I'm giving my own brain the mental workup of what I must do for her. I'm tired just reading what I must do and I don't even have her yet. I'm struggling with the sleeping thing. Not sure where she should sleep. I'll state for the record that we have never been a fan of co-sleeping. Not gonna lie when I personally think it's silly to have kids in your bed. Quite frankly, I like having a *Hooha*life with my husband and I'm just thinking that throws a monkey wrench into things. J&I have always kept our relationship first and the kids come second. Don't flame me, if you like co sleeping, rock on with your bad kid filled bed. I'm just stating for us, it's never been an option. However, I have to say, that I'm actually thinking of co sleeping with her, maybe even doing the redneck crib hook up like Mare did. I don't know yet, but I know that we want to be right there for her every second of the day, including when she wakes up she sees us. She might not go for it at all....we'll just have to play it by ear I guess. I'm unsure of how to prepare the cribs, pack n play's or whatever else she needs to sleep in before we leave for China because I'm pretty certain we won't want to walk in the door and set a crib up.
It's not like we haven't had 4 years to prepare for this moment....why does it seem like a crash course on IA adoption of the institutionalized child....???

Off to put my sand in the toes, my place of tranquility....


Meg said...

I'm sure you've had enough advice-we are also a marriage first couple and we did the redneck crib thing- left the one side off and butted it up to our bed....we really like our "private time" in our room too-but we used a moniter and "explored" other areas of our house! kind of kicked up the spice factor too! yes, you get interupted every now and then- but we remembered that with newborns too.....I think preparing yourself for the worst and hopingfor the best is the absolute best thing you can do for yourself- and Emerson- just keep approaching everything one day at a time and every now and then take a break and do whatyou are doing- Island time! Good luck and wishing yout he best of everything.

Debra said...

Dear T,
I know the information is overwhelming. I am a single mom to two precious girls from China. My best advice, I know you didn't ask, but please listen...just treat her like a child you birthed. Meaning, don't expect the worse and look for it in every move. Please don't borrow trouble. Yes, I know, there are so many things that could go wrong, but there are so many things that could be just right too. Be prepared, but try to relax and enjoy your trip and your new baby. You will know if there are issues and you will handle them. It has been my experience that the more nervous, worrying parents seem to have the hardest times at first with their child. We can't possibly know what the future holds for any of our children or ourselves for that matter, so why worry before you need to. Sorry to sound so preachy, I don't mean to be. I just wish I could have been more "in the moment" with my first child as I was with the second. It makes the trip, the experience, and the bonding experience far less stressful. I wish you the very best and look forward to your incredible journey in China.
With love,

Liz and Ava said...

Enjoy your island time! Great way to de-stress!
Regarding the co-sleeping. My daughter was home for 7 months when I moved her from her crib in her room to my bed. This was purely for attachment concerns. She was quite content to go into her crib in her own fact I think she prefered it...she prefered anything that limited personal contact and intimacy. She also resisted being held, especially chest to chest, would continually reposition herself facing away from me.
When first moved to my bed she would, even in her sleep, move as far away from me as she could get. She always ended right up against the wall in my queen size bed. Then gradually over several months, initially more while she was asleep(and maybe not as conscious of it) she moved closer and closer to me until now she is usually butt up against me most nights and if she awakens during the night will tell me she needs to be "snuggled".
We are still working on significant attachment/trauma issues, but I did see significant improvements once I started co-sleeping.I too was never one for co-sleeping but now, I wish in hind sight that I had started with co-sleeping and tranistioned her to a bed beside my bed or back to her own room when she was ready rather than move her to my bed when the attachment wasn't happening.
Just my experience...everyone has to do what is right for them and their family. You will know what Emerson needs once you are with her.
You are doing your daughter a great service by preparing and arming yourself with as much knowledge as possible. I so wish I knew then what I know now.
Wishing you all the best.

Magi said...

I agree with Debra.

Don't get me wrong. I'm definitely in the "prepare for the worst" camp. I did all the research and reading, too. I felt I was as prepared as I could be for the worst, and we were lucky.

In our travel group, we were one of six families adopting from one SWI. We were the family that got the looks from everyone because as soon as we stepped outside, our daughter would either shut down or cry. We were also the only family to buy a stroller right away, which also caused us to get some looks. I physically could not carry my daughter all the time and need to use the stroller, too.

What my travelmates didn't see was the walls coming down in the privacy of our room. By the time we got to Guangzhou, they'd all caved and bought strollers, too.

She and I were inseperable for her first 4 1/2 months, then I went back to work, and she started daycare. In the beginning, I had her nap in a large pack 'n play in the living room while I read. That was the only time she slept anywhere other than her crib in her room.

Yesterday, she turned 3. We've been home just over 2 years, and she's solidly attached and the happiest little girl you could meet.

Please continue to prepare for the worst. Just dont' forget to hope for the best, too.

Mya said...

I agree with both Magi and Debra. I am not a fan of co-sleeping either but figured we would do what we had to for Karlee. When we first got home that was just too much closeness for Karlee and she did well in her crib. But over a few months she cuddled more and more! On day's she doesn't go mother's day out, our time is nap time to read and extra cuddle time and she is right next to me. She will usually get her nose close to mine and see if I will open my eyes and when I do she says in a whisper "I love you"! This is one of my favorite times with her. But at night time, it back to her crib! Glad your aware of the possible issues, but your an experienced mother you will do just fine!

Michal said...

I have read your blog for awhile but never commented-
I am sure that one of the single most stressful things for an adoption is the not knowing, there are about a gajillion possibilities for you and E, you and your family, E and your family...the list goes on. I know that your mind is working overtime right now because there is nothing else for you to do until they put her into your arms. That's okay- you are her Mommy afterall. Just try to keep in mind that E might just have her own ideas about things. Now in one way that just seems more stressfull but in another way, if you look at it just right, it will free up some worries. SHE will let you know. YOU will know what to do, trust yourself. It won't take you long to figure things out and then you will be unstoppable (as I have seen over and over that you are when it comes to your children).
We didn't co-sleep with our E. We wanted to, but SHE did not.
Congratulations! Enjoy your Island time.
As my Gramma always says "it'll all work out in the wash" You know?

Isabella's Mommy and Daddy said...

Soak up some sun for me..
I am not a fan of co sleeping either.. my kids have never slept in my bed...
I think you will do AMAZING..

Dawn said...

Oh enjoy your time relaxing...believe it or not...this will all fall into place, and you will be the best judge of what is best for your sweet girl. Our boys were never in our bed, BUT somehow our little Lucy is and I have to say I have learned ALOT about her sleep issues that I wouldn't have known had she been in her own room...and I really felt like she needing Mommy bonding which was something she was not given the first 3 years of her life...I am so excited for you..enjoy this journey...dont worry too much about the "what if's"..Yes you should prepare yourself just in case, but some of it might never come to pass...and you wouldn't want to miss the joy of this ride!!


A Beautiful Mess said...

right back at ya *smoches*

Who said that you can't ummmm whoop it up with the hubs if you co-sleep. y'all that just gasped can kiss my ass:) Listen it would be waaay worse if you and the hubs were keeping couple time a priority and one of the big kids walked in! hook up the red neck crib and wait until the girl is sound asleep! I guess having her in there with you may cut back on you two being total freaks *snort* but if you can keep it quick and dirty it should be all good:) LOL gaaw I am glad that I am sharing this with your 200 freakin readers!!

You and J will do exactly what your girl needs you to do. It will be just fine. Trust me!

OMG! my word verification is sexdus

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

Just catching up on your exciting that you got all those beautiful pictures of your girl through another family....that is priceless and she is soooo cute!!

As for the sleeping, you will figure it all out....every child is different. Nick slept in his crib from the day we brought him home without a peep....Sarah....a whole other story...don't even ask....two years later and she is still in our bed more than hers....UGH!!

Enjoy your tranquilitiy!!

PS...your ring FINALLY came in this week while I was in Kentucky, It will send it out on Monday:)


Laurie said...

T, Those of us who follow you and know the kind of mother you are are confident you'll be able to read the signs and give E what she needs. No doubt her needs will be ever evolving just like your other children's.

What reading and other resources do you recommend for those of us farther back on the runway? I've read D. Gray's book and the Sensory Smart Child. Have you looked at the program A is using?

How did you get the picture of me in my mermaid outfit??

Special K said...

I can't even comment on your post now that I have these freaky images of Chris & Mare floating thru my brain. Thanks for that Mare.. I think I might be permanently scarred for life. LOL!

Enjoy your island time. You needed it bad. Just relax... you'll figure it out with E. You're an amazing mom... that's not gonna stop with #4 even though her circumstance is different.

Susan said...

I have been following your post and just want to let you know not to be too freaked out by what you read. We have two daughters adopted from China. Our oldest who is now 10 was adopted at 9 months and the youngest who is now 6 was adopted at 27 months. Our oldest was in foster care for almost the whole 9 months of her life and you youngest was not in foster care. Both are loving, well adjusted girls and I really feel that is because we were determined to behave and live as normal as possible from day one. Honestly, love your daughter and make her feel safe and she will be just fine.

Janet said...

I had every intention of having A and J sleep in our room on cots or something but it turned out they didn't mind sleeping in their own rooms at all, so it was all good. I'm not a big fan of the family bed either. Do what YOU need to'll do well, I KNOW you will.

Shari U said...

I hope you had a great weekend, it sounds like you could have used it! You'll figure out all the sleep/attachment issues as they come along and you'll do whatever you need to do for your little girl. I think you're smart, though to read up on attachment, if for nothing else than to just have an idea of what to look for. Emerson is just as cute as can be. I love the new pictures you got of her. So, 2 weeks down, how many more until you get to actually hold her? The thing about our adoption that stands out probably more than anything else is how the first time you ever lay eyes on her, you actually take her into your arms and you walk away with her and she's yours FOREVER! Have a great week!

Lindsay said...

Sounds like you're having perfectly normal worries and concerns to me :)

I don't think there is a perfect answer to the sleep issue. I'm a firm believer in how much good co-sleeping can do to reassure an anxious child/infant, and I have certainly seen it benefit Hannah who does have attachment problems. However, not every child will co-sleep (it took us 14 months), so my advice to you is just to go with what seems natural and right to you and your daughter.

Co-sleeping is not the only way of bonding and reassuring your child, nor is it necessarily the best or easiest way. The down side of sleep deprivation if you have a very restless sleeper is huge, and you won't be a good day-time mom if you don't get some good quality rest too.

As for the bonding and worries about attachment disorder/RAD; again I think your concerns are normal. My advice is first of all be prepared for her to grieve and withdraw and don't assume it must mean she has attachment problems. Give her and you a few weeks at home, post-jet lag to settle with one another and you will grow to know her and see what is or isn't likely to be a problem.

Best wishes.

Stacy said...

Just started following your blog! We have a 3 year old who has been home for 7 months. I didn't intend for her to sleep with us but my husband felt it would be a good idea. Boy were his instincts correct! It took our girl 4 months before she would even let her Dad hold her during the day (all the girls from her orphanage had a huge aversion to men) but at night she would snuggle up to his back and kick her leg over him. We slept this way in China and then she stayed in our bed for about a month after we got home. She now sleeps in her own room/bed and only occassionally visits us in the middle of the night. She now adores her Daddy:)

simply t said...
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