Sunday, June 7, 2009

Because it's not always about the sunshine in Florida

I have full intentions of shutting this blog down at some point. I thought maybe it would be immediately after I returned. The point of it was to go to China to bring home our beautiful daughter and that has happened. But now I find myself needing an outlet for all these thoughts in my head and in some twisted way, I want to remember how difficult this adjustment period is so that I don't forget and I can also rejoice in the time when my girl is at peace within herself and within her family. She will get there, I know she will...
*We have one scared to death little girl on our hands. Her face is full of anxiety and stress and though she will throw out some of those famous 2 dimple smiles, they are superficial. She will engage strangers with her smile, but will not look at her Daddy yet. He is being patient and is waiting for her protective walls to come down and not pushing himself on her....which is okay for now, but at some point, I will have to go somewhere without her or do something that might require 2 hands and would be to unsafe for her to be strapped to my body. She panics if I walk 1 foot away from her when she is in the high chair. We ventured out yesterday and there was enough tears to fill a bucket just by buckling her in the car seat and walking around to get myself in. It was heart wrenching to see the fear in her eyes and to realize that my girl is that terrified that I to will leave her.
*She is 'superficially' attached to me as well. Her heart isn't really in it, it's just I'm the chosen one that she feels the most comfort with. I long for the day that she is comfortable and her interaction isn't forced.
*She slept 12 hours a night in China, in her crib, beside the bed. I would lay next to her in the bed till she drifted off to sleep and would be waiting beside her when her eyes would open. She seemed at peace, in fact, she fell asleep in my arms only a few times, for the most part, I laid her down after our snuggle time and waited for her to fall asleep, she never cried. She talked sweet nothings and then fell asleep.
*I tried this same routine at home, but she starts that very unsettled cry when I begin to pull her away from body. She's not sure where she might end up and she takes hold of me with a death grip and the whine follows. I refuse to let her cry it out or tough it out at this point, so I pull her close and we both lay on the bed together. If I slide her to the side of me, she is instantly awake and begins the whole death grip/whine thing. She is only sleeping snuggled up on top of me and within my arms. She is terrified...and she's also a very hot sweaty sleeper, which doesn't make for a rested Mommy in the morning. I would say we get about 3 hours of on and off sleep a night.
*I have no idea how to maintain a home and give the boys the attention they need during this period of time. All of me is needed by one little girl and everything else seems to be piling up around me and it does make for some frustrating moments.
*I got one disposable camera back from her care package that went to the orphanage. Though my expectations were at an all time low, the reality of just how invaluable they treated that camera really pissed me off. I had sent 2...but I guess it would be way to difficult to snap some photos for the piecing together of Eme's history. When it was developed, it had a total of 6 photos on it. One of those photos was of me and Ems at the Costco counter that the lady snapped, one photo was of Emerson and the dude that brought her beside of another baby, another photo was of Emerson and the dude with their heads cut off and the rest were of nothing but a building and grass. Totally disappointed once again. Shouldn't have wasted the $50.00 to mail it. I'm sure they enjoyed the chocolates though. =0/ For that matter, I'm totally jaded by how little they give a crap about their history. I don't know that anybody had honest paperwork of their child. Some were the same and we had plenty of good laughs about how inaccurate our papers really were. Do they just randomly check boxes and tell you what you want to hear? As her Mother, I am disappointed about the disregard of who she really was the first 15 1/2 months of her life.
*I've decided that putting a hat on Emerson is the best way to keep her unengaged with others around her. They don't see the pile of cuteness hiding in the ergo and she doesn't make eye contact with anyone because they can't see her eyes. I don't want her hamming it up for strangers when she can't deal with the reality of her new life.
*I am 'not so' patiently waiting for updated pics of my 2 girlfriends that have rec'd their girls 2 hours ago. I can't wait till we are all together again, what a journey it's been for all of us. I just wish our China time coincided.

56 comments:

A Beautiful Mess said...

hugs....I wish I could do something to help even if it was just laundry.

Maybe have a talk with the boys explaining a little of what is going on and what you need from them. You have 3 caring and sensitive boys.

hugs my friend wish I could make things better....

xo
mare

Alyson and Ford said...

So sorry for the unhappiness of E. We can tell you that it does get better. You need family help right now to keep your family going and to show them love while you continue bonding. I had my Mom stay at our home for several weeks to prepare meals, shop, clean etc. Don't try to do it all yourself. Give yourself permission to take the time now with E.
Hugs to you,
Alyzabeth's Mommy for Eight Months

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

Tracy,

I don't know what to tell you, except in time she should start to get a little more comfortable with her surroundings and less dependent on you. It must be extremely difficult for you, because I know it is heartbreaking to hear them cry like that, especially when you know she is grieving. You just want to take their pain away.

Thinking of you.....hang in there!!

She is so cute....I just got a chance to check out the picks below....love her mj hat and tank:)

Lisa

HuluMama said...

Thanks so much for your honesty at what you and your daughter, and family, are going through right now.

I'm learning so much about what might happen when I finally come home with my daughter.

Sending good thoughts and prayers your way.

Alyson and Ford said...

This time is so hard. So hard that words can in no way convey its depth.

I remember our being told.
You will be the best nannies she has ever had and slowly she will come to know you as the best mom and dad a little one could ever want and have...

Our hearts break for you guys. Hugs to your boys and know that you all are in our thoughts and prayers.
peace
fm

Mom 2 six said...

We had the same types of things. Mia was the same way with Dave (although he did not travel with me) but it just took time.
It is challenging to do this with other kids who need attention -but it does get better. There will come the day that she genuinely loves you, has blended in with the boys and everything will be a new normal.

Mary, Jason, & Maya said...

I truly feel for you and I'm focusing a lot of prayer and positive energy on you and your family. I know how hard these days can be. I remember shedding many tears as soon as my daughter would sleep. I wondered if things would ever improve. I do believe so strongly in everything you are doing for Eme. When I see the kindness that emanates from your boys' faces, I'm confident that Eme will find her place in your home and with your family. She is finally home. As her body becomes less vigilant, she'll start to take in the beauty and love that surrounds her.
Mary

Melissa said...

I wish I had some great advice. :(
I cannot imagine how extremely difficult things are right now, but I think it is wonderful that you are being honest about everything you are going thru, so the other Mom's can be a great support to you right now. I will continue to pray for you and your family during this adustment time.
~Melissa

Debbie said...

God, this sounds so hard for you all. Do you think it would have been easier had she been younger? I don't understand, if she had been in an orphanage for 15 months why China couldn't have found her a family earlier (obviously YOUR family!!). Poor little lamb, she must be totally terrified, but she is in a great family and will get there eventually. I am thinking of you all x

thegreybullet said...

T, thank you so much for your honesty. I have always loved that about you and your Blog, you tell it just how it is, as difficult as that may be. It is not all lady bugs and roses as many try to portray. Please give yourself a break and allow yourself the time with Eme. You have raised your boys to be loving and sensitive just like you, I am sure they will understand this is just for a short time until Eme starts to feel safe. I wish I could wave a wand and make it better. Just know in time it will. I will continue to uplift you and your family in prayer.
Ellen

PIPO said...

What you write still feels so openly raw to me. I could have written nearly every word (and think I may have) such a short time ago. Home three months now and the life we have is a total 180 from those early weeks. The first month was indescribably horrid for my girl. The second better and over the last several weeks the smoke has really started to clear. I know how hard it is when patience is low and exhaustion is high. I wish I could 'fix' it but we all know we can't. Time and building trust...it will come. No one could be better prepared and more aware than you.

Sending you all good vibes and a dose of sanity (I can spare a little now ;0) until the fog clears in your own home.

Love to all.

Jewels of My Heart said...

It is so difficult when your little one is hurting and you can't make it all better right away.... I will be praying for you.
I would highly recommend this book "Holding Time" I can't think of the ladies name who wrote it. But she enplanes holding therapy and it could really help your little one heal and feel more secure. It is also a wonderful bonding time.
I know with my son it was a very difficult thing to do but it helped him in so many ways. Please email me if you have any questions about it or if I can help in anyway.... Hang in there.... Your family will get through this.... TOGETHER.
God bless you
D

Briana's Mom said...

I am so sorry that Eme is so scared right now. I can't imagine how I would have felt if my whole world had been turned upside down at that age. Time and lots of love and attention from you are the only things that will get her to the other side of this. I'm sure it is so hard to be there for her 24/7 when you are exhausted beyond belief yourself. I completely understand. It sounds like you are doing all the right things. Try to keep hanging in there.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there. It sounds like u r doing a wonderful job-even though it is incredibly difficult. We treated this phase much in the same way we did when we brought our new borns home. Sleep is most important. Get your boys in there to snuggle too. Tell them the stories of when they came home and what it was like.
Friends can help by taking the boys out too. Our older girls loved all of that attention.
You are doing everything right and each day she is growing stronger to love and trust you all. Your boys are learning so much from watching this example of selfless love. It took us 7-10 days to completely shake the fog of jet lag and transitioning our daughters sleep schedule. Just trust your motherly instincts-God put them there to help you.

Beeb said...

Thinking of you and your family right now. thanks for being so open - I can't express how grateful I am to you and the other honest bloggers who tell of the difficult times, too. It really is good to read of the reality of this adoption process in order to better prepare for my own "someday".


Many warm wishes of peace and comfort.

Isabella's Mommy and Daddy said...

I wish I could do something for you and the family girly..
I can't imagine. I am sooo glad that you have not shut down this blog as to us that are still waiting it keeps us going..or for me it does.. and all these things we will be going through also and it is great help..
I feel for you girly.. and I am sooo sorry..
BIG HUGS..
but in the end.. I know she will turn around and everything will be WONDERFUL..

Kristy said...

Oh how my heart aches for all of you, I know how completely exhausted you must be. You are in my thoughts and prayers sweetie.

Love and blessings, Kristy

Abby's Mom said...

I'm sending hugs your way as well! I can't imagine having to deal with a new baby and 3 very active boys who love and missed you and are so excited to have their sister home. Plus your house hold responsibilities. You have an awful lot on your plate. Add that to total exaustion! I hate to suggest this but have you thought about baby benadril for Ems? You could talk to your Doctor about it. Maybe if she could just get a deeper sleep on and for a longer time period (allowing for you as well) that alone might start to turn things around. Also what about the stroller? I mean for walks outside just the two of you for a while at first. Even better if you found one that lets you have her facing you. That could give your back a break at least and maybe she would even sleep in the stroller. I really feel for you. My sister stayed wwith me off and on for the first 2 weeks. It didn't effect our bonding or attachment.She knew when to take a step back. Hang in there!

OH! And I really hope you don't shut your blog down!!!! I usually only post once a week these days.

algonquinteacher said...

It WILL get better!!! Try to get some rest for yourself..I know it's hard but in the end will help your daughter. Our daughter had most of the same issues and it really took a couple of weeks for things to improve at home. Let the house slide and the boys will be okay. Hang in there..

Colleen said...

"sigh".... T, I wish I had some words to help. Time is all, and I am sure you are sick to shit of hearing that one. Its true tho. I know how stinkin tired you are. I'm sorry... I wish I lived closer to help you.

Sandra said...

Tracy, I was where you were when we brought Tahlia home. Her cries, fears and not wanting daddy lasted a LONG time and I don't know how I made it through; they were THE HARDEST months of my life. I had to call our social worker and see a therapist to deal with it all. If you want to, I can get into some of the things that worked for us. I know every situation is different and I know you have read a lot and know a lot and are prepared for a lot. Just let me know...

Meanwhile, take it day by day and do the best you can. Sending you hugs...

elisa said...

Oh man girly, hang in there. What you are doing right now is the most amazing thing that will ever happen to Eme. Her spirit was broken and you are giving it back. I too am sad at their lack of concern and pictures for her. But you, you are building her back up- and someday (although not soon enough I know) it will all pay off.

Make yourself one of those cool cocktails and sit by the pool- I know you will probably get funny tan lines from the Ergo :)

I too have a baby that will only sleep on me- and while she is an infant and without the history that Eme came with, because she is adopted I feel the need to make sure she is completely bonded to me. Makes for a long night- that and the fact that she eats every 2-3 hours still.

Anyway just wanted you to know that I am sending down hugs to you!

Elisa
www.elisalou.com/blog

Ani said...

T, I have no advise, but I'm sending prayers your way.
Hugs.

Joanne said...

Ok, even though Mia felt a bit differently than Eme when first home: she was petrified of others getting too close, your hat idea is awesome - and she looks adorable to boot :) Taking care of the boys, who have missed you terribly & your new girl is as tough as splitting yourself in half!! Eddie, who was 4yr when Mia came home, was fine while we were in China; however, when we came home - he slept on our floor - next to me for 8 months!!! He must have been so afraid of being away from us! Combine that with Anthony breaking his arm - ahhhhhhhhhhhh! I am so glad I blogged about all that - because when I read back on it, I know why I'm a nut today :)
Our disposable camera was all used up - but the photos where from the same day (I believe) and just random shots - not too impressive...however, our SWI gave us about 20 pic's of Mia's province and all the "history" and "famous" areas there - very sweet.
Hope you continue to blog...if for nothing else, to know you ARE NOT ALONE!
I'll be keeping you all in my prayers - take care of mommy too :)

Karen and Bob said...

Again, like most have said it does get better. You had the "honeymoon" while in China when she was not grieving at all. Our girl was inconsolable in China, any transition made her cry. The same continued for a while time when we got home. Our girl was not a happy baby, and I even joked in our travel blog that we should have named her Sybil! You can only do what you can do. Our girl was about the same age as Eme at the time. 14.5 months at gotcha.

I also understand about the pictures. Some in our travel group got good pics, but all in the orphanage, and seemingly only right before they left. Our camera had dark, dark pictures and only a few. And I don't think they really do care about their history before they come to us. These babies are considered "unlucky" before they are adopted. If they were to stay in China they would not be even registered citizens. Not sure where I am going with this post, but I do understand your feelings. It will all come together in time.

~ Alison n' Mali~ said...

She'll settle down, for sure. It might seem to take an eternity, but she'll get there . . . you'll all get there.

M's history report was pretty much the same, although what would they have typed up if it had been an honest indication of what/where she'd been? Sadly, I don't think it would be pretty. I wonder about M's experiences before we met every single day (both in & out of the therapist's office).
They did do a fairly good job with our disposable camera, though.

Maybe they didn't know how to use Eme's camera properly? I know most don't even have running water . . .

Knuckles to Eme from M & I.

Hugs to u & J.

Special K said...

I'm so sorry babe. I wish I had advice.. but the only thing I can say is do what you have to to survive this part of it. Let the house get dirty (everyone understands), have the local family and neighbors help as much as possible with the boys, sleep as much as you can. And remember this is only temporary....

PS. Airfare isn't too bad right now. You know the offer is there. Just saying... :)

Cora said...

I hope that soon she is able to trust the whole family. Hang in there it will surely get better. We just never know the cirrcumstances our little ones will come to us by we just have to get through it.

Thinking of your family.
Cora

Lacie said...

Thinking about you.

Allison said...

Many, many good thoughts are going out to you and your family. This is such a HARD time and no amount of reading can prepare for what it's really like.

Remember to take care of yourself too. I forgot that a few times and really struggled to get back to my usual self.

Hugs to all of you.

Four Times The Chaos.... said...

Just divide it up. You deal solely with the baby for now, let your hubby deal with the boys. That's the way we had to do it each time to make sure everyone was happy. Gradually, switch it up...let hubby do more for Emi, you with the boys...but we waited until everyone was much more settled before trying the switch. Hang in there...it all gets better but it does take a good bit of time. Get a nice hot bath or hot tub in peace whenever you can and a glass of wine. You have to take that time for yourself or you will be in tears (as I was).
Julie

Mary said...

Our daughter clung to me like Velcro for 1 solid month. She wanted no one else. It was very overwhelming for me. Eventually I let others hold her and quietly stood next to them to let her know I was still there. I had to hold her as well when I went to the bathroom. She sat by my legs when I cooked dinner. She eventually was drawn to Dragon Tales and would roar in her tiny voice with laughter at the show and soon I could move around a bit more. She cried at night in her crib alone because she had been used to sleeping with her foster mother. We would comfort her from her bed and walk out and soon that stopped, almost a week later surprisingly. She had the Fisher Price aquarium in her crib and that became our lifesaver. The light and the music just soothed her. She also had that to rely on if she woke up in the middle of the night before we could get to her. When we'd go out in the car and she'd hear the engine turn off she was terrified that we were going to drop her off and leave her with someone else. I don't know if you've learned a few Chinese words to comfort her? Looking back I realize that would have helped immensely. Sticking to a schedule that she can rely on in the beginning especially will really benefit her and her feelings of security. It took us a while but we realized that although she was well cared for in China she was absolutely paranoid for a very long time that she would not get to eat. Regular time periods of eating and snacking made her so happy. Most of all as the weeks went on she became a little more relaxed and slowly bonded with us. Within a month there was a huge improvement, within 2 amazing! You need a backup for example your husband, sister, friend that she just plain 'has' to get used to so you can get a few hours to get your mind together and go back refreshed. She will soon get the idea that you are always going to be the one to come back to her. With every week you will definitely see her relax and start to enjoy herself and you will see your old self return - I promise! I'm going to try and email you an article that explains what a child feels like going from birthmother, to orphanage to foster care, and finally to their forever family. That article alone will help you more than anything you can imagine!

Everyone should read this before they pick up their adopted child. Taken fron the book "Adoption Parenting" EMK Press

http://www.emkpress.com/perspective.html

Lindsay said...

Sorry you're having a tough transition. Hope it gets better for you little one soon. It is so horrible to know that they are suffering such emotional distress, and not be able to fix it quickly.

We had many of the same issues. Hannah also cried when I put her in the car seat and shut the door. One thing that helped us in many ways was giving her a little photo album with pictures of her and me and the dogs (the extent of our single parent family:)) and she carried it around with her. The album was one of those cheap little plastic things that was just baby hands size friendly. As soon as she was in the car seat I would give it to her and get her to start looking at it. Definitely cut down on the stress. Hannah still gets a lot of reassurance from it. I still need to talk to Hannah if she is in the car seat and I am at the back of the car (putting shopping in the boot, etc: she needs to know I am there). I also found making a game of closing her door worked - palying peek-a-boo and pulling faces. Don't know what the neighbours thought but who cares :)

The superficial smiling we too had lots of: it was a million watt attention grabber. She went daddy shopping more than mommy shopping and would happily cruise on over to strangers given half a chance and crawl over them. It lessened with time, but that was really all that cured it. Time and the growth of trust.

Hannah is only now starting to sleep well, though we still have incidence of trauma rearing their head and setting her off into horrific meltdowns. They told me she was sleeping thru the night at 6 months - big joke! Like you, we were getting 3-4 hours a night with multiple awakenings. A big help in the last couple of weeks has been the addition of a weighted blanket. Highly recommend it for giving a feeling of safety to your little one.

If you can, I would say keep the blog up. I have found it so invaluable to be able to look back and really get a perspective on how far Hannah has come with attachment disorder. A great site is a4everfamily.org - they give a wonderful check list on signs of secure attachment (as well as the one with symptoms of attachment disorder). Eme can't be anything but superficially attached at the moment, but I'm sure you will soon begin to see the positive signs emerging that her attachment is becoming secure. There are always steps forward and steps back. No gain is necessarily set in stone. But every second she is with you, you are making progress, even though you sometimes can't see it. You will make it thru this.

If she will let you, try adding a soothing massage at bed time. The skin contact will be very good for your bonding and her development of trust. It may also help relax her into a deeper sleep. Hannah was (is still sometimes) horribly hyper-vigilant and didn't fall into a deep sleep either. A very repetitive, simple and predictable bed time routine has helped us a lot.

Sending hugs and prayers in your direction. I hope that Eme is soon thru the worst of her grieving and the fear begins to ease.

Thinking of you all.

staci said...

I know it seems like forever but all of this change is still so new. I wonder how a little brain can absorb so much. Yes she is suffering and you have the hardest job in the world being her primary caretaker and having 3 other children to take care of. This is definitely the time to accept any help you can get with the boys, laundry, cooking... Time is so healing but the healing time is incredibly tough. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I think you are incredible!!!

Suzanne said...

I don't know if you read the blog VaChina Monologues or not... but her baby girl went through a similar transition issue. She blogged about it honestly and one of the things that worked for her was to stay at home away from others and too much stimulation as much as possible. (I'm sure that wasn't the only thing)- anyway you might want to check out her blog.... vachinamonologes.blogspot.com

Sending you best wishes from SC!!

Island Girl said...

I just wanted to THANK-YOU for your honesty and sharing your experience with those of us who have never been to the other side.

Sending [{HUGS}] and Prayers!!!!!

Mardi said...

Thank you soo much for your honesty here. I will be leaving in July to get our daughter and this helps me to know what to expect and to not feel alone when this happens. I am saying a prayer for you now. You have such a beautiful family.

Randi said...

My little girl was 14 months old when she was given to me. I came home to a 9 year old Autistic boy and a 5 year old boy. It was just as hard as you described. In a way you are lucky that it is summer break. Emma would scream the whole hour it took to get the boys off to school in the morning. I had to get them to school and had to put her down a few times to get them ready. The first month home was horrible. There was no sleep. Emma would cry in her sleep for most of the night. Nothing I did would comfort her during these periods. By the end of the first month things were improving. By the third month things were really good. Emma now follows her brothers around the house and plays with her daddy. I know you must hate to hear this, but it really does get better.

Wendy said...

I am a lurker to your blog but I wanted to tell you that I'm thinking you all. I know this is a ROUGH time. We were there too and I didn't think we would survive. We were all super sick coming home and Catherine just had a rough transition. Our pediatrician recommended benadryl first but that didn't work and then he recommended a small dose of melatonin which did. It helped put her to sleep and it kept her sleeping for a few hours. She is in such a 'fight or flight' mode right now, that it's hard for her brain to make the chemicals/hormones it needs to shut down and go to sleep. It definitely helped with our transition and getting the sleep we needed. It also helped her adjust quicker because she was able to get out of the 'fight or flight' mode for a few hours at a time.

It will get better...it doesn't feel that way now but it will!

laurie said...

Oh T., here's hoping every day is a little better than the last. It is tough now-you are tougher. It's too bad all of us bloggy friends didn't live close enough to help with meals errands etc. I hope J is feeling better and is able to stay home for a while and be there for the boys.

I will miss your blog terribly btw.

Hang in there

chicknboy said...

I'm so sorry you're going thru this. we went thru almost exactly the same thing with Elizabeth. it was awful. but we did get thru it...and you guys will too. It sounds like you are doing everything "right"-

praying for you.

Life with JJ, Starr and Spice said...

I know that being an experienced mom before my two from China came home gave me the edge in determining what did not "look" right. Katie was the queen of the "mommy shoppers" and it took me a long time to make her get the fact that I was her mommy forever. You are doing an amazing and some day you WILL look back on this from a much better place. This I know for sure.

Beth said...

Hello, I feel your pain about the disposable camera, I did not even get mine back. They gave me 4 pictures of Mattie they took at the orphange and he had his crotch less pants on so his little pee pee was sticking out. One was him on someones motorcycle which I do love because it fits his personalty. All Mattie came with was the outfit he was wearing, dirty girl jelly sandels, and some lotion they wanted me to put on him because "they said he had a rash". Basically he was left in the sun toooo long and was burnt and his skin was pealing. I kept all these things and will sharing them with him when he is older. Our first weeks at home where hard but now he is well adjusted and very out going so hang in there it does get easier

It really does get easier I am actually adopting again this time from Russia because CHina does not like us single moms any more. Russia is completely different from China and LOTS of paperwork. Now I am babbling. SO hang in there and enjoy your little girl. Beth

Glinda said...

If only my magic wand were real...

Leanne said...

Big Hugs coming your way. I just read the comments. Heartwarming to know that sooo many people care and have BTDT advice for you. Hang in there T,

Take K up on her offer =) Truly a Special K. What a great friend.

Take Care
Leanne in Ca

Linda and David said...

I appreciate your honest posts about your struggles with being at home. Although I've read the books, it means more coming from someone going through it now. I will know what to expect. Thank you. Things will get better!

Linda

Shay Ankerich said...

I wanted to let you know I went through the same thing when we brought EllaKate home 3 years ago. She completely latched onto me and there she stayed for about 3 months. I carried her in the carrier all day, she took naps laying in the chair by me, and she slept on top of me for months. It was what I had to do and there were days when she cried and I cried right along with her. I have three older daughters and they helped a lot! My house went by the wayside and we ate lots of takeout. It is ok just to focus on her and everything else will follow. I had one friend that told me put EVERYTHING into that baby for year and she will be very well adjusted- she was right! EK is so happy and smart and secure and I know your sweet girl will be too. We are all praying for you and know what you are going through!
Blessings!
Sharon Ankerich &
EllaKate Day home for 3 years

~K said...

I don't think any amount of preparation prepares you for how much your heart hurts in the moment.

And the fact that your completely jet lagged doesn't help. Eme is probably freaked by how crappy she feels from it too without understanding why.

Each day will get better... just remind your boys a thousand times a day how much you love them, they will understand at some point that the work you are doing with their sister was necessary for all of your survival. They are outstanding kids, they will be fine.

Sending you hugs and my thoughts and prayers XOXO

Truly Blessed said...

My heart hurts for sweet Eme, how fortunate for her she has a new Mommy who understands that she's hurting and is willing to do whatever it takes to help her feel secure in her new family.

I don't know how you feel about the Rumor Queen site, but there have been some great discussions going on recently about post adoption depression (which is really due to anxious attachment on the part of the new child) and about anxious attachment itself.

I doubt you have much time to read on the computer, but I think these discussions could be very helpful to you right now.

Also, you're wise to ask for and receive as much help with meals as you can get right now -- keep requesting them as long as people ask how they can help you. Anything else friends can do for you (clean the bathrooms, do the laundry, run kids hither and yon, grocery shopping, etc.) ask them to do it.

This won't be forever, it's just a period in your life and you need help so that you can help Eme.

God bless you all...

TB

http://chinaadopttalk.com/forum/index.php?topic=34644.0
http://chinaadopttalk.com/forum/index.php?topic=34718.0

Liene said...

T - If I ramble, I hope you'll forgive me.

I wish I had some sort of comforting words to explain why some babies adjust better than others. Why some babies have no problems going to their fathers and others just pull away and want nothing to do with them. The conclusion that I am coming to accept with the second statement is that the nannies are women and therefore have no interaction with any males.

I am hoping that sooner rather than later, things get easier for you with Eme's adjustment. Just stay strong and know that you have this whole world of blogger friends that have either BTDT or will be in that position soon.

Daniella said...

I wish I had wise words but I don't. I know you and your family are doing everything to make E comfortable and that she will be okay - I am sure the lack of sleep is not helping the situation for any of you. Thinking of you all as you adjust.
xo

Pink Velvet Mommy said...

Can you have someone come in to help with your housework. I am certain our walls would have caved in or we would be living in a total mess had my MIL not been here to do all of that work for me and allow me to sleep when I could or just spend time with Hayden.

I know this is so hard, but maybe you will just have to keep her in and away from most everyone except for family. That is mostly what we did(within the realm of reason) and it seemed by the time we did go out I knew it was okay.

It took weeks for us to get Hayden in her carseat before she didn't just freak. When it was just she and I....because she is backwards she forgot I was still in the car with her. So I would talk constantly to her. We tried to do this as little as possible....Mostly I tried to always have someone to drive and that way I could sit in the back with her, then we finally switched to letting me drive....but having someone in the back with her...even it sometimes it had to be one of our dogs(that she loves) Now we have the mirror so she can see herself, we have certain driving CD's that we play, and now she is fine to get in the carseat....again this took weeks!!

We did the whole sleeping on top of mommy, and boy can Hayden sweat. The second I would breath differently she would wake up and cry, and cry and cry!!! It just broke your heart. It is really, really hard....or at least I found this part to be really hard. My body and mind just craved one night of good sleep to try and tide me over again for a few weeks, and it didn't come again for weeks. I don't tell you that to discourage you, I tell you that to give you hope that it will come and trust me it will be the best night of sleep ever and you will be shocked the first time you sleep even 4-5 hours straight(at night without a sweating baby on you) you will awaken feeling like a million dollars!!! But please know(even though logically you know) that it will come, and you will both be alright!!

I obviously do not know you, I have followed your blog for a very long time(since we started in the china line) I hope you will continue your blog, I do think it is a great outlet, and I hope that you get some comments that are profound enough to help ease your mind and some of the stress. I know there are plenty of BTDT moms that follow you and have commented, and I know they are all wanting to reach out to you and give you a hug and tell you that it does SUCK(that does not change how you feel about your child) it is hard, and you feel uncertain about the best thing to do, or the best way to handle it, and you of course want to provide your daughter with the emotional support she needs to deal with all of this change and transition. ....but it is hard. You have had 3 children, but none like this, and I am sure your worries when they were this age were very different. So don't be hard on yourself, follow your gut, explain to your boys(they sound so wonderful and loving, that they will understand) and you will come out on the other side and look back and see exactly how far you have come. Then someday Eme will read this and know exactly how far she has come and how strong she is!!

Sorry about the pictures....that sucks too!!!

Please know Hayden and I are sending you and Eme our hugs!!

Diana said...

Tracy..I read this and am so sad for Eme and all the other babies without there forever families way to long...It took our youngest a LONG time to bond. We look back at pictures and we honestly feel it was a good year before he had that "twinkle" back in his eyes. He was 14 months and was so loved by his foster family. My heart breaks for you, Eme and your family. It is HARD!!
Hugs to all of you:)

mae said...

I feel for you! I've been following your blog for a little while now and love seeing the pictures of your beautiful daughter.... what a great smile!

We've been home now for 10 months with our younger daughter who was 19 months old at the time of adoption. The early months were very difficult.... I was basically "on" for 24 hours a day for the several months home. We tried to keep things very low-key during this time. My husband and I were the only ones to hold Alyssa for the first six weeks (probably me for 80% or more of that time) and she was always within arms length of me when anyone else was around. It was especially hard on our older (bio) daughter who was 5 1/2 when we all traveled to China to meet her little sister. In some ways it seemed as if her transition was as hard as her sister's since she didn't really understand that adding a sibling was going to turn her world upside-down.

We had great support from family members and just kept reminding ourselves that nothing was more important than our new family. We didn't worry about more than basic house-cleaning or meal preparation and welcomed whatever support was offered from friends and family. It sounds as if you also have a good support system that will allow you to concentrate on your daughter and boys for a while.

I'm glad that I kept a record of the time after we got home. It helped me to see that things were getting better over time and kept things in perspective. The bonding and overall adjustment has gone quite smoothly overall and now it seems as if most issues we are dealing with are typical toddler ones. There is some lingering difficulty with getting her to sleep at either nap-time or night-time but, after months of having to be in the same room with her at all times just in case she woke up, I can now go other places in the house when she falls asleep... such freedom! By the way, it took Alyssa about two long (!!) weeks to get over the jet lag .... she and I got very little sleep in that time ... but then things improved and it made a big difference when we started getting more sleep.

Hang in there! Things will get better.

Anonymous said...

I had a similar experience when we were foster parents to a 10 month old little girl. The baby came to us from an abusive environment, and was in great trama on the day she was placed in our home. She latched on to me immediately and was ok as long as she could see me. When I was out of view the crying began. She wanted only me and was extremly fearful of anyone else. When a visitor came, she would crawl to me, grab on and climb up my leg letting me know she wanted me to pick her up. When I did, she'd hide her face in my shoulder and not move until the visitor left. She was extemely fearful of anyone except me and my 4 yr old daughter. If my husband came near her, she bagan crying immediately. So one day my husband picked her up - and the crying began - and walked out the door with her. He walked down the street and kept walking until she finally stopped crying. Then they walked home. While he walked, he kept talking to her in a calm, quiet voice. After that day, she was no longer afraid of him. And she was less likely to cry when I was out of site. She was learning to trust others and that I would always come back to her.

I know listening to Eme's cries is so hard. But you have to get your rest so that you can be the best for her. And Eme has to see for herself that others are not going to harm her.

I don't know if my story will be of any help to you, but I know it made a big difference for us. I have been following your trip to China from my daughter's blog (laurensjourneyhome). Mardi was the 4 yr old.

I will definitely be praying for your family during this very difficult adjustment time. Sherry

Kayce said...

T, thank you for writing this and thank you to all the commenters. From posts like this I will learn what lies ahead for us and I will know that I am not alone nor the only one who has walked this path. You are all in our prayers and will continue to be there. Hugs to all of you T and thank you again for sharing with us.