Thursday, September 12, 2013

Ready for normal

My blog from a week ago that I am just now posting...time seems to get away from me these days!

Today Marks 7 weeks since N left the transition home. He has been in America for 4 weeks and I am amazed at how well he is adjusting and transitioning. It's still hard and we have our occasional melt downs, sometimes I laugh after them and sometimes I cry, other times I just have a glass of wine and call it a day but overall it is amazing how well he is doing and how much progress he has made in these few short weeks.

I was reflecting today on our adoption journey and I find it fascinating to see how much Gene and I have grown in our relationship with each other, with God and with our family. At the same time I was surprised at my emotions towards my adoption agency and support groups. I do not have any unhappy feelings of our agency and in fact am fairly pleased with their services and their ethics in adoption. But, I have avoided our agencies Facebook page like the plague and I use to once have to monitor it constantly. I had all these wonderful adoptive families that too were close in the journey like us and I have completely stopped contacting them. I feel horrible my i have dropped the support talk and yet at the same time feel so far from it.

(my counselor role is going to shine through here) I think if I look deep enough I am just at a place where adoption kinda took over our lives for the past two years. We skipped family vacations and trips with friends, we took on extra duties and focused on our journey to our son. I am so very thankful we did and know it was necessary but how I feel like I just want to be "normal" again. I don't know if I can really go back there though. I've seen to much and my son has lived too much for me just to ignore this thing called the Orphan Crisis and the epidemic of families being destroyed by lack of healthcare and food. I'm learning more and more about the "true orphan" and it's not okay. Gene has started a book called " When helping hurts, how to alleviate poverty with out hurting the poor or yourself" which has really made us stop and think about missions and the current approach to helping those in need.

So I'm struggling, how do I balance having a normal life where my thoughts are no longer about where I am on the list or how I'm going to prepare for my son and keeping Ethiopian culture. While at the same time remembering all that we have experienced and being open to our specific role in this cause, What can WE do to make sure another child like N never has to loose his mommy?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

First few days: Survival

Our very first day home started off magical, all four children watched each other in wonderment as they played and took turns showing N around the house. He loved his room and thankfully thought Jonah was a great big teddy bear of a dog. We tried to keep things low key and relaxed as possible and offered food and drinks to help keep him regulated.

Then we hit hour four and N was done. He no longer wanted to play, he hated any food we offered him and our youngest realized she no longer was the baby and began rebelling. Praise God our two older ones were able to occupy themselves while Gene and I took turns struggling it out upstairs. The next two days were filled with screaming, crying, pouting, grief and sadness. I think there may have been a time or two us adults felt lost and joined in our children's tears. We tried desperately to meet N where he is and continue to set limits in love while allowing him to express his emotions.

You see when a child is an Orphan, they loose thier voice. They don't cry very often because there was no one there to hold them and comfort them. they don't say how they feel because it really doesn't matter and if they have a problem they just deal with it through physical means. We wanted N to find his voice, even if that was (and can still be) a screaming crying voice.

He has lost so many people in his life, he lost his country, his people, his language, his food, the smells and everything familiar in one long plane ride. We did our very best to ease the transition through my extra time in Ethiopia, doing bonding exercises and trying the best we could to meet his needs immediately. But this is only a drop in the bucket in the attachment dance we were doing and the loss he is experiencing.

Our new son has not experienced real boundaries in the past year and a half he lived in care and so being part of a family with loving limits has been hard. Then to add on to that jet lag and lack of communication makes these first few days hard and I mean hard.

We know one day it will get better and we know we love our son and are so very thankful for him. Life right now is know as survival. We are all just surviving, taking one hour at a time, one melt down, one tear at a time. Adoption is not for the faint of heart nor the weak in heart but it is an amazing thing.