Monday, September 17, 2012

A little out of sorts

Ok - so many are asking how I'm doing, etc. In the spirit of full transparency, I'm a little out of sorts. We are all adjusting to having a firecracker at home. We're a fairly quiet, low-key family... so to have the house a bit upside down with non-stop energy and endless eating and changing diapers is a bit .....interesting :) I'm really searching for that full-time servant heart - don't get me wrong, I do find enjoyment in serving people... but I guess it is usually on my terms. {selfish...hmmmmmm}. Dear Lord, please do a work in me.

But here's the good part -- just at the point when running on empty of patience and energy for the next nutty moment....this little girl does something that amazes me.... like just now, she's been playing with Joshua. I made them a snack after school pick up... she came to me clearly with a need... I went through all the common hand signals that we've been able to establish (ponie - = water), (stinky - with point to diaper = need a diaper change), the "more" sign - although she's done that a couple of times... I think she believes she's beyond "BABY sign language" and doesn't have much tolerance for playing along.... she grabbed my hand and walked me to the kitchen pointed to the bread and jabbered... which I clearly understood she needed another bread, butter, jam sandwich. Ok, getting somewhere....she smiled with excitement (and I think even a laugh) and I handed her a SECOND sandwich because she already finished the first one. She checked in with Joshua in the family room and then came to me to sit on my lap here at the computer :) ... for just a second...then back to Joshua (BUT as she hopped off my lap she looked down and noticed her tennis shoes here by the desk....) so she quickly picked those up and put them in their "proper place" -- that she's established. BELIEVE IT OR NOT, she's the ONLY one in the whole house that will pick up their shoes! Seriously.

And after a diaper change, she's quick to either put on herself (or attempt to) or indicate that I needed to put on her pants -- as if to say, "only babies run around in a diaper".

She works so hard to please and she exhibits real patterns of self-care that I'm sure were taught at Bal Asha. I am ever thankful for BAT - it seems they did an amazing job with this little girl. I can see the care they gave by the behaviors that he exhibits....and it is good.

Now this morning, when I unpeeled her banana broke in half and placed in a bowl - only to find out that I must have done it wrong -- she had an all-out melt down in the kitchen floor. So I picked it up and gave her a new one, only started the end and she was happy and finished peeling the banana back piece by piece and then pointed to the door (that has a baby lock on it) that has our trash can kept inside. She wanted me to open it, so SHE could throw away her trash. I just don't remember Joshua being so meticulous at this age. Here is what I'm learning from her --- give her options, ask her IF she wants help -- when she decides, she's often much more agreeable and will even accept help on things she clearly is unable to do...but boy this girl will try anything! Determined and independent. She even put on her tennis shoes this morning....seriously! velcro straps, of course, but still she had them on...and even the right foot.

So I'm caught a bit between having a 3 year old that behaves a bit like the "terrible twos"....I hate that saying, but it seems to be the only phrase to explain my point.... mixed with an infant that can't clearly tell you what they need and someone who has a boatload of diaper changes. and mixed in is a gal that's the life of the party and doesn't stop! Fiercely independent -- yet also so clearly needy...... so as you can see, I'm a bit out of sorts.

We've had some biting (not a bunch, but on occasion).... some spitting too..(this makes me a little crazy, I'll be honest)...along with throwing food and pinching. But I'm learning the more I seek HER direction, she responds well. And like I said, in between some of these little spurts of challenge / melt-downs... she is so loving, and affectionate, and funny.... you can't help but laugh and hold her tight. I'm so proud of her being able to do well in the car seat and the stroller ride. Whenever anyone leaves our house after a visit she cries... she hates to be left behind... I'm not sure what to do about that one...any advice?? The range of emotions is a bit more than I can take at times.... and I'm reminded that God is in control and called us to this little one -- so this roller coaster will smooth out to a flat train ride one day...just praying it's sooner rather than later... and praying we can get a few months behind us at the blink of an eye. Just keepin it real ya! The emotion on this side of the process is so very different than the emotion on the pre-adopt side. And so far all my gal pals that I’ve confided in says "this is all normal" -- and when she laughs during nearly every diaper change because her belly is so ticklish you can't help but laugh yourself. It's all going to be ok…. She’s only been home for 4 days :)


  1. How neat that her birthday was the day you brought her home! That happened with our first daughter, so it's especially fun to hear!

    I would say you're doing VERY well with her -- it must be hard to reconcile all the books' advice about feeding her and meeting every single need, when you have a very independent girl who is trying so hard to have some grain of control left!! What a bright little girl -- she seems very smart.

    I will totally affirm the strangeness of finally meeting this little person you've loved from afar. We sort of create an imaginary identity for our children before they come home, and then we meet them and discover they have their own personality and ways of expressing themselves. (Which we knew! of course! but it's still surprising, somehow.) And then I remember being struck by how afraid she must've been about EVERYTHING, and how huge a request it was for us to ask her to trust us. And then you're jet-lagged, exhausted and sometimes sick on top of it all!

    So I'm glad you're choosing to be real -- it's a real service to the moms & dads who will travel after you, and it's reassuring to know that other parents are discombobulated or aren't sure what to do. Thank you for your transparency!

    1. Nancy - you hit the nail on the head. :) I'm sure I romaticized a bit about a little girl in cute dresses, and outfits etc. (Which she is...but yesterday in her cute little blue play outfit -- by the end of the day had strawberry jam down the front and somehow dirty pants).. I just let that go and laughed... we always have shout and laundry detergent.... Joshua was never a very messy baby...

  2. I agree with Nancy....your transparency is a total blessing. I recently read a book about friendship, and one of the #1 qualities of a friend is vulnerability...You are being such a friend to all of us in the adoption community by sharing so honestly.

    You know I can't really give too much advice, because I haven't been here yet....(but how cool that you'll be able to give me advice when I need it). But know that I am praying for you tons....and I am ALWAYS here to listen.

    Love you,

    1. You are and will always be my Barnabas :) Love you.

  3. :D:D I am getting caught up on you guys!!! Loving it! Love all your stories, and your honesty.
    Can't believe you have been home since Friday.
    She sounds like a funny lil gal...sounds like she is feeling pretty comfy with you!
    Let Mer advice from me--- Sorry!
    I can't wait to meet this little girl.

    I was in Nashville over the week for the Empowered to Connect conference, and was wishing my route home would have taken me by Lexington. :) Although, that may have been a little soon! ha.

    Praise God you are home!
    So happy for you all.
    Praying that you can have energy and clarity as to how to handle each situation with lil miss. <3

    1. Colista - you MUST email or post to me.... HOW did you like Dr. P - and Empowered to Connect? Wasn't it wonderful??? We went last year. Tell me about it - what you took away the most... might bring up some memories for me :)

  4. I can so relate to what you are going through. We picked up Treya on her second birthday. She also was fiercely independent with the same sort of orderly tasks that you mentioned. This remains one of her issues a year and a half later! Some things require help due to safety and other concerns. Language was and sill is an issue as well. Opinions...oh yes, she has strong ones. Biting. Yep we did that one too. All I can tell you is that it does get easier as time goes on. As you learn more about her and she you, you will find that happy medium and begin to meet each others' needs in the middle. I would say for 4 days you are doing remarkably well. Switching emotional hats from pre to post adoption is hard, no doubt about it, but you are navigating this huge family change very well. Interesting how someone so small can teach us grown-ups so much!


  5. How did I miss all these posts of you after coming home!!! Just got caught up... I'm so happy to read the posts... Really great read for us soon-to-travel parents. Tanks for saying it like it is. I know it is not going to be rosy, and I like to hear the real life incidences... I'll be turning to you for help when I need it... Thanks again! She is so blessed to have you all and I know she is a blessing to you as well. I'll be praying for an easy transition for you... Feel free to message me of you need any marathi translation.