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Saturday, March 24, 2012

Reentry

In the middle of the night, between the screeching and the pinching and the hitting...
...the sweetest moments happen.
Since coming home, Mimi and I have been awake 4-6 hours every night with only 1 exception.
In the middle of the night while we sit on the couch, without knowing it, my head falls backwards, and I start to doze off.  Mimi strokes my cheek to get my attention.  To have me look at her again.
She wants my attention.
She wants my eyes on hers.
She wants me to see her.
Her sweet smiles and little rumpled-up nose grin appear in the wee hours of the morning.
She loves to have her feet and toes massaged and I can easily accommodate her at this late hour.  She places her feet in my hands until I rub them.  And when I stop she wriggles her foot back into my hand and fusses until I start rubbing again.
Somewhere between 2-3am last night, (or maybe that makes it this morning) she let me cradle her as she finally dozed off.  She tried so hard to keep her eyes open.  And each time she opened her eyes she saw me looking at her, and she couldn't help but smile.  At me.  Again and again she'd smile as she saw me gazing at her during that in-between time between sleep an awake.
These are the sweetest moments.
I had forgotten how hard and incredible the middle of the night can be with a new baby.
And yet, my second time around through an international adoption journey, and I find myself wondering if reentry was this hard last time.  I know in reality it was even harder last time.  But I'm reminded how hard this work is.
Daunting.
Brutal.
Physically my body is shot, and in the first few days when I was so sick, much of the time I literally couldn't do anything more than just observe.  The nausea, the jet lag, the incredible fatigue is overwhelming sometimes.
Additionally, mentally this is so difficult.
The what-ifs creep in.
My family and my home that ran so smoothly before we left,  is now in constant shambles.  I'm not able to find the ability to tuck in T&J each night, or snuggle with Boo like he craves.  I find myself doubting my ability to successfully run this home.  The house is a total wreck.  The meals I filled my freezer with are still sitting in the freezer untouched.  My temper is short.  The laundry is piling up and the dishes need to be washed.
This is hard work.
I rest in the fact, that this is all part of the transition.
My transition.
Our family's transition.
Sweet Mimi Jade's transition.
This isn't reality yet, and yet it is my reality now.
These are all part of the process of a child being uprooted completely from all she loves and knows in an instant and being transferred to something completely foreign and new.
This is all part of the process of dropping a child with 2 years of history into a family unit.
I rest more easily knowing that this processing she is going, that we are all going through, is compounded by lack of sleep, a complete change in diet and routine, jet lag...
I'm trying to get outside a bit each day, trying to let the sunlight hopefully work it's magic and restore our bodies' clocks.
Trying to get over the difficult hurdle of reentry.
Mimi loves it outside.  We all love it outside.  Balls, bubbles, and the grass between our toes.
With the exception of the reentry itself, what's not to love.

21 comments:

  1. :0).....hang in there. Its all coming together.

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  2. I'm not really sure how I stumbled upon your blog a week or two ago, but as a fellow adoptive mama, I want to thank you for your honesty. Adoption is blessedly hard and I love that you are real. Thank you for speaking the truth in love!

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  3. A beautiful love story. Thank you for being real. It's so helpful for those of us who are about to go through it.

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  4. You're making a beautiful reentry. It may look messy, and it is, but you're living through it and loving through it.

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  5. Thank you for your honest words. They are incredibly encouraging. While we are not there yet, I am tucking these words away to remember for the days when our son comes home.

    I pray that each day you see something encouraging (those sweet smiles in the middle of the night, a special moment between siblings, some small moment that encourages you).

    Sarah

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  6. Oh, honey! I KNOW how hard it is to stay up in the middle of the night taking care of a baby. Just stay strong, it will get better. You know that. :)

    The photos are just lovely! We are enjoying outside here as well. The beginning of spring is wonderful.

    Hugs!!

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  7. I cannot tell you how much I look forward to reading these posts. Hugs to you + sweet Mazie.

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  8. I think I aged 10 years in the first year that L was home. Seriously. The pictures are beautiful. I'm tired for you. It's almost 5 years later and I'm still tired. I hope sleep comes soon to that beautiful little Mazie!

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  9. Your honestly is refreshing to another adoptive mom of 2 from China. Hang in there you know you are dong the right thing. I wish I could do it again. Praying for you and your family.

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  10. wow, I can SO RELATE!!!!! We are on 3 months home and I still feel like we are transitioning, though her palate surgery set us back to square one with everything...especially sleep!! LOL
    Your family is gorgeous!! I love your blog and photos!!

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  11. Nancy - you're cool - you know that? And while I know you don't see it - and you probably won't believe it - I see incredible progress! eye contact and desired physical contact - HOORAH - it don't get any better than that! As for the dishes - meh - it'll keep and still be there when someone get's too it!

    hugs - aus and co.

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  12. A friend of mine who has adopted 3 times (2 older) from China once compared adoption to a mobile....hanging serenly and in perfect balance. Then adoption comes along and the addition of a child whaps the mobile, sending it careening out of control and spinning wildly. In time, it regains its sense of balance as everyone settles into place in the family.
    Your mobile has just been whapped again....by an adorable little sweetie (and I am kind of jealous!)
    ~Nadine

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  13. I just love all your photos! Mazie and are your children are beautiful and you dress them so cute. I pray for continued strength during this time. I know little ones can bring a lot of weariness. I was 46 when I had my daughter, Mary, and she was colic so I spent a lot of weary nights awake with her. She was my precious gift from God but I was so glad when she started sleeping through the night!

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  14. Ah, re-entry...quite the bear, isn't it?! Finding a new normal. Hard stuff and you write about it so beautifully. Want to share this on WAGI?? :)

    Let me know and I can send it to Kelly...or you can send it yourself if you want. Just let me know so I don't bug you about it. :)

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  15. Those pictures are gorgeous! Sunlight can help anything. the way you describe her smiles in the middle of the night ... so adorable and loving!

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  16. Reentry....so very hard and amazing at the same time!!!! To be so thankful, excited, completely exhausted, questioning yourself, did I mention exhausted...at the same exact moment! And then she gives you the look and you know you can push thought another day. Your dishes, laundry, carpet, floorboards of your vehicle...let them be messy while you have a precious excuse running around. Take pictures of if for any moms that haven't adopted. Warning=your domain will look this way after adoption or childbirth. Praying for you and totally with you! Much love!

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  17. A new "normal" always moves in slowly... and an old "normal" never wants to move out to make room, so transitions tend to be... interesting. Sometimes brutally so.

    Hang in there, hang in there, hang in there: you been there, you done that. You have the necessary love (and plenty in reserve) to carry you & the rest of the Crazies through this. The missed tuck-ins will be understood & forgiven (if they haven't been already); the hours spent with your head in a smelly porcelain bowl will fade to a bit of interesting background in the story of your trip to China to meet your daughter; and those demons that come in the night in the guise of self-doubt and wouldacouldashoulda and whatif will all go skulking back into the shadows.

    There's a little girl in your arms who just met you, and already she wants to make sure you're watching over her when she can't help but fall asleep. There will always be housework to do, but this kind of work is so much more rare, and so much more valuable... Stop worrying yourself about ephemera and hang onto those wee-hours wrinkly nose smiles.

    (And I'll bet you'll be seeing plenty more of them soon, 24 x7).

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  18. So beautifully written. Prayers for you....hard, yet such a blessing!!

    p.s. My lil one is a foot massage lover too. :)

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  19. Thinking and praying for you during this time!!! You are an amazing woman and I just am in awe.

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  20. Praying that the Lord will continue to help you through this transition. Love the photo of your three littles together. Just darling.

    Hang in there!

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