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Monday, April 16, 2012

Truth be told...

...I'm having a little trouble around here.

Do you remember that "season" when you brought a new baby home and everybody was all like Congratulations and That's so wonderful, and you couldn't help but look into those gorgeous eyes and not tear up because they were so beautiful and full of possibility.
Or perhaps you were tearing up because of the realization that you were enjoying next to none of it because nothing else seemed in order?
It might have felt that the walls were crumbling around you?
And by walls I mean the never-ending laundry.
And dishes.
And the floors are dirty.
And the 'fridge needs filling.
And the toilet needs to be plunged... again.

Truth be told, this is my current reality.

Not to mention the state of me.
I am not a girly girl, but finding the time for even the bare minimums has become a challenge at best.  
Truth be told, showers are rare, and a thick slathering of deodorant has become an acceptable substitute.
A baseball hat has become quite a necessity.  All too often I'm sleeping in the same clothing that I wore that day.

Mimi insists on being carried everywhere.
I am still the only one who can put her to nap/bed and the process takes about an hour.  That's 2 hours a day lost to mindlessly creating lists in the dark of all the things I should be doing.
In the absence of speech, we've developed a routine where Mazie yells at me to tell me what she wants and doesn't want.  This communication routine, although quite effective for her, is not being encouraged.
Truth be told... I'm tired of being yelled at.

And I SO get that there is a season for everything.
But that doesn't get the floors swept and mopped folks!

I can not for the life of me get into a routine that seems to even get the essentials done.  We've been home a month now, and I can not fathom how to make this home run effectively.
Truth be told, I haven't a flipping CLUE how to get it all done!

If Mimi was a newborn, this 'season' would expectantly last months.  I'm not sure why I am not allowing myself this same time.  It feels like a month into coming home, and I should at least be getting somewhat on track again.
It feels like I'm off tract.
Far off tract.
If truth be told.
Little Miss Sunshine proclaiming her anger at getting her photo taken.
Adoptive mama's out there... how long till you felt like you had a grip on plain ol' life again?

50 comments:

  1. What helped me immensely was having a cleaning lady come bi-weekly;it made a world of difference. It can just be temporary until things settle; or you can just keep her for years, like I did. ;o) I found it helped me focus more on the baby and bonding.

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  2. It sounds like your wee one is adjusting much like her foster jiejie. I think that it was November; so about 3 months, until I felt reasonably in control of life. Yes, I enjoyed things and got things done but I didn't feel like I had caught my stride until then (and I only have the two and skating).
    My memories of those first few months home are already starting to fade. Tinted by rose coloured glasses. I know that you know this but it will get better and you are doing a great job.

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  3. teena-
    this is gonna sound backwards. But here it goes...
    we had a gal coming in to help with the cleaning. the amount of stress that was created by the before-she-can-come-and-clean-up-I-have-to-clean-up-the-house precleaning was crazy ridiculous. I had to get things tidied up so she could clean or it was all for nothing. Canceling the cleaning lady SO helped with the general stress level 'round here. but yes, the house is hurting because of it.
    Thank you so much for the suggestion!
    nancy

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    Replies
    1. Hello dear nancy, I just popped over here for a quick minute to check in blogs have kinda went by the wayside right now:/ and I am so sorry!! I feel your pain!! I have only been home a week so I can't complain compared to your time. But I just had to smile and laugh a minute at your describing what u had to do prior to the cleaning lady coming:):) I SO UNDERSTAND and therefore can't always handle it either. But oh how I need her:/!!
      Please know I care and am praying for you!!
      His blessings and HE IS FAITHFUL AND WILL SEE U THRU!!
      Love to u
      LaurelLee

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  4. Heather-
    thank you.
    thank you.
    really.
    thank you.
    nancy

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  5. We've been home a month longer than you and last week was the first week I didn't feel like I was completely drowning and letting everyone down all the time. I moved up to overwhelmed and letting someone down all the time. Feels like big progress to me! People keep asking about playdates and mom's nights and answers to emails and I'm not sure anyone understands why I just cannot handle any of it now. But I think I got my hair washed three times last week!

    Here's what's helping:
    WJ is getting more comfortable and secure

    Trips to the park tire her out big time and that helps with the transition to sleep (right there with you on that one!). Also night night kids tea (organic-- can't remember the brand but it is for kids) at bedtime.

    The older kids are helping out a little more (because mama had a complete meltdown about not being able to do it all).

    Two words: take out. In large enough quantities to be reheated for a couple lunches. Also paper plates (yes, environmentally reprehensible-- would it help if I recycled them?).

    It's okay if the kids' sheets get changed every other week instead of every week. Really.

    DH moving laundry along while I'm getting WJ to sleep.

    Chocolate. Lots of it.

    And the biggest help: WJ spontaneously hugging me and telling me she loves me. My back may ache from the carrier and the fridge is in desperate need of a good cleaning, but something's going right.

    You'll get there. It's harder for you at the start because Mazie was in foster care and loved-- but harder at the start means easier later on. Also, this is a hard time of year-- one about to graduate, school projects, spring sports, summer prep... I'm positive you're doing tons more than you realize.

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  6. I totally relate! We have 7 kids, the two most recent ones came home in September and November from Ethiopia. They are now 21 months and 19 months. Adopting two toddlers at almost the same time made for a REALLY rough 4-5 months. After our baby girl came home we had two months of working through the bonding etc, then had to start all over again when our baby boy came home. He has had some attaching issues and was pretty ticked off. Here it is 7 months later from our daughters adoption and I am just now FINALLY feeling like I've gotten my legs back under me.

    I knew from our last adoption that I have a long transition phase, but this time around was longer than normal.

    I think you sound like things are very very normal. And I TOTALLY get canceling the cleaning lady because while I'd love someone to come clean, i have too much clutter and would also be stressing the pre-cleaning clean up.

    Give yourself grace...6 months from now life will be chugging along...

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  7. Oh! Just realized our family make up is very similar. WE also had 4 kids biologically before adopting. We have our daughter from China, who is 6 (adopted 4 yrs ago) and our two youngest from Ethiopia this past fall.

    We've got a not so updated website if you want to check us out!

    Becky
    www.carlsencrew.com

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  8. What's about all the other persons around? You've got many little helpers... Perhaps you can proclaim a "Save the House"-Event the next saturday ? With a goal to look forward to, for example a trip to a nice place on sunday?
    I know exactly how you are feeling right now... and the only thing I know is: It will end! It will change! Try to believe...

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  9. Morning Nancy - how about from a guy's perspective...

    Two of our three adopted had "sleep / abandonment" issues - we went for months with one of us taking "night watch" so the other could get a little sleep....

    After the last trip I still had jet lag after a month (used to be a shift worker - and hey - I'm WAY older than you!!)

    I can say this....it took about 4 months for us (after the last trip) to get our sea legs back, and now - 18 months past that - it's just a dim and distant memory...

    And we wouldn't change any of it for the world!

    hugs - prayers for some feeling of peace!

    aus and co.

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  10. Anita (The Netherlands)Tuesday, April 17, 2012 3:54:00 AM

    After 2-3 months after adoption we were out of survival mode, but it took 1 year after we were home to really think: yes, this household is running like it should be!
    Patience....... and maybe you can take a shower together with Mazie???? (this helped me get over it....).
    Take care and..... I really LOVE your blog!

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  11. I TOTALLY know what you mean by the "pre cleaning lady clean" is TERRIBLE. I have shifted my strategy. i don't need someone to mop my floor. I have felt like I needed someone who was willing to learn where crap goes. Help fold the laundry and actually put it away. Most cleaning people only want to dust and wipe sinks. I haven't found this person, but I DEFINITELY know what you mean here. -- hang in there. in two months or three, it will shift. I know "normal" didn't hit us for six-eight, but maybe that is because we had two adjustments, when tsega came home and then the stress of brady in the hospital, and then brady coming home, which made things harder still. I dunno. It's all hard. praying for you, Mama.

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  12. Three months to find a new normal. One day you will wake up and exclaim in astonishment, "Oh! I know what to expect today." The exponential relationships will have settled down. Everyone will have adjusted to their new place on the ladder. We got backed up last fall with the adjustment and had medical stuff too but about three months in, we found our rhythm. It's a beautiful thing and you WILL get there. Grace. Give yourself grace.

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  13. I'm so there with you except Janie goes to bed easily and does not yell but in constant whine mode. A friend just asked me how I was doing and my response was, " I'm having a hard time getting my bearings". Just can't figure it out day to day, the routine you know. I too know this too shall pass, just hard to keep it together!!

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  14. We came home with our son last May (OMG- we're coming up on our 1 year anniversary!!). We had the absolute privilege of both my husband & me being home the entire summer to spend with him & our bio daughter. Didn't matter one iota when it came to getting into a stride/routine. It got to the point in July (yep, a full 2 1/2 months later), where I honestly thought we had ruined our marriage, and just *knew* we were destined for divorce. It was awful. I was devastated. Our well-run house had become an absolute disaster. I was too embarrassed to accept help from anyone (I didn't need help when my dd was born... why would I need help with our son??).

    It was the next month (Aug) that we finally started getting into our groove. I still have horrible guilt that our son came into what had been a very loving family, but because of jet lag & too-high expectations, he experienced some of our worst family moments. Welcome home kid!

    It will get better. You know that in your head- the message just needs to travel down to your heart. Who cares if you stick to the kitchen floor with every step? Gross? Yeah. But not a priority. Leave it long enough, someone else will clean it. It will happen. Do what you can do, and don't sweat the rest. Easier said than done, I know. But I'd say a priority now would be working on improving communication. That can't be anything BUT stressful to be yelled at constantly (especially by a little person who is struggling to understand!).

    You are in my prayers!!

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  15. Honestly, I don't know if this will encourage or discourage you, but sometimes I still feel this way and Ty's been home for 3 years on 4/26. When I think about adding 2 non-English speaking teenagers this summer, it brings me to my knees. But then I remember that's where God wants me.
    Ok for real, I painfully remember those first months with Ty where I slept on his floor holding his hand through his crib. That was a season that seemed endless but didn't last forever. I remember the sign language and endless attempts to guess what he was trying to communicate. That was a phase too. Now we can't shut him up. I remember how he had (still has) to be constantly supervised. I can't wait for that season to end. The truth is, if it's not one thing, it's another.
    My biggest advice? Ask for help. Not everyone gets how to help adoptive families during this season. Be specific. Dole out laundry baskets, ask for meals, whatever it takes.
    Hang in there, Mama! You're doing great and this too shall pass.

    Melissa
    www.thecorkums.com

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  16. 2 more weeks it will be so much better and I agree 3 months is immensely profoundly incredibly better - not that I'm at 3 months with the current kiddo but my previous adoption memory reminds me that every week is more grafted and increasingly peaceful. Experienced the same screaming at and continue to use at least an hour if not 2 a day to bond while trying to get Short Stuff to sleep.

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  17. It's only been almost 5 years....I'll let you know when it goes back to normal. lol!

    It definitely took a few months if not more. It feels like a nightmare now, but just think back to when Tess and Jude came home. It got better right? So there you go. It'll come together eventually.

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  18. I was a wreck. I decided that the only thing that I would do around the house was keep my bed made, so I felt like I had something inviting to return to in the evening, and keep my kitchen clean. If the kitchen was clean and by bed was made, I could find relative peace. Decide what key places in the house you want maintained, and then ignore every place else (very, very hard for me, but easier than the alternative of having me committed). The bathrooms only got clean when Grace was in the bathrub. Every penny of disposable income went to take-out. and we "taught" Grace to watch TV -- we deemed it necessary as a means of getting us through the weekly 5.5 hr car trips to IA for casts, but getting her to be willing to sit through a 23 minute episode of Dora -- and giving me 23 minutes when I wasn't having to hold her -- was huge. Hang in there. Two months from now, things will certainly be easier.

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  19. Truth be told, my grandma...yes, my 80-something-year-old grandma...did the laundry for my family while I was in China & she & Grandpa are still coming over almost every day to keep doing it even though I'm home. We have eaten out far more times than I care to recollect, & I really need to touch up my roots. The only bit of success I can claim is that we haven't missed any of our 10,000 doctor appts (yet). Sorry, no help here, but thought you might like to know you're not alone. :)

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  20. We are just a week ahead of you in terms of our daughters arrival home. I am also being screamed at non stop, it seems I can not feed her enough or fast enough or drive fast enough or play right or snuggle right or be more like daddy enough... the list goes on.
    We were making the most tiny baby steps with big steps backwards until all of a sudden like a switch we made a big step forward. I have no idea what caused the big leap forward, I didn't do any thing special in all likelihood I was parenting worse because I was nearing hopelessness at the time. I guess it was just time?
    Regardless of the big leap, I am still being screamed at, I just mind less because other things are moving forward. That bed and nap time routine you were talking about has changed to 15 mins tops now since our big leap.
    Good luck, I hope your big leap is just around the corner.

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  21. I am so so sorry Nancy. Not an adoptive mom yet (waiting-patiently), but when we brought Perry home, I got ZERO sleep for SIX MONTHS. I hallucinated frequently due to the lack of sleep and our house was-let's just leave it at "unmentionable". I COMPLETELY get the frantic "clean-up" two ours before the cleaning lady gets there. UHG. My husband got SO frustrated that I would pay a lady to clean a spotless house just because I was too embarrassed to let her do it. Geez, that was a rough time....I don't have the "rose colored glasses" on still and Perry's almost three (tears...). But I DO want to encourage you that it WILL eventually get better!! One day, she WILL sleep and let you go to the bathroom without holding her! (And if you're wondering -yes- it CAN be done.) I know that you know this, but sometimes just hearing that it won't last forever from someone else helps. I'll be keeping you and your're family in my prayers. You are doing a GREAT job! And, even screaming, she is a DOLL!!! xoxo!!

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  22. Oh my! Woke up (in the clothing I went to bed in of course) to 17 new messages. Oh what a lovely wonderful supportive bloggie-friends I have! I was kinda thinking it was just me and everyone else was totally doing it all with a happy smile. Feeling very not alone this morning.
    thank you all!
    nancy

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  23. Nancy,

    We've been home six months (4 kids, 2nd international adoption, both girls special needs, 1st with a life altering, significant, amazingly challenging need).

    It took 8 weeks for anything at all to feel "normal", 3 months to settle into good routines, and only now am I feeling I'm coming out of a fog. All this at the same time as feeling head over heals in love with this beautiful new person in our family!

    I'm glad you shared! This is the part that's not always talked about because we don't want people to think we regret. Learning to love my older girl who came home first (with the profound need, adopted at age 11) has been the most humbling experience. Less than ideal interactions affect my outlook, and my sanity, and yet, yes, there are so many things to smile at, to smile about.

    One thing that has helped me to feel like a positive, productive human, is to shift (though many days I've felt I *can't*) to seeing the good. I know that sounds trite, but I mean it from my heart. Also, don't sacrifice the things that re-fill your tank (though they may look different with a new little one around). As a friend said to me, it's the whole oxygen mask in the airplane analogy..

    I'll add, in the middle of my fog, a friend's husband was suddenly killed in a head on car crash. I'll tell you, it shook me, and woke me. It woke me to see how precious life is (sounding trite again), and to maybe overlook the things that were making me feel so annoyed and frustrated, on to see these beautiful souls that fill my messy house, souls I am blessed, so blessed, to help grow.

    I don't know you, but I'm sending you a hug! Things do get better, sometimes on their own, and sometimes with help.

    Thank you, thank you for sharing your heart so openly!

    I hope today is restful and good. :)

    Sincerely, Lieba

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  24. We had the opposite problem, *I* was the rejected one...so for about 2 months DH was a "single dad" but I did the cooking/shopping/laundry/cleaning. And then it took another month or 2 after K opened up to me before things really started to become "normal" (we are first-time parents so it was definitely a new normal!). Scanning the comments most people found normalcy around 3-4 months, and our experience was the same.

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  25. We had a screamer too... it wore me down and made me very bitter... looking back I wish I could've done things differently... it has been three years and it sometimes feels like we are still adjusting... but the biggest thing is just time. It will get better. I make a list for my older kids every Saturday with little jobs for them to do, even just getting these little things under control relieve my stress levels! It takes awhile for everyone to find their grove when a new child comes into the home and the screaming and chaos can take a toll on everyone!

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  26. I hide mine...i work day and night, don't have time to for anything and the days are soooooo QUICK....the wash and dirt is way insane and sometimes it seems like no-one 'gets' it...if i mention it to hubby or mom, i get 'i told you so or you ask for it' blah on them ;(
    so i have been thinking a cleaning lady would help get me on track at least with the bathrooms. I am one of the moms that if my house is out of order, so am i. I am just thankful 2 of mine are in school.
    I know it will pass, but hugs as you adjust, here always if you need a virtal hug or to chat!
    prayers for you
    Donna ;)

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  27. Hopefully this won't sound condescending but that's so good you were able to express yourself about how rough things are right now. I can't relate to your situation in that I only have two smaller people to tend to but I can certainly relate to that feeling of hopelessness when you're busy all day but not getting anywhere. Even though in the big scheme of the things the state of the house is unimportant when it's in a mess it just makes me feel in a mess ( and I'm not talking spotless, total organization - just tidy). So, I'm not helping much here and can't offer any advice but to say sorry that things are so overwhelming right now and that because you're spending so much time looking after maize ( and being yelled at sometimes for it!) I would imagine that when your son comes and asks where a school excursion permission note is because he has to hand it in today and you can't find it anywhere that that feeling of overwhelmness just takes over. I hope that you get some relief in whatever way soon.

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  28. Oh man, still struggling with this & I go back to work in 2 weeks...ahhh! I consider it a success when I've showered & we're all dressed and we've eaten! I have mountains of laundry to put away and definitely floors that need to be mopped. You're definitely not the only one. Heck, I'm impressed you blog as much as you do. Gotta catch up there too! Hugs!

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  29. Just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU for your blog. We are bringing our daughter home this summer and I very much appreciate your honesty. My husband and I have been following along and you are in my thoughts and prayers!
    I also appreciate when you ask for advice!! I read each comment closely and I'm making notes!!
    I know this does not help your current situation, but you are helping others with your transparency. Praying for your precious Mazie and that she would begin to transition.
    Blessings!!
    Heidi

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  30. Thinking of you and your family during the "yelling" season. Love much,

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  31. Seeing each day-It doesn't sound condescending at all. It sounds real and honest. I think we (adotptive mamas) need to be talking about this more. I guess it's just hard to find the time to.
    thank you so for your honesty!
    nancy

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  32. Lieba Emily-
    You said the word I think we are so afraid of. Regret. We don't want to appear to complain and get the "I told you so" and make it appear as if we regret our choice to grow our family through this unconventional manner. so often we stay quiet. Not asking for help. Or even reaching out to be a part of a community where others "get it."
    Thank you. Thank you for articulating it so well.
    nancy

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  33. Nancy,
    We are home with our 2nd for almost 2 years. The guilt is as paralyzing for me as the lack of time due to putting her to sleep, etc. I feel so guilty about the things I am no longer doing for my first daughter. And she lets me know how she feels about it!

    Would your teens have any interest in being your new cleaning lady/man or pre clean up crew? Make it really worth their while financially if you can and offer it up to them. Also, if you have it near you, use one of those meal prep places. We have one that just lets you pick it up- you don't even have to put it together, because who has time for that when she won't sleep with anyone else????

    Lastly, and perhaps the most importantly, Walking Rock Farm sells a COMFORTABLE baby/toddler carrier for the hip. Up to 40 pounds or so, and she can face in or out, and you have both hands free! I love mine. The hip made a huge difference for me (didn't like Bjorns), and the strap is so padded it is crazy. We used it for both adoptions- our first thought a stroller was a torture device and she had developed the loudest set of lungs in the SWI to voice any displeasure. Her crib was right by the window to the room with the nannies bed. I know it was so they could scoop her up in a flash.

    And I don't remember when it stopped.... the craziness. And my house is still a pig sty... BUT I stepped out of her site to show my older dd the water fountain when she was having her pictures taken, and I even have photographic evidence that she was happy without me for a minute! So, it DOES. It must. You were probably just too tired last time with two adoptions to realize it was crazy! :)
    Susie

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  34. Honestly, we have been home for 2 1/2 months and I think I would still be desperate if it were not for the sweet "mother's helper" who still comes 2 or 3 days a week. She makes beds, folds laundry, washes dishes, or does anything that needs to be done. And she does not mind if I sit on the chair and read to the girls while she does it. She has been a HUGE blessing!

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  35. Hi Nancy!

    We were in China about the same time as you getting our little guy! I am sooooo glad to hear an experienced mama (this is my first child) such as yourself share the difficulty transitioning home. I feel the SAME way!! I wasn't showering, sleeping, or eating with any regularity when we first got home and little man was up at least 4 times a night fussing and wouldn't go back to sleep. He had some "behaviors" too such as hitting me when I would feed him........and I felt terrible like I was doing it ALL wrong! Well, I started showering at night after I would get him to bed which helped so much. And sometimes I took him in the shower with me initially before that time just so I could get showered. He loved it and would just sit and play with bath toys! :) We also established a bedtime routine that doesn't change from night to night and it seemed to help him calm down and know what to expect. And for the hitting we showed him to be "gentle" by softly rubbing our cheek and praise him when he now does this instead. We took a Boba carrer with us to China (goes up to 45 lbs) and carried him everywhere there. I still use it every day to give him some close time with mama AND so I can get a couple things done like vacuum or start dinner. We have lots of things like freezer meals, pb&j, etc so I really only cook a couple times a week right now. And even though I would love to nap when he does, I use that time to get one or two chores done or to check email. Little man likes to be very involved too and he follows directions pretty well so I will have him put things away (such as shoes go in the basket, etc.) and he loves helping mama and it gives me a free hand to do something else. But my oh my the biceps I have developed, what a nice result of all the carrying! :) I imagine life will remain this crazy for some time if not forever! LOL! But man is he ever so worth it! Mazie is beautiful by the way! I love following along!

    Kieren
    (specialkmomtobe on RQ)

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  36. Oh, dear Martha, I am so sorry. :( I can only immagine how hard it is and I honestly don't know what encouraging words to say to you.

    But I will keep you in my prayers. God is good. Just hang in there, dear!!

    P.S. A cleaning lady would be great, if you can afford it. I would surely love one for myself. LOL

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  37. We've been home two months, and it is exactly the same right now at our house- TONS of cleaning and no time and not enough sleep. Hang in there.

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  38. Aww, big hugs and prayers to you! I'm sorry it's been rough. I have no experience to relate, but I can tell from your blog that you're an AMAZING mother and you are doing the best!

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  39. Hang in there. There is a sunny bright side is coming.... time heals all.

    Do take time for yourself. She (and all your children) need a healthy happy and clean mom!

    Some things that worked for me:
    1.Wearing my child while around the house (I had one that was for toddlers and easily fit her). The allowed me to get stuff done around the house.
    2. Getting her housed for a routine walk to (hopefully) tire her out before bed time.
    3.Lavender bbay soap at bed time as it is sooo soothing for her (and for me)lol
    4. Bathing with her...helps with attachment and I got cleaned.
    5. Chinese music to help ground her and provide her with something familiar.
    6. I saved the clothes she was wearing while in China when she was given to me and sealed them in a bag. The hope was to save the "scent of her China." I let her sleep with her outfit at night as if it was a blanket. I did make sure she did not have any scabies or the like. Clothes wore never cleaned (still to this day). I read this in the attachment literature and know several families who adopted from China that this worked/helped.
    7. Ask for help with everyday tasks like meals. Let friends and families prepared meals for you to freeze. This will help reduce the stress and worries.

    Best wishes,
    Diane
    Mommy to M&M Girls
    Vietnam and China

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  40. Hang in there. There is a sunny bright side is coming.... time heals all.

    Do take time for yourself. She (and all your children) need a healthy happy and clean mom!

    Some things that worked for me:
    1.Wearing my child while around the house (I had one that was for toddlers and easily fit her). The allowed me to get stuff done around the house.
    2. Getting her housed for a routine walk to (hopefully) tire her out before bed time.
    3.Lavender bbay soap at bed time as it is sooo soothing for her (and for me)lol
    4. Bathing with her...helps with attachment and I got cleaned.
    5. Chinese music to help ground her and provide her with something familiar.
    6. I saved the clothes she was wearing while in China when she was given to me and sealed them in a bag. The hope was to save the "scent of her China." I let her sleep with her outfit at night as if it was a blanket. I did make sure she did not have any scabies or the like. Clothes wore never cleaned (still to this day). I read this in the attachment literature and know several families who adopted from China that this worked/helped.
    7. Ask for help with everyday tasks like meals. Let friends and families prepared meals for you to freeze. This will help reduce the stress and worries.

    Best wishes,
    Diane
    Mommy to M&M Girls
    Vietnam and China

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  41. Is it okay to have a twinge of jealousy for all those who have only endured 2 or 3 months of their lives being turned upside down? My youngest was adopted 2 years ago this month and I am finally feeling like my head is above water. I felt like I was chewed up and spit out for two years. At the same time I feel like it has been the most rewarding and meaningful two years of my life. You are doing great Nancy! Everything will soon fall into place for you. Mazie is a beautiful and well loved little girl!

    Liz

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  42. We have been home less than 2 weeks with Noelle - she is 20 months old now. She had a relatively "easy" transition from the orphanage to us - it is our first daughter, Emma (4) who is giving me the most problems - sibling rivalry to the max - Emma has regressed and I constantly have 2 girls pulling at me and vying for my attention. THAT is what is exhausting. Noelle also does not like to be put down, but she does play on her own very well at times. When she does, I turn my attention to DD #1. This, too, shall pass. ;D It is just awful to feel so out of control but honestly there is nothing I can do about it, so I try to just go with the flow. Hard to do, but life is about change and there is always a "new normal" to adjust to.

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  43. I hate to say it, but television helped us with our screaming 3 yr old DD. ALL Barney videos and the Dance & Learn Chinese with Mei Mei video. Barney helped with kind language acquistion & manners.
    = )

    Oswald and/or Little Bear helped at the bewitching hour when I needed to make dinner.

    Get a good hip carrier.
    Check out this great website
    A4everfamily.org

    Thanks for your honesty & thank you for sharing the tough stuff.
    It helps to know we're not alone out here.

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  44. Um....I'm still waiting to feel like I've got a grip on my life. Sigh. Since Big Brother came home over a year ago, I sometimes still feel like I am in survival mode. I'm getting there slowly but surely. When Little Man came home, it had taken only a few months or so.

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  45. Nancy, You are truly amazing and you must get sick of hearing me say that by now, no? L needed me to hold her 24/7 and I remember trying so hard just to get her to watch TV for a little bit but it was a no go. I was so tired (still am...lol) and I only had 1 other child. I love Little Miss Sunshine's picture, especially her clenched fists.
    P.S. You have had more of a grip on life than I ever have had!

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  46. How long till I felt like I had it together? Not yet, that's for sure. My Everly has been home from Ethiopia since September. I'm a single mom, working fulltime (and then a little). My house is a wreak and my darling gets up at 5:30 every single morning. I fear my personal hygiene isn't the best. The weird thing is, I'm okay with it. Until someone mentions something insensitive. Like, "how tired can you be - you only have one child?" (Pretty stinking tired - have you met my two-year-old? is what I want to say. Or shake them vigorously.) Hang in there - I'm told it gets better!

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  47. Nancy...thank you for posting this. We've been home four months with Sophia and there have been many, many days I really did not think I'd make it. Just when I think it's getting easier, we take 5 steps back. I feel so much better reading yours and all the other posts. I finally feel like I'm not alone.

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  48. hi nancy,
    i love your honesty, thank you. we adopted twins a little over 1 year ago and it was rough. they were 10 months old but developmentally about 4-5 months. one had a very hard time attaching, complete lack of eye contact nor wanted anything to do with us.
    i get the sleep-time mind melt. my son is from VN and he had such a hard time going to sleep. he did not want to be left in his crib, i think he was afraid we might not come back or be there when he woke up. he would sleep on my chest for 2 hours in his bedroom and never make it to the crib. i would sit there thinking about all the things i needed to do, all that wasn't getting done. but it was great bonding time.

    it took us about 3-4 months to get in a good place when we came home with the twins. jet lag was so rough this second time home. i did get a nanny to help with some house work and with my older son so i could bond with the girls. she would take him out and give me time to spend with them.

    we would roll the high chair into the bathroom while showering, kept him busy and in one spot and allowed for us to get more than one shower a week. :-)

    it does get easier, routine does set in and they grow up so fast.

    love your blog!
    karen

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  49. I just popped over from RQ...first time in weeks that I've had time to be on my beloved RQ. :( We are home nearly a month and I could have written this post myself. In fact, I DID just write a very similar post. Your speaking out is an encouragement to me. I'm adding you to my blog roll...Lord knows I could use some encouragement!

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