March 08, 2007

Procrastination, thy name is me.

Okay, so "Anonymous" has shamed me into finally posting. I must admit that being the mom of two has taken it's toll on me, and I have merely been procrastinating. You see, my only time to myself is after the sweeties go to sleep (7:30 pm), but by then I am exhausted and opt to relax over a graham cracker with icing or something similar instead of update the blog. Sorry, but sugar has so far beaten chatting with you. Well, not anymore! I have taken the bull (me after many weeks of eating graham crackers with icing...) by the horns and will put my nose to the grindstone. Actually I got a completely wonderful email today from a reader that told me that my blog and story was the only thing that got her through a rough time in Addis picking up her own child. Can't tell you how touched I am that 1. She reads my blog and really got something helpful from it, and 2. That she is sweet enough to write and tell me. Thank you, Reader, and I will respond to you via email.

Someone asked me to elaborate on the horror of my stay in Addis, so I'll give a few extra details. As I've told you, my daughter hated my guts from the getgo and the entire stay was heartwrenching. She would scream bloody murder if I came near her and writhe as if being murdered slowly if I tried to hold her. My sister traveled with me, thank goodness, and was treated the very same by her little niece. When we were able to see our Ethiopian family mid-stay, it was wonderful to see them (we are in love with our daughters' grandmother and are treated as true family members by extended family and friends) but it was also very very traumatic. On our first trip, we did not get the chance to meet the birthmom as she opted out of the visit - which I completely understand. This time, she chose to meet us and is a really great young woman that obviously adores her children. Meeting my children's birthmother combined with the fact that their grandmother is terminally ill with a disease that could at least be treated and her life extended here just about broke my sister and I. The grandmother served us an enormous buffet of delicious foods (which I'm sure wiped her out financially) and came to the guest house to see us the day before we left. She cried, hugged me, and apologized for being ill. She said that she prayed to God every day to be able to watch her girls grow up via pictures and to be able to visit them at home one day. That visit nearly killed me. We supported this fine and regal lady through the baby while she was living with her family, and now will continue to support her privately so that she can purchase the medicines and care she desparately needs. For those of you that pray, please say one for this lovely lady. She lives to take care of others near her that are ill, gives the food right off her own plate (which isn't much) to those that ask, and blesses those that took her granddaughters half a world away. I am very lucky to know her.

Deep breath. Okay, that over with...please ask me questions if you need more info on the trip or Sweetpea's demeanor there. I think that my experience with her is more typical than the immediate bonding and connection to Honeybun. Needless to say, now Sweetpea is a different little girl. Her personality has really blossomed, she smiles all the time, thinks she is the funniest thing in the world, and loves her family deeply and we cherish her. I was a tad freaked out at first as she is a 2 yr. old and I have NO experience with that age; also because Honeybun was exhibiting some serious jealousy. It's been a wierd jealosy though in that she wants to be the mom almost, gets mad that Sweetpea wants me to hold her if she's hurt or upset instead of Honeybun, doesn't like me to hold Sweetpea at all, argues with me over e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g, and has been having nightmares. I initially was very worried for Honeybun and was afraid I had ruined our perfect little unit with a competing child. Turns out her behaviour is very normal. Alot of her "stuff" is from core abandonment issues that were buried deep deep deep, and I'm sort of glad this all happened because it's given me the opportunity to confront her issues and talk them through as well as do some cuddle therapy. It's taken some serious talks over and over and over of "I will never stop being your mom; I will never stop loving you; Nothing will ever make me stop loving you; I will never leave you; etc. etc." I also think that it's really helped that we've never even slightly made her choose between us and our Ethiopian family, but have instead worked hard to incorporate them into our daily lives and make us one big group. It's helped Sweetpea too, to look at pictures of all of us, talk about all of us, send letters and pictures to family all over the world, etc.

I've probably already told you all of this before and am just too lazy and unfocused to reread previous posts, so feel free to click over to E online or something if you're bored. Update on the girls... Honeybun is loving her last year of preschool. She didn't make kindergarten this year because her birthday is in December, so just registered for next year. She is growing more beautiful everyday, and still exudes the explosion of joy she always has. She adores her little sister. Sweetpea is all over the place. Like any 2 yr. old, she is into everything, draws on the walls with markers, pulls the cat's tail, is starting to get the whole potty training thing finally, and idolizes her big sister. They both eat like horses and are growing like crazy. Once we got rid of her Giardia, Sweetpea is finally putting on some weight and growing. That was a challenge! Honeybun has grown almost 9 inches and 14 pounds in less than 2 years since coming home. They cannot stand to have their hair washed (though I've remedied that by having them lie on the kitchen counter and washing it in the sink with our little sprayer), have very dry skin with eczema patches and rashes (I've made a salve that seems to work!), and have more energy than any other child I have met (it is focused not like ADD). Hard to believe that 3 yrs ago we were mourning our lost baby and wondering what we were here for. We were always destined to be mom and dad to these two angels, and now we are all Home and happy at last.


Elaine said...

So pleased you've found time to update your blog! I've checked in every day to see if you had. Lovely pictures of the girls, too - thank you :-)

I have to say that it sounds to me as if you really are doing everything right in the way you are bringing up your girls - and in keeping the link strong with their birth family. I wish you much joy of them! Congratulations on an excellent job.

BTW, Have you had a moment to check in on your good friend Julie's blog? I thought of you when I read of her current concerns, and wondered if you had anything to say which might help her.

kaitlyn said...

Bravo, bravo! I have only recently started reading your blog, and I commented a couple of entries ago, but I just wanted to say again how much I admire you. To say nothing of raising two kids (ah!) but I think it is so amazing that you have managed to incorporate your girls' birth families into your lives. You are obviously an angel, the world needs more people with hearts open like yours.

Michelle said...

Yay for updates! So glad to see the pictures too.

Also, a small piece of advice on the dry skin/excema issue. Winter just does in my daughter's skin and we've found that a sugar scrub, followed by lotion, does wonders. During bathtime, take some sugar, add a little liquid soap (we use Cetaphil) and enough water to avoid skinning them and gently rub all over. Hardest part of it is trying to keep the kiddo from eating all of the sugar before I can use it!

Anonymous said...

Thank you! If I had known that was all it would have taken to have you update us I would have made my plea weeks ago! The update was great and the girls look wonderful! Don't make us wait so long again, you can eat graham crackers and type, we won't mind!

erin said...

What a wonderful post! I think that if you need the time to percolate on it, take your time! I appreciate it because my husband and I were just referred two brothers, ages 2 1/2 and 3 1/2. I am preparing myself to expect something not unlike what you described, and I also very, very much appreciate your description of how you honor and incorporate your daughter's birth family into your lives. It is inspiring to me, so thank you.


Nomadic One said...

Dear B,

Thanks so much for that update and the new pics! I didn't know you had met the girls' birthmother...I'm so happy you had that chance--and, of course, to see their grandmother again, too.

Give the whole family hugs from me!


Heather said...

I completely understand why you have trouble updating the blog with your little ones. I have only been home a week and already can sympathize. Your blog did help me through the wait and even helps now as we get to know each other better. Thanks.