Friday, May 10, 2013

A word about E...

While we were planning this second adoption trip, some of the people I told that we were bringing our 3 year old along for the ride gave us some very strange looks.  Would she help or hinder...did we really want to take an impatient kid on a very long flight...wouldn't it be harder to tote two of them around the crazy streets of China.  But, not for a minute did we consider leaving E home.  First off, she *is* our connection to China (well, *was*) and we wanted her to experience it again.  She's a great traveler, I couldn't bear the thought of leaving my bestie for almost 2 weeks, and it seemed like it would be extremely hard on her for us to be gone and then come home with a shiny new baby.

There's no doubt that this trip to China is about R.  E already had her near-two weeks of misery all to herself.  But E has been an integral, irreplaceable part of this trip, too.

At times when things have been hard, E has made us laugh with her little "E-isms."  Even though she's been somewhat rejected by her little sister, she tries and tries and tries to be kind to her.  When we meet someone new, E proudly exclaims, "Dat Roe-rie!  She my little sister!  I'm big sister!"

After the potty debacle when I tried to put R on the potty, we made E go on the potty in front of R to show her it was OK and wouldn't swallow her whole.  "Look at me!  I love the potty!  I looooove going poo-poo!" she screamed, unscripted.

E tries and tries again to give things to R, share things with her, feed her, and generally be sweet to her.  When E gets swatted away, she'll just look at me innocently and say, "I don't think Roe-rie want that right now."

During our first adoption trip, during times of heavy grieving, we couldn't leave the hotel room, couldn't stop to eat, couldn't do anything fun.  But that was OK...we were the adults and we signed on for that.  This time, we've had a few very hard moments like that.  One night, we promised E we would go out to a "big restaurant", but dinner became ramen and Cheeze-its in our room when R was screaming uncontrollably.  E's first try at the pool was postponed because R was too miserable to leave the room.  That's a lot to ask of a 3 year old, but E has taken it mostly in stride, saying, "Why she sad?  Why Roe-rie cry again?"  I am always proud of my first daughter, but now more than ever.

To say that E hasn't had her moments, too, wouldn't be fair.  It's really hard for her to see her BFF (me) trying to show affection and bond with R.  She's thrown herself on the floor in a fit that looks like she's in actual pain more than once when I've picked R up.  Consequently, I've done a lot of picking up, holding, feeding, cuddling, and loving on E, too.  If she needs that from me now, that's OK.  She's my baby, too, and I'd do anything to make it easier for her.

So, if I had to do it again, I'd definitely bring E with us.  Seeing her in the place where she came from, and having her be a part of the growth of our family has been very important for all of us, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

The ever-excited E, with little sister looking on.


Christine said...

Very sweet reflections and observations on your first daughter! It is a growing experience for the entire family that will be made whole and complete because you followed your instincts as parents. Cuteness overload in the pictures...even though I know so much more is going on behind the scenes! Enjoy the family time.

Pattie and Joe said...

Love WILL win - it always does. You have your memories of the last time, Emmie doesn't. So you understand that this too shall pass. Poor Emmie doesn't. Not bringing her was never an option as you stated - a family's influence is a precious gift and your family has the strongest bond we know. Velcro be darned - you have superglue. Everlasting love! Tell Emmie how proud we are of her and give her a tender kiss for us.

Kelly said...

I would have brought her too! I think you made the right call :) She is just darling!!! My heart is breaking for R right now. I know it is so hard on her (and YOU too!) Focus on the good moments and what you know is coming in a very short time :) Your daughters are just beautiful!!!!

Sharon said...

It always pays to follow your mama's heart. We are just waiting for our TA call and we are headed back to China for our second daughter. We are taking our 5 year old and I too, would have taken a younger one back with me. To see your first child back in the country of birth is meaningful and great for sister bonding (eventually). The Lord bless and keep all of you in His care

Anonymous said...

I am gonna repeat what Helen said "its so nice to see you as a happy fmaily"--Happy Mother's Day & Double the fun!

Ann said...

Just love R's expression (or lack of) in the last picture. So wonderful to hear how well E is doing throughout and the potty story is priceless.