OK, the fun stuff...it's good! It really is. There are lots of fun times, and seeing my adorable daughters laughing together makes me so I happy I feel like I could explode. Or die. Or cry. Either way, it's amazing.
But, this is tough. Different tough than with E. E had a horrible time in China. Everyone and their uncle knows that by now. But when we got home, things changed. E cheered up, and we started to act like a typical family pretty quickly. Her only real struggle was confined to bedtime. But even then, when she was afraid and upset and grieving, she wanted me near her to help her through it. E needed me, wanted to be comforted by me, wanted me near. I could tell that E had a foster mama who loved her very much and took wonderful care of her. I know E loved her back. I read so much before adopting E that didn't quite apply. The lack of eye contact, the self-soothing, the disinterest in parents. That just wasn't E.
R is different. As we expected, she exhibits many more "orphanage behaviors." She refuses to look me in the eye. She doesn't look to us or for us nearly as much as E did. When she's sad at bedtime or falls and hurts herself, she shoos us away and prefers to suffer alone, or soothe her own boo boo. She's happy entertaining herself. She eats and eats and eats and eats long after she must be stuffed.
Don't get me wrong...she's plenty happy and full of laughter a lot of the time, but she's put up a bit of a wall that makes it hard to show her how much we love her and care for her. Right now, it's mostly just meeting her basic needs. With E, I felt like I was her mother right away. Or, more accurately, I could mother her right away. With R, I feel like I am her mother in that I love her with all of my heart and I'd do anything for her, but I can't mother her. She won't let me act like her mother yet. And, I know it's still so soon, but compared to our experience with E, it's just hard. I don't want to be pushed away when I try to hug her. I don't want her to wriggle her tiny hand from mine when I try to hold it. I want her to care that I'm trying to soothe her when she gets her transfusion. It's OK...that's all what I want and not what she wants right now, and it's all about her. But that doesn't mean it doesn't feel crummy.
So now, we are working to get R to understand what a family is, what a mother is, what a father is, and what a sister is. We are showing her that it's nice to be hugged when you fall, coddled when you feel sick, kissed when you go to sleep at night. These are things that E came to us already knowing. R is starting from a different place--perhaps a more difficult place--and we will work as hard as we can to show her how wonderful a family's love can be.
|Last weekend 5/26 (when it was so cold out).|
R's first trip to the North End...she LOVED her hot cocoa at Caffe Vittoria!