Thursday, April 29, 2010

This is how it is.

One of our first outings after coming home, my babysitter joined us heading to the library. As we were leaving, she asked me if I was getting used to all the stares. I was so surprised by her question. Until than I think I was so absorbed with not losing anyone, avoiding blowout giardia diapers and giving all the kids equal attention, that I really didn't notice it. Now that we have our new "norm" figured out (I use that phrase very lightly!) I do notice. I hear the comments ("How many fathers do those kids have?), feel the heads tracking us and am easily offended by the term "real" (all 4 of my kids are, BTW). Today I realized that this is never really going to change. When our family goes out to celebrate Etienne's high school graduation, people will still ask, look, stare. We will still be new to the public. We will never blend in. Then I realized how AWESOME this can be. Just like our amazing faith filled, giving-God-glory adoption. We can turn the rude questions into another opportunity to promote adoption and to share how God's grace sustains us. We look entirely different and I can tell the gawkers that in so many, many ways adoption is more of a miracle than childbirth. This is my professional midwife/adoptive mom opinion...

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Middle Child

Dear Etienne, Lately, it feels like you are really struggling. We know that you crave, you need, lots and lots of attention and encouragement. Daddy and I know that you are easily jealous of anyone else getting snuggles, games or wrestled. It seems that it is worsening, your need for attention and reassurance. So we're trying to make up for lost time. I am holding you, rocking you, feeding you and giving you all the baby-ing that you missed out on. You cry so easily these days, and you don't seem to believe that our love is unconditional and forever. We are praying so, so much for you little buddy. Praying that you'll know that you are ours. You belong in this family and you don't have to do or be anything to be loved here. You're home now.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Reality of Postadoption

Sorry, no photos today. I am sure you've all heard recently of the Tennessee woman who sent her recently adopted son on a plane back to Russia as a solution to post adoption transition. Our last night in Addis, in the airport was one of the worst experiences of my life. Etienne didn't understand who we were, what we were doing or where we were going. He refused to walk (poor kiddo had never worn shoes before), he ran into crowds, tried to climb on, in and around things, his white shirt was literally brown because he was on the floor/ground so much. I was so afraid we would lose him or he'd be injured. I remember praying constantly, "God, give us strength to keep him safe right now." I never, ever thought that he wasn't MINE. I was scared, unsure and doubtful, but we knew we had no other option. The transition period after getting your child is nothing like what you think it will be. It's a lot more difficult and there are challenges that you won't know how to fix. I've committed myself to keeping a real, honest blog so that other mamas and daddies will know when they are freaking out in the post-adoption period that they aren't alone and it will get better. The woman in Tennessee is not a reflection of adoptive parents. We love our kids with all our being-it isn't the same love as a biological child-it's different because it is a love grown totally in the heart and through God's grace. I really believe that that woman was missing her Father's support in adopting her son. Last week Blake, our biological son, learned that we wasn't adopted from Hawaii. (??!) When he found out that he was actually from my stomach, the kid was devestated and left the room. I was laughing hysterically and happy that he believes adoption is the norm. I guess I could have reminded him that we're all adopted as God's children, but I was laughing too hard.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Its back...

Yup, our old friend giardia seems to have resurfaced into Zeke's little system. I got ambitious last Friday and let him have 4 ounces of regular formula, thinking we could slowly reintroduce lactose back into his life. Not sure if this is what triggered it or the traveling and stress of being away from his routine, but by Sunday the stinks-so-bad-it-clears-the-out-the-entire-upstairs diapers were back. Ugh.
For other families, it is important to be aware that giardia, like MANY other parasites, can lie dormant in the intestinal system for a long time, then have flair-ups with illness, stress or changes. So back to the stool samples, flagyl and bactrim. The great news is that his belly is not at all distended, he does not have swelling in his face and he continues to be the boss!
Note to self: the more kids you own, the less likely you'll get happy holiday photos.