Monday, October 6, 2008

It is great to be back in the good ‘ol USA. We missed our king size bed and our dog, Daisy. We missed English and home cooked food. We missed friends and family. We missed warm days and sunshine.

While we were gone, our friends and my mom helped finish Anya’s room, left us home cooked meals in the freezer, cleaned our house, mowed our yard, babysat Daisy, brought toys and playthings for Anya, filled our fruit bowl and fridge, and decorated our house. We were so overwhelmed by everyone’s efforts in welcoming us home, we felt like we were on a toned-down version of ABC’s Extreme Home Makeover show. Welcome Home, Raish Family, Welcome Home!

Cheri Beckman is a talented muralist and painted the ladybugs and dragonflies in Anya’s room, as well as the polka-dots that matched the bedding set. Beth Blanc is a talented jewelry designer with a former profession in interior design who dressed the windows, and her husband Bob finished off the trim around the room and helped with the finishing touches. Anya’s bedroom is the best looking room in the house without a doubt, so you know who holds the highest honor in our home.


I’m coming up for air! Today was Anya’s first good day since we arrived home. She was crying a lot; she is going through the grieving process. We immediately initiated a routine when we arrived home. She is still having a hard time with naps. At first, she would cry for 5-10 minutes when we’d put her down. Lately, she has cried for 2 hours or more. The first 2 days, we went in several times to soothe her, but to no avail. She was also jet lagged. Then, we tried 2 days of leaving the room completely, which didn’t work either. Today, I stayed in her room for 20 minutes without talking to her, and she cried for only 20 minutes more, so maybe we’re making progress.

We were feeding her, but she would throw a fit after every bite or two of food that we would put in. So, we decided to let her feed herself, which she can do anyway, and the tantrums have decreased. This also occurs with putting on shoes. She wants to choose her shoes and put them on herself, so we let her do what she can and help her when she “asks” for it. It’s hard not to want to help her, because she was left to do for herself at the orphanage. When she eats, she uses her spoon to catch food that doesn’t make it in her mouth. She’ll scoop it off her face for instance, like a parent would do for a baby. Anything that drops on the floor, she shows immediate concern. She doesn’t understand the concept of “all gone”. So, when there is no more applesauce for instance, she gets very upset.

Do all moms feel sorrow at their loss of freedom once they have the child they’ve wanted for so long? I’m feeling a bit of that now, but not too badly. I feel fortunate that Anya has bonded so well with me. She follows me everywhere and wants to be held a lot. She holds onto my legs while I’m cooking. I get hugs that melt my heart, and I’ve gotten a couple kisses too. The last week has been hard for all of us, but today was a great welcome. A recent bible study I read taught me that God is working through me to be the mother He wants me to be, and honestly, that is a great comfort. Thank you God, for our daughter, and for the gift of parenthood, no matter how hard things get.


Jill said...

Wow, your little Anya sounds so much like my Mari when I first brought her home (she was only 9 months old). She would NOT let me feed her a bottle, she had to do it herself and the food "all gone" led to major tantrums. I finally found that I had to be ready with puffs or cheerios or a cookie to finish the meal. It seemed more like she was "in control" over these foods and could see when she ate the last one. We still do this after 9 months and I'm told that the food issues could last another year. Also, a big thing I learned, was to never eat in front of her without giving her something, even just a bite. Apparently they feel deprived and this can break the trust cycle and start food issues all over...only took 9 months for someone to point that out. Ouch!

Good luck with your little cutie and welcome home!

ljblemmo said...

Hi Amy, we met at the travel class at the Brentwood office. We are still waiting on a referral, since Dec '07. Had no idea you two were home w/ your daughter. Great to see! She's beautiful. Trial and error seems to be the key, huh? You're doing a great job, and hang in there! Love reading your blog, I'm trying to read up as much as I can. Best wishes for you!!

Leah from North Nashille

Children's Hope International said...

Amy, thank you for sharing your transition on your blog. Your experiences are a great resource for other adopting families. I hope they are just as much a resource for you as well.

So great to see all the work your family did for you while you were away. How fun!

Jennifer N.

John and Lee said...

Hi, glad you guys are home and safe. Being just a month or so ahead of you, I know how you are feeling. TIME TIME TIME. Things now are in a routine, I feel like a Mom. I told a friend just this week that I now feel like a Mom and I love Elizabeth. I thought I really loved her during our first month home, but what I felt was sorry for her. TIME TIME TIME. You have time on your side now. Go slow and things will work themselves out. E-mail me if you'd like to chat. Lee Perkins