Monday, June 09, 2008

Momma Update and more

Just in case you were wondering I thought I would fill you in on HOW I am really doing. You know I like to keep it REAL around here and try not to just give you rose petals and butterflies picture of our life. I don't guess that really helps anyone cause it's just lies.

Here's how I am doing. I AM EXHAUSTED!!!! I am tired all day and at night I can't sleep. I am happy but I have broken into tears several times for only semi- reasonable things. I am on the verge of a Russ gripe out session at any moment. Poor guy only partly deserves it. LOL! ;0)

Kaiya is adjusting to the time change way easier than I am. It's not AWFUL. I just always seem to have a harder time adjusting to the time change coming back to the states than when I leave. Maybe cause the trip is so tiring that it just hits me harder. Who knows....
Today I feel more awake. That's good. I think I am getting there. It's tough though. Saturday was KK's 5th birthday. I feel like such a loser mommy. We have done little things and told her we are celebrating a little bit for the whole week since things have been crazy. She is also having a family party in a few weeks. I still feel bad though cause I usually make such a big deal and I have had ZIPPO energy. I'll just hope to make up for it the rest of the week once I get back to normal.
Russ is doing pretty awesome. He is CRAZY, NUTS in love with his new little girl. He is having to adjust to my helplessness due to exhaustion. LOL! I have not been super easy to deal with I am sure. He is great though.
Kaitlyn seems to be adjusting pretty well to Kaiya. I am surprised how few waves this has caused. She seems ready to be a big sister. She has wanted to be held a little more but I think that was mostly missing mommy while I was gone. Today she seems more herself. Maybe the other shoe will drop but so far so good.
Here's the big shocker. The hardest part has been ZOE! Now my social worker had warned me this might happen. So big props for Pat. You called it! :0) Now it's nothing huge and horrible. It's really not about Kaiya. She ADORES her. She is cuddling with her right now. However, it is bringing up wounds that haven't quite healed in her heart. She wishes she had been in our family when she was little.
:0( Poor baby. It brings up all kinds of emotions for her to see Kaiya come into the family. In some ways it is wonderful for her to have another adoptive sibling. It also forces her to face emotions she often tries to ignore. Not a bad thing- but hard.
We just had about a 2 hour heart to heart discussing it. We talked about how it's hard for us to see the whole picture of what God is doing in our lives. We talked about how sometimes I have to do things with Kaiya that make her so angry but it's because I love her. She doesn't see that. She is just angry. I told her that is how God is with us so many times. He sees what is the best for us. We only see what we want right now. We can't see the big picture. God will do what we need whether or not it makes us angry because He loves us so much.
We talked about what would have happened if Zoe had been adopted when she was a baby. She could not have been in our family. We would not have been allowed to adopt her. We would not have had the money or the ability. She was born just 9 months after we got married. We just talked about it.... about how God was always bringing her here even when it was hard and painful. She was a part of our family long before we knew each other.
So I think it's been a really good thing but emotional. So far out of the three kids this has been the easiest adjustment. That's the thing though.... adding a kid is ALWAYS hard I think. Well, unless you are super woman which I do not claim to be. Adding a new person in your life is always going to make things feel a bit insane for awhile. I love the explanation I saw on someone's blog. They said it was like a perfectly balanced mobile. Every time you add a person it's like you come up and WHACK the mobile as hard as you can. Everything goes nuts and it sways all over the place. It takes some time for it to rebalance and find a new normal.
That being said it really is going SOOO well. I just adore Kaiya. She CLEARLY fits so perfectly into our family. All of us are already head over heels for her. All she has to do is give you that crooked little smile and bounce her head back and forth and you are a GONER! LOL! She is SO STINKIN CUTE! She is a little cuddly bug.
I swear once I get rested the drool and the yogurt from head to toe will seem a LOT cuter too. Hee hee hee.... For the last 2 weeks I just keep thinking, " I forgot how much fun it is to have a little bitty one.... I forgot how much WORK it is to have a little bitty one."
Overall I am a tired, happy mommy. I don't feel normal but I learned from Kaitlyn and Zoe that it's normal to NOT feel normal. Putting expectations on yourself about what you SHOULD or SHOULD NOT be feeling just makes you and everyone around you crazy. Every experience is different and works at a different pace. It's not bad or good or healthy or unhealthy. IT'S JUST LIFE!
I think the more we embrace where we are the better we will do. We have to stop TRYING to be something better or bigger than who we actually are. We have to SURRENDER to where God has us and know that all the good we are is Him anyway. I think it's that surrender part that is the key to all of this. I just loved what my pastor said a few weeks ago. We CAN NOT be better. We can only surrender more fully. In that surrender is something so much bigger than ourselves. We can stop worrying about ourselves and what people might think. We are free because our goal is surrender. There is such a profound freedom and power in that. Suddenly life morphs into more than we ever dreamed it could be. It's amazing...
That's all for now folks. HUGS!!! Angel


Farrah and Jed said...

I only have three words for you...

I heart you......You are awesome

okay so maybe Six words

elizabeth engelhardt creations said...

I am glad everything seems to be settling down for you. Good luck with your resting!! Lots of naps?? :) We will continue to pray for ALL of the girls adjusting to a new family.


Sarah said...

Hmm.. that is interesting about Zoe, I thought it would be Kaitlyn too that would have the harder time. Poor Zoe .. its actually quite endearing that she wishes she was in your family as a baby .. I guess she see's how great you relate to babies and how lucky Kaiya is. I'm not in your situation, but I'd sure suggest doing something (well .. once you get your energy back :) ) with Zoe that ONLY big kids can do .. (roller coaster? something for 9 year olds ..) and that way she can feel special being THE OLDEST ..

hope you feel 'normal' soon. Go easy on Russ ..I'm sure his time hasn't been easy either .. just remember .. beign tired will make you irritable with him for NO good reason ...:)

Nikki said...

I really enjoyed this post- it is so nice to see what really goes on and how everyone has to take the time to adjust. Hope you are feeling a little less tired tomorrow!

Kelly said...

Angel: we don't know each other but I follow your blog constantly because I love what you are doing. I started when you adopted Zoe because I too adopted a little one from Guat. About your update on yourself - your body and your mind have been through so much. Adopting a child - a 2 yr old at that - is very stressful. I am NOT surprised KK is adjusting so easily - she has already been through it with Zoe so she is a pro. I am surprised that Zoe is taking it hard but I wonder - maybe it makes her feel less special because all of the "adoption" attention was on her before? Just a guess but she is such a special girl that she will adjust and fall in love with Kaiya before you know it. How awesome that Russ is crazy in love with her! Can't wait to hear about your Guat Mission Trip in the Spring of 09!

Anonymous said...

Oh how well I remember those 1st few days home. It was sure not a very easy couple of days. Kate was still so sad and shut down; exhibiting post-instituional behaviors, home with my nephew who was sick and couldn't do daycare. All I wanted to do was sleep, and no one else wanted to. I spent as much time as I could out in the back in the pool, hold Kate next to my skin, and we bonded. She loves to swim and I think this comes from her first days home and all the time we spent walking around in the water. Take care of yourself, the days will get easier.
Kaiya is a doll, as are all your girls.

Susan and Kate
Tampa, FL

Darlene said...

You are brave, and a great momma, and real. Sleep is hard to get these days! Welcome back to toddlerville. I will think of you when I fall into bed tonight. You are sooooooo gonna make it. God bless you for allowing your mobile to get SHAKEN UP!!!!!!

Wendi said...

It's good to hear your heart...I know you've been too exhausted to even get it all written down. On the birthday already know this, but you're not a loser mommy. I was home and NOT doing an adoption and managed to skid Madeline through a 'family-day' birthday without much thought or planning. She cried when she found out no one else was coming to see her or bring her gifts, and I felt like a big slacker but I know we'll make up for it...and she'll have many more special days to come, so as not to be scarred for life.

You are doing great because you ARE choosing to be you (sans-expectations)and to surrender, and I'm so relieved to hear that Zoe is expressing her feelings so early in this process and not bottling them up...that ALONE speaks volumes for how far she's come since being in your amazing family...hang in there girl...and remember that Russ has been 'saving the world' ;-) for both of you while you've been gone, so buy him a margarita and say, "Thanks Babe!" :-) (although I completely understand wanting to dump it right on his head :-) instead).

Anonymous said...

Angel and Russ,
Congratulation on your precious, precious baby girl Kaiya. She is a doll. I have followed every step of your journey and feel like I have been there experiencing your joys, tribulations, excitement, and all. What a journey you have been on and what a JOY to be home with all your girls and Russ. I am so excited for you and know everything will settle down soon. May God wrap His arms around you all as you adjust to this precious gift. I look forward to following the days ahead.

Much love,
Sandra Y.

Louisiana Belle said...

Oh, girlie! I'm so very excited for your family- and praying for you. Of course, you are a tired mommy! You'd be exhausted as a mother of three even without the jetlag and the tiring trip you've just had. Cut yourself some slack- get some good rest and take a long bath. You'll be back to your new "normal" soon! Love you! Your girls are beautiful!

Holly said...

I love you even though I don't know you! (Does that make sense??!)
I love it that you are REAL. We are all REAL, we just don't all admit it!! All of your feelings and your jet lag are SO normal! Nobody told me the rough parts so I was so hard on myself when I came home in the WRONG time zone, awake at 3am every morning and ready for bed by 6pm each evening! I remember counting the minutes until 9pm so I could try to go to bed at the right time!!
I had attachment issues and I had some serious doubts in the beginning as to what we had just done. It was the word of God and knowing that this was HIS calling that got me through. I had health issues as well that lasted a few months before I was really normal (for me) again. Take it one day at a time, sleep when you can, call a good friend when you need to vent and or cry and give yourself lots of room to adjust to the new normal!
God is faithful and He is with you each step of the way!
Love in Christ,
Holly from Purpose Driven Family

Lucinda Naia said...

Angel, thanks for being one of my angels! Surrendering to God is a process that gets easier the more you do it.

I needed to hear what you shared tonight. I'm not surprised about Zoe's reaction, and I know that her reaction is also part of her healing.

Best to you & your family!!!

Live to love and laugh said...

Oh Angel I feel for you right now. I am praying God will give you the rest you need. Things will look better when you are rested. It is amazing how we can be so happy and so tired at the same time. Don't fool yourself. You are Super Mom.
Zoe will adjust too. Poor little girl. I am praying for her too.

Amy said...

Hey girl- I have been thinking about you but I knew you would still be trying to get 'caught up' and didn't want to call. Loved your post and loved hearing how you are all doing. Everyone sounds perfectly normal. So interesting that Zoe is acting that way because in the past few weeks Mya has been acting the exact same way! She was fine the first month so and now all of a sudden this is going on. Guess it just took her longer to process. Anyway you are NOT a looser mommy- you just gave KK the BEST gift ever- a beautiful new sister! Get some rest- praying for you! Love, Amy

Reba said...

Angel, it was so good to hear the real stuff from you! (It also makes me feel that maybe I am not so bad of a mom on those days I feel tired or don't quite live up to my expectations...) I am so glad that Kaiya is adapting so well. I know that other friends who have adopted from China have said it usually takes a while, but it seems like Kaiya's personality is pretty easy-going. She also seems like a sharp little cookie. I am glad KK is doing well. I worried a lot about how Maria would handle being the big sister when we brought home Joshua...she has surprised us all. She is a natural! I am also not too shocked about Zoe's reaction. I think if Maria were a bit older and truly understood, she would have dealt with some of those same feelings. We have really watched her (we brought her home at a little over two) kind of go through the "baby" process with Joshua. I think she is almost reliving those days though she never really regressed. She just seems to get really into HIS baby experiences. I think it is so she can do it too. She will ask, "When I was a baby, you gave me a bottle..." I try to gently talk to her about the fact that she was not here as a baby, but that is just beyond her thinking right now. For now, this is how she makes sense of the world and for whatever reason she seems more secure experiencing this with her brother. I know Zoe will one day see God's wisdom in His timing, but it is not always easy to do when you are in the midst of it. If anything, this just may be God's way of helping Zoe confront those feelings early on. As for tired, I am sure the trip wore you out...I have heard others say that. (A little different than the "jog" down to Guatemala.) And having a little one around...well, that is exhausting too. I have had several posts on that recently. But isn't it fun? (Well, besides the drool and the snot and the big messes? :)

jajbs said...

WOW! I LOVE the mobile example. That is how I have felt since bringing home a toddler 7 months ago, after having an only child for 8 years! That really helped me! Thanks for sharing your heart. It is comforting to know that other adoptive moms and families go through the things we have been experiencing!

I will continue to pray for you and your family!


JuJu - said...

I just love you guys:)

Natalie C. said...

So sorry we couldn't be at the sirport to meet her. Call me and we will set something up for when you are ready. We are home now with Caitlyn.

Natalie C. said...

So sorry we couldn't be at the airport to meet ya'll. Call me and we will set up a playdate for when you are ready. We are home now with Caitlyn.

Tessa said...

Angel, thanks for giving us a glimpse into your life and how your entire family is adjusting to your new addition. I really appreciate you being so real with us and letting us know the joys and struggles everyone is experiencing. I agree with many who have said it is so good that Zoe is getting out her feelings and dealing with them now ... and how Kaiya's adoption can be so therapeutic for her. I love how God is using Kaiya to help Zoe. I will be praying for your family and also for some restful sleep for you! Take care!

Camnamie said...

One of my favorite scriptures is "Love makes up for practically anything" I Peter 4:8 (The Message version). Your family is so full of love. That love will cover over and heal Zoe. It may take some time and some wrestling but love makes up for practically anything. I remember this verse especially on my "bad mommy" days when I'm grumpy and not patient. Not as an excuse for my attitude, but it helps me in my guilt to know that I love them and that love will cover over my sin.

Back to Zoe - I don't know if this will help her and maybe it will help but many years down the road. . . when I was struggling with the loss of my niece what I felt God saying to me was that this bad situation is not my desire, this is not how I planned for the world to work. However, since we're here and you have experinced this pain and this struggle I am going to use it for good. You now have an "insiders pass" into pain that not everyone can related to. You can now minister to the needs of others, believers and non-belivers, because YOU can relate to them. It may help Zoe to know (at some point) that God is going to use her past for good in big ways. I have a talk that a gave on how God used that pain in my life and I will email it to you seperately in case you can use it to relate the general message in Zoe in any way.

Alice said...

Your honesty is refreshing.

Thanks for being so open about this process for those of us who have not done it yet but plan to.

kim p said...

I love your thoughts on surrender. Thanks for your encouragement to us in your challenges!