Discounted 

This child is amazing! I’m sure I’ve said that right? I was not looking for her. I called about a child in Haiti, I had no idea that Ethiopia was so I g adoptions still.

When I heard that Haiti would take 17 months, I voiced my concern over the wait. I was told about this little girl that no one would accept the referral of. 

I understand. Her head was so large and her body so small. John never hesitated about her, we thought she would be home in 12 months. 

Nothing fell into place and it took 2 years. It seemed almost hopeless. 

She was dicounted by others though and I could not give up.  She was our daughter.

She was looked at and denied but oh is she a smart gal. She sings her alphabet in English, has picked up so many English words in just a week, dresses herself, and studies things intently in order to do them herself. She has battled her head size and weight, chronic ear infections, and being an Ethiopian orphan….and yet she triumphs. What a spirit she has. We never thought she would walk and she runs, we never thought she would talk and she sings. 

She is not one to be underestimated or discounted. I am proud to be her mom. I can’t wait for her to meet her brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, and grandparents ūüôā 

Who’s in charge here?

We are together, she and I, in a room for the weekend with nowhere to be. After the tylenol, hydration, and a bath, we are at that point now where we establish that mommy is more than a name. 

She feels great-ish and now she wonders if she has any boundaries. Children need boundaries, even children who have severe special needs and have been orphans for years. Boundaries make them feel secure. 

So when she threw the iPad and I took it away, I let her throw a fit without much acknowlegement. At the foster home, the nannies didn’t want her to cry in my presence so they often pacified or coddled her. I don’t mind a fit, it doesn’t freak me out, this ain’t my first rodeo. 

She decided the fit would get her nowhere and we should cuddle. She is testing what she can do, grabbing things she shouldn’t and laughing. Throwing herself down and then screaming when I pick her up and move her out of danger. Shoving her hand down her diaper or smashing the phone…it’s a test.

We take this test strategically.  I am Mommy, I am safe, she trusts me. We have to maintain that security while establishing that mommy is not a pushover. So I pick my battles. She wants to brush her teeth a million times, that’s fine. She runs in to get the soap, not an issue. She wants to play soccer with a can of nuts in the bathroom while I’m using it….hey why not.  She pummels me with said can of nuts, nope…not okay. 

I believe she is coming to realize that I am in charge and that the tantrums will get her nowhere. She is also undertaking something extremely frightening. As adoptive parents we often bubble over with excitement at finally “getting our kid.” 

This kid already had a life though. No matter what that life is like, it is a familiar for them, and we are the unfamiliar. We are enthusiastic and some parents feel like they are “rescuing” a child so the child should be happy. 

No.

This child of mine has been handed over to a woman that doesn’t look anything like her caregivers did. This woman doesn’t even talk right. The specifics are cloudy but she was put in a car and poof….. Life is completely different forever.

On top of that, her ears are draining and she is congested. She is getting lots of water which is good, but it takes a toll on the digestive system. So many things are going on for this small child. 

So she loves me. I am safe. I am Mommy. But she also hates me. I took her away from her home. I took her away from everything she has ever known. 

This is okay. This is normal. We will gently establish that Mommy is a caregiver with firm boundaries and lots of love. We will slowly work through grief and anger as we build a new life together. It takes time. 

We have time. 

First Bath

How do you teach a child to not be afraid of the bath?

This is day 3 of Glory being in my care. She has screamed every time I tried to get her near the bath tub. Last night I did something I did NOT want to do. I undressed and got into a tub of yellow water….the color of the water here. She stood at the side of the tub with wide eyes. I wonder if this fluffy super pale naked woman or the bath was more scary?…

So that was her introduction. She watched everything with fierce intent. 

Then today I I had her wash her hands with the tub faucet. Then let it fill a bit more with just tepid water, and gave her a cup to play. I showed her how to splash and she did well. 

She would not let me undress her so….

I got into the tub fully clothed and splashed and jumped like a fool.

She thought it was funny and decided to get in as well. I lifted her into the tub and first she would just stand. She didn’t like getting her pants wet so she let me take her pants and diaper off.

Finally she sat down to play in the water but with her shirt on. 

I scrubbed her good while she played even under her shirt. 

When I got her out she let me take her shirt off and ran off butt naked to get a pile of socks…must always have your feet covered you know. Eventually she let me lotion her and dress her and hey….her clothes today got a good wash.

Her favorite jammies were dry, and her boots were ready lol. 

It was worth soaking our clothes and a yellow bath to help her understand that a good scrub can make you feel amazing. I was able to get her some Tylenol today so I’d say it’s a very good day. 

You never think about there being people out there who have never had a bath. A real bath. Puts things into perspective. 

Court Date!!!

Due to some interesting circumstances, John and I are both going to Ethiopia tomorrow….well we won’t arrive until Monday after 30 hours of flight/layover time….just in time for court on Tuesday!!!!

Finall after two years, finally we will be a family of 8!

I can’t even believe this is happening. We had to arrange some crazy kid scheduling and I had to do laundry and pack like crazy today. I am so excited. When both adults are finally back in this house, Glory will be here to! All of the tears, setbacks, financial hurdles, prayers, whew….all of it will mean something in just four days when she is legally our daughter. 

Thank you all so much for your prayers and support. 

I might have a heart attack!

glory16

Alright ya’ll. ¬†Here we are literally waiting any time for notice of a court date…..again. ¬†Our police letter has been updated and turned into the courts. ¬†We should hopefully hear tomorrow.

I’ve said that three days this week.

Every single day, I have waited to have this letter turned in, and hear of a final adoptive court date.  Every day. Meaning that at 1am and 3am and 4:32am, I have awakened to check my email to see if maybe just maybe it was there.

“IT” the final golden ticket. ¬†The last hurdle to making her legally our daughter.

Ofcourse there are a few hurdles after that before exiting the country.

After court, John has the option of taking custody of Glory. ¬†We both have to be in country to apply for a birth certificate. ¬†I would have to leave the kids in the care of family and fly over. ¬†We had initially thought we’d have to wait until March 13 for this, but my brother and sister in law have agreed to baby sit a few days at my mom’s, where my sister has agreed to also babysit a few days, and my mom and stepdad have offered to watch them the other days…

I owe them ALOT!

This new development means that if all the stars align, we could have Glory home this month!!!!!

We just need that court date.

I can’t bear the thought of her staying in country any longer. ¬†Her country is beautiful and full of amazing people, but she bonded to me. ¬†We spent hours building this new relationship, and then I left. ¬†It’s almost to much.

So we pray for everything to line out perfectly….er…atleast semi perfectly from here out.

I came home.

I have been home two days, it has been three days since I have seen our sweet girl. ¬†My heart is cracked, and I have had nightmares of never being able to bring her home. ¬†In my mind, I know that she will be home in the next month and a half….I just know it.

Yet, I am here, without her.

I came home. Home…..She should be home. Here with her brothers and sister, in my arms, finally getting her head cared for.

I am only consoled by the fact that we are just a bit from our end goal, and that she is doing so amazingly well with the love and care that she is receiving.

 

First Visit Today

I was able to visit Glory by myself this morning without other parents and kids in the room. It was so great to have that time on our last day. She sat in my lap and talked and just felt so peaceful. She is precious. Oh she’s a ball of energy and sass but just such a sweetie. She watched videos of her siblings and kissed their pictures. She has an idea of who they are I think. She says their name and kisses them and then says her name. I think she gets that we are her people but she does not understand that I am leaving today. I pray that a miracle happens and John could get court and passports etc by himself and being her home in February. I don’t know how I will say goodbye without a date for seeing her again, but I have to. I have other kiddos who need their mommy. She is in great hands, secure and loving hands. 

I have to say goodbye.

It’s morning here. I will get to visit with my sweet girl by myself this morning. Then again with the other couple and their son this afternoon, and then I won’t see her again until after she’s legally our daughter….which I hope is next week. That is kind of a stretch, but I do hope. 

How do I say goodbye to this little girl who was so afraid and then so embraced me being her mom. I have spent about 8 1/2 concentrated hours with her building a relationship. In all honesty, she went from mistrust to finally fully talking to me out loud and acknowledging the pictures and me being her mommy. Now I say goodbye and she won’t know why.

For me, she is in good hands. Her care is truly impeccable for where she is, heck the care and love she gets rivals many places back home. These nannies and staff truly love the children. Ethiopians love and value children. They are their pride. 

So I know she is in good hands. But she doesn’t know that tomorrow, I won’t be here. Hopefully we finish up in the next month and when she sees me again, it reinforces that mommy comes back.

My other kids are to the point where they are ready for me to be home. Zeke has not slept and isn’t liking me being gone. So, it is time. I did what I needed, I know she is cared for in my absence, and I know the little human that is about to join our family….and she is awesome.

Dad Dad Dad….Daddy

Today was AMAZING! I have been in tears all day. Very happy tears, my daughter has been so loved. She has been supported, she responds with appropriate responses and is so happy. My heart can’t process how different her treatment in the foster home (that we’ve been paying for) is from Anna and Tanner’s. I can’t believe my grieving for what they missed even all of these years later. I’m so incredibly happy that she was able to go to the foster home instead of staying in the orphanage. 

She seems to understand that all of the kids in the pictures are her family. The other little boy visiting with his family grabbed the photo album from my bag and she told him it was hers. She opened it up and said “b(her name) daddy”

That was cute but then an hour later she was telling dad dad at my bag. She was trying to get John’s picture. 

I can’t wait for her to meet her dad. She’s going to possibly be afraid at first and then she’s going to love him. I hope he’s prepared for all of the kisses. I just love her so much, I look forward to her meeting her siblings and being home and getting healthy.