Tuesday, January 3, 2012

A New Week!!

In honor of me doing my best to keep it real, I must admit that the past two weeks have been the hardest. There have been breaks in the hard with sprinklings of good, but more often than not, I have found myself having to, "bring myself back to center."

I didn't stop to try and figure out exactly why until Friday night when I actually sat down to have my first big cry since our transition to a family of 5!! To make myself feel better, I text my friend Pam and said... "so, it IS an accomplishment to have made it this long(5.5 weeks in) before my first big cry RIGHT?" She is always so gracious and has the best insight at all times!! She said "OF COURSE!" and went on to tell me how even if I didn't feel like it in that moment, I am doing an awesome job...which of course, made me cry harder as I sure didn't feel like it. But, the Lord used her words and encouragement to give me the strength to push through dinner and baths as I was waiting for Brandon to get home. He was super late (7:30p) due to it being the last day of the month (biggest day of the month at work and a very necessary be there all day kinda day! ) And on top of that, he had to go by the pharmacy for the second time to get a prescription that was still messed up after being messed up earlier in the day. He did finally get home. He has done so well working hard at work and coming home to do the same. Our worst day at home so far just happened to fall on his busiest!! Isn't how that the ENEMY gets his kicks?!

So here is what we think this little bump in the road comes down to...Harrison has been out of preschool(2 days a week until 2) on Christmas break. I LOVE him being home.

He is the sweetest, funniest, most accommodating little guy. Those qualities shine through more and more. BUT a certain someone has really struggled without the break from their big brother and the time, things, and attention shared with him. I didn't even have time to stop and figure that out as I was trying to stay one step ahead of the two of them last week. Two weeks ago, I would have said our issues with aggression were getting better day by day. Since the preschool break, I would say it's escalated and along with that brings more whining, tantrums, and crying from both of them...leaving our 3rd to just "hang out" while things are worked out! But let it be said, when they play well together they play VERY well together(bringing us great joy)

but when it goes bad, it goes VERY bad( causing much heartache).

In addition, Sophie is still trying to gain attention and affection from any guy around EXCEPT Brandon which is so sad to us. It would make more sense if she didn't like any males, but it's pretty much just Brandon. The caveat to that is, she has everything to do with him as long as I'm not around. As soon as I am home or in sight, she wants nothing more to do with him but is still fine with any other guy. Interesting. and we continue to work on it and continue to ask all men in her life to keep at a distance. Please refrain from feeding, holding, hugging, kissing, teasing etc. Continue to direct her to her daddy. We feel like she could easily continue on this path of "daddy shopping" if we don't do the intense work now of helping her understand who the healthy man in her life is to seek these things from. There will be many years ahead to interact and love on her but not until she feels confident with Brandon.

This week, we are starting fresh. Brandon was off today and took Sophie out.

She adored him the entire time but changed her tune the minute I was around. She will come around.

Sophie is soooooo smart!! She loves all things girly.

She loves music, cooking, playing babies, and any one on one time she can get!!! She loves her bath and her bottle!

And the song I made up with some Korean I know!!! Goes something like..." I love you I love you I LOVE YOU. Hug Hug. Kiss. Kiss. Kiss." original huh!?

YouTube Video

She and Harrison actually wakk around the house singing it! She is all about me and calls me Mommy.

Greer is doing so well!!

He loves all of us and we all love him!!

He is laid back, happy, loves food, and loves to move( even if he can't, he likes you to do it for him) He still shuts down outside the house and around new people and that seems to make some nervous around him, but he will warm up. He has two areas of challenge which happen to be connected( or so we think)! He only takes a good nap 2-3 times a week.

{Greer not napping :)}

And going #2 seems to be a big challenge for him. Several days, he has woken up 15-30 minutes into his nap working hard to potty. We think it is because at that point, he relaxes enough for it to happen. Once he is awake, he is ready to party!!! The other two sleep pretty well during nap so that's not too bad and we are using Miralax to try and regulate his system and schedule.

Harrison goes back to preschool Wednesday and I have a feeling things will level out. I have had a few days with Brandon home to reflect and refocus on guiding the kids through the ongoing adjustment. I certainly had a rough few days toward the end of last week.

We start our first round of appointments at Vanderbilt next Friday with a swallow study for Greer and several more appointments to follow! Mostly for Greer and a few for Sophie.

I told a friend that I hesitate to share these hard things because there is a small crowd who gets satisfaction out of the ability to say, "I told you so" but I just had to get over that. This is more helpful to others than it is fulfilling to anyone getting a kick out of any hard days we may have as we journey the path the Lord so clearly has marked out before us and one we are glad to take!!

In the grand scheme, we are doing very very well!! The kids sleep, do well out and about, enjoy being here, have many many happy moments, and make our lives (and many others ) more rich by being here!! Love and trust is growing...minds and hearts are being molded...and it's not just the minds and hearts of the kids ;) We thank the Lord for the good with the bad and for the fact that his mercies are new every morning!!! (or in this case...every week!) Here is to a great new week!

{typed from my phone and finished at 1:09am... excuse any errors... Time for bed!}


Carrie said...

April I just want to tell you how much I love you and how awesome you are doing with these precious babies! There is an incredible amount of joy that sits right behind all the hussle and bussle. After all, I know you wouldn't be you if you didn't have a thousand things to do in a day! :) I am so grateful to have been blessed with such an amazing cousin. I love you, Brandon and those precious babies so much!


Jessica said...

It seems sometimes with our adopted daughter that the minute we have a behavior figured out, another one shows up. Praise the Lord that adopting brings sanctification and a closeness to Him that we wouldn't have without the rough patches. Praying for your family. You seem to be doing a GREAT job!

Amber said...

April, I think the weeks surrounding Christmas are difficult for most families. Some friends and I were just talking about this the other day. I think it is perfectly normal for all families of small children to deal with some difficult times as schedules are off and life is hectic. Hopefully things will improve this week, I am hoping that for my family as well. LoL

Also, I learn so much from your facebook post and blog posts about adoption and the different dynamics of your sweet family. I wouldn't learn this much if it was all great and perfect days.

I know for sure no matter how a family grows, there is always a little bad in the midst of all the good. There are also critics along the way.

You guys are doing a great job.

E said...

First of all, no matter how many kids we have, none of us have it all together. Secondly, shame on the people who get satisfaction from you having a transition period. They need to get a life!

You're doing great, and you're doing what Jesus has called y'all to do. That is very admirable!

Praying for you daily!

Amy Lawrence said...

I just think that no one could possibly say "I told you so" to anything except ...see I told you that you would be a great mom to 3 toddlers at the same time. I am continuously impressed (and taking notes) on how you parent.

Cindy said...

From the blog world and FB world.... I think you are doing a fabulous, awesome, amazing job!!!!!!! We have 3 kids and two of them are older than yours and I have days where I want to cry too. Being a mom is the hardest job ever!!! Some days are so frustrating! But I wouldn't change a thing and I know you feel the same way. Thank you for sharing you children and their story with us. I admire you guys so much and all you are doing for those babies. They are truly blessed to have you all as parents. Hope to have another play date so I can meet your newest additions. All three of them are so cute!!!!

Patrice and Higgins said...

Apes, there will always be transitions! We had them and did not have the extra added stress of adoption. Our transitions were through childbirth 18 months and 4 years apart! I was so overwhelmed with when I had three young kids, that I wondered if I would every make it through. With that being said, lighten up on yourself, YOU ARE DOING GREAT! Less than six weeks in and you just had your first big cry...oh my word, you are a rock star! HA! As for you being worried about what others say...forget about it. You are doing what the Lord called you to do. Those who judge or get pleasure for you being human, need to get a life. Just saying!

Dizzy said...

April - You are amazing, your children are gorgeous and never doubt you are doing a fabulous job!! I love reading all about how you are all ajusting to a family of 5 and heaven knows it is no easy feat!!

ourseoulmate said...

I want to let you know how much I love your blog and how much I appreciate your honesty! As we are preparing ourselves to bring home our first child from Korea, with some SN's, it helps to read about others experiences - the good and the bad!

Plus, what blog could be better what with all of your adorable photos of your adorable kiddos?

I sincerely hope no one reads this and thinks 'I told you so.' I for one read this with joy and anticipation for our upcoming adventure. :)

Angie said...

I love, love, love to read about your sweet family. Hang in there!

Liz said...

April, You are doing a GREAT job with all three kiddos! I love hearing the updates (good or bad, tough days or breezy happy ones). It's reality. And you're right. Later on, someone who finds your blog may need to hear "It was a hard day" as much as they need to see "but it gets better!"

Hang in there sweet friend!

Rachel said...

Thank you for being real. I too think you are doing AWESOME! With our last adoption I had my first big cry the moment we walked in the door!!! Our older son (3 years old) had a really difficult time adjusting to having a little brother. We are 6 months in and they are starting to really love playing together. It has been exhausting to have to constantly monitor them because of fighting/hitting/pushing but now things are so much more peaceful. You are doing so great and things will just keep getting better as Sophie and Greer settle in more. Hang in there, God will give you what you need for each day. Praying for you today!

JaM said...

Parenting is hard. Period. Adoption is hard. Period. Adoption parenting is double the challenges and double the rewards. Anyone who says "I told you so" is clearly not a parent.

Sounds like Sophie is still looking for her Korean Foster Dad. She's hoping one of the other males will take her back. Sounds like you are doing great things. Pick up Patty Cogen's book if you need any other ideas (index it of course, you don't have time to read a book!).

Jody said...

I haven't read your blog for quite some time...didn't even know that you had your twins home!! Looks to me like you are doing an awesome job!!! We brought home two from Russia in 2008 and the third one in 2011. Transition time is so real. I, too, have a hard time being real about the issues we run into as it's hard to hear the comments. And our third? He doesn't nap either. Or sleep much at night. Makes for a rather crabby two year old...and sadly, a crabby mommy at times too. So thankful to see how well you all are doing. Sophie will come around...if she hasn't already. Our Addie was a major parent shopper....but finally decided she was stuck with us. :)
Blessings on your family!!

Maggie Ethridge said...

It sounds like your Sophie and our Eliza Grace got together and made their game plan for the transistion. EG would literally go to ANY man but Phil. I finially decided she needed to be mad at someone for the change. She needed to friends with one of us to get her needs met so she chose me and took out all her frustration on Phil and just to rub salt in the wound would kiss her granddads and great granddads and the bagger at the grocery store- LOL. She also was so aggressive towards her older sibs and that was soooo heartbreaking. She made some great progress and then we've been totally reprogramming since Christmas. We just have to keep reminding ourselves that a step is not always a step forward, sometimes it's just a step. It's so frustrating to think you've made "progress" only to be back at square one the next day!

Hang in there with Sophie. Stay tough and stay in charge. You're doing great!!!! One day she'll realize she doesn't have to be in control of everything and can relax trusting the two of you as her parents. (That's what I keep telling myself, anyway. Unfortunately I think that may be the day before their 13th birthday- the next day they realize we know nothing!! LOL)