Sunday, January 20, 2013

One Step Forward and . . .

Yep, you guessed it... 

and two steps back...

It wouldn't be a real adoption journey if it didn't have a few potholes...

Last night after we put Mia and Melissa to bed, Mia kept sneaking out of the room and going to Mark and Sarah's room. So Jim laid down on the couch until the girls where asleep.

The next morning seemed fine until Mia took Marks phone and left our rooms. She went far down the hall and hid, then called the orphanage or someone? We looked all over for her and found her as she was just ending her phone call.
We were not happy that she took Mark's phone and
went fairly far away without telling us and called without our permission.

We took the phone away and made it clear it was a big NO.
We are now banning the Iphones and Ipads. The new children were becomiong too dependent on them to fill the time and were always asking to use them. They buried themselves in the electronics.
NO MORE!

Then later in the morning Mia started to say unkind things about us(Momma and Babba) to her new little sister. Melissa was agreeing and things just seemed to be going in the wrong direction. Sarah over heard her and told us. We know that Mia has many feelings and confusing thoughts and we understand that BUT it is not okay to influence her younger sister(and soon to be sisters) in such a negative way. We kind of saw it coming but had hoped it was going to stop. It started out with Mia telling Melissa to say simple things- like I want ice cream or I have to go to the bathroom but then we sensed it was moving onto other areas- such as telling someone how to feel or think and then onto doing naughty things. Melissa was no longer holding my hand and smiling back at me.

I know I could be super mature and ignore it but I really am not okay with this direction so we are separating the two girls a little bit. Sarah told Mia she cannot do that in Chinese. Then she told them that Mom and Dad are nice. 

(This was so painful for her- we are not forcing ourselves on her BUT we are establishing the fact that we are the parents.)

We are beginning to revert back to some of the techniques we used with our other adoptions.
We feel that we need to before things get out of control and a 10 yr old begins to run the family.


(Mark and Sarah loved feeding the baby tiger! Mia and Melissa chose not to do it.)

These techniques have served us well with our other adoptions and it was obviously time to implement them.

So, what do we do-
We insist on respect. Please and thank you's. If they cannot say them they do not get what they want.
(Mia missed out on gum and coke because she refused to say thank you- in Chinese that is)

Holding hands WITH the parents when crossing streets and near traffic, etc. We are also holding Melissa's hand more and more to bring her close to us. She sits on my lap in the taxi (not Mark or Sarah's ). I sit next to Mia all the time. She can no longer hide next to Mark. Babba and Momma sit in the middle of the table with the children around us. 

Mia needs to walk with us- not ahead or behind.

No electronics (yep- except for Hubby because of work and me when I blog ;-) We need to learn to hang out together and communicate as best we can.

 (Mia opted to not be in the picture)

 (yea... this kinda says it all...)



They loved feeding the giraffes!

 (Mia opted not too feed the giraffes... We offer her everything we offer the other children. She seldom wants what we offer. Except she did want the ice cream cone!  ;-)


Today we went to Safari Park. It was fun but also a bit of a time filler because of our tough morning. Mark enjoyed it- so I am glad he was able to see it.





Most of Mia's progress will probably be made at home on our own turf. For now we are doing what we can to keep the peace and establish our roles (kind of).

Today is Gotcha Day for Madeline!!
AT 2:00 we will meet her!

Yippppeee!! So excited to meet our sweet daughter!!

Please say prayers that it goes well with Madeline! AND that Mia can begin to open her heart to having parents and that God will direct us in all that we do!

22 comments:

Mama Ds Dozen said...

Hugs & Prayers!

Oh how I know the challenges of adopting older children.


:) :) :)

Karin said...

Praying for you and Mia. Such tough moments and I really feel for you. You're doing a great job, though. Definitely insist on her not walking ahead or behind. BTDT. Praying she will come around and embrace you with her full heart.

jan said...

i so appreciate you and you sharing your wisdom..... we are waiting on LOA for kiddo #9 (6 adopted and 5 of them much older) and it is good to be reminded of all the emotion and strategies i'm gonna need. again. :) as you know, it will get better. stay sane and focused on Him in the meantime, amen?

regardless, you look glowing and beautiful in all your pics so He is shining in you even if you don't feel it.... XO from indiana

Angie said...

You are great parents, with a sweet family. You have overcome challenges with other adoptions, and I know you all will handle this, too. Praying for you all!

Annie said...

Praying my sweet friend!

Wright Family said...

Love following your awesome story!! And so impressed with your very wise parenting of Mia.

Hanna said...

Praying for Mia to realise you and Jim are caring and loving parents and will respect you both.

Vicky said...

You are doing the right thing! Hang in there! Praying that things went well for your Gotcha moment with Madeline! I can't wait to see you with all three girls!

Sherri said...

I'm so enjoying your blog. And although we adopted a 12 month old, your doing the right thing. I'm trying to get my friend to understand you have to be strong and sometimes hard as she let's her 2.5 year old run their, and she's been home now 6 months. God bless!

KO said...

You are not alone! Hang in there, through God love can heal ... we keep hanging in there. We have 2 steps forward and 2 steps back all the time, but we keep our faith. Safe travels, and thanks for the inspiration and updates.

Ron Stevens said...

Congrats on Madeline! Can't wait to see her in your arms! Just trust your gut and hang in there with Mia.....your doing GREAT! She will get it! Keep the physical contact and ground rules going......kids need rules and parents, they just don't know it! When you get home things will fall into place......The fact that Mia is doing what she is doing is showing she has some trust in you or she would not be brave or silly enough to try.....Even though her life in China was not what it should have been (family, love) it was all she knew and letting it go is HARD....good and bad.....heading to the unknown is scary.....time, love, patience and consistancy will win her over. The older they are the harder to earn their trust.....
Your doing an amazing job! Keep it up! Enjoy Madelines Gotcha Day! Continued prayers as she enter the final stage of your trip....

Sarah said...

Oh, I'm so sorry for the two steps back, but you are doing a FABULOUS job (once again!). Praying for all of your girls, and especially for your gotcha day with Madeline!

Nikki said...

Ditto what everyone else has said! You guys are rock stars at this and once you get home, everything will begin to fall into place. Big prayers coming your way!!! Can't wait to see all three girls together!!!

Sue said...

Mai will come around, The one thing about older adoptions that they understand to much and have to much ability to think about what is going on. Everything you wrote will work and she will see that love that you have within the family and that she will learn that. Perhaps it is good that she is exhibiting some of these behaviors in China, so she can slowly work things while still somewhat in her familiarity. When she gets home, hopefully it won't be as bad. Happy gotcha day for Madeline.

Sammy said...

I love it! Instead of being upset you take action! You're my kind of momma. : - ) We are adopting again and I love watching your trip to get geared up.

angela ford said...

I can imagine the ten year old has a lot to process.... more years of no family and a false sort of independence. She will have to be taught just like you are teaching her how to be a daughter.

You guys are great. Hang in there.

thesleepyknitter said...

You're doing the right things! Praying for all these transitions, Jean.

--shawnee

Lori said...

I can't think of anything to say to add to all the good stuff everyone has already said. You guys really are doing a great job!!

Wendy said...

Agree with above comments. Mia will come around. It is trying to get through the next days until you are home that are difficult. She is a beautiful child with such a happy face...she is probably terrified about leaving all she knows. You are doing such a great job keeping her next to you and helping her to see what a true family does. My prayers are with you.

Chris said...

Keep smiling mom and dad! At least you have Sarah smiling away. You are doing the right thing. You've done this before. Prayers

Suzanne and Adam said...

Thanks so much for sharing this! We are praying for Mia's transition!

Wife of the Prez said...

Oh Jean, your post takes me back to June 2010. BTDT. Joel didn't try to influence Jameson (we adopted our then 5YO little boy on same trip as then 10YO Joel), but I don't think boys are as perceptive to those types of things you know?

But Joel did try to walk away from us and control a lot of things in different ways. It continued once home, so I think you are wise to set the boundaries. We stayed in our hotel room A LOT b/c Joel wouldn't follow the rules. I was terrified he was going to run away. If we would have been near his foster home I think he might have tried. We were able to meet his foster parents and he still talks to them on the phone, but that is a little different than an SWI I think. They really did treat their foster children with unconditional love, but anyway, you do have to set the boundaries. You are doing a great job picking up on this right away. I'm impressed she held your hand.

http://roomforatleastonemore.com/2010/06/24/a-breakthrough-today/

Not sure if you can see this post, but if you can, read it and check out the photos. I think it'll make you feel better! We have come so far in 2 1/2 years. Our big guy is the most loveable and is very respectful most of the time, and he is a great big brother too. I know your Mia will come to accept your love in time too. It just takes longer usually with these older children. Trust is not an easy thing to gain.

Thinking of you and praying things continue to go well (as would be expected!) and no more sickness!

Hugs, Leslie