Monday, February 4, 2013

Defining... "Doing Well"


Day 2 or first full day home!
Dress up clothes are always a hit! Especially the play high heals!
Melissa and Madeline clicked around the hardwood floors all day in their high heals!

I have decided I need to define what "doing well" actually means when adopting three children and only knowing them for 3 weeks. Just in case anyone wants to adopt three at a time OR they want the real scoop on adopting older. Keep in mind this is our real scoop and may be much different than others experiences.

We have loved adopting 3 at a time BUT it is a bit of a marathon and a lot of bodies to keep track of. Because we love our new daughters and felt called to bring home all three we are thrilled that they are ALL with us. I would never discourage adopting 3 at a time- especially if you felt called to do it.
However, my all time favorite is adopting 2 at a time. It is more manageable and I love the interactions that happen between the children and the parents.

Our three bonded with each other in China and they bonded with Sarah although I think they would have bonded even more with her had we had her in our room at night. Because of logistics she slept in the other room with the older sib.
I was concerned that our 3 new daughters were a bit of a click and there might be issues at home with the two groups not meshing. But that did not happen and I think it is because the group at home is larger and stronger than the new group and they were very welcoming to the new children. If we had one or two waiting at home I actually could see possible issues arising.


So where is Mia in this process. During our time in China Mia was very very slowly opening up. The younger and the older sibs connected with her. Sarah asked Mia (per my request) if she was afraid of us - she said yes.
We have no idea what happened in the first 10 years of her life. We have no idea what experiences she has had and has not had. Older child adoption comes with a lot of question marks. It truly is journey where you have to completely trust GOD. 
Not trusting him in the sense that he will provide a perfect daughter but trusting him that he will give you the insight, the tenderness and the knowledge to help her.
There is a lot of healing that needs to happen and their is a trust between the child and the parent that need to build.


Melissa is easy. She is smart and came from a good place. She was prepared to have a family. She is navigating her way into this family. She is the first to say English words and the first to obey.
 She is observant and learns from what she sees. She sits on our lap, hugs us, holds our hands and says I love you.
We know she is happy but as far as really loving us- that will come in time.


Madeline ia a princess! She is also loving and accepts affection. She likes things her way but will give up when she sees that we are doing it our way- which is progress for her!
She has had a few mini tantrums mostly due to her stubbornness AND the language barrier.
We have been loving through those tantrums and allowed her to get over them and then we resume life!
She does not carry a grudge and will move forward happily when it is over.
She was also prepared for a family and gets it.


Mia has made positive progress each day- it amazed me because... I was actually concerned.
She still has a long way to go  (as do all the kids).
This is what we are seeing with Mia. She is watching everything- very observant. She is copying the other children and trying to communicate more through pointing, charades, signs and Sarah.
She willingly comes into the room that we are in so she no longer is avoiding us. 
She allows us to touch her back and hold hands.
She loves to help in any way she can. 

Last night she passed out the plates for dinner! We called out the children's names, they raised their hand and she brought them their plate (we are trying to teach them the children's name).
She wipes down the counter in the kitchen and loves the younger children.


She also is the first to get up, yells loudly and turns on all the lights and wakes everyone up at 5:30 am!
When she wants to slide she just takes the sled away and claims it for herself.
She is tempted by our computers but know we do not allow her to be on them.
She sits on tables and stands on chairs (all things we will work on in time).
Thoughtfulness and sharing are not orphanage qualities necessary for survival and survival in a tough situation is what she had to do.
Also parents are a new concept for her. She has lived just fine without them. Now she needs to learn why she needs parents and what family life really is all about. I think she is happy to be part of our family.
The children had fun playing cards games- there was lots of laughter!


She smiled for this picture because I asked her too!


She is very different from Sarah. I thought having adopted Sarah would give me the insight that I needed for Mia. BUT what really happened is I remembered back to when we had Matt- I thought I knew it all and then we had Katie... They were night an day different. And then Add Billy in there and wow- I realized I knew nothing!
What my experience has really taught me is that every child is different and unique. The parenting style needs to adjust to fit the child.

Mia is making great progress and it works best if she makes it at her own pace. I truly believe that Mia is going to be an awesome daughter!!  I am very excited to continue to unveil the child she really is!


The children play together and individually! I love how they can be near each other and be doing something totally different such as reading to their bears!


Jet lag is tough but it's improving with each day. Hubby and I have low expectations and are being nice to ourselves! 
Madeline took a little cat nap and then the new girls had a bath and shower! After dinner thy stayed up to 8:30 and went to bed. Morning happened today at 6:30am with Mia turning on all the lights. That's pretty goos- I have no complaints!!

11 comments:

Ana Cuneo said...

QUERIDA FAMILIA: LES ESCRIBIMOS DESDE BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA Y HACE UN TIEMPO QUE SEGUIMOS SU BLOG, NOSOTROS SOMOS UNA FAMILIA CRISTIANA CON 12 HIJOS, 9 PROPIOS Y 3 ADOPTADOS CON NECESIDADES ESPECIALES. HEMOS ESTADO LEYENDO SU BLOG SOBRE SUS NUEVAS ADOPCIONES Y REALMENTE ESTAMOS MARAVILLADOS DE COMO DIOS HA ESTADO AL LADO DE USTEDES TODO ESTE TIEMPO, NOS GUSTARIA QUE SE CONTACTEN CON NOSOTROS, YA QUE QUEREMOS QUE NOS INFORMEN SOBRE LAS ADOPCIONES INTERNACIONALES, NOS GUSTARÌA PODER ADOPTAR NIÑOS EXTRANJEROS CON NECESIDADES ESPECIALES. SIENTANSE LIBRES DE ESCRIBIRNOS EN EL NOMBRE DE JESUS, RECIBAN BENDICIONES DESDE ARGENTINA.

Angie said...

Sounds like an excellent day! PTL!

Judy Deaton said...

The girls look like they are really doing well! We adopted 2 at once and though it makes it a little more of a marathon than one.....it really helps them open up and get comfortable faster. And they don't have to take the journey totally alone. Loved your description of parenting these older kids...wish you would give us a whole outline of jobs, routine, etc. some day:) AFTER jetlag is over! And you earn a medal in my book just for putting all those snow coats, pants, hats, mittens boots, etc. on 11 kids! I dread doing it with 4:) And then where and how do you store them and keep them straight, and everyone in the right size of clothes with out going crazy! I'm thinking you are SUPER WOMAN! You are truely an inspiration and I'm so thankful that you blog.

THat Madeline has the most amazing eye lashes, and little Mia bless her sweet heart, is just a doll. It's not fair that they didn't prepare her for adoption:( and Melissa...well I just love to see what she's up to next:) They are all just beautiful.
Blessings to you

Tina said...

I loved the update! Thanks! :)

Stacy said...

LOVING the updates!! Thank you!
I brought home two kiddos a year and a half ago (7 year old and 14 year old) and am struggling with a few things. I want you to know that I learn from you on how to love the ones hard to love.
You have an awesome family.
THanks for posting!!

Jennie said...

All the girls are beautiful - I'm especially struck by the radiant pose when Mia smiled for you. Lots of potential in the young lady - all in God's time.

Sarah said...

That really is good! I'm glad that everyone slept! Kaikai is still getting up at 5:15 most days (although sometimes he makes it until 6). You are such an amazing mom! Your girls are beautiful and look like they're loving their new family.

Janet and Kevin said...

Welcome home! So glad you are home and beginning to settle in! I really do admire your strength and stamina to do the marathon trip and still look like you stepped out of a magazine cover. :) Loved all of the pics of your first few days at home. Precious!

janet and gang

Vicky said...

What a blessing to see all the children adjusting to the new normal!

Randi said...

We are hoping to travel in April for a six and a seven year old girl. I'm totally devouring your blog. You make it look so easy! Thanks for the real stories.

Candy said...

It really sounds like you've got everything under control. Your girls look they are all enjoying getting to know one another, playing nicely. Looking forward to your next post.