Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Wonderful Day and Evening!!

Sarah, Louisa and Nikki

Kaia, Nikki, Lee Lee, Louisa, Anna and Sarah

Jim and Robert (we're missing Daryl- he needed to stay home with the other kids) We are hoping Daryl will join us NEXT YEAR!!

Anna, Lee Lee and Kaia

Jean, Cathy and Laura

All the girls!

This weekend has been such a blessing! Two and half years ago we traveled to China to meet our new daughter Anna. It was an experience of a lifetime! We were so blessed to share it with 2 incredible families. One family went through the same agency as we did and the other family was with another agency but they did not travel in a group- We made our own group!

Our hubbies clicked right away and so did the mom's! Our new daughter's were within 4 months of each other! We each had 4-5 birth children! If I could have brought al of them home with me I would have!

Over the past 2 and a half years we have tried to get together but it is hard with busy lives and kids going in different directions.

Hubby and I decided it was time for me and the little girls to visit Mark at school in Denver. I haven't been able to attend the parents weekends or any others of his college activities because of our adoptions and it will only be getting more difficult in the future. One of the families lives in Boulder and we took a chance in hopes that the other family may come too!! It was a happy day when Cathy said she booked the flights!!

The two families each have a birth daughter Sarah age! Wewere so excited for ALL of the girls to get together!!

We met in Boulder and window shopped and walked with all the kids! Then it was dinner at their home! It was such a wonderful evening! Thank you Laura for having us all over!!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Being Sensible?

The other day I told someone we intended to adopt again after our daughters come home... I got "the look". You know, the look that says "why would you ever do that?" The look that insinuates that you are maybe a little crazy? I just smiled uncomfortably and went on with my day.

That same day our daughter let me know that when she met me she thought I was old. Ya know, on second thought next time I go to China I'm ditchen Katie and bringing a grandma, a really really old one. Maybe I been figuring wrong? Just think how good I will look with a really really old grandma next to me!

So that night I sat the hubby down for a talk. I was filled with sensibility- YUCK. I began to question our previous thoughts, I was feeling old, I did the "when they graduate how old will we be" thing too many times. I wasn't counting on God to lead us, I was makin some decision for us- you know planning out our future.

The next day, a decent night sleep, a few prayers and I completely changed my mind. Planning everything out, being in control(hahaha) that is no fun at all. I called hubby and said ignore everything I said last night.

He said "So last night I was the father to nine children and today I'm the father to however many?"

Yes, that's right!


Golly, I love that Guy!

Don't be sensible. Take a chance! Let God lead you and enjoy the ride!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Older Child Adoption- Attachment and Safety!

This is my impression for our daughter. Sarah wanted a Mommy, a Daddy and a family. She wanted to attach and bond but she did not know how.

I believe she was at great risk for having attachment issues, 8.5 years in an orphanage, failed Chinese adoption and as stubborn as can be.

After being home 4 -5 months Sarah played with a neighbor girl. It was spring and I was thinking that we were ready to expand our little world. She was excited to be outside and play with someone her age! I let my guard down and one thing led to another. They played outside in our driveway, then our yard, then her driveway, then her yard, then in her house. Before I realized what was happening my daughter was being given pop, candy, gum and chips in the neighbor's house- anyone of these treats could buy her love for the moment. Sarah was asking to play with her all the time and the other mom was beginning to hug Sarah and say sweet things to her. It was not feeling right at all. Red flags were going up all over and I was stumbling with what to do. After all, I had always let our birth children play in the neighborhood.

One evening as I was making dinner Sarah said to me "I'm going over to _____ house. I'll eat dinner with them."
I was in shock! I said, "Honey you can't do that."
"Yes I can" she said, "they told me I could come over anytime!"

At that moment I knew I had to pull in the reins. Bloggy friends were so supportive, they gave me great advice and they prayed for the situation.

The other mom was only semi cooperative and the girls playing together was not working out. Together they would challenge our rules and act inappropriately. We had to stop the play dates. Sarah could play but only while supervised closely. She needed time to realize who makes the rules and the importance of sticking to them. She needed time to learn how to play nicely with friends. She needed time to grow in character and in trustworthiness.

We all learned a lesson and thank goodness we could pull back and give her and us more time.

We were planning to homeschool Sarah and had been for the last 5 months but this just reinforced our decision. She needs to be with us a lot!

Many families bring home older child, they do not homeschool and they have been successful with attachment. For us it was our desire and a necessity. We would not be where we are today without homeschooling.

If I had sent her to school she would have attached to her teacher and a school friend (it would not have been the best behaved student either). Now she attached to her family and ME!! She has homeschool friends which we approve of and friends in her activities and friends from our FCC group.

Our daughter knew nothing about safety. There was never a person in her life that cared enough to make sure she did not get hurt. She was actually glad that parents did that!

Sarah had many stories of children getting severely injured. Some of them were quite gruesome. We had to do teach her safety rules as if she were a toddler. Of course she caught on quickly but still needed many reminders. Things like seat belts, the hot oven, slamming fingers in doors, running with scissors, tripping people, crossing the street, riding bikes next to cars, etc.

It wasn't just the rules she was missing it was the whole concept of taking care of yourself, not taking chances and playing it safe that was missing.

One time when we went to watch Johnny play soccer at an away field we brought the girls. The bleachers were a large tall cement structure. Some of the other younger sisters were hanging out on the highest seat. There was a wall surrounding it about 4.5 ft tall. Sarah boosted herself up onto it to look over the edge. On the other side was a 40ft drop onto cement. She was still quite uncoordinated. I thought my heart was going to just out of my chest. I screamed her name at the top of my lungs. She quickly got down and looked at me- like "what Mom?"

She sat with us for the rest of the game and I thanked the Lord for protecting her.

It is time to move onto regular blogging! If you think of something specific you want to ask please leave it with a comment or e-mail me!

Thank you!!

Homeward Bound and the Adjustment

She had a lot of energy on the plane! It was a very exciting time for her!

Welcome Home! Thank goodness my friend Sue and her girls were there!! Hubby was running late!

Yippee they arrived!! It was so great to see them!!

New sisters!!

Every older child being adopted is DIFFERENT. We found Sarah to be challenging and I am thinking more challenging than average but NOT the most challenging- it was all very doable.

It is helping me to go through all this while we prepare to bring Emma and Ellie home. I am just wondering where they will fall in the challenging scale?

Sarah was so excited to go to America on a plane! She was all wound up! The flight attendants were so nice but after she spilled her orange juice 4 times and mine twice, they weren't quite as friendly. They had run out of extra pillow for us so we just had to make due!

There was a translator on the plane but she mostly wanted to visit with Sarah and did not share with me what they said. When there was only 5 hours left of the flight I requested her again. This time I was firm and told her exactly what to say and I told her to say nothing else. I was teetering on crabbiness and exhausted. I knew once we got home at 11am sleep was not going to be an option. This is what I had her tell MY daughter "She needs to go to sleep now, when we get home it will be morning and we need to be well rested". I did get a look like "what a mean mom", but Sarah finally sat still and rested.

So we land and walk out to meet the family... NO family... thank goodness my friend Sue and 2 of her daughters were there! 20 minutes later my sister, hubby and the rest of the family show up! A bit anticlimactic but it worked out! Hubby had a lot on his plate and did the best he could!

Sarah loved meeting everyone. We stopped at a gas station to get gas and witnessed an arrest- great first impression for Sarah of her new home! FYI, she still talks about it!

I was thrilled to be home and to be with the rest of the family. Sarah took it all in stride. I loved her new room she thought it was "just okay" and quite lonely. She slept with us (per her request) for 2 months. Then we put a mattress next to my side of the bed for 2 months and then she was ready to get her ears pierced and sleep in her own room!! After 4 months of being alone in her room Sarah welcomed her little sis Anna into the bed next to her! Anna was just moving out of a crib. It went perfectly and without a hitch! They love sleeping in the same room!

When she had been home for 2 weeks she complained of her tooth hurting. After 7 dental appts Sarah had had 2 root canals and 2 beautiful silver crowns. I am sure the toothaches were not helpful in her adjustment. How can someone be happy with a toothache?

Through our translator we told Sarah that Katie would be heading back to college very soon after we arrived home. She stayed 24 hours and then off she went. Sarah was very sad to see Katie go. I felt bad too because I knew she was coming back but I don't know that Sarah understood or believed she would.

It was not an easy transition for Sarah. She outwardly mourned all that she had lost, all that she left behind. We had been given many pictures and she frequently longingly looked at them. I thought about taking them away because they made her so sad but bloggy friends encouraged me to let her mourn and just be there for her. That was very helpful advice. I did not encourage her to look at the pics but I did not take them away from her. As time went by she would tell me about the other children and adults in the pics. She really loved sharing her past!

When Sarah was overwhelmed by sadness and longing for Ch*na she would go sit alone and hang her head. I tried to comfort her but she would push me away. I am sure during this time she felt angry towards me. It started out as true grieving but evolved into sulking and pouting. In the beginning it was a few times a day. It slowly improved and by 6 months she was no longer grieving "her China". The pouting continued but it was only about 4 times a week at the 6 months marker. Sarah has been home for 15 months and the pout/sulk only happens about once every 2-3 weeks. She can pull herself out of it now. PTL !

For the first 6 month Sarah didn't think America was so great, she loves it now!

Because of the language barrier I was not certain that I got the real story but it still was good to talk together. Bit and pieces of the truth were in there somewhere.

It is surprising how quickly the children learn English. After 2 months home she was not speaking any Chinese only a some English. Others were amazed at her progress! I was a bit more critical of it. I mean, when you hear how well "they do", I wasn't sure were I should set my expectations?

Now, Sarah has been home 15 months. She speaks wonderfully but without pronouns, not in full sentences and often the incorrect tense. I notice but others do not! They cannot believe she has only been home 15 months.

She was uncoordinated, lacked muscle strength and experience. She is now an excellent swimmer, fabulous on the playground and can do backbends, cartwheels and almost splits!

Watching her progress is like reading your favorite novel and you just can't put it down because you have to know what's next! It is downright fun being the mom in an older child adoption!

Older child adoption - Our Time in China- Part 4

We were so happy to arrive in Guangzhou!!

We had so much fun with Sarah in China!

Princess Sarah Ming Ming!

Her medical exam. We made it just in time!

She loved getting little new toys!

The 3 musketeers!

The other children couldn't help but stare!

Sarah got a haircut in China! Her dream is to grow it out long- now she is set to grow!!

I think we may need a little floss!

All cozy after a shower!

Sarah very quickly showed a definite preference for Katie. It was okay in the beginning but she began to be a little mean to me. Maybe I should have taken it in stride but I felt like it was orphanage behavior where a child has to pick sides or else they will be the odd one out. It is a survival skill. I wanted to show Sarah-
1. In a family you do not need to do that
2. It is not okay to treat people poorly

I knew I could not force her to like me or love me but I felt confident with time that would happen.

When she would grab her sister's hand I made sure Katie grabbed mine. When she refused to hold my hand, Katie would happily hold it. If she gave Kate a hug, Kate would hug me. I controlled all the money. If either daughter needed anything they had to come to me. I ordered the food for the family and served my daughters dinner. Dear Katie was "the ongoing example"!
I brushed Katie's teeth then Sarah's teeth. I combed Katie's hair then Sarah's hair.

I helped Sarah bathe or shower... I bet your wondering IF I helped Katie, too. Hahahaha, no that's where we drew the line! Because Katie and I spoke English and Sarah didn't we would talk through these circumstances. Sarah seemed oblivious to us talking. It wasn't until she began to learn English that she started wondering what are you saying?

Sarah chose to sleep with Katie in the double bed. Honestly, I was so fine with that, I just wanted a good night sleep! Once we got to Guangzhou we had one king bed that we shared and we had Sarah in the middle. Baby steps!

This seemed to work. She seemed to begin to think I was okay and started to respect me a little more. She new I was the one that was going to meet her needs. Katie was cute and fun BUT I was Mama.

Once we left her Province things got better. We did have another "Stand Off" over clothes. I am pretty sure nothing was going to make her happy that morning and it was just another necessary emotional moment. It was all part of her transition. We missed BKF (at the White Swan- bummer) but we made it to her medical appt- our new guide came up and helped her. This time our guide was a young unmarried girl, as nice as can be but unexperienced in parenting.

In my heart I new Sarah and I would be fine, I knew that I would always be there for her. That I was different and unfamiliar and didn't have a right to take a prominent spot in her life. I had to earn it. As we moved further and further away from what she new, what was comfortable she came closer and closer to me. I was there waiting for her with open arms.

I could really tell my feelings for her where becoming deeper. I felt very protective of her and enjoyed meeting her needs. She was an incredible little girl! She was generally joyful and had a positive energy about her. When we shopped in Guangzhou she helped me bargain. I would wink and smile at her. Sometimes we would have to walk out of the store and the salespeople would come after us and lower their price. We had fun!

By the time we flew home it was not even questioned Sarah would sit next to her Momma on the plane!

I actually have more to say so I will continue with our first weeks at home. I may take a little break and talk about something else!

If you are a lurker or are just stopping by PLEASE add yourself to the followers! It would make my day to get into the 90's! I have been stuck in the 80's forever!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Older child adoption - Our Time in China- Part 3

Sarah insisted on wearing her orphanage pants. I decided not to fight that battle.

Thank you so much for your kind comments! I truly appreciate them!

One of the topics I forgot to talk about is the language barrier. It is an overwhelming thought knowing your new child speaks an entirely different language than you do. I was determined to TRY to learn Chinese so I went out and bought R*setta St*ne Mandarin Chinese for the computer. To make a long story short, it didn't work and I was out a lot of money. If you think you will have the time, go for it. Mandarin would take hours of practice each day and I did not have the time.

I purchase some books from Am*zon that showed pictures,the English word, the mandarin word in pinyon and the chinese character. They were kind of helpful but not all that necessary. Sarah was 8 when we met her. She had gone to school but not regularly. She often chose to stay home and care for the babies. Since she missed so much school she was not a good student and knew very few characters and no pinyon.

I also ordered from Am*zon "Simple Language for Adoptive families". It comes in many different languages. The person that came up with the idea is an adoptive Mom herself and it has a CD to help with pronunciation.

We also used our guide a lot! She was great! Right away we set up hand signals and simple words for potty, hungry, drink, more, help, yes, no, etc. Through her, we let Sarah know what we were doing next and what Sarah should expect. She also had a few "talks" with Sarah which I appreciated! Especially since our little girl had been described as "strong in personality"! A couple when we thought Sarah misunderstood us our guide helped clarify things for her. It really worked great and we did not feel like the differences in language was a problem. Smiles, charades, hand signals and a few words did the trick while we were in China!

Going to China to pick up your new child is NOT a vacation. Do not bring anyone that is expecting to relax or has a lot of needs. While you're in China you will be spending most of your time meeting your new child's needs and then if you have a moment you need to try to take care of yourself! We treated ourselves to Starbucks and had a hidden stash of chocolate in our suitcases!! We also took turns on the computer and the comments that people left were so encouraging and they even helped us problem solve while we were there!

Our daughter Katie did not know what she was getting into, she was very surprised at how hard and how much work it was. I knew that Katie could and would adjust. I knew that she would help me have fun even in the challenging moments. When you go to China make sure you are armored with lots of prayer, a sense of humor and low expectations! You will have fun and you will be exhausted!

I was so bossy during our time in China- I was concerned I would drive Kate crazy. I was giving our dear oldest daughter an education on older child adoption while we were in China. Kind of on the job training! She took it like a trooper, enjoyed making fun of me and we would both end up laughing!

Sarah was always in an orphanage. She had no idea what a family was all about and why they were even necessary. Although I wanted to keep things light hearted in China there were a few issues I had to deal with- defining family and safety were two of them.

One evening... Thanksgiving to be exact, we were at a grocery store that had a few play pieces- an area with balls, a bouncy area, slide and some riding toys. Sarah's new Mommy ran out of quarters (or whatever they were in China). I had given her many so I was fine with the fact that I ran out of them. My new darling daughter was not... oh my, she was mad and she decided I was going to pay. I got many dirty looks, she would not obey me or walk next to me, she ran from me, she held hands with all the other grown ups and asked for money from them. I kept her in my sight. There were two all time lows and that was one of them. I had to walk up to everyone in our group and ask them "Please do not hold my new daughters hand. She is just learning about family and you are not her family." I found one grandma opening up her purse to get money for Sarah. It was interesting because the people we were with did not understand- they were adopting a 3 yr old and they just didn't get it. We ended up not going to dinner with the group, we decided we needed to go back to our room. It just wasn't feeling very safe with how Sarah was reacting (It sure would have been nice to speak mandarin that evening!). I felt like I needed her in an enclosed environment where she would be safe. We ended up eating cold rice in our room. There were many tears from our new little girl. I think this was all part of her mourning and adjustment. She desperately wanted some control. She had none. She took her anger and frustration out on me ( that was okay). I ended up in tears too. It was just an emotional day.

We carried on from there but the next day was one of the times that our guide (an experienced Mom) talked to Sarah.

This is all for today. I may have missed a few topics I was planning to write on. I will have a part 4 tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Older child adoption - Our Time in China- Part 2

Sarah came to us acting very competent . She felt like she could do anything that needed to be done. I am wondering if it is because she never had a parent to do these things, so for 8 years she had to do it herself. The tag in the her new clothes were bothering her so she cut them off. She cut a hole in the clothes! She wanted to use our iphones and camera and she did fine but she had no idea what she was doing!

She often told me I had bad breath- I knew she was right (especially after coffee) so it didn't bother me. I would quickly brush my teeth or pop in a breath mint. We noticed that Sarah's breath didn't smell too good either. I am sure it was because the NEVER brush their teeth. They say they do in the referral but they do not- can you imagine keeping that many tooth brushes organized and clean- illness would have spread even easier than it did and I am sure they did not have the money for toothpaste. (maybe it is different in a foster home?) Later we found out that Sarah was often told by other children that she had bad breath. I think she said it too me to protect herself. Another emotional survival skill. She never says it to me now.

I also think that all of her senses were hypervigilant during this stressful time in her life. All smells bothered her. It was all so new to her. Kind of like a dog smells someone new, Sarah literally smelled us.

Since I am onto the senses I will continue in this area-
Taste- Sarah wanted to taste and smell all the foods. She didn't taste it like we would, it was much more intense. She would put the food in her mouth, feel it's texture with her tongue, move it around in her mouth, she would be in deep thought, smack her lips a couple times and let us know IF she liked it our not.

When she ate she smacked up a storm and enjoyed every morsel of food. She was all Chinese no western foods at all (while in China).

Touch- I think she was not used to much touch because every time we even gently bumped she would say ouch. Any touch was an ouch (I think we taught her the word "ouch", I can't remember what word she said). Each time she would look at us as if we hurt her AND to let us know it was OUR fault. I learned not to touch unless I got the okay to touch her. I didn't want to have her reject my touch OR get my teeth accidently knocked out! Of course with each day this got better and better. By the time we were home 4 plus months it was gone.

Spacial awareness- Sarah would run into everything. She would twirl in small rooms and hit the wall or a post. She would be walking and not watching where she was going and go straight into a wall or piece of furniture. She would walk so close to us that if we stopped she would run right into us. Again it was our fault. In time we taught her to say "oops, sorry!" We also had to teach her to give people personal space. She had no concept of personal space.

Hearing- see was sensitive to sound. When ever there were loud noises she would put her hands over her ears. We had an ipod with chinese childrens music on it. She loved it (until she broke it later when she was at home). We will bring this to China for Emma and Ellie, too.

Sight- There was so much new for her to see. Either her eyes would be arting around trying to take it all in OR staring. Oh my, can she stare! She stared at anyone who was different, had a disability, had dark skin, was not Chinese, who was fat, who had long hair, who had pretty colors on... you get the point. We still have to remind her not to stare to this day! We tell her if she looks at someone to smile, that it seems much more friendly!

Her name- When we met Sarah her name was Ming Ming. It is a beautiful name and I wondered how were we going to introduce the name that we had picked out for her? Was it even the right thing to do? Early on our guide asked us the name we had chosen for her. She asked if she could tell her and we said yes. I was a little nervous and hoped she would like it. I also knew she would let us know if she didn't like it. I wanted her to like it. I had no intentions of thinking of a new name for her if she didn't like it. Whew- all went well and she became Sarah Ming Ming at that moment! Once we were at home Sarah asked to be called Ming Ming, again. We obliged but then we would forget and once again call her Sarah, she was fine with that.

Love at first sight? No, not for us and not for her. Tenderness and admiration at first sight, YES for us! We were eager to get to know this new family member. Eager to feel love and in awe of her and how she survived. We respected her right away.

I am trying to be honest in all that we experienced with our new daughter. I am telling you the things that stood out in our minds. The things I read about and saw in her.

The most important thing is that you know this was the most incredible experience I have ever been through. Sarah amazed us in China and she continues to amaze us now! Our experience with her makes us feel good about doing this again with Emma and Ellie!!

Along with everything I am posting she was a joy. Katie and I had fun with her in China and I know she had fun with us! This little girl was meant to be in our family and we are so thankful she is in our family!!

In my next post I will talk about attachment, family, meltdowns and safety.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Older child adoption - Our Time in China- Part 1

These pics are completely out of order. Here is Sarah talking a pic of herself. She photographed everything insight, including her socks, her toys, etc!

Our first stop! Sometimes ya just gotta do what ya gotta do!

Please Sarah! Come and watch a movie with me! It was in Mandarin with English subtitles! At least we tried... often!

For a moment she liked it... but it didn't last long!~

It turned into jumping on the bed!

Keep going Katie~ it's not full of air yet!

Nancy- Our wonderful guide in Nanjing! She was a huge help!

We even had playdoh!

We did our nails! Sarah was used to doing things herself. It took her awhile to let us help her!

We tried coloring!!

The three Musketeers! It was a challenge BUT we had FUN!

Talking to Baba on the phone!

This is the post I fear because there is so much to say- I don't want to forget anything and yet if you are busy like me it is hard to read the long posts. I'll have to divide it up! I hope this helps others that are on their journey to an older child adoption or are considering it!

Sarah had always been in an orphanage. She had visited the homes of caretakers on some weekends but she was all orphanage, so to speak. I had read about the orphanage behaviors and wondered what we would see. I felt like we would see a lot but to what degree? I prayed we would not see everything I had read about.

I remember feeling, once we had Sarah... okay... now want do we do? I was thankful to have Katie along, she was a great bridge between the ages. She could act silly and play better than I could- nothing inside of me was 8 yrs old but I tried hard, I knew I had too- I was on a mission! Katie and I had visions of moments where Sarah would color, watch a movie we had purchased in China or play nintendo DS- a moment here and there of down time. None of that came true- Sarah was a barrel of energy all day long. We played nonstop and were exhausted by the end of the day. Sarah had no time for movies- I don't think she could follow them and I am not sure why? Maybe she wasn't as good with the mandarin as we thought but our guide said she spoke well? We did piggyback rides running down the hall, we colored a little bit together, we tried to play the matching game but Sarah was not good at playing by the rules so we just did it any old way and laughed. The beach ball was a big hit- we batted in around the room. Bubbles were fun, too but messy. We tried doing them out the window but when Sarah dropped the wand down 11 stories I decided we should stop before anything else falls out the window! The best bet was browsing the shops. We got some fresh air (kind of) and she loved to shop! We said yes sometimes and no more often when it came to buying something. I learned early on she wanted everything!

She loved all our electronics- cameras, phones and computers. We let her play with the camera and phone and supervised some computer use. They were survival moments and I new we just needed to do this for now. We wanted her to like us and to keep things positive. The best advice I have gotten is from a veteran parent of many- said "Just keep everybody as happy as possible and get home as soon as possible! Once you are home in the USA you can work on behavior and the other more complicated issues." Amen!

Hoarding- we did not see this in China. She has always been very organized with her things. At home it was very minor. If she found a toy in our house that she loved she would keep it in a special place in her room. After a couple weeks she would lose interest and she would find other toys that were her new favorites and then put them in a special place.

Sarah had the fastest grab I have ever seen. We were shocked when she grabbed something away from me at lightening speed. I think this was a survival skill from the orphanage.

We had no bathroom issues. She was completely independent with this and has never had an accident. I did help her shower, wrapped her up in towels and helped her get her jammies on. She loved every minute of it! I brushed teeth for her! Later I found out they never brushed teeth in the orphanage.

Food- She was thin and hungry but she was also nervous so she did not overeat. She liked the traditional chinese food, she had not been exposed to any American food. Her favorites were fried rice, watermelon and oranges. She loved candy! I brought candy rolls in my pocket to give out occasionally. I think it did help her go with the flow knowing mom had candy in her pocket.

The issue that brought about a few problems were clothes. Sarah wanted to dress in the orphanage way. She wanted layers and layers of clothes, she didn't care if they matched or not and I could tell she did not understand at first why her new Momma didn't want to keep her warm! She did not like what I brought her for clothes and she made it clear. I just couldn't let her dress in her orphanage clothes and go back to the government building and see her director, etc. So I stuck to my guns and made her wear an outfit I brought her. I don't know if that was the right thing to do or not? I think she was proud of what she wore to meet us- it fit her and she liked it. She has told me now that she rarely had clothes that fit her, they were always too big. After this I would set out 3 outfits and let her choose, sometimes this worked and sometimes it didn't.

Sarah was desperate for control in her life and clothes became "her issue". If it hadn't been clothes it would have been something else. I probably should have gone with the flow more with this one. There are a lot of feelings floating around and we all have our reasons why we do things- whether they are good reasons or not, who knows?

I'll write more later- hope this helps somebody out there in bloggyland! I have so much more to say! Stay tuned!