Tuesday, March 6, 2012

When Love Hurts (Day 2 & 3)

Day 2 began like I mentioned in the last post, with MS sleeping in. She once again refused a bottle and sobbed hysterically when she saw it… continued to sob when I changed her clothes… but at breakfast she managed to eat several spoonfuls of congee (an oatmealish looking thing made of rice). We returned to the room after breakfast to let the kids meet their sister via face time. The kids were great and love her so much. It was a little overwhelming to her so she began to rock back and forth to cope with it…. If her brothers and sister overwhelm her via the internet, just wait until she gets home!!

We left at 9 to head back to the civil affairs office to finalize the adoption. This involved taking an official photo of the 3 of us, and then meeting with a notary who asked us a series of questions…. Do you wish to adopt her? Do you promise never to abandon her or abuse her? What do you think of her? Of course our answers were yes, yes, and we love her! And then the lady simply says “Congratulations.” Kind of anti-climatic after gotcha day. We were there for 3 hours and MS did GREAT! She cuddled, laughed, smiled, ate puffs and mummums. We were also able to get her to drink some warm water from a sippy cup and then even a little formula from the same cup….so thankful to get some fluids in her.

So, all in all things were going great… and then the rollercoaster came. I should know to expect this in an adoption but it keeps surprising me… out in public she is loving life but when we get to the room it changes. We sat down on the floor to play with toys and the tears began again…. Tried a bottle with formula, tried the sippy cup with formula… tears, tears, and more tears.

We decided she was tired so I lay with her on the bed... she could not get settled and began banging her head over and over and over. I had a glimpse of this from gotcha day but this was worse. Nothing I could do would make her stop. When I tried to hold her and comfort her, she banged her head against my chest. This was not a gentle tapping but a hard and more violent motion.

So there we were, she was lying on the bed doing that and I was beside her sobbing with my hand rubbing her back. As she finally fell asleep, I cried a flood of tears… Ugh, it was just so excruciating to watch. I had been begging God to “comfort her, help her, calm her.” I said to Derek, I wish He would move to which Derek replied “that’s why he sent us to get her.” This is her redemption story and it is just plain messy, painful and terrifying at times. I feel totally inadequate…. Will I ever be able to soothe her? To comfort her? Will she ever accept it from me? That nap lasted all of 10 minutes and she was back to the sobbing.

I finally got her calmed on my chest, when we got confirmation that she is not just scared but grieving. I had been saying "I love you, I know it is scary, I know it is hard, I love you" over and over when I got the smart idea to whisper I love you to her in chinese…. I thought this might comfort her…. But as soon as the words left my mouth, the screams and tears began. Ten minutes later, Derek was cuddling with her and also said “Wo Ai Ni” and once again… the tears and screams.

I don’t know if it is a nanny she loved who whispered those words… or just a general loss she feels of all that was once familiar but all I know is it was heart breaking for her for me and for Derek. I also know this is important to her… her grieving will allow her to attach more deeply to us in the future… but it is hard nonetheless.

We met back at 3 to go to the police station and of course, I started sobbing again to my red thread gals… such a blessing to have their listening ears here with me. I was for sure encouraged and them MS turned on the charm. For the 1.5 hours there, she was cracking up, being silly, smiling, hugging, etc. Such extremes in such a short amount of time…. We did give her motrin also because she has a mouthful of teeth coming in so that may have taken the edge off.

Towards the end of our time there, she actually came at my mouth with her mouth wide open… we are calling it a kiss but I think she was trying to eat me ☺ Still no bottles in her (over 24 hours and counting since her nanny gave her the last one!) We got back and went bottle shopping and got a new one with a brown latex nipple, went back to the room and made a bottle…. Praying all the while. And praise be to God she downed the whole thing and even ate part of a 2nd bottle in no time! (An aside, they mix formula and rice cereal to create a very thick drink, and they also drink it PIPING hot! Also, kind of funny, but AR and Henry both refused bottles when I was nursing them and only gave in when I got the latex nipples, so she fits right in. Even more ironic that that thought to get a different nipple never crossed my mind earlier !)

So with a full belly, she let me change her diaper and clothes without crying for the first time and even fell asleep as I buttoned the pjs! I have a sweet photo of her hilarious finger sucking technique (all 3 of my bio kids have had strange methods as well, so once again, she fits right in…. don’t you love God in all the details?) She covers her face with her rag, shoves the rag in her mouth and sucks through that. Whatever it takes…. All I know is no head banging at bedtime tonight! I’m sure that behavior isn’t over but it did my heart some good to see her drift off peacefully.

So today was good and today was hard. I sobbed gripped by fear and I laughed filled with joy. At the end of the day, God brought my mind back to the idea of redemption and the image of Jesus on the cross… messy and painful but necessary.

As she was sleeping tonight, I read my daily devotional from an Amy Carmichael book and God used those pages to refresh and strengthen me… “Blessed be the Lord our God who does cause His word to come to us in just this way: like a strong hand reaching out for us to take hold of firmly, and to take hold of us.” It followed with scripture about leaning on Jesus… and He will keep me in perfect peace and take away fear. And ended with a prayer “I want to trust you. To relax the weight of my fears and anxieties against you. To rest, to know how fully trustworthy you are. Help me, Father.”

Thank you Jesus for showing up in the midst of my fear and anxiety!

Day 3-
This will be short but today has been great! So here are the highlights: After 13 hours of sleep, MS woke up. She is still not a happy go lucky kids but she is really making strides. She ate some watermelon and eggs for breakfast. She pooped! Yea! She DOES NOT want to be put down! She clings to me in the same way I picture it would be if I had a pet chimpanzee. I keep calling her my little monkey. She thinks Daddy is pretty awesome and is quick to smile at him. We went to a park/ garden and it was so nice to walk around in fresh air. I felt the stress lift off of me as we walked around and enjoyed each other and our friends. My kids would have loved the park décor… lots of Mario brothers, angry birds and help kitty statue things. MS is so curious and you can just see it in her eyes that she is soaking it all in. She held a small stacking cup and the top of a water bottle in her hands for 2.5 hours today without letting go…. I had to pry them from her for nap. I was just glad she wanted something because she has yet to play with any toys. We know she can crawl, sit up, and cruise around but other than 2-3 crawls forward, we have yet to witness any of that… she is very much a limp noodle. Back at the room, she downed another bottle (PTL) and cried as she went to sleep…. BUT this time she did not want to fall asleep banging her head… rather she was on my chest, crying and clinging to my shirt and then passed out after 5 minutes. BTW, we ate chinese food for the 1st time! How pitiful is that? But it was delish! Derek has been picking up pizza hut, mcdonalds, etc. for days. He has become an expert at dodging cars as well…. Yesterday he said he was so proud of how well he dodged the cars and then as soon as he hit the sidewalk, he slipped and almost busted to the ground… but saved himself and the food. People were laughing! Found out today that a couple in our group actual witnessed it from far away and were laughing as well. ☺ Enjoy the photos!


Pam said...

Sooooo happy day 3 was much better for all of you! Glad you found the issue with the bottle! We had to feed Emma the bottle for the first couple of days with a spoon until she finally took it! Love the pictures! Can't get over all the teeth MS has!

Mike said...

Wow Rushton. Thanks for sharing exactly what God is taking you and DW through. My heart aches for you and Mei Simms, and I can't help but look at Sam and Rosie and a flood of emotion washes over me as I remember.. I wonder what next week will be like with Pippa. Our family is praying for you daily. Can't wait to "hi-five" over the pacific next Friday then see you all on the other side.

Sandra said...

My heart breaks to hear Mei Sims grieving stories. I know that is in store for us as well and I just pray God gives me the same strength and peace to hold up under it. Praying for many more good days for you and your sweetie!

mbcfree said...

Love the updates. She is such a beautiful little girl. I know she is grieving hard but it is so good for her. You are handling it like a rock. The boys freaked over the angry birds park. I bet Rollins did too. Would you mind if I printed up a few photos to put on the bulletin board? Let me know if that's ok. Praying for y'all. I love Dereks car dodging story. We used to say we felt like we were competing in the amazing race. Love y'all!

EmilyElla said...

Thank you Rushton for all of the raw honestly that you are sharing about the adoption process.

Praying for your family,

Southern Cheesehead said...

Praying for you guys...all of you there! Praying that she will experience the peace that only Christ can give. Praying that she feels safe and comforted very soon with you guys.

Frank Malloy said...

Dear Rushton,

We have been there (Feb. 2011) and we feel your pain. We have experienced similar things - the fast rocking back and forth, and she even would stand in the crib and rub her teeth back and forth along the rail. Like your experience, it was painful and heart-wrenching to watch.

It tooks 2 full days before she'd eat or poop. We worried about autism. But, it's all grieving and trying to deal with the funny-looking and funny-talking strangers that are creeping her out.

Your experience is so much like ours - fear and sadness mixed with extreme joy to finally have her. Your moods change as hers do.

You will get through it like we did and all will be well. Just keep telling yourself it's all part of the process and it's temporary. She will grow to love you fast.

Warmest regards,
Frank and Sherri Malloy

Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

Sending hugs