Saturday, September 13, 2008

First Days at Home...



Here are a few of my favorite pics from Lucy's first days at home. While it may look like a party of five... I feel it's probably a good thing to share with those about to follow the same path, that it's not an immediate 'happily ever after.'

After waiting almost a year to be united with our daughter, you'd think that it would all be the fairy tale ending that we dreamed of. Well, I'm sure it will be. But if you're going to pick up your child, it's best to be aware of some of the challenges. While it was amazing (truly) that Lucy went to Jeff immediately, I wasn't prepared for the way she would respond to me. While we were in Taiwan, if I even walked in the room and she wasn't in the mood, she would scream. Two minutes later, she could be blowing me kisses and waving with that funny little smile... but 30 seconds after that, she could be grabbing Jeff for dear life begging through the tears for me to leave. And I don't think Jeff expected to have a scared, screaming peanut glued to his arms 24 hours a day. Literally, 24. Hours. A Day.

Today, things definitely turned. Lucy played more while we sat nearby... she would come to me if Jeff left the room (before she would actually prefer to stand there shaking with fits of tears and anxiety over allowing me to pick her up). I actually changed her and gave her a bath alone, and she didn't fight me on it. She played with her brothers and explored new rooms——although she continues to get VERY angry when Jeff shows anyone else affection. And her brother B isn't all that thrilled when she gets it either. But today was the first day that I could see that things, indeed, will get better.

I guess the point to sharing it is that parenting is a process, however you become one. For every moment of love, there's another of heartache and pain and fear that you won't get it right. I've been lucky to have other moms reach out and share their own first days so I don't feel so scared and alone. I am truly blessed.

So if you've emailed or called or sent a smoke signal, and haven't heard from us... be patient. We're in lock down mode... just figuring each other out, and doing our best to create a healthy and happy family of five.

15 comments:

Sarah k said...

Wow hon.. Thank you for sharing this with all of us. We had a rough adjustment with Jeremiah when he came home almost 2 years ago. He was a little over one and while he didn't grieve as some have claimed of their kids, he was screamy for odd reasons. He attached to both of us fairly well and then after DH returned to work, he seemed to not want anything to do with him much anymore so we went into "exchange mode". When Dh would have off, the first day off I would dissapear for a while and that seemed to make his "non attachment to DH" turn around quicker.. so, with Jeff gone more, I see easier days ahead for you soon. Stay the course hon and congratulations. The hard days I know you are so aware of, are worth it!!! The great days are what make those hard days worth it!!! It sounds as if things are starting to smoothe out for you and I am so happy to hear that. Enjoy your time with all your beautiful babes! And if you need to talk.. you know we are all out here!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing your experiences here! My husband and I are just starting the journey of international adoption through Taiwan, and while we know there will be bumps along the way, it's so reassuring to hear from others who have gone down the same path. I've enjoyed following your blog as you picked up Lucy and now as you start your life as a family of five. Best wishes!
Jennifer

marina said...

Jackie- I am so glad to hear she is turning the corner. She looks like she fits right in!

Rebecca said...

Jackie, your honesty is so NEEDED - not only so we know how to pray for your sweet family's continued adjustment during this transition, but so that those of us "on the other side" know how to prepare ourselves.

As I read your post I kept thinking, "Love conquers all". Your unconditional love for Lucy will win her heart. This pushing away, pulling you closer is how she's testing your love. Stay strong, sista!! I will need you to tell me the same thing in a few months. :)

Regardless, it is just a joy to see you home with your sweet daughter. You look so COMPLETE. She has us ALL completely wrapped around her little fingers!

xoxo

lorabelle said...

Isn't it amazing how quickly things turn around considering all we go through? I LOvE seeing the boys finally with their sister and she looks happier and more content with each passing day... I would still like to see one of those screaming fits now and then, just cause I love Lucy's spunk and determination to get what she wants! LOL...
Beautiful, Jackie!
Lora

William's Family said...

It's so great to see your new family all together. I'm sure you've heard it a million times, but that little girl of yours is awfully cute.

Thanks so much for your transparency in sharing your struggles. I have only the highest of hopes for you and Lucy and believe that you will both come through this on the winning side, stronger and closer for all of it. I hope you're getting some sleep in the meantime!

momwithfaithandhope said...

What a beautiful family of five and a great post. Been thinking of you, and understand the need to "lock down". . .call if you want to talk. E-mail if you need to vent. We're here for you! And it goes without saying - she's such a cutie pie! Hugs, Tiff

Steve n Coco said...

Good for you for being on "lock down." You all deserve to have some time to yourselves to figure this whole thing out. Thank you so much for your honesty, Jackie. It's really easy for us out here in PAP blogland to read other people's blogs and believe the fairytale really comes true-- which it does and will, with time. We just need to be open and honest about it all, support each other. And I think Rebecca is right on, we need to be prepared, so it is good for us all to hear the truth.

Enjoy your moments of blessing and happiness-- store em up for the hard times and savor them.

Be blessed,
Courtney

Nicole said...

We brought our daugher home almost a year ago, she was just under 14 mo. at the time and believe me-it was and still can be a challenge. You will go through many ups and downs.
the biggest challenges are siblings i think-my next youngest is only 16 months older than K and so there's a lot of sibling rivalry. They fight over mommy's attention all the time, which can be very hard on you. They fight over who sits on my lap, who gets held, etc.

We have 3 young children like you so I know what you're going through. I wish you all the best-i've enjoyed following your blog-Lucy is so pretty. Just be prepared, it's definitely not all roses. But, when it is-it's wonderful! :)
nicole

Sarah and Dan Sullivan said...

I think it is so great that you posted about this! I really think it will help people (like me!) not feel let down or troubled when all doesn't go smooth as silk. Thanks so much for your candidness.

Megan said...

Jackie and family! I love the pictures. Lucy is bonding so well with everyone. She is beautifull and love the pics of the boys with Lucy. Hang in there she will bond with you. It takes time. I remember feeling that I wished 3months would pass fast. We were told by adoption SW @ HAI that the babies feel as if they are betraying the person they were closest to so they attach easier to the opposite sex parent. And eventually form a strong bond with the same sex parent (which is you!). I pray the adjusting happens fast.
XOXO,
Megan

Suzi Hill said...

It's so wonderful to see the pics! I'm glad to hear she's starting to come around. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself. You are there for Lucy and the boys. You give her your amazing, unconditional love, support and a new, fabulous life! You ARE a wonderful Mom. Don't doubt it for a minute. Enjoy your time and your family!

Amy, Ryan, Aidan & Lauren said...

You are doing everything right. Thank you for the great, honest post. The pictures are awesome!

Julie T said...

I love how honest you are. Thinking of you every day!

Barbara said...

Thanks for sharing the photos! I love the new and improved blog.