Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Perception vs Reality

I have been ruminating about things to write about for the last week.

It has been awhile because we are working on getting into our routine, Christmas came, my parents visited, and we are trying to get into the routine again.  I also wanted to stay upbeat.  I am struggling for that at the moment.

There were many expectations for this child.  At least 13 years worth if I am counting married years or about 20 years if we are talking about how long I have been thinking about having a child.  It is awfully hard for our child to live up to those expectations.

Everyone tells me how amazed they are at the transition with Sofie, how happy she seems, how they can't believe how fast she is learning English, etc. etc. etc.  I don't know if they are trying to build me up or if they are real comments.  For every step forward, there are 20 steps back.  She still doesn't know that her name is Sofie after having us call her that for 7 weeks.

I am exhausted.  It feels like most days are crawling along, and all I deal with are tantrums and crying.  She still isn't sleeping through the night most nights, and I am not getting a lot of sleep.  The hubby can sleep through anything, and I am doing the majority of the night time, morning, and evening support.

She has really attached to her Dad but not to the point where I can lock the door when I go to the bathroom, leave the house without her, or run errands without her.  I am shackled to a 2 year old with separation anxiety and abandonment issues.  No wonder.  Her foster parents did not prepare her in any way for this transition, and it has been unbelievably difficult for this adored child to have her life turned upside down.

The weight feels heavy.

I asked for this.  I wanted it.  I want it.

I had an all time low this week and became a "What not to wear" wannabe.  I was wearing an oversized, old, grey cubs t-shirt (with a hole in the armpit; didn't realize it had a hole until her Dad pointed it out later), jeans, old tennies, a very messy pony tail, no makeup, and an old windbreaker.  Her Dad told me that I resembled a homeless person and he would have given me a dollar.  I hadn't really combed my hair that day, and we left the house to go shopping because I have work-wear and grunge-wear and not a lot in between.

Since that reality check, I have been trying to make the effort to go through the motions and get dressed, shower, put on make up, and be ready to leave the house.  The honest truth is that I don't have time to leave the house, check my email, update facebook, exercise, read a book, go for a walk, etc.  

I need a break or a babysitter or something.  Maybe an uninterrupted night's sleep.

My reality is not what I expected.  I thought it would be easier.  I thought she would be faster at speaking English.  I thought she would accept 2 caregivers.  I thought we would take more turns and I would be allowed to shower in peace.  I thought she would sleep through the night.  I imagined going to the zoo, the beach, the park, shopping, etc every day.  Some days it is an achievement to get her dressed.

I think most parents experience this but don't articulate it.  Maybe it is easier for them because their children speak some of the language.  I don't know.

The good news: Sofie is thriving; she grew and inch and gained 3.5 pounds.  Her hair continues to grow.    Her hearing was checked, and it looks like she has good hearing.  We have an appt with the Shriners on the 25th to discuss the cleft palate repair plan.  Things are moving.

I am treading water this week.  Maybe next week will be better.


  1. I'm sorry the transition is so rough and that Sofie is so clingy. It's a bummer that she wasn't prepared for the transition, but maybe it wouldn't have helped much? Does your agency have any postadoption support or resources? Hang in there. *hugs*

  2. All I can say is "hang in there"!!! It WILL be easier! It doesn't seem that way now, but I promise it will!
    The first thing is: YOU ARE IN THIS TOGETHER!!
    Make E take his turn during nights. Maby you can take one night and he the next?

    We always have higher expectations than what we discover is the reality. I did the same!! After all this time (years) we make our own truth, that has no root in reality and we get a serious realitycheck!It's HARD!!!!

    I really wish I was there to make it easier on you sweetie. I love you a lot, and belive me...although it doesn't seem that way now: It will get better!!

    Hugs and kisses