Thursday, June 6, 2013

Four Weeks Ago

Four weeks ago we were finishing up some packing, eating our last dinner as a family of five and attempting to sleep before we boarded a plane for the biggest trip of our life.  I can't believe it's four weeks.  I know it's cliche, but some days it feels like yesterday and other days it feels like forever ago.

So I have been horrible at blogging since our return.  I am so sorry for that.  Our returning from China could not have been at a more crazy time of year.  The kids end of the school year calendar was jam packed and has kept us very busy.  Add jet lag, time zone readjusting and adapting to life with a 2 year old and that's already enough excuses.  Then there is the much needed bonding time with said 2 year old and that same 2 year old being "Velcro" baby for the past two weeks.  I couldn't make up too many more excuses for not sitting down to think, let alone write.

Things are going well.  I say that loosely because I don't want to give the impression that life is a bed of roses, but given the circumstances things could be a ton worse.  Someone gave me this phrase and I'm standing by it when people ask me how it's going.  "Life right now is like peaches and cow pies, some hours are sweet and other hours are sh---y."  (you fill in the blanks :-)

Mercy continues to amaze us.   She is doing new things all the time.  She is now walking a few steps at a time and she crawls everywhere.  She has mastered going down our two steps from the kitchen to the family room.  She is eating well, although still not feeding herself (but I'm OK with that).  She is beginning to connect more with her siblings and will play with them.  She lets them hold her for very short periods of time.  She is slowly adjusting to a dog, but I mean slowly.  She seems to say one new word every day.  She has become pretty comfortable with her home surroundings so she is beginning to explore a little more around the house.  She will now play on the floor for a little bit without sitting directly on my lap.  She isn't crying at my feet as much when I do the dishes thanks to a few refrigerator magnets and a small kitchen set a dear friend passed down (thanks Sarah!!!)

I feel like I could go on and on about her little personality.  She is such a joy.  She smiles constantly and her smile lights up a room.  She truly is one happy, joy filled little girl who loves to be goofy and loves to laugh at herself and others.  She is so interactive and beyond fascinating to watch.  She has become our household entertainment over these past two weeks.  We just don't tire of watching her play, learn, eat, be goofy or smile.

So what do we tire of?  Well I could go on and on about how tired I am of lugging a 27lb two year old around everywhere.  Because she is so clingy (hence the Velcro baby) I have very few moments when she is not stuck to me in some way.  I again say this loosely because today we had a few victories and I'm hopeful for tomorrow.  Today at the store she stayed in the shopping cart for about 10 minutes.  Yes, 10 minutes may not sound long to you, but to me it was a dream come true.  She also played with her grandmother while sitting next to me on the couch rather than sitting on my lap...for ONE HOUR.  She sat on Scott's lap tonight while he fed her ice cream.  She did get down and come over to my lap, but when I didn't feed her any she got down again and headed back to daddy.  Another breakthrough.  And probably the biggest break through we have seen to date is that while I am typing this very blog post she is ASLEEP in our bed ALONE!!!  Yes, I know she is still in our bed, and yes I did have to lay down with her for her to fall asleep, but I was able to get out of bed and she is still sleeping as I type.  That dear followers is a miracle I have been longing for.

Sleeping habits are atrocious.  She hardly naps, which we know is not the norm for her.  She napped for 2-3 hours in China.  But it requires me lying down with her to get her to sleep and even then she is restless and doesn't sleep too long.  I have had one or two days that I have gotten 2 hours out of her, the rest have been 20 minutes to an hour tops.  The battle at nap time is sometimes just not even worth it to me.  It takes me longer to get her to fall asleep then the time she actually sleeps.  As for night time, well as I said before she sleeps with us.  This is a bitter sweet thing for me.  We are not the co-sleeping parent type at all.  We are extremist in the opposite direction.  "Awe sweetie are you sick?  Awe did you have a bad dream?  Here you go, have a sleeping bag FOR THE FLOOR!"  That's been our motto with the other three.  So Mercy being in our bed is by far not our first choice.  But it's a necessity.  Not just for us, who have come to realize it is the ONLY way we will ever get some sleep.  But it's also necessary for her.  She is so full of fear and she desperately needs to be close.  I mean CLOSE!  She has to be right smack up against me, which is why it's a miracle tonight that I got out of the baby-trap I used to call my bed.  We have seen the amazing benefits of her being in our bed.  We have seen how it has helped her, how it is building trust and we know it's the right thing...for now.  In the meantime, I try to find reasons to enjoy it.  Like seeing her sweet angelic face sleeping every night and having her sit up in the morning with a smile on her face and say "mama."  I know down the road I will cherish this, even if it is causing a few discomforts now.

She also seldom sleeps through the night.  As a matter of fact there have only been two nights to date that she has.  So that has been hard too.  She wakes up screaming and she doesn't accept comfort for it at all.  She just screams it out and then as if someone flipped a switch she becomes her soft gentle self again and drifts back to sleep.  This can go on for 20 minutes or four hours, there is no rhyme or reason.  So no two nights look the same and we never know what to expect when we go to sleep.  There are some nights when I can fall back to sleep afterward and there are some times that I start my day at 2, 3 or 4am.

When it's all said and done we do for the most part feel like we have landed an adoption gold mine and just became billionaires.  She is bonding well, she makes eyes contact even for a low vision child, she's happy and getting more and more comfortable with us each day.  I cannot begin to express how natural it feels to be her mother and how much I love her.  She is one more apple, for a total of four, to my eye.  She is one more part of God's perfect plan for us, the one that doesn't harm you, but prospers, gives hope and a future. 

Lacey waiting for food to drop.

First time eating spaghetti

Sister bonding with nail polish.  Michaela has patiently waited for this moment.

This face is what we fall asleep to every night.


  1. Love her beautiful sleeping face. She is precious! Thanks for your honest update. I appreciate hearing the challenges and difficulties, but in all of it, the beauty that God is creating through it. Thankful for each wonderful moment of progress, bonding and a step forward to becoming a bonded, attached family!

  2. Great update, Jane. God is so good to be working in her life in amazing ways, all her progress is amazing. We will continue to pray for those sleeping habits though.

  3. So glad to hear your update...we are on day 79 of our LOA wait and hope soon to bring our girl home. I have enjoyed reading your blog as it is fun to read and keeps me busy. Mercy is so cute and you are doing a wonderful job with her...again Congrats on your 4 weeks together. God Bless!!!!

    Lisa and Family

  4. Oh so wonderful. You will get there. You will, it's slow but steady and you are getting there.
    She's so cute:) Congrats again and again.

  5. Great update! I love the balance of here's how it's hard and here's how it's awesome. It's like a little microcosm of ALL of parenting wrapped up here in one post. The sleep stuff is HARD, but I love, too, that you are willing to sacrifice your preferences and your immediate needs/wants for her long-term gain. What an example of JESUS you are being to her. Each snuggle, each response when she cries out in fear or wakes in terror, it's all building that trust. Hang in there - I am praying for you!