March 1, 2010

The Middle

This is Part II of a three-part post.  You can read Part I "The Beginning" by clicking here or scrolling down.  

Gentle reminder that I prefer we do as our mothers taught us:  if you don't have anything nice to say, don't leave it in my comments.  

This particular portion of our story is so difficult for me to relive long enough to get it down.  I don't think we could put enough distance between the experience and the telling of it to actually assuage the pain associated with it.  So, in other words - no time like the present to get it out.  

I'm asking for one kindness: understand.  Understand that it's hard to re-tell, but oh so necessary and cathartic.  Understand that I want truth and so should you.  Understand me.  Understand the meaning behind the words...that some will seem unkind or hard, maybe even seem immature or childish, maybe foolish or in poor taste.  Just try to understand me.  Try to see, feel or experience this the way we did.  Understand me.  Understand her.

And so it goes...


When Keira was handed to me in those first moments in China, those first frantic overwhelming moments, she went rigid.  Not just on the outside - which you could hardly tell if you weren't holding her, because of the massive amounts of layers she was wearing.  On the inside too.   She cried a deep agonizing cry.  There was no salve, no remedy, no clear-cut path to fixing it.  


At first, I was sad for her.  "Oh sweet baby...it's ok...I know...I know".  Like that.  Then I was a little flustered.  Think what you will of me, but I crossed over to frustrated fairly quickly.  We were in that room for about 40 minutes total and I went through those stages in rapid order.  I was panicked I think, on some level.  Why isn't she stopping?  Is she hot?  Is she hungry?  Wet?  Confused?  

Angry?

Sad?


Either or all of them...she was screaming.  I was so sure of myself coming into this moment.  The arrogance...the (remember) cavalier know it all...so sure I would flip my wrist and all would be well.  That even if she cried, she would be calmed by my "expert" mothering.  (oh help me! it's so hard to type it)  That she would be upset, but once I worked my mommy magic, we would be seeing smiles and hearing giggles.  Seeing the girl in the pictures.

That didn't happen.  I think you know by now.


Instead, my mind was a jumble of thoughts.  In a room full of people, I made every effort to keep my cool...stay calm...find a solution.  I took off her coat and a jacket underneath that.  She was sweating profusely.  I retrieved a toy from our bag, but she was not interested.  I walked her around, rocked her, spoke to her, sang to her, rubbed her back, wiped away her tears over and over...smoothed the sweat from her brow.  All the while looking on as the other new parents in the room held their already sleeping or otherwise calm babies.  Only one other child was carrying on as Keira was...and she was 2.  This did not comfort me.  I felt so alone in those moments.  So conspicuous.  So raw.

Nothing was effective.

AB took over after I caved in defeat.  She didn't want me in that moment and I was already working to accept that our magic moment was not going to be.  Not right now.  Maybe not today.  And somewhere in the back of my heart I heard "maybe not for a long time" and I brushed it aside quickly.  That was more than I could accept.


I have to tell you; I wanted to curl up and cry myself.  It's not pretty to say, but I was already crushed that she would not be comforted.  Would not be comforted by me.  I was totally frazzled and taken off-guard by her reaction.  I needn't have felt so alone...it became abundantly clear that she wanted nothing to do with AB either.  

Our travel mates gave us pats on the shoulders...hoping to extend comfort to us through glances and brief words of encouragement. 

I told myself that once we left, she would stop crying.  The room was too hot.  There were too many people.  She was hungry.  She was wet.  She was hot.  She was uncomfortable.  She was...angry.

Not a moment too soon I heard our guide calling out to us "ok, we can go now".  Back to the hotel and maybe we could get control of this.

I can tell you now, we did not.  Not really.  Not there.

What I want to tell you now is not a play by play of every day of the rest of that trip.  It's not important to this telling.  I could rattle off to you detail after detail and all we saw and did - and it would not matter here and now.  Factually speaking, we saw many wonderful sites.  We ate wonderful meals and some not so wonderful.  We loved many, many things about China.  Some things, not as much. 

I want to tell you what really happened in those days from the moment she was in my arms to the moment our plane landed in the USA.  


Understand me.  She was angry.  Angry like no other 7-month old I've ever known or even heard of.  Angry to her core.  Hurt.  Wounded.  Broken.  Angry.

The three days following our first meeting she rejected every single attempt at affection, love, care, and physical contact that Anton and I brought to her.  She wanted nothing to do with us.

Her preference was not to be touched at all.  She would tolerate only her basic needs being met.  She allowed (and I use that word intentionally) us to hold her, but generally only if she was in the Bjorn and facing away from us.  She did not allow us to touch her hands or face without jerking away and going rigid.  Often if we would touch her hands, she would cry.  

If I looked into her eyes and tried to speak love to her, she would cry.  So would I.

She cried when we tried to feed her - and for 24 hours, she refused food.  When she did eat, she came to reject the idea that we were the ones delivering the food.  She wanted almost no skin contact.  Once I captured Anton struggling to get her to eat.  She exhasuted herself struggling away from him - so he finally put pillows between his skin and hers.  She was red with fury and sweaty from crying.


She cried when she was held and she cried when she was put down.  Not a painful cry.  An angry, furious cry. 

She would lose herself in her crib, playing with a toy and coo-ing to herself.  When I would approach her to attempt interaction, she would see my face and begin wailing.  Recognition that she did not want to accept.  Still you.  You again?  When will you leave me alone.

She felt the same for her new Daddy.

She would wake in the night crying and I would reach out a hand to comfort her instantly.  She would turn to face me, and upon seeing who was offering the comfort...she would scream and cry until I would stop touching her.

I want to tell you what this does to your heart.  And it's not pretty.  

I was so angry with her.  Rejection.  Total and utter rejection.  Honestly?  You think irrationally.  We made a mistake.  What have we done to our little family?  What were we thinking?  It's not too late.  We haven't left China yet.  It's not done yet.  


Irrationally.  I can never love a baby that behaves this way.  We've ruined our son's life.  This is not my daughter...it can't be.  This is not Keira.  It's not.  I can't do this.  We can't do this.  This was such a mistake. 

We went through checklist after checklist.  Hunger?  No.  Gas?  No.  Teething?  Yes, but we had a pediatric nurse in our group and we took care of any medical issues that arose.  She was not in physical pain. 

She was in deep emotional pain.  And every time I held her only served to remind her that she was in that pain and why.

On and on she cried and refused us.  Day after day.  Morning and night.  Nights were the hardest.  Every evening like clockwork, she would grieve heavily.


I can tell you what hurt the most.  Looking at her and feeling....nothing.  Except anger and hurt.  Nothing except pain.  Nothing.

The rejection was overwhelming.  We had waited so long, labored so hard, rallied so many people to our side...raised the funds, waited the excruciating process out, renewed and renewed the paperwork, prayed for her, cried over her, loved her...

Maybe we just loved the idea of her.  It certainly wasn't love we were feeling in those hotel rooms all over China.  It was obligation.

You might think this is cold of me.  I do too, in a way.  I felt cold.  I felt numb.  I had compassion for her, but I was so hurt I could not use it to my advantage.  I had feelings for her, but they were broken up.  I wanted to love her, and hold her, and comfort her...weep with her and cradle her.  Tell her she was safe and that we had come to rescue her.  But she did not want to be rescued.  How could she know what that would mean to her?  She's so little...so hurt herself.  What could rescue mean when all she wanted was familiar, comfortable, known...and we had none of that to give her.

A friend reached out to me with words of hope..."you promised to love and care for her...start with care and love will come later".  I hung on those words.  I read and re-read them day in and out.  Care for her.  Do the basics.  Like you're babysitting. 

Days bled together, honestly.  The crying and wailing continued.  The stoic baby we did our best to care for.  I felt totally trapped.  I told my husband "she hates me".  He said "she doesn't hate you".  But he left it there.  What more could he add?  He was feeling the same way. 


We were tired and worn down emotionally.  On excursions she would charm the locals and even our travel group.  Smiling and cooing.  It was those moments I tried to snap pictures of her to share with those back home. I have many, in fact.  Smiling Keira.  Even giggling in some.  But unhappiness seeped around the corners of her eyes and you could see she was coping the only way she knew.

I heard that others in our group were beginning to experience some of the same issues with their little ones.  It gave me comfort to know I wasn't alone.  It made me sad and left me feeling we were wrong for doing this to her.  Wrong for taking her from her home.

I knew we weren't technically "alone", but after a long night of Keira screaming and refusing to be comforted, our hotel neighbor and travel-mate offered me a hug and an understanding sigh the next morning.  She had heard it all.  She couldn't even find the words to try and support me in that moment.  She knew it was bad.  Keira was crying herself to sleep...exhausting herself until she could fight us no more.  Everyone had to be able to hear it.


And I think many of them knew what we went through.  Because I was lousy at hiding my pain.  I was tired.  Exhausted.  Of her.  I know how bad that sounds.  It does to me too.  But it's the truth.  

I felt so bad for Quint.  What had we done?  What had we brought down on him?  This crying, inconsolable, broken, angry little girl that would want nothing to do with him.  What had we done to our sweet boy?  How much would he lose when we had to devote so much of ourselves to her and her pain?  I had never imagined I would be thinking these thoughts...but here they were...biting at me and tormenting me.

And I know what you might be thinking.  Maybe that I was childish to think she would be fine to begin with.  Maybe that it was immature to have those dark thoughts and not to give her time.  Maybe that I didn't give her a chance. 

Funny thing about crisis - you don't think clearly or rationally.  You think that right now feels like forever.  It feels like forever, I can vouch.  Sweet Lord, it feels permanent and never-ending.

What if she never accepts us?  What if she develops severe Reactive Attachment Disorder?  What if we get home and she spends the next 18 years rejecting us and our love?  Could I handle that?  Could I love her anyway?  Could I accept her or hurt her more by struggling to love her?  How would this hurt our family?

Over and over and over...

Each day I would wake up and smile at her and each day she would wake up and see me and cry.  Each day I would hold her and she would squirm away from my touch.  Each day I would feed her the only way she would accept it.  Facing away from me.  If I tried to hold her like an infant and feed her, she would squirm and cry and push me away.  Unfathomable to me.  I was so broken.


Where was my little girl?  Where was my Keira Joy?

I would like to say that looking back, each day improved a little bit while we were still there.  By "little bit" I am implying hardly at all.  That's what you should hear.  A little bit meaning - not much at all. 

On the outside looking in, she was smiling to others and behaving normally.  Crying at normal intervals, eating, sleeping, etc.  It was behind closed doors that she unleashed her pain.  The only time I felt free from her was when she slept - and it was fitful sleep at best.  It nearly broke me.

I was devastated.  Weak from the brokenness I felt.  Shattered on the inside, trying to smile on the outside.

My strong wonderful husband...amazing father to our son...also so deeply wounded by her rejection of us.  

Walls had gone up that I didn't realize.  We were protecting ourselves now.  Going through the motions of her proper care.  But inside...oh the pain and despair.  Wondering how we could have misjudged ourselves so badly.  Wondering how someone so small could make us feel smaller.  Could make us hurt so badly.  

When my son was placed in my arms for the first time, it was love at first sight. First touch.  I loved him with a deep abiding love that has not wavered for one second of his little life.  I adored him.  I cherished him so deeply from that first moment on.

I did not love Keira.  Think what you will, but I am speaking truth even if it's ugly to hear.  I tolerated her.  I longed for her.  I longed for my own version of her. But I did not love her.  I merely did whatever it took to get through a day.

There was no magic.  There was no bonding.  Just three people trying to make it through that trip.  Trying to get home and figure it out.  

I've looked over the pictures...many times.  I see her smiling and I know it was through a lot of cajoling.  And it almost looks sincere to me.  But I know it was in the midst of a lot of confusion and pain for her.  There were moments I think she just forgot on some level, and let herself giggle or smile for us.  I have the pictures as a reminder to myself that the pain I felt was also calmed by those rare moments we could get a smile or laugh out of her.  It was a hope offering of sorts that we were given to get us through.  And it worked...because we did get through it. 


Each day we would see her smile and say to each other "I know she's in there...somewhere...under all this pain...you can see it when she smiles".  It would melt us.  Melt our tired hearts and give us reason to believe that she was that smiling happy baby somewhere underneath the rejection.  Somewhere down inside, she was this amazing beautiful girl...and we had to find a way to get to her.

But oh, I wanted it to be so much more.  I wanted it to be pretty.  I wanted it to be amazing.  But it wasn't.  It was painful.  It was broken and long and heart-wrenching.  

I wanted to scream at her "do you know how long and far I have come to be your mother?  How much I have sacrificed?  How much others have sacrificed?  How many people love you already and have prayed for you and longed for you?  Don't you know how much you are wanted?"  

But it would have made no difference, as you know.  For she could neither understand nor did she know or comprehend any of that.  How could she?  Of course she couldn't.  And so I just felt it to my core and wished she could for both of us.

I believe that Keira was very attached to her nannies.  She had two dedicated to her.  Just her.  She slept with them, and I believe was carried a lot.  She was well-fed as you can tell, and from the pictures in the orphanage we could see her big smiling face - telling us she had a big personality. 


 That she was happy at one time.  That it was possible to see her smile again...a meaningful unfettered smile that came naturally and instinctively to her little face.  Not cajoled or forced.

What she knew with us was her own deep pain.  Her loss.  Her deep cutting loss.  She knew that her nannies were no more.  Gone, just like her mother.  Everything...every single thing was different.  Sights, smells, tastes, clothes, temperature, beds, people, eyes, words, voices...faces...so different. 

Can you imagine that loss?  I can't.  Maybe that's why I felt so inadequate to care for her pain in those moments.  

In those days, I tried over and over to remind myself of this.  But I would hold her little hand to extend myself to her, and she would rip it out of my grasp.  I would kiss her cheek, and she would arc her back and arms away from me, whining.  I would hold her feet, hoping she wouldn't notice - and she would twist and turn to get away.  I would try to cradle her at night, and she would struggle, arc her back again, and cry until I would release her.

So painful to even think of it now.

This is how it went, my friends.  For the whole of our trip.  And I've wanted to share it with you because it matters.  

My heart was broken.  But its healing.  My spirit was broken, but its mending.  My pride was humbled and my mouth, too quick to give advice, silenced.

I've come to learn in a short time what good lessons these are.  How they grow you.  How they move you.  How they force your hand at change and that goodness comes from them.  Can come from them, if you're willing.

Coming home was profound in so many ways, but that's The Ending, and it's not time for that just yet.  

Let me tell you about tonight.  Yes, tonight will tell you how my broken heart is healing and my broken spirit mending.  My pride still being humbled, even now...because you're reading this truth and it's hard to share...so hard to share.  

Tonight will show you...and so will The Ending...so look for that soon.

Tonight, I was curled up in the corner of our lovely, comfy couch.  I love that couch and always have.  You could die from the way it soaks you up and puts you to rest instantly.  The lights were very dim and all was quiet, except the low hum of the calming music playing.  I was sitting with her and we were going through our nightly ritual.  She was in her pj's.  I was in mine.  She was drinking her final bottle of the day.  This is our time.  Just ours.  Her little body nestled snugly against mine and curled tightly to me.  Her left arm folded underneath mine, in comfort.  The other  hand free and grasping my cheek or her bottle...or resting on my own hand.  

She drifted off to sleep...still making the sucking motion, though the formula was gone.  I gently removed the bottle from her lips and set it aside.  Now she just sighed and I felt her go limp.  Her feet, in constant motion, now calm.  Her hand, resting on her chest.  Her eyes closed and those long beautifully shaped eyelashes resting.  I touched her face with the smallest gesture.  I whispered "I love you, sissy-girl.  I do".  I reached down again, those irresistible cheeks of hers calling to me, and softly planted my lips on one and then the other.  Eyes still closed, she smiled.  Irresistible.  I told you.  I repeated the kisses.  She smiled again, a small beautiful smile.  Then she very slowly opened her eyes and looked at me.  Saw me.  And her smile grew bigger at the recognition.  So did my heart.


39 comments :

Carrie said...

Tears! Yes, yes, yes. This was so much like our interaction with our son. I feel your pain. I too was full of pride as an experienced parent and that made the fall that much harder. I also had to find out how hard it is to love someone when they are pushing you away. My mantra was "fake it until you make it"... and I'm sorry to say that I had to fake it for months.
I'm glad that things are getting better and am eager to read the last leg of your journey. Their hearts do heal... some more quickly than others.

Joan said...

Thank you. You are so brave to post the truth. I had a struggle with my second adoption but not to that level. Others didn't understand my sadness but we have gotten past our hurts and are now completely in love with each other.

Joan.

Ani said...

Sweet little Keira... so loved, so cherished. Thank you for sharing your story, our second adoption was very different from our first - not worse, just different, and I was not prepared for different... Made for some tough early days. And I didn't dare say a thing bc I was supposed to be happy and elated to finally have our dreamed second child home... So, in a way, I know where you are coming from, and admire your honesty.
So happy to see that there are better days ahead in part 3. Blessings.

The Gang's Momma! said...

Oh. You dear sweet girl. What a journey you have been on. ARE on. I have an idea that she will one day stand amazed at the depth of love and COMMITMENT that you and A have shown her. And may our Father use it over the years to draw her unto Himself. You are modeling Christ to that little girl. You are.

Emily said...

Oh Christie,
I am so thankful that you have shared your story. I have known nothing of the adoption process but what I learned through your journeys, and fear I have been ignorant in just assuming it is always a happy ending. I wish I was closer so that at the very least I could pop by with a hug and a casserole.

"but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." Romans 5:3-5

Love you

Valerie said...

I know your story, and it still pains me to see it in words, to know what you three were going through and wishing it was what you had dreamed it would be, but knowing, also from experience, that these things seldom are what we dream them to be.

That being said, it doesn't mean our dreams don't come true, they just come in their time, their way.


Love your strength.

Valerie

Anonymous said...

Beautiful is the love of our Savior who cares for us though we push Him away and reject Him...Finally, irresistible.
Beautiful story.

Betsy said...

I can't even imagine how difficult this trip was for you. First off, to be in a foreign country, jetlagged and exhausted and physically sick, living in hotel rooms and eating unfamiliar food. But then on top of that to be dealing with the overwhelming emotion of adopting a child who is grieving and angry and seems to want nothing to do with you. Reading about it, I can understand why you felt the way you did, and I'm so impressed by your strength.

My mom once said to me that "sometimes all you can do in life is get through it." Those words have stuck with me through some difficult times. Sometimes the knowlege that this too, shall pass is all you can hang onto.

Looking forward to reading the end to your story.

Jen said...

It is good for those still waiting to hear the not so rosy part. I strugged with attachment to my son. He rejected me for the first 4-6 months home. It wasn't screaming like your daughter. He just couldn't care less if I was there. It took us a good year to bond. The rejection was hard to take and it led to post adoption depression on my part. I have blogged about it as well.

We are 2 years home, and Ricky is definitely a Mommy's boy.

Do I miss that magical moment that some people have? Yes but We have a very special relationship because we grew to love each other.

Debbie said...

I'm sure these posts have been difficult for you to share so thank you for so honestly portraying the experience. You are certainly not alone in your experience, but you are certainly the minority in being willing to share it so openly.

In two weeks we'll be holding our baby girl for the first time. Who knows, we may go through a very similar experience. Your post is a great reminder to me of how I need to be realistic of all the possible scenarios. So thank you!

Isabella's Mommy and Daddy said...

BEAUTIFUL words.. I am crying because I know that it is not easy to do this.. and whoever says it is.. is crazy..I lvoe the real life things being told..
LOVE you .. you are an AMAZING lady.. you always make it through the hardest of times..
Hugs..
I am still waiting for that cute beanie hat photo...

JonesEthiopia said...

Like I mentioned when I commented on your last post, our experience with our daughter was very similar. She did not reject my husband, just me. I kept saying to people on our trip that it was good she was our second because I don't think I would have been able to take it if she would have been our first! But did hurt my heart.

I fell in love with our daughter a few weeks after we came home. It's hard to imagine life without her now (2 months home today!) but it took time to feel like bringing her home was the right choice.

Honesty is hard sometimes. But we all need to hear it.

Briana's Mom said...

Oh my gosh Christie. That is probably one of the hardest China journeys I have ever read. You described everything so eloquently that went on. And it was hard to read. I can't imagine living through it.

Briana was the big cryer of our group on gotcha day. She screamed and cried. All the other girls were calm and content. I felt like you did - the rejection. I felt like everyone was looking at us. Bri was definitely more comfortable with Doug in those first few moments. All those years I waited for her and I became instantly worried that I wasn't going to be able to care for her.

The one blessing I got that you didn't was that Bri did stop crying once we got on the bus to the hotel room.

Another theory that you just shattered for a lot of people is that the younger babies are, the easier it is to bond. Your girl remembered everything and felt 100 percent of her pain.

I'm so sorry you went through all of that with Keira. I am so happy to hear now though that the trust is building. That is music to my ears.

Anonymous said...

Wow, wow, and wow. The pictures say it all. The pain in her face is heartbreaking. I, too, am sorry it was so different than what you had hoped and dreamed. I think I would've felt all the things you wrote about in that situation - including the anger and worry about Quint.
Piper barely cried at all, but I think that was b/c she was not attached to her caregivers. I was actually relieved when she would have her little bouts of grieving when we got home. Hers was mainly in the late afternoon when I trying to cook dinner, and slowly got less and less over the first year. But those times were sandwiched in lots and lots of fun, positive interaction. I simply cannot imagine starting from that place from the very first moment and not having it let up the whole time you were there. That had to be so emotionally/spiritually difficult, esp. condsidering the FOUR YEAR wait.
Your writing is beautiful, as always. Love the picture of you two on the couch at the end...and can feel the emotions wrapped up in that smile. Praying for each of you as you travel this road.
Dena A.

Eloise said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story in your beautiful, eloquent way. I'm hanging on for the happy ending!

Love you, Christie. You're a wonderful friend and mother.

Rachel said...

Thank you for being real and honest. That last paragraph just gripped my heart...I cannot wait to read the last part of your story.

3D said...

I felt a lot of that. I had a hard time reconciling being a mom and the person I was. It was hard (not as hard as you situation) and it took time for love to come.

Keep smilin!

Mariela said...

I am from Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Excuse me about my english!
I think you are very brave and i am sorry for the hell you have to live.
You baby is beautifull and suffered a lot in her short life.
I hope that she would be very atached to you.
And you can see the beautifull smile in her eyes like the photo whit her nanny.
I like very much your honesty!
kisses for you

sooze66 said...

Thank you for sharing. It brings me to tears to think about the pain you all, including that sweet baby, felt. We had only a part of that, but I think it's so important to share the good, the bad and the ugly because it is a part of so many adoptions to some extent (especially for those of us that waited sooo long), yet it seems taboo to talk about. Thank you for sharing in a way only you can, you are a gifted writer my friend, and I can't wait to watch Keira blossom into the amazing little girl God has created her to be!
Hugs!

Anonymous said...

Be Blessed!

Christy said...

This just broke my heart. I am so moved by your contant transparency. It was wrenching to hear her pain and yours as well but your story at the end with the smiles on the couch got the through it. I am so thankful of where she is now and am praying for her to continue opening her heart.

Big hugs and thanks for your openness.

Christy

stephanie s. said...

I am so very grateful to you for your heart-felt honesty. it takes true love and courage to speak the truth. I am waiting....waiting for the day when my little girl will be placed in my arms. i feel so blessed to read your story. to hear the possibilities. the understand that it may be different then I originally dreamed. its ok. I pray for you and your family. for Keira, for Quint and you and your husband. for the silent moments when you are tired and wonder what else you can do. I pray God will heal her grieving heart. thank you for not being afraid to tell the truth. you have done a good thing by being willing to share such a deeply personal part of your life. I thank you so much. you have given me much to think about and much to prepare for. each journey is different but most people just see the perfect smiling baby abd dont even understand the role grief plays in adoption. I thank you and send you my prayers. she is truely a beautiful baby girl....

Susan said...

My dear Christy...I cried and cried when I read your accounts while you were still in China and now after reading this, I cried again. thank you for sharing your story, you should write a book. What an absolutely beautiful account! I'm not kidding, you need to write a book. I love reading your words.
Love you so much and this goes for AB and Quint and sweet little Keira!
Aunt Susie

Anonymous said...

I am the mom of two little girls from China. I found your blog thru Valerie's blog and I've been reading your story. It is so hard to not have the experience turn out exactly as you were picturing it would. And my heart just broke for your daughter when I looked at your pictures. Such sadness on her darling little face. Unusual for one so little to "get it" so clearly about what was happening. But I'm so glad to hear that she's coming around. The one thing about China is that as a general rule the nannies have taken excellent care of the babies and the babies are usually quite bonded to them. While that's a bad thing for when they get turned over to you and they have to grieve the loss, it's a good thing in the end b/c they know how to love and form a bond. And it sounds like now she's accepted you and she's bonding to you. She is an absolutely darling little baby girl!!! God will bless you on your journey b/c He chose that little girl just for you. I'm interested to read "the ending" part. Thank you for your honesty.

Trish

meme said...

Tears, tears, and more tears. Such saddness! Thank you for sharing this honest story. I know there will be a happy ending because you ARE A GOOD MOTHER! Your love and patience will be rewarded. I am anxiously waiting for the next chapter. From your Kentucky Friend Linda

Shannon said...

How amazing that I have stumbled across your blog via other friend's blogs tonight! My husband and I were traveling with the Bethany group when you were in China. I remember your beautiful, beautiful daughter. I was halfway through your story before I realized this! Thank you for sharing your story. We had a very rough adjustment returning home from China last month. I love it when people are real. Come over and see if you remember us. waitingforgigi@blogspot.com
God Bless and I'll pray for Keira to continue to bond with you and your beautiful family.

redmaryjanes said...

Wonderful post. I am so glad to see you talk about the realities of what many of us experience when our children see us for the first time. This is one of the best posts I've read in years.

Jennifer said...

Thank you for sharing. I hope this becomes manditory reading for all about to travel APs. You are not alone. My 13 month old grieved, not at first, but the next day, screaming, rigid, kicking so hard I was afraid she would hurt herself. At 6 she still feels the pain of her loss like a phantom limb, it's gone, but it still aches. Our 2 year old grieved gently, allowed herself to be held - but took a year to truly open up her heart. Lots of "WHAT HAVE WE DONE???" moments. Thank you again.

Teresa said...

Thank you for sharing your story, and especially the "Happy Ending" of "Tonight".

Continued bonding and blessings to your family!

Cindy said...

I think it is amazing that you have posted your experience.

T.Janzen said...

Like so many people, I experienced something very similar to yours. It took our travel group two years to open up to one another and admit we all had doubts, fears, regrets, terror, hope, obligations, heartache, and yes, finally, love. It was NOT an easy journey. Keep the faith!!!

Kristy said...

Thank you Christie. Thank you. I am sitting here crying just knowing how beautiful it is of how you and your daughter are falling in love. I have to be honest, with us being so close, this post has just scared the heck out of me, but we need to hear this and prepare for this because I dont care who you are, or where you are from , or how many children you have raised, or how good of a mother you are or how good you think your mothering skills are.....nothing prepares you for rejection on this level.....nothing!!!!! And I appreciate your honesty. I needed to know all of this. God bless all of you.

Love ya bunches, Kristy

Heather said...

Thank you for writing this and being so truthful....

Holly said...

I have chills. I am just sitting here thinking, someone else GETS IT.
Oh Lord. Someone else has walked this heartbreak and lived to see JOY.
Thank you for sharing. Love your blog. Love your heart...your openness.
Blessings,
Holly-Purpose Driven Family

The Boyds 2 China said...

I have no real words to express the thankfulness in my own heart, soul, body, mind and spirit for your raw honesty. We are home one week now and it has been a journey like your own with some family trauma mixed in that did not understand. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for validating my own emotions. May God continue to richly bless you and your family!

Kudo said...

Hi Kristy

I am so glad to find you again. Thanks so much for you honesty and sharing this hard and difficult journey and not making light of it for just for the sake of those that wait. I have to admit I did not share I did not tell anyone how I felt how scared I was how I thought I had made a huge mistake adopting a SN child by myself. This did not happen in China our trip was magical it all came about after we travel across country for her surgery and to see specialist 3months after we got home. I found myself crying historically at the Ronald Mc Donald house after being alone with my sick and broken little girl. How could I do this how will we find daycare how will I cope, my life is over. My thoughts were paralyzing me. Coming home would help but it didn’t things went from bad to worse as we tried to find our way from one medical proceger to the next. I became numb to it all and numb to her as she fought me like a wild animal. I was only trying to help her do what the doctors stayed was right but she wanted nothing to do with it. Many of our friends abandoned us during this time and I was all alone. It is now over a year from that time and my love for my little girl has grown stronger every day and our hearts have healed. Our medical nightmare is in the past but the pain it caused us will live on in my daily diligence to care for her SN. No I did not share I was too afraid how other would think of me. I stayed a captive to my unhappy thoughts. I posted pictures of smiles and good times I am not as brave as you and I still don’t share a lot of the truth because it hurts too much. Time heals all and I do believe.

Cathy said...

Christie, I just came across your blog thru another blog, "the bakers sweets"

we have been logged in since 12-24-08, and we have just switched over to the waiting list.

I have to commend you on your truth, courage to write so raw about your emotions. We are just in line waiting to be matched here in the future, but there have been MANY moments, i have felt your feelings; what am i doing? is this right? am i doing this for the right reasons? everything! and no one to talk to about it, i dont want to scare my husband....Cavalier! so cavalier when people ask me our status.
And i know it may get worse when we do get matched...We do envision our children one way, and get another. I went thru that w all my 3 pregnancies....Again THANK YOU !!! you write beautifully. I was in tears reading the last paragraph of THE MIDDLE. You should write a book on the truth, raw emotions that happen thru adoptions. I believe many feel the same way, they are just afraid to be honest to themselves & to others.

cconde1010@gmail.com

Joyce said...

What an amazing writer you are and so good at protraying the reality that you faced in that week. Thank you for opening up yourself to share the side, which doenst always get told. Its a reality check for people like me, who know that it can be that way, but dont like to admit that we could be in that situation.

Jo's Corner said...

Okay, I'm over a year late, but I had to comment! I so appreciate your honesty, mostly about your thoughts and feelings during that difficult time.
You had mentioned that it seems like a young baby shouldn't/couldn't have the ability to grieve so deeply. (Not your exact words.) I can say that so many believe that. As a former Pediatric RN, I was always shocked and angry at Doctors who gave very little pain meds after a surgical procedure. I had to advocate for many, many babies/infants who only got tylenol after a big surgery. A surgery that when done on an adult would require morphine. They seem(ed) to have a mind set that babies "don't feel pain like older children & adults and besides that, they will forget the pain". That is just unreal to me.
Your post made me realize that my instincts were right on. Babies feel much more than we want to believe! Both physical and emotional pain. Thanks for sharing the journey that you walked with your new baby girl! ~ Jo