Sunday, July 12, 2009

Thursday's Post... a little late

I wrote this post on Thursday in a Word Document, meaning to post it when the internet came up. Unfortunately, the internet never really "came up" too well after Tuesday, and so I have been saving this post until I could get home to get it up. You may wonder why I am still posting it-- since it is now Saturday and we are home-- the range of emotions and the intensity of traveling to adopt in Ethiopia is like nothing I have ever experienced. My desire is to share the realness of OUR experience, not some rose colored portrait. Even as I read the last couple posts I have done... I don't think I have REALLY shared the intensity of what has been happening inside my head and heart this past week. But, I am just going to do my best, by posting what I wrote while I was there, and continuing to share over the next days and weeks-- as honestly as I can. So... here is Thursday's post:

This is the first chance I have had to post since we brought the kiddos back with us. They are doing really well. Biruk is very easy going, does whatever we ask him to, and even if he doesn’t want to at first—he will concede and do whatever it is we need him to do. The good thing about this, is that he will say no and doesn’t just do whatever without wanting any say in the matter. I have caught him more than once just staring at me and when I look at him, he grins big and just keeps looking. Especially when we are all in bed—yes… we have the family bed thing going. Selame won’t have anything to do with the little crib in our room—I can’t blame her, it is too small for her.

Speaking of Selame, she has “calmed” down as far as not going to every other person here for attention. She is off the hook active and loves to test her limits in every way. She is definitely used to being the star of her own show and looks for attention wherever she can get it. Although, even in the past two days, she has looked more and more to Tony and I for her attention and easily calls us Mommy and Daddy—well, she names us in pictures and when Tony shows up, she lights up and yells, “Daddy!” It is hard to unravel what of her behaviors are from being 2 1/2, what is from not really ever having a mom and dad, and what is general orphan behavior. She is very quick witted, learns VERY fast and runs very fast, too. I question her age somewhat, but she can throw a tantrum like a VERY good two year old. But, then again, my boys all were worse behaved at three than two. In the end, it doesn’t really matter. It is what it is, and we have to work through all of it anyway.

This leads me to part of the other truth as to why I haven’t posted. Everything here is so raw—I mean all my feelings, emotions, physical energy and thoughts are so edgy and hard to reason through. I would be lying if I said that this big event is all rosy and wonderful. The truth of the matter is—we are in survival mode. I miss my boys more than life itself and I just cry and cry at the drop of the hat. I don’t “feel” all the loving emotions I wish I felt and I know this is normal and even to be expected—but it doesn’t change the hardness of it. We are seeing so much progress from Monday, but I don’t feel like I’ve progressed from feeling like I’m caring for someone else’s children to caring for my own children. All I want to do is get on the plane home and get Biruk and Selame in the mix with the boys and start loving them all together. I am SOOOOO thankful for dear friends who have adopted before me and shared their own very hard experiences—otherwise, I think I would me much more scared.

I hope this doesn’t sound so horrible to read. I want to be honest and real—not because it is comfortable for me… because it is not. I think one thing I fight the hardest is fighting my own disappointment in myself for not feeling all the loving feelings I want to feel. I am such a perfectionist and sometimes I have a hard time seeing outside of my immediate circumstances to the way I KNOW God will bring us full circle. So, rather, I am posting this for those families who may read this and be able to now exhale, or not feel so lonely if they experience the same things.

I can’t really post much more. I will say that several of the other families are feeling the same way—maybe about different things, or maybe they are having and easier time “feeling” love than what I am right now, but most all of us are ready to get home, we miss our babies at home desperately and we struggle to make sense of the whole process of adoption. One thing that we did last night that really ministered to my soul, was we came together in the evening and had a time of worship, scripture reading and prayer. At first I didn’t want to do this—I knew I would cry the whole way through and I felt like I couldn’t have anything positive to share. But, what God spoke straight to my heart through other people’s readings was sweet running water to my soul, and I think we will make it ☺

Grace and Peace,


The Jackson Family said...

looks like we are suffering jet lag houston waiting for our flight home this morning. glad you guys made it home safely and have your whole family together. praying for peace and fun as you guys grow together. xoxo, sara

Sincerely Anna said...

Biruk and Salame are adorable and you are sooo not alone in this. Thank you, God, for using the time of worship to minister Your comfort to Shari and Tony. Continue to do so, give them lots of support back home, and cover them with your peace and love during all the transitions. Amen!

Looking forward to reading more and seeing pictures of your entire family together!

ethiHOPEia said...

So thankful you are home and pray that you will be able to continue to process things. I am grateful that many have gone before us to let us know our feelings are normal.

May the Lord pour out grace and love on you all.


Karen said...

Hi Shari - so glad you are home and thank you for sharing openly and honestly. They may be your children legally, but emotionally, you are still caring for someone elses children. That will start to change in the days ahead. But it is normal and perfectly OK to have those feelings right now. I can speak from first hand experience. Your family is beautiful and you will start to FEEL like a solid family again in the days and months ahead! with love, Karen Wistrom

the Steiger's said...

welcome back. You made it. I think of you often and I will be praying for you and your family.
love, Lenka