Wow- has it really been "only" 5 months that Habtamu and Debritu have lived with us? Evelyn's post got me thinking - sure - I've told you a lot from Habtamu's perspective- but what about as a new parent- what about bringing them home- to America. I look back and there is so much to write I'm not sure how to summarize it all.
When we first got home I felt like "what did we do"??? It was awful and I cried all of the time. I push people away when things are difficult and that's exactly what I did. That big no no- it takes a village kept running through my head-but Kimberly-what does she go and do? -She boxes up. I mostly cried in the shower- it seems to be the best place to cry- the kids don't see you and the crying part is exactly the emotional release you seem to need. These little people-I has spent the past 3 years focuses all of my dreams and desires on- wanted all of my attention-but I was not emotionally available for them. They went from living with a staff to living with us- and then Denis went back to work and it felt like it then moved onto "living with just me". I reached out to Early Intervention with Debritu and had her evaluated- she qualified. So these wonderful individuals came to help with her developmental needs- this gave me an hour 2 days a week to spend with Habtamu- who didn't speak english and was all over the house. We didn't spend much time at home. That first week Denis went back to work I drove all over New England with them in the back seat of the car. We drove and we talked. It was the only place I felt calm- "well sort of". I was emotionally exhausted. We went everywhere. People thought we were doing Okay- sure on the outside...laugh.
1 month into having them here- the kids are very social- so we put Habtamu in Summer school. This helps with Debritu's needs-and Habtamu's needs as well. School is the best thing we ever did for Habtamu- it provided him the structure and extended English practice he needed. We still ate mostly Ethiopian food and spoke a ton of Amharic-but their adjustment was going well. Mine on the other hand- wasn't going so well. I wanted out- I started struggling with getting up in the morning. Started to wonder -what did I do to my life- how could I have messed it up so badly?
2 months- I started to enjoy them more- the time I spent with them didn't feel so forced. We feel in love with the referral photos- and then with them personally while in Ethiopia-and wondered. I wondered how could I have done this to them and to myself? Was this really a mistake- but I really liked being with them- it was just still really really difficult. At the end of 2 months we started going out more... Life did start to really resemble a bit of our old lives. Hubby stuck with me- gave me evenings off - and came home with wine and flowers regularly-laugh.
3 months- Realized I hadn't been focusing on myself at all- and swore that I wouldn't do that when I became a mother. Started researching new gyms and looking for more babysitters. Started to consider daycare and work for Debritu and myself. We started to look "outside" the windows of our home and realize what was going on.
4 months- ahhh- joined the gym again, ran my first 5K in a while-realized how badly out of shape 6 months off can hurt the body that has been finding solace in Wine and Cheese-laugh. Went to the movies- with my husband- wooo hooo! Still have this aching feeling that the children have "borrowed" my best friend for a while- and I'm not sure if I'll get him back- that's still out to be determined-but It took a little while to realize how much I wouldn't see him when the kids came. Now, I either go out-or he goes out. That's the tough part of not having family around- it costs a lot to always hire babysitters.
And well- now we are into month 5 and as a family we still have a long way to go. I take deep breaths and lean on meditation to get me through the screaming children in the grocery store, try to remember compassion when listening to others-even though I am often burnt and ashamed that my mind is wandering and thankfully - I now feel that I'm ready to return to work-and that the kids are going do very well. And of course- I still question Our sanity- after all - it's worth a good laugh when I think back as to my dreams during and before our referral and realize that many have come true- and many, well many- were fabulous fantasies..
I'll end this exasperatingly long post by saying-We're getting use to being a family-and things are slowly becoming very enjoyable. I don't express how difficult it all is when I'm out -because I don't want it to be something when I do have adult time that my spare time is focused on. There is much more laughter in our home and with all the tough times- there have been a remarkable number of good times. Yes, I still cry in the shower- and I'm nervous about leaving the work I've done for the past 5 year and finding a new job-away from my husband- and life is well- confusing. But with out the changes- wouldn't we be bored? What would a life with no changes be like?
The days on the long road of one families Ethiopian Adoption
This blog started out as a way to record the twists, turns, highs and lows in my families journey to adopt siblings from Ethiopia. Now our children are home and we have just finished celebrating our first year as a family.
I'm Kimberly (or Fendesha), an adventurous person who aspires to be a vagabond- but for now- I spend all of my free time travelling and my down time thinking of travelling. I'm a mom of 3 (the oldest being my gorgeous canine companion), a IT project manager, and on occasion I find myself the primary writer of this blog.
Happy Reading and thank you for stopping by.