Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Two Steps forward.....................

Ten steps back. Ah the dance of the adoption trip with an older child. It has been a heck of a couple of days.. we went to the Safari Park (Xiang Jiang - Elephant River) and that was loads of fun.. China is all up hill I think! We saw more tigers than I thought possible... and had a train ride through the wild animal section where the animals could get up close and personal if they so chose. I saw a heard of Chanjinglu (Giraffe) Lao Hu (Regular Tiger) Bai Hu (White Tiger) Xiong Mao (Panda) and Koala (no translation) and it was quite a nice trip. I had my usual conflict about animal parks.... support the education and conservation efforts or boycott to make the statement that wild animals belong in the wild - what is left of it anyway. I was mildly upset by the Tiger show...  hard to tell if the animals are operating out of fear or hunger or both. But Emp Sassy Pants was up to her old tricks - flinging herself on the ground screaming etc. so it was neither pleasurable nor easy. 

 At one point - I put her on a small ledge so she could get a better look at the Chimpanzees and a very large male lunged at us and we both took a big step backward.. only she fell. Not my finest Mama moment... luckily she was not hurt (perhaps all the flinging herself on the floor makes her head super tough!) and I had to yell at the Chimp... twice. The second time he yelled back and shook a stick at me! Kind of freaked me out! Seems like maybe he has heard "Bad Monkey" before!!

Last night we had a temporary rapprochement and she ASKED me to give her a bath.. and put her to bed. I did so and we had a fine evening. She was sweet and kind.. let me kiss her goodnight and tuck her in. Today - it was up and down all day. One screaming fit before nap time - but I will say that if her worst was a 10.0 on the Richter Scale - this one barely breached a 6.5! Maybe I should consider that progress but the 13.5 hour flight is looming, I miss my kids so much it hurts and I am just overwhelmed with sadness that I am bringing this into our family and life.  I have some hope that the kids and Daddy will be a welcome change and that perhaps her interest and intelligence will be peaked by learning English and going to school etc. But I am not looking forward to having her tantrum in the States... she bangs herself around so much that I just don't know what to do about it. She is bruised head to toe at this point... 

Tonight we had a farewell dinner with all the families.. and it seems like ALL the kids are having some trouble. There are a lot of dynamics to be had... good and bad easy and tough. The older kids seemed to be doing  fairly well - but they are acting out also each in his/her way. My kid wins the Tantrum Topper award for sure.   Tomorrow we will try shopping on Shamian Island again.. but I really need to get to the pearl and jade markets.  I need to replace a pair of earrings (I lost a black pearl from the set I bought on our first trip) and I was hoping to get a ring made. Oh well... we will see how it goes.  I am enjoying this group quite a bit.. we have mostly hit it off well and everyone is nice to each other - the kids seem to get along well and one of the 15 yos has made quite an impression on my 6 yo.  The bigger kids are a big help with the little kids - trying to explain why they need to be good, nice to Mama or Baba, why they should be happy to travel to America etc. and tonight, turnabout being fairplay, my screaming mimi actually aided in talking to one of the little boys about his behavior and why he should be a good boy etc.! It was quite a site! Course - one of the girls that has been speaking to my daughter has had her fair share of tantrums... and another girl who hasn't had very great behavior has also counseled her to behave and be happy!! Oh how I wish it were so!

The photos are from our Pearl River Cruise and Safari park visit.... do not mistake the wild beasts for MY wild beast! She is the one in pink!


Colleen said...

YOu guys look so cute with the giraffes!!! A moment of peace...ahhhh. Love you Sissy!!! Keep your spirit up!

Joy said...

"...I am just overwhelmed with sadness that I am bringing this into our family and life."

I had this SAME EXACT feeling when we adopted our oldest (14 at the time), adding her to our two younger girls (5 and 3 at the time). I literally locked myself in the hotel bathroom and cried my eyes out every morning about what I was doing to my nice little family. I will say that almost two years later, I only have a slight twinge of the same feelings every now and then, usually when the going gets tough.

Thank you so much for putting this out there so people can REALLY know what it can be like to adopt an older child.

On the brighter side, the baby tigers are SO cute! Makes me want to pick them up and hug them. :-)

Stacy said...

It may not feel like it, but it sure sounds like things are getting better. Please take one day at a time. It WILL get better. Know that we are praying for you.

When you get home and get settled let's skype the girls. Maybe seeing Isabella with her MaMa will make sense to FuJaio/Cassia.

I am praying that you have a great journey home. Keep your head up- you can do this.


Mi Hilo Rojo said...

Missy ,
I'm praying and praying. Hoping your trip going smooth going back home.
You can do it. Few more days my friend!



Anonymous said...

Hi Missy,
Although I did not have the same type of tantrums, I can relate to "bringing this into our family and life" heart goes out to you! Older kid adoptions are much harder in real life than what many people think...our kids come with so much baggage! Sending hugs and prayers and good thoughts your way.

Kathy said...

Hi...thought I was sending the last comment with my name...see above. All the best to you both!
Love, Kathy

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