We have passed the 2 month mark!! Hooray!! And things are good. Not great... (that would be miraculous) but very good. The kids are starting to find their way around and between each other - starting to make room in their comfort zones to allow each other to be... well, just to be. We have seen a marked decrease in the tantrums.. and tears. Thankfully.. school, routine and consistency have really been instrumental in making things smoother. I think also that ESP's intelligence is really showing.. she understands things on a level that may actually be enabling her to walk that line between her previous life and her present situation. She seems to know that she is loved.. safe.... and we have been nurturing.. she is allowing more and more and more assistance from Mommy.. (yea!) and we are working on her health issues.. slowly but surely.
EFP is really the one most put out by the arrival of her sister.. they are nearly the same age, have similar (I would say complimentary) interests and both appreciate a good song and dance. That said, EFP is definitely seeing some definite drawbacks to having a sister... luckily she is sweet and kind and so -- the negative doesn't really last long and both girls are able to forgive and forget. (Which frankly is a good skill for any sister pair!) I think the hard part for ME is when ESP is really (unforgivably) mean to EFP.. for no reason other than she doesn't agree or understand. It is hard being a referee in these situations.. wanting BOTH girls to be protected, loved.. and yet- held accountable for whatever the action and response are under the circumstance. I love them both.. and want them to both be happy... so its hard.
Lately - I have had to explain some difficult truths to ESP and EBB who are old enough to ask some tough questions. Being a adoptive parent is (aside from the usual parenting joys and sorrows) one of those things that although you can spend a lot of time preparing - there really is no preparation for the moment when your beloved son looks at you with a hurting heart and asks "why? why wouldn't they do everything they could to keep me?" I have read books, listened to adoptees and (more experienced) adoptive parents, searched my heart and still.... I was not prepared for the question that my son asked. I felt physical pain that I can only imagine was a faint echo of what HIS heart was suffering. Feeling so inadequate to the task of explaining what I don't really understand myself.. since I can not conceive of doing what his (and my other two children) parents did... (heck - what my own parents did...) I can't. I explained it the way I have rehearsed it in my head so many times.. knowing that the moment was coming... knowing that the answer had to be prepared.. stated so that my voice didn't shake (no matter how hard I hurt for my kids) so that my confidence in the little facts I have, in the inescapable fact of their being separated from the biology of their existence.. would not give my words more weight than I intended or than they deserved. To speak the words... I don't know.. but here is what I think... couldn't care for any baby.... left you in the care of one who could.... you grew... and then.. for some reason.. someone decided you needed a full time mom and dad, and that was us. So few words for such a big situation... for such a little guy. ESP is also questioning.. also talking more about her time in China.. in a good way. Still her questions are equally difficult.. what is more difficult is that there are people who know the answers to her questions... people who could tell her why they couldn't raise her.. why they let her go.. but we can't ask that question.. and it is a good be they would not answer if we did ask. The girls do not ask yet about their birth parents... ESP is more concerned about her foster parents and why they "sent her away" answering is hard... because she doesn't trust me yet and my truth (as I know it) is hard for her to understand.. again, it is confusing to me so hard to speak about. Why when it appears they had the resources, apparently loved and cared about her.. WHY would they allow her to be adopted by anyone let alone an American? (And I am leaving out the commonly held belief that an orphaned child is automatically better off in America and an orphaned special needs child is especially better off..) How, after 18 months of seeing that smile, of hearing that singing.. of getting those hugs and being truly loved by her.. could they have sent her out in the world with nothing but the clothes we sent... no little tokens, no vestiges of her life except for a one page note with lots of comments about her behavior and a few we loves yous.. but no reason. How inadequate to her questions are those scant answers. She sort of understands that the orphanage wasn't a good place for a little girl... but I think she is heartsick about her foster family... we are getting a package ready to send to them.. with pictures and letters.. and presents. I hope that they will be happy when they see how happy she is becoming.. she is so funny and sweet. and Smart. Very very smart.
Happy Valentine's Day - Crafting with the Chillies!
So - all in all - we are about where we should be.. much better.. getting great. 3 Very Silly Chillies and One very Happy (but tired and heart sore) Mommy!!