Monday, December 17, 2007

Mark 6 weeks! Is that it?

There are several people who keep asking how I am doing it? Some days I wonder myself to be honest. It is day by day, remembering our comitment early on, knowing what we would do and how far we would go to help a biological child knowing it has to be the same and so on and so forth. If we found out 6 years too late that our child had been abused in any manor be it physical, emotional or sexual what would we do? If we found that our child had turned into a disturbed and disrupted child do to something that had happened in the past, that we did not know, what would we do to help? How long would we help? Is it exactly like this? No. Are there things that families can handle and things they cant? Absoultely, in my opinion. We still feel that is what our commitment was in the begining and has to be still. What about comiting to the unknown? Something you were not told? Isn't that what we agreed to in adoption and are suppose to commit to? Is there still an olbigation to be had as adoptive parents when issues of this statue arise? These are just a couple of the things we ask ourselfs and talk about with each other. The bigest concern of the comitment is still if we can help our daughter heal faster than our son or family can be torn apart? At this point we lean toward the positive atleast for most days. I have to admit that this may not be my view 6 months from now but for now these are some of the thoughts I hold on to. And with Gregs trust in me our family moves forward. Some of the things I have to think in our everyday interacting with Liberti and her words and actions to us are...

No dont touch!= It still feels weird when you touch me
I love you NO!=I feel guilty for caring about you too
No! No! No!= I feel scared and confused, this is different
No! I like Keelung.= I still miss them and I dont know how to love another family yet

I try to think of things when it is painful to hear the other. It is important to stay positive, be loving and show compasion every second. We have to help our daughter learn how to have these qualities. Still needing the boundaries and structure all the while. There are still other difficult things to consider as well. Imagine your child falls very very very hard. So hard it hurt you to watch and you know they are in pain but when you go to hug them and scoop them up to help ease the pain, you are pushed away. Imagine every time you instinctively give a hug or a kiss it is wiped away quickly no matter how normal everything seemed. Imagine that you watched your child confused, sad, lost and along and wish to comfort them and they push you away still. That you go to buckle their seat belt and they are appauled. That you brush their hair out of their eyes and they scream "NO" and pull away. Life is not what it once was. The things that I have to think abou tto stay strong are things you could not imagine when researching adoption or taking the adoption classes. Tehya re things you can ot fully understand or prepare for when considering adoption. Just like a child that is prepared for their own adoption can not fully understand what they are about to feel or lose. It is painful from all sides. I had no idea just how much the issues of an older child would impact everyone in our lives let alone our son. So to answer that question again, i am not sure just how we are getting through it aside of a good day here and there, remembering all these things, and believing that God lead us to our daughter and he will lead her to us. Most of all we feel that we have made it this far by the support of all of you, our friends, our family and our fellow bloggers. Without the comments, emails, and calls we would feel alot more alone that we do. Though we cant get back to everyone at this point I do want you all to know that we so appreciate it and we do read everything sent to us through these ways. I cant say that all teh feedback that I have gotten has been positive, and I knew by being so honest we were sure to ruffle some feathers, I am still happy that I have continued to allow other families into our lives at this point. If the time comes where we begin to recieve more negative feedback then positive then I may have to rethink keeping this a public blog, for now I hope some can still get something out of it. We need you all.

We had a good weekend. Liberti did ok with Greg on Saturday and but much better on Sunday. We filled Friday, Saturday and Sunday with Decorating the tree, a picnic at the park and playground, riding bikes at the lake, the sand box, and then onto the Christmas festival for Santa Clause and pony rides. One example of her actions is when Liberti took a nap. Greg and I decided to lay on the couch and catch a movie while the kids rested. When she woke up she came to us and climbed ontop of the both of us and layed down. it was soemthing totally out of character for her. She doesnt ussually show affection unless she wants somethings, needs something or you are having lots of fun with her. It felt really natural. She stayed for a while and even let us cuddle her a bit! Huge deal. The rest of the day went well with episodes like this. Allowing us to take a few pictures and play with her. What a day. At the end of the night we played a few games including skin to skin contact which she did really well with. We are working on touchig and playing without aggression. We do all the little things that you woudl do with an infant or toddler like "this littel piggy", or when you touch my face I make this expression, We do this for about 20 minutes or until she is no longer complient or agreeable. Then she drew a picture of herself with a smile. That is not normal either. We get lots of unhappy faces or pictures of keelung mommy. But this time it was her with a smile. Then she also had 4 hearts she drew next to her. She told me the hears were us, mommy, daddy, Landon and Liberti. How sweet is that? I smiled hugged her and held back a lot of tears. One day can go a LONG LONG way :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Liberti's tooth is through,Xmas parade, A horrible accident with Landon and Daddy is home

First I will start by saying Landon had a horrible accident. Much to the surprise of everyone probably, Liberti did not do it this time though she witnessed it. Landon ran through the living room and around teh corner heading for the kitchen with me calling to him "stop running in the house" he fell very hard directly on the hard plastic bus he was carrying. Landon still doe not put his hands down when he falls. He has busted his mouth, gottenfat lips and even bloody teeth several times but this takes the cake! He smashed in one of his front teeth and the other front tooth went up, over and turned. It was sooooo horrible and bloody and super scary for everyone. Liberti thought it was jsut plain nasty at first and she ran around saying "eww eww yucky" until we started to load them up into the car and our neighbors/friends came over to check him out. once we said hospital she started bawling and was very very upset. She let greg hold her and comfort her, showed real tears of sadness and concern. Sounds like a normal response for a kid you think? Well not in this kid normally. Thought we were very freaked about Landon as he was histericle of course, Everyone couldnt help but notice Liberti show genuine emotion for her brother. We dropped her off and moms while we went to the hospital and while she was there she reinacted it out for them talking a hundrend miles a minute in her made up language with a few english words and sounds and also was concerned about him while we were gone then when we picked her back up she jumped in asking "Landon you ok? Ok Landon?" Landon isnt really OK though. His teeth are pretty messed up though the hospital couldnt do anything to help him. They couldnt even stirch him since the cut was so far apart (and skin rolled sorry graffic) it had zero suture capability and what can they do for teeth? They didnt even rinse it or give him pain meds. He has been misserable and will be heading to the dentist next week once the swelling has gone down and they can asses it better. He wont eat hardly anything at all. 2 packages of ramen noodles and one oatmeal cream pie in 3 days. Oh and a few boiled eggs. He wont eat ice cream, jello, oatmeal or pudding either. We have tried pretty much everything. The dr said he wont die from not eating a few days and gosh when he tried to eat a hot dog (against my advice) he ended up screaming for about 30 minutes from the pain if his front teeth. Of course he is not happy when he cant eat a whole lot! The motrin and tylenol just dont do it. He has pretty much cried or whined for the last 3 days. Seriously this poor kid has had a bad couple months.(save more of all that for Landons blog) But back to Liberti, Greg came home on Sat night so he was here when the kids awoke on Sunday. Liberti was excited to see him and she wanted him to hold her hand and carry her when we went out. Then just like that when we were all still out and getting ready to come back she started the "No" and not wanting him near her. He let her come to him and didnt force the affection or anything of course. He's working days and getting home about 6:30 when Liberti has her roughest part of the day since she is so tired but she has doen better than when he left. When he forst gets home she will say No and give a dirty look just when he says hi or comes in but then she will ask where he went. When he gets out of the shower she tries to scare him, and interacts with him. Once they are not playing though she starts the no's, looks and attitude. So im hoping this is progress. I mean he is gettin near her still although she seme more irritable tonight when he came home she could be more tired by the middle of the week with school. On the school note she still hadnt been eating her lunch but I found otu half the reason was that she doenst like to eat food even remotly warm. She likes it boiling pretty much. Her noodles have to about burn you and she eats them that way. I bought her a better thermous to keep them hotter but she said it wasn enough. Today I sent ehr with p&J on a whim and she ate it. The weird thing is that normaly when she gets int eh car she will eat alot of stuff out of her lunch box and she will ask me for food. so I tend to bring her a snack too. But today she ate the sandwhich and she was proud too. She said "mommy Liberti good job" and gave me a high five. Later she told me she just liked the grape jelly LOL not the peanut butter. Also she had a good day on Tuesday where she dressed up in Gregs and my clothes. This was pretty amazing since before she wouldnt let Greg's clothes near her or her stuff. We tend to get one or 2 good days out of the week with less confrontation. we were not so lucky today but even todays tiff wasnt as bad as it could have been. She hasnt been in trouble so far yet this week at school. No pushing other kids yet which is also good especially since Greg is home making her stress a little I would think. Anyhow those are the days that keep our family todather right now. one day a week is all we need right now I guess. Yes it is still disfuntinal LOL and it is still unbelievably hard. We are at 5 1/2 weeks united. Yes that is it. Yes it feels SOOOO much longer! A few pics form our good days...

Monday, December 3, 2007

A rough few days...

Did you say for a "chocolate cookie?ok!"


The last several days have been very difficult. Sorry its been 10 days since my last post! I have again, lots and lots of large bruises. Landon has lots of scraps and bruises and the dogs are carrying a few under the fur I am sure. Liberti WAS/is happy this past week though with lots of smiles, affection and laughter as odd as that sounds. The problems mostly come to me still when I have to have control, give guidance or rules. Not surpsrising of course. And she has shown some more afffection to Landon but unfortunetly it is almost always followed by anger or violence. Almost as if she has found a way around the immediate hitting we witnessed in her first weeks. For example she says "Landon sit Liberti" Meaning come sit with liberti. Then after a minute or so she elbows him very hard in the stomach while they are both just sitting watching tv beautifully as I sit near. The day before yesterday he went to turn the channel on the satalite box and she quickly came over to him, (I am only a few feet, maybe 5 at most, away watching them of course) and I tell her its ok as she's already watched her 30 minute show and she picked him up and threw him like she was super woman. I thought OH MY, I was so close but I couldn't stop it. With wood laminate floors and his little body, He layed with a bloody mouth and bruised. Of course her reaction was an immediate "Sorry Landon". She has come to believe that she can do anything as long as she follows with an immediate Sorry. That will take time and I explain over and over sorry has a meaning and that you cant do something on purpose to hurt someone and say sorry to stay out of trouble. Earlier in the week when letting them ride their bikes at the park, Landon had decided riding was too much and he wanted to run. Liberti quickly chased him with her bike as I ran yelling to her stop and him to move to the side. You know what happened next of course. She ran into him, and then over him. I watched him skid across the blacktop and then his little leg, back, arm run over with her wheels and training wheels, I began to cry. She wouldnt stop until he was laying bloody and crying histerical of course. She then stopped said sorry Landon, laughed and took off riding as fast as she could. Needless to say she was grounded from her bike until today when she finally got that privelage back only to lose it again for running purposely into my sister and then into Landon's bike. I have to continue to remind myself that it has only been a short time. To be honest, without that, I could easily be losing my head and pulling out my hair. I mean that litterally. I know that, as you guys have read over and over again, I expect steps forward then steps back. So it is what it is. Im not sure how many of you have ever had contact with a child that has such severe issues but it is difficult at best. But it isnt every single second of violence, hurting or tears. It is a constant draining battle though. We had our social worker here for one of our post placement visits. She encouraged me that what we are doing is right on. We discussed alot about punishments, goals, expectations, and so on. It was good to hear that we are still moving in the right direction. That we should hope for her to move forward every day but that we may not see any real progress for months. That she needs very clear boundaries. Which of couse we know and have been doing. We also use a reward board. They have good and bad colums and they get stickers that they have to place for their good and bad behavior and they can see what the rewards are or lack of privelages. They get them in the morning and evening before bed. This has some affect but not much yet, for Liberti. Of course Landon thinks about the board all day and asks if he does this... what sticker will he get? good or bad? and can he get one for... LOL When they hug each other I am so touched. It is ussually initiated by Landon but I think that she may learn to trust him or hopefully rub off on her. A dream? I hope not. She hasnt talked about wanting Keelung or Keelung Mommy and daddy for some time until yesterday when she said eeggas and I said no say eggs and she said Keelung Mommy said eega's. Even when she cries in time out she cries to me, for me, or saying ma ma mommy sorry. Beggin to get out after about 4 or 5 tries and getting put back in. But hey she stays after these several tries, screaming at the top of her lungs of course but she is sitting there. I dont mean to depress everyone about teh goary details of our homelife, and I know you guys may be thinking wow....and probalby not too many other words to describe that but it is what it is. this is our life now. The last 2 days were pretty tiring for me and I think that is because we are at 4 weeks now and it is wearing me down a bit. Yesterday after she kicked a all wood tv tray as hard as she could into me, becaseu se asked for a glass of water which I got her and she then decided she wanted me to take it back right then. (control) when I explained to her that I just brought her the water she asked for that if she decided seh didnt want it she needed to take it to the kiteched and she said no you and I explained again, she screamed no You and kicked the table and the water into me and across the room, I had enough and actually picked her up and brought her into her room and told ehr to stay until she calmed down. In reality I dont like to have them sent to their rooms for punishments as I feel that needs to feel like a safe happy place for them, but i needed her out of my site. I felt so so so guilty for that the rest of the day. I thought I really was losing my patience. It was painful and messy and in front of Landon. And I had to think of all those things at the time. It is just draining. Hopefully you all don't think any less of me for being so honest all the time. When I talked with our agency rep the other day she talked about some of the issues that other families had recently. I knew when the families were traveling but never any issues after. I thought I wish I would have known some of those things earlier. They also had techniques that the therapist had given that are helpful to know. So I think everytime I go to post or not, someone somewhere may read our story and feel less alone, and may find something helpful. On the groups laltely the families have been so much more forthright and honest about their feelings after returning home but still more people have replied to us privelty than what we ever read about. There just isnt info out there about family issues with extremely difficult children. It is such a private matter of course so it is difficult to share and on top of that there is so very very little time to blog or post about things when you have this many issues. Still at the end of the day if nothing else, it is just simply theraputic however boreing or unpleasent it is to some. We are very lucky that people have been so supportive and given us lots of great advice and encouragement. I have found the biggest problem with tapping into my "people"resources is that my only free time is lat enight, when peole are sleeping. That leaves me lonely and blogging LOL
Talking with Laura from FFC and Lori from adoption support services (our homestudy sw) were very helpful and as we all feel a continued part of this process I am happy to have their involvment. I must say that for us anywya, I never felt threatened to share what was going on with eithe rof them. For one we had to have lots of stuff documented for our family safety but to have their support meant a lot. They have experience and can share other resources and ideas that they hav elearned along the way. Things they think work or dont. Things they have learned at conventions/confrences that are helpful. Also family feedback helps our agency try to help Taiwan understand the importance of the sharing of information and the importance of meetings with children that are not directly in their care but whose adoptions are being coordinated by and through them.
She started back to school today. She went in fine and was happy to see me when she got in the car. She wont eat at school though and that has been an issue. I send her with a luch but she doenst eat it. If I out cookins in it as a snack she wil eat those only. So today I didnt sent cookies of course but I did send crackers that she loves. She didnt eat them. But she ate as soon as she got home at 2:45. too long to go without eating though. She has money in her lunch account so she can also buy luch ther eif she likes anything. I'm sure as she gets more comfortable seh will eat. until then I will remain a normal worried mommy that she will starved to death. Especially on days that she also refuses to eat much breakfast.
So our household is functioning however disfunctional it is at this point. We are all still alive. There are still some sounds of laughter however sinical at times. I am still sane, how I dont know. Or atleast I think I am LOL mabye you all can tell me better :) i am exhausted as we all are. The kids both have colds. Yes, Landon too again. That never makes things easy. Liberti hastn slept well since thanksgiving until yesterday and tonight when she went to bed by 9! WOW that is so nice. Oh yeah she was woke and was awake from 10ish to 1 am last night though. Darn, forgot that but hey its 12:41 and she is still sound asleep tonight! guess I better get that way if I want any patience to last tomorrow. She still refusses most pictures and actually gets pretty ticked off when you take them. Se gives you a look that is most times followed by closed eyes or covered face and a whole lot of no no no's lol. I am adding a photo I got of that look while we were in Taiwan for you to see why we dont have a whole lot more!