Great Expectations.

Before we brought Bubbles home, I had great expectations. I expected her to love it here, to be SO glad to leave Ghana behind. Yeah, she would miss her friends. But overall, I expected her to be SO happy to live in her new world of cool air, lots of food and one on one attention. I expected her to LOVE playing with her older brother, GigantoBaby, because he is closest in age to her. I expected her to be so excited to have toys and days in the pool. Most of all, I expected her to love having a mom and dad.

WRONG!!! Today I’m praying that God helps me to let go of all the expectations I have for her. I pray that God grants me the strength to love her for exactly who she is. She is a little girl who doesn’t love it here. She has asked to go back to Ghana, several times. It was her home, and home is home, no matter how dirty or smelly I thought it was. She doesn’t like our house with it’s cool air, she would rather be outside in the 90 degree heat. She hates the food, all of it, even when we try to cook food she is used to (the only exception is Froot Loops and Cheetos, and too many make her “vomit” (another lesson learned the hard way). She doesn’t want one on one attention. When we give it to her, it freaks her out a little. She doesn’t really love GigantoBaby. He is too large, and he is a boy, the larger boys at the orphanage picked on her quite a bit. She’s distrustful, and doesn’t really want GigantoBaby too close to her. She identifies more with the Diva. Diva is a girl, and closer to her size. So, she’d rather act like our Diva. She wants to be carried, and diapered and babied. Gone is the independent girl that ran and played in Ghana. She is different now. And, she isn’t at all excited about having a mom and dad. She cries for the things that she left behind in Ghana, including the beatings (spankings). She cries for the stability that came with knowing the rules. If I do this, then this will happen. She doesn’t know now. She has know idea what will happen next. How awful. And, she doesn’t love having us as mom and dad, because we’re not at all the kind of mom and dad she is used to. And, she’s unsure whether or not we’re really here to stay. We hug her, and she cringes.

In my head, I know she’s in shock. But, that doesn’t stop my heart from breaking for her. The four that came before her have been wonderful to her, when she chooses to interact with them. Mostly, she hangs out in the periphery though, in her own little world. I didn’t expect that either. I read that it could happen, but stubbornly, I thought it wouldn’t. She has very few things that she enjoys doing. It’s so sad. So many things are new, and new is too scary.

So, I pray for release from the expectations. I pray for the ability to take it one day at a time. I pray for patience. And, most of all, I pray that one day she will understand how much we all love her.

who is grieving a little too.

4 thoughts on “Great Expectations.

  1. I came here by way of 6YearMed.. and I’m so glad I did! My dh and I brought 5 kiddos home from Haiti, at ages 5, 3, 5, 7, and 2 (not all at once!) I know that you know that what you are describing is so, so normal in toddler adoption, even more so when you are adopting from a country like Ghana or Haiti, which are so different from the US (especially to our babies) that they might as well be different planets.Hold that baby tight! Lots of time-ins (instead of time-outs), lots of cuddles and back rubs and babying (for her too!) LET her regress.. hold her and feed her a bottle, if she’ll let you.. it’s great for eye contact.. if not, try spoon feeding her whatever food comforts her.. if it’s Froot Loops, so be it! Or oatmeal, or ice cream..I’m so excited for you to have your princess home.. hang in there! The first months can be such a challenge, but it sounds like you are up for it!

  2. What is happening is normal…and you are normal to have these feelings. The dynamics of your family has been thrown into chaos, but eventually the balance will come….eventually never seems to come quick enough. I am still waiting! 🙂 I appreciate your honesty because it allows all of us to be able to say “ME TOO!” It’s a huge adjustment to everyone, and it’s not always pretty! 🙂 Hang in there FPFamily!

  3. When we brought home my sister when she was 13 she was much the same way Bubbles is! I know it is a TOTALLY different situation, but I wanted you to know that what is happening is okay and maybe even normal in oder child adoption. My sister, although she came home on her 13th birthday, wanted to sleep with me, wanted me to hold her like a baby, talked “baby-talk” to me and even had me feed her a bottle. She (and I am sure Bubbles) had never had that before and she NEEDED it for the rest of her life to be sort of “normal”…she needed to be a loved baby! Also, starting a “new life” in America was really like starting a “new life” right from infancy. She couldn’t talk like we did, she didn’t eat our same food…so in many ways, she really WAS a 13 year old baby! Anyway, I guess what I am saying is it’s okay for Bubbles to want to be a baby for a while. Maybe that is how she will adjust and how she will learn to live in your family…by starting at the beginning.Brec

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