Monday, September 17, 2012
Baby On the Doorstep
Have you ever imagined what you do if you walked out your front door and discovered a baby on the doorstep? Or, been walking through the woods and wondered what you'd do if you came upon a baby abandoned there? I think it's a common scenario that many woman entertain at some point in their lives. Even me.
Well, it sort of happened to me, but my "baby" is 11 years old and she's from China. She arrived on an airplane last Tuesday and life's been a whirlwind ever since.
There's something going on in the adoption community that isn't pleasant at all. It's one of the worse things that can happen to an adopting family and child. Disruption. This means that the adoption has failed and the family is giving the child up for readoption. In some cases, if the disruption took place in China, the child is returned to the orphanage. If the family is already home, the child may be placed into foster care or some other type of respite care, or, the child may be placed with another family right away. We all know what one desperate mother did, she put her son on the airplane back to his native country.
Now, this is a subject the demands respect and sensitivity by all. Please only comment on this post if you have something positive to ask or say.
My new daughter was adopted by a good family. They are kind and loving. Certain things occurred that lead to their painful decision to disrupt. They knew enough to know that they needed to bring her to the U.S. and not turn her back over to her orphanage, which would have been the end of any kind of future for her. This took guts! They do love her. Love, as we all know in the adoption community, is not enough. The Travel Family, as we will refer to them in our family, arrived in the U.S. on a Saturday and brought her to me the following Tuesday.
As with my Jie Jie and Sissy, her real name is being kept off the internet. Her psuedonym is Blossom.
On Blossom's first day home, she smiled and posed for pictures and seemed happy. After she realized what had just happened, that she was here to stay, she became sad, grieving for her life left behind, but hiding it behind a fantasy of love for the Travel Family. It's been a week now, but feels like one or two really long days, and she is talking non-stop of how, when she grows up, she's moving back to China or flying to the Travel Family's house to see them. Each day, she's tried harder and harder to isolate Sissy, because she can communicate with her, and reject me and Jie Jie. Today was the worse and tomorrow we begin a new strategy. Sissy knows she's being used and Jie Jie, thank heavens, is a bit clueless about it all.
The new strategy is that Blossom has to remain at my side all day long. She may not talk to Sissy or Jie Jie unless I am present. She can't make a move without my permission. This may seem harsh, but Blossom is at very high risk for non-attachment and Reactive Attachment Disorder. It is plain to see that she has never been loved. She doesn't know what love is. She doens't know what sorry is until the consequence of her actions is upon her and she's begging not to be held accountable with a thousand sorries.
She's small and cute, the most Chinese-looking of my girls. She is a real go-getter and do-it-yourselfer, to a fault. I am still getting to know her, but she can read at an appropriate level and has good comprehension, she can do simple addition and subtraction, and is picking up English faster than Sissy because she's such a go-getter and is still in survival mode.
In two days, she had the seatbelt in the car figured out. She now knows better how to aim while sitting on a Western toilet and how to truly use toilet paper. Yes, one must wipe where the pee comes from, not everywhere else! She has also learned that hand washing isn't getting the hands wet and shaking them off, but means using soap, scrubbing, rinsing and - the often left off step - drying them off. I bath her. She is terrible at it. And I brush her teeth. She's going to the dentist in two days, and she wants to since one of her teeth is really bothering her.
She has cried every day in grief, which is good, since it must come out.
She agrees to just about everything then does whatever she wants on her own, or at least tries to. "Okay, okay, okay," is her favorite phrase, but I think it really means, "Go away, I can handle this, even if I don't have a clue what's going on or what I'm doing."
Sissy tried to pull some pretend regression the first two days, but instead of regressing about meaningful things, she tried to moan and groan about wanting to use QQ, not about missing the people in China who she loves. She was obviously relieved that I stood my ground, feeling very secure that night as I tucked her in.
Jie Jie is doing well, but I'm keeping a very close eye on her in case she's pretending. She liked that Blossom played with her, at first, but now, for the first time today, Blossom showed signs of using Jie Jie as a target for plain meaness. Hence the new strategy starting tomorrow. I will not allow her to disrupt our happy household. She is welcome to join it, and we will all move a little this way and that to fit her right in, but she may not in any way destroy the bonds we have all forged.
Just like Sissy's rough start, this is all in the category of normal, but with the two major complications of not having been loved before and coming to me from another family. I am looking forward to the end of week three, when I hope Blossom has settled in and discovered that she likes it here and likes us.
As for practical and material considerations of a single mom with three kids, I know that when we do His work, He provides, and when I prayed for this child to be mine, I knew throughout my soul that this IS His work. That doesn't mean I can quit my job - too bad - but that my faith in Him is not in vein and I must just do as always, the best I can in all I do, especially my work, which is how I feed, house and clothe my children.
If you recognize Blossom from her Travel Family's blog, please respect our privacy, and their's, and don't name names. Be kind and realize that this has been the best outcome for a very difficult situation. Do not even begin to judge, because you can't and shouldn't, but please pray for all of us: for a family who lost a daughter right when they got her, and lost a 30 year old dream of having a daughter to love, for a mom with three girls, two who are only 2 months apart in coming home days, who is doing it all, and three little girls, each with special needs of some kind, but most of all, for Blossom, who is feeling so alone and lost and frightened.
The nearly finished room, my room with Blossom sharing at night. I need to hang the other plum curtains still. In the girls' room, all the toys are in the formal dining room now so that Blossom's dresser could fit. I'm thinking of moving the toy into the kitchen eating area and puttin the dining table in the formal dining room, but there's carpet in there and Blossom still drops a lot of food.