Thursday, August 27, 2009

Alive and...Adjusting

How beautiful is she?! Our friend Keren took this photo last weekend. I realize I have been quite remiss in blogging these days. Life has been, shall we say, heavy these days, and its hard to trim down into blog form. Just for fun, however, I thought I would post a quote from my son from a week or two ago, followed by a bit of an update:
While watching Bed Knobs and Broomsticks, the kids were particularly taken by the dancing montage from the "Portabello Street" song. This scene features various styles of dance, at one point a group of African-Americans dancing in a swingish sort of style. At this point, Melat began clapping and bopping with the music. When Allan and I commented on this, our eldest (age 6 1/2) chimed in, "Its because they're brown," he said matter-of-factly, "She's not color-blind, you know!"
Said little one is not very little. She's 10 months+ now and weighs a hefty 22 lbs. (90th percentile in weight, 75th in height) Our pediatrician is simply in awe of her and can't fathom how a child from an orphanage has done so well for herself. Last week at her check up he said, "She must have been a favorite!" Truth is, she's a demanding little thing. Oh, she can be cute and cuddly all right, but every three hours on the dot she'd better have her food in hand. Or else.
One of the things that I've been meaning to blog about but haven't is the challenge of adjusting to this strong-willed baby girl. Its been hard not to have happy little stories full of love and bliss to post. Oh, we have grown attached to her and all, but its hard to feel unconditional fondness for a child who spends a good portion of the afternoon shrieking at you. (Like right now, she's screaming like her heart has been broken because I'm not keeping the Cheerios coming fast enough.) Its also hard to write about without sounding like a whiner among throngs of happy adoptive bloggers. Obviously, we didn't expect adopting to be a breeze. In fact, we expected more difficulty than we have. But after the early months of newness and the fawning of strangers and family alike have passed, you're still left with a new child who, out of some inborn desire to survive, thinks not only that the world revolves around her, but that it should do so at the speed she dictates. I told one friend its like having a perpetual colicky newborn...who weighs 20+ lbs and crawls really fast.
The boys are doing well with her. When people ask how they are adjusting to Melat, I tell them that the boys beat up on her now, so they must been accepting her as their little sister.
Really, she has a very sweet disposition -- with everyone but me. She is attached to me, in a master to slave sort of way, and needs to know where I am at all times. Melat loves people -- so very social -- and loves to be outdoors. She loves to swim and swing and steal her brothers' toys. I have a feeling that everything is going to turn out just fine, but for now the adjustment continues.


jody said...

amen sister, A-MEN.

Eastiopians said...

I love these kinds of posts! Thanks for keeping it real. You are definitely in the thick of the hard part...and we appreciate your thoughts!

Dawn said...

I LOVE that pic - so gorgeous!

Thanks for keeping it real Sarah!! I think about you guys often!!

Are These Kids All Yours? said...

Hang in are normal!!!! Adjustments are normal, and being real on your blog is great! I really love your pic!!!

sarahesteward said...

Thanks for being so honest. We are waiting for our court date in October. Stick with it and take the good with the bad. It is all for a purpose to make you both stronger people.

Renee said...

Don't feel you can't post if they aren't all sunshine and roses stories. I to have hesitated to keep it real on my blog but I think it might help others so i just let it out.

Maria and Family said...

I think it may be a hannahs hope baby thang ;)...they are sooooo well cared for and catered to that when we actually do something else FIRST..YIKES! Tatiana did the screaming thing for about a month when she came home too...this too shall pass :) now for the most part she is happy and rarely screams. I know how you feel, about being sunshine and rainbows...our bond is great, its life that is getting me down and i find it hard to post and not let it out a bit :( thanks for being honest.

Jana said...

Well, you just described our little Elias. Oh, so demanding! He seems to be coming out of it..a little. Hey, I have a question for you mind emailing me?

Clark said...

Oh, I am so glad to read someone be totally real about adoption and their children. Raising children is never all sunsine and roses.

Our little girl was a year old when we brought her home from HH Ethiopia and is a handfull. We call her our Hot Mess because she is into everything (now 18 months old) and is so demanding and loves to scream and cry about everything. She is super attached and doesn't like me to leave the room. She decides what she wants and gets it, right then or else!

We are sort of use to it because our 2 1/2 year old bio son is also a dramatic child (and was colic baby), so there is lot's of screaming and crying in our house. It doesn't mean you don't love your child and think she is the most amazing thing ever, but the demanding personalities require more patience and some days it is hard to have it. My Mom keeps telling me that the demanding children are much more fun to raise in the end and since I have two of them I have to believe it.

Good luck. Hang in there. It does start to get easier when they can talk and tell you what they want.

tscarter7 said...

Sarah, I always love your posts. I appreciate your honesty! xoxo

Maria and Family said...

Hey there :) are you guys ok? you havent posted in awhile..just checking in on ya.