Gathering as a family....
Remember the real reason for the season!
Sarah and Candace posing with the judge up on the bench. They also enjoyed playing with the microphones at the lawyers' tables when the judge was out of the room.
We had our first working therapy session at the Attachment and Trauma Center of Nebraska on Saturday. I feel so hopeful now that we will be able to get some healing started. Candace and I learned a song to sing together when her "mad brain" is starting to take control.
To the tune of "Farmer in the Dell":
I am safe, I am safe. Hi ho, here we go, I am safe.
I am calm, I am calm. Hi ho, here we go, I am calm.
We're supposed to sing it in a place where Candace usually feels calm and relaxed, like Mommy's rocking chair. It can be done while rocking or while clapping our hands together in a clapping game. We've used it several times already, and it makes us both feel more in control. :)
Today is the six month anniversary of coming home with Candace and Sarah. Here they are posing with their first complete Lite Brite creation. It's the same Lite Brite my teenagers played with when they were little.They have come a long way in six months. We still have lots of work to do in terms of attachment, but maybe we're seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Or maybe it's the Lite Brite at the end of the tunnel... ha, ha.
Grief, anger and guilt.
Let me start by saying I love both of the twins so much that my heart feels like it could overflow. They are a huge blessing to our family.
Tom and I read a lot of books about adoption before we brought our girls home, and we thought we were ready. Sometimes the grief felt by them is staggering... it's more than they can handle and more than we can handle, too. There is anger and rage both at their Ethiopian family for leaving them, and toward us for bringing them to America. And the guilt is piling up all around... we sometimes feel guilty for taking them from Ethiopia, and they somehow feel with the logic of little children that they are to blame for losing their birth family. I also feel guilty toward my other children for subjecting them to the now frequently emotionally chaotic nature of our home.
Compounding the problem for Tom and me is that we don't really know why the twins were given up for adoption. We were told their parents died, but we don't know the reason their great aunt brought them to the orphanage. We haven't been successful in prying any details out of the in-country staff in Ethiopia, and there is nothing in our court documents that sheds any light. I just want to understand so that I can help the girls understand. They miss their great aunt very much.
I think we are going to start counseling at the Attachment and Trauma Center of Nebraska for at least one of the twins. I have been taking a class on attachment there the last several Saturdays, and the counselors are wonderful. I want her to know she is blameless and that it is okay to love both her old family and her new family. I need the help too. The emotional roller-coaster has been tough.
Food. I don't like to make meal times a struggle and am pretty lenient about food, but our twins give "picky" a whole new meaning. My daughter Anna has been an extremely picky eater since birth, and she was less aggravating at five years old than Candace and Sarah. At least she was consistent about what she would or would not eat. With the twins, they may love it today and hate it tomorrow. Here is what they will eat at any time: McDonald's chicken nuggets and fries, cheese pizza, pasta, Omaha Steaks hamburger patty on the grill (only-don't try to fool them with a cheap substitute), bacon and ramen noodles. Sometimes they will eat grapes, bananas and apples. They don't like "normal" kid foods like applesauce or macaroni and cheese. They don't like spicy food unless it is Ethiopian food. Forget milk. Or juice, unless it is mango. Eggs... no. Pancakes... no. Rice... no.
I am having a hard time coming up with food to feed them and the aforementioned older picky daughter. We are getting tired of spaghetti. Have I mentioned that I really don't like to cook?
For now, I am relying on the magic of multivitamins and calcium supplements. And hoping that an expansion of the acceptable foods list is in the future.
Sarah and Candace posing in one of the zillions of fall scenes
Making corn angels. It's Nebraska.
Choosing just the right pumpkin
Riding the John Deere train... what a fun day!