Thursday, November 26, 2009

A lot to be thankful for

Our five greatest blessings.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Things we struggle with, part 4

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.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Things we struggle with, part 3

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.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Losing my mind, one night at a time

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the miracle of bedtime snuggling and how it had solved our annoying going-to-bed woes with the twins. Well, I spoke too soon... it isn't working anymore. I lay up there for an hour and still frequently leave with wide awake twins. This evening, I forgot a book in their room, and turned around to get it after I had just closed the door. Candace was already out of bed preparing for her first foray downstairs.
The twins have been home for 158 days, and I have put them to bed on each and every one. Maybe 20 of them have been relatively stress-free. That's 138 days of aggravation, and I am just about ready to lose my mind.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Five months

Today Sarah Fikir and Candace Selam have been home with us for five months!