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.


E Lohroff said...

Paula, you are not alone in these struggles! I can't offer any sage advice except to say you're not alone.

Jennifer said...

Paula, Can they verbalize this? Do they ask/talk about Ethiopia family? When did the grief start? I'm asking because my girls, other then the initial reaction, haven't really verbalized anything, even when we talk about people/family in Ethiopia.Being a year younger may make a difference. Bravo for you for taking those extra steps for yourself and the girls.That's hard work. I know someone who hired an investigator who found out a lot about her daughter's family.

Becky and Naing said...

I think that is good idea to do some counseling. It is so hard for them and us to understand. Talking about it to someone else might help them get pass their grief.
Can they tell you stories about their great aunt? maybe you could make a book with the picture you have for them.
It is so frustrating that it is so hard to get information from the agencies about birth families.

Jen Stutzman said...

Paula, thank you for sharing. I am so glad that these girls have you. May the Lord lead you. Keep sharing.

Anonymous said...

it's anna
just thought i'd tell you that you're an amazing mom and no one is as patient and understanding with their needs as you. and you are around them most. To the best mommy ever

Bennett said...

wow Paula so sorry to hear a/b the things that you are struggling w/part 4. I often wonder a/b this same thing brining older girls home soon myself. I thinkg you are doing the right thing and seeking those in the profession that can help. I was thinking, and although they were in a situation where lots of kids were around them for a good portion of their stay in ET, do you think it has anything to do w/them not wanting to share you and your husband w/the other siblings. I don't know what made me think of this, maybe it was from the previous post, but that may be something to think a/b.


steffany said...

I really think time helps a lot too.
I appreciate this post. Your honesty and willingness to reach out will not only help your whole family, but others that might be going through the same stuff

Kristen said...

I pray for you, the girls and your family often and will continue to lift you all up in prayer. I will be very specific as you are all struggling with such difficulties.

I think the counseling is a wonderful idea.

I am thinking of Romans 8:28
In ALl things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. In all things, the grief, the anger, the guilt God will work this out for good. He will heal the wounds.

I love you my friend! And I sure wish I lived closer so I could help!

Leslie said...

Thank you so much for sharing. We are in the waiting stage for our referral of older siblings. It's so refreshing to hear someone who is honest with their struggles. All of us in the waiting stages can definitely learn from you.