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.