Monday, March 4, 2013

It is in fact true, life is a box of chocolates! Thanks Forest.

It's funny how a blog is meant to honor your children, your family, and record your trials and all the tribulations... Yes it does serve the author that way and in some ways assist others dealing with similar situations. However, it also serves as a venting point when you feel like you have to tell someone, anyone your dirty secrets, your guilty moments, your internal failures.  Blogging allows confessions, defeats, and victories all in the same way.  Almost an anonymous way.  The way you wish you could just tell people, but know you must only write down so that the reader has full attention to digest your words before totally judging you. Maybe even time to consider what they would do before just thinking you suck as a mother... 

It has been a full year that Neha has been with us, and I realize that as time went on I didn't need to talk myself through things on a blog.  I had to just figure it the f*#% out.. We were failing, stumbling with just the simplest things.

  Getting ready in the morning, following steps A to get to D ... 
Without backtracking and ending up at Z no less

Recognizing wrong doing, having remorse.

Calming body motions in order to focus, listen, or even eat a meal.

Being present in conversations, rather than avoiding eye contact, cowering, scowling, or Fidgeting ... Responding to requests, compliments, flattery etc

Respecting others things, asking to touch (knowing not to destroy)

It was and has kicked our butts.....

BUT...... We are on the upswing baby, and I'm high five'in myself , my husband and my daughters for all getting their hands dirty to get this figured out. We have been on cloud 9 with Neha for almost 3 solid months now, and watch out she is truly something special. 

We know we love each other, we know we are ten times better than we were a year ago just because of the strength and bravery of our Neha, however, that doesn't mean that days are seem less, easy or even really fun.  

It wasn't until I was reunited with a high school acquaintance this last weekend that I was able to finally admit to myself that adoption just isn't easy, but being a parent isn't no matter how you build it.  The self reflection needed and involved in raising a child that you didn't propagate is unnatural.  We made the choice and commitment 4 years ago this month to our Neha to fight for her to be ours.  To make it natural, to make our family better, wiser, more compassionate, educated and empowered we need Neha. It is work, but we see the peace in her face now more than the trama.  We see kind helpful actions occurring without ever being asked. We see a big sister that has grown into her place rather than being run over by responsibilities.  We see and embrace a special newly earned love with our newest middle daughter, and we are thrilled.  Thank you Neha for standing up for yourself (finally) , Recognizing your worth and "being proud, and being care of things" ! We knew you could do it!  (and I think that has been the hardest part) 

So please behold our newest blossoming daughter in all her glory... Of course joined by her sisters

Quite inventive this one
Impromptu lice treatment. Had a scare! 
We love you Neha, to say that we are proud of you and how far you have come is an absolute understatement! 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

For those of you that think I might have driven the car into the swimming pool....

........I didn't........
And I still really like being a mom. 

So, in honor of Thanksgiving , and in honor of our newest daughter Neha, the one that was a source of many cried tears of yearning and many worries of her well being just one short year ago.  I want to share a little Thanksgiving prayer, one that was written and dictated by Neha to her dear sweet teacher Ms Krupa.  I want to share her innocence and her purity. Her language skills and her abilities to express herself.  I send wonderful holiday wishes to all that may read this.  
This summary of what Neha is thankful for brought tears to her teachers eyes. She said, "it was so sweet it just warmed her heart"

Neha's thankful list :
Neha is thankful for the chicken she ate at home, her mom and dad, and the baby brother-Oliver .  For flowers she had at school today. She is thankful that dad goes to his work and Charlotte goes to her school.  She is also thankful about Lucy going to her school and she goes to jump rope.  She is thankful for her blankey, bed and her bedroom. She is thankful for Ganesha. 

( and yes, if you caught that, there is a baby brother in the works) 
Divine intervention and a higher being had everything to do with this new development in our lives. 
More on this later.  Today, I plan to be nothing but thankful.  
Mike and I have worked so hard for this family and we will continue to do so.  We feel content and o so appreciative for everything in our lives. 
Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

It's a good thing she's cute....

Well, it's easy to get used to things.  Become worn down on boundaries, exceptable behaviors and surrendering 4 out of 5 battles a day.  However, I choose not to let her wear me down.  I stand up for what is right and pride myself on being consistent and taking every wrong experience and teaching the right options.  I am confident that constant monitoring and learning will benefit this child that seems to just step off the boat of reality about 9 times a day. I swear I see progress, I recognize that she is trying, but I am also defeated by her need to "sabotage".  Perfectly good moments, family outings, happy times.... They can only exist until she retorts to chaos, until she has control of the "good times" and ends them as she sees fit. 
A very wise adoptive mother once told me, that due to her abandonment and her needs not being met from the time she was an infant (like most entitled babies) she sees a need to take control of situations and end them accordingly. Giving her the control to end a situation so that she can not have it ended for her.  

Some days are more intense than others.  It's almost as if she wakes up disabled. She hobbles into our room or down the hall with the rigid "polio walk" and you can just tell by looking into her eyes that she is off today.  Checked out, not wiling to please (like normal), and destined to annoy, push, and abuse your patience.  This is the day that she needs to be coddled, assisted with everything, and rules should not apply to her.  But to me that seems impossible.  How do you continue to honor, and specialize attention and affection for the child that consciously ends all good situations, chooses not to listen to instructions, and directly disobeys you multiple times before you have even left the house?  I started keeping a journal of what exactly she does that gets under my skin so that I can step back and evaluate who really is out of line, me or her.    Let me break it down for you and you be the judge:

Grandma picks her and Charlotte up from school to treat them to some time at chick filet.  Neha acts crazy, ends up crawling around on the bathroom floor and essentially driving poor patient grandma looney.

She spills choc milk all over her shirt, I ask her to go change her shirt, not her pants.  "Do you understand, don't get all new clothes, just a shirt from your closet".she nods yes.... She comes out of her room in a whole new outfit and throws her other clothes on the floor.  Quite pleased with herself.... Urgh

Charlotte and her are playing out at the sand box nicely while I am gardening.  I'm thrilled that they play so well, and am happy they have each other.  In the meantime, I go to check on them because we'll it has been pretty quiet for quite a while.  Neha has slathered greasy sunscreen all over her new doll, Lucy's tangled doll and my coffee table. The situation is heavily lubed, caked with waxy buildup and every doll  is shinning from ear orifice to leg joint. Oh don't forget the empty 3 lipglosses that are strewn about missing caps and also littering my grease stained coffee table.  

She takes my watering can, breaks it somehow and fills it with dirt along with our traveling cat carrier. Leaves both items for dead in the sand box

I take Charlotte and Neha to chick filet again, before we exit the car we discuss appropriate behaviors in the restaurant, not acting crazy, eating her food nicely,not crawling on the floor and playing well with others.  She promises me she can behave.  It's not 15 minutes later that I have asked her to stop bouncing on the seat while she is eating because my friend sitting next to her can't even eat her sandwich the seat in bumping so much.  I asked her 4 times, in a nice and socially acceptable way.  She is eventually asked to leave the table because I am about the sabotage her.  

Neha kindly gets both her and lucys beds ready and turned down for sleeping.  How sweet, how cute.  In the meantime I go to check on her and she is attempting to write and grind her name into Lucy's tooth box with a pencil.  The tooth box that the tooth fairy brought to lucy and Lucy specifically said, please don't touch my box.

I ask the girls to brush their teeth, go potty and get ready for bed.  I walk in the bathroom to check on everyone and Neha is bent over with her panties and skirt at her ankles and is brushing her butthole with her toothbrush.... In front of Lucy and Charlotte no less.... Yes, I lost it with this one. I mean WTF?

I pick the girls up from school yesterday and Neha has an unusually guilty face.  I try to get an understanding from her as to what might have occurred but guilt and avoidance of eye contact is prevalent. I email her teacher just to see if anything is wrong.  She immediately responds and says yes, Neha is testing many boundaries with her teacher.  Today was her first day being asked to take a time out and sit in the "think" seat.  She apparently did not like it at all.  She is having a hard time stopping behaviors once they have been asked to be stopped multiple times.  She constantly puts school items in her mouth, she cannot seem to leave people alone when they are working, and she is always getting into things at school that she has not  "received a lesson on" (Montessori teachings).

She will not connect, she now looks at me when I am talking to her, but she looks straight through me.  She is glazed over when emotion is required, when remorse should be in order.  Her attempt at being receptive and engaged is similar to a dog with cataracts, a fog over her eyes disabling her from really connecting. She seems to masicistacly thrive on negative attention. 

And lastly, yesterday, after a rather "naughty" day at school. Me explaining the value of school, the money it costs to go there and it's eternal value in her life, she glazes over.  She goes blank. I can't tell if she even cares.  We get home, we play.  I bought the girls a new wagon at goodwill and I am trying to change the course of her disabled day.  Charlotte is playing with the wagon, they are having a blast together.  Then a shriek, a bout of tears, and Charlotte screams historically, "Neha just threw a rock at my head!".   A welt, a lot of tears, and a time out.  Neha emerges and nervously tells Charlotte, "I'm sorry I throw a rock, but you were in my way".      Seriously, the worst and most harmful thing you have ever done? This is your apology?  

I am not proud to say I feel defeated.  I don't wake up thrilled to see my defiant daughter and await shenanagans through out the day.  I need help.  She needs therapy.  I am not awesome at this and it seems to be getting worse.  So here we go, down the therapy road. The early intervention road at every attempt to salvage emotion and our poor battered and damaged daughter.  There are things that I will never know, how she was loved if at all, how she was punished, and what was really special to her before we jumped in a changed her whole world.  What is her comfort? What are the words to her favorite song so we could sing it together.  Who was her favorite person and does she long for them?  
It seems language is at a plateau, she still doesn't defend herself if falsely accused.  She can't have a real conversation with her mother.  

 I write this entry for her,  not to discount her, but to show her that she is at the front of my every thought.  She was and is so wanted, and we love her dearly.  She can be the kindest of all my kids, she can be the most thoughtfull person I have ever met.  She can be truly amazing when it's a good day.  However she will always have things in her life that I will never know, things that may define her.  She will always have a family that will travel to the ends of the earth for her. She will always have sisters that adore her, if she will allow to be adored.  She will forever have parents that want nothing but the best for her, the best attitude, the best education, and the most happiness. She however has to accept theses things into her life because now she is entitled and she needs to own it and want it. We love you Neha, just love us back.

 This is the glaze I am talking about, see Lucy's connection, Neha's lacking.

Umm growing much? This was her coming home outfit, now moved to charlottes drawer. 

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Somebody had a birthday party, and it rocked!

July 14th was a special day, dinner with mom and dad and an attempt to show this girl what a birthday is all about.   July 22nd was an awesome day, and I think we all went to bed the most contented and satisfied that we have all been for almost 3 years.  Settled, not over indulged, and just plain happy!
Princess, orange,mermaid birthday party.  That was the request.  So ball gowns to begin was only appropriate.
Orange cupcakes! Yum!

The clan, rowdy and ready for some fun.

Ariel swim suit, and more presents.  There were a few moments I saw complete disbelief in her eyes.  Priceless!
The girl loves orange. Tic tacs are the best in orange no doubt. 
Introducing the new "Reba McEntire" smile.  It's hilarious, when she gets super tickled her upper lip disappears.  It's not like the lip is small and easy to tuck up, it's simply a gage for her level of excitement.   
Big girl happy!  I find myself looking back at some of our pictures in India.  The most obvious and shocking thing to me is that Neha was significantly younger looking.  We barely made it to her in time to catch the last and final glimpse of her as a baby.  We got about 3 months of her childhood, her young ness, her innocence, before her maturity sky rocketed through her body and self.  I am grateful for that, I recognize that we made it just in time.  I will forever say that the grudge I hold with India is complicated. I am ever so honored that my daughter was given to me by the anomaly of India.  But I am also forever grudge full for mostly experiencing her youth through pictures.  Missing the cuddly time, and the time to teach.  Missing time with our daughter that was completely unnecessary and negligent.  Never meeting the little girl that we first saw in a humble photo March of 2010. 
5 years old.
And then a balloon mermaid was hand delivered by the coolest face painting party accessory ever. You will see her magic below.
Neha was so pensive.  She let everyone go before her. A wise choice I thought.
Who you calling a monkey?
And then she decided.....
Wait for it......
Ta daa!
Mirror mirror, 
"Awesome", according to herself.

The day lasted forever, I never heard a tussle of words or a fight about sharing of toys.  Chick filet nuggets, fresh tomatoes, and home made macaroni. Bellies we full, faces were painted, parents , friends, family and pets settled into their beds cozy and content. It was a fabulous day! Happy first birthday party, happy first day that is one hundred percent all about you.  Happy day Neha!