Wednesday, October 20, 2010


From the moment I got Charlie, I would describe him as 'chill'. 

He was so easy. 
He would laugh, was easy to engage.
He'd look at me, play with me. 

And going to sleep was a dream. 
Absolutely no effort on my part - I couldn't believe it.

then there was that flight home...

... and I realized it wasn't going to be as 'perfect' as I thought it would.

The first night home we both slept for 12 hours. 
Super easy. No problems. 

... and then we had last night ...

Grieving is super rough.

it's hard to watch your child cry and not be able to console them.

to hear them call out 'umma, umma, umma'
(and know it's not directed at you)
breaks your heart.

it's like a necessary evil. 
I know that he needs to grieve before he can attach
but it's still horrible nonetheless.

Maybe it was lack of sleep...
but I also grieved last night. 

I grieved for Claire. 
It's been really hard for her now that Charlie is here.
I feel guilty that I rocked her world so hard
(even though I know in the long run it's going to be a great thing for her)

I feel like the only attention I'm giving her is when
I'm reprimanding her.

and that's a horrible feeling.

It's tough because Claire is old enough to cognitively understand
that these are her things. And we are her parents
and this new guy is touching all of her toys
and taking up all our time. 

It makes me sad to watch her. 
When Bob picks up Charlie and lifts him
 over his head and laughs
Claire will have a sadness in her eyes
and then ask
'Dad... can I have a turn?'

Last night Claire, Charlie and I were supposed to all sleep together
(I know, that sounds insane)
but with Charlie screaming, I headed down stairs to sleep 
on the floor in the living room with him. 

And that's when I started crying. 
I knew that when Claire woke up that she would wonder where I was.
She's starting to 'remember' what I tell her
(like... if I tell her she can have a treat when we get home)
so I had Bob sleep with her, since I couldn't.

and of course, when she woke up

... she was sad ...
... and asked where I was ...
... because I told her I would sleep with her ...


it just makes me feel awful

so if anyone has any tips to get through this part
I'd really like to hear them. 


M Rummel said...

Oh sweetie! You have entered the realm of 2 kiddos. I so know how you feel. This is what we do in our house and maybe it can help. We have Mommy-Maddie time. Where Maddie and I spend one on one time together. Nail painting, coloring, Candy Land whatever she wants to do and Bubba is either sleeping or Daddy takes him. Then we switch on another day and it's Maddie-Daddy time... and so on. It really does help. I will be praying for you.

Karen said...

It is HARD. I so know what you mean regarding the attention between siblings. We are still working on it. Things will get better once you all get into a routine but it is a huge change and adjustment for everyone. Try not to be so hard on yourself. You are doing great and it is evident how much you love your children. Praying for you!

Kim said...

I agree with Karen, Rachel! Once there is more of a routine (nap schedule, Claire time, YOU caught up on sleep) it will come much more easily, I promise. It's a difficult balance in the beginning and some days I thought my two hours of sleep was just enough to push me over the edge. But you just do the best you can, which I know you are. It sounds so simple adding another child to your family till you actually do it and then you say, 'oh, this is a lot harder than I thought' and that's totally ok! Braedan's world was rocked too and it took a while for him to get used to the 'new' in his life. I agree to not be so hard on yourself and it is SO evident how much you love both of them! Big hugs and lots of prayers! Email me if you need anything!!

Anonymous said...

The change from one child to two children, very hard. No one realizes it until they are in it. I try and tell parents that when it comes to attention, this is what I told my hubby and my family: 'Please say hello and hug our daughter first, then onto baby, because babies always get attention.' This is the time when you have to make it a point to spend at least one hour of time with Claire alone, to let her know that she is loved, even moreso because she is now sharing EVERYTHING with Charlie. This goes for daddy and Claire time too. It gets easier, so hang in there. Once you actually catch up on your sleep, you will begin to feel more like yourself. Remember, you are still dealing with your emotions of traveling to Korea for the first time too, your feelings matter! It also helps that you blog or journal your feelings. Don't write in your blog for the sake of others to read, but for the sake of getting your feelings out. You have to take care of yourself too!!

M, A, C and K too! said...

Oh my... do I remember how that feels- except that you put it into words much more eloquently than I did. Calen was so much like Claire when KatieJoy came home... and KatieJoy was SO needy that we really didn't have nearly the time we needed for Calen as he deserved and desperately needed. Calen got very introverted for about a month- and I saw it happen and flipped out a bit. I made a VERY conscious effort to make sure that I slipped in hugs, kisses and love you's to Calen whenever I had the second's chance and a whole lot of positive reinforcements! It got better- it just took time and to be honest, lots and lots of prayers! Hang in there- being aware like you are this early on will help I'm sure!!! Love to you and if you need to talk I'd be more than willing to chat with you!


J-Y said...

Children are hardy--both will have so much fun with each other later--the adjustment can just be a little tough at the beginning--especially when going from 1 to 2 children. It won't be as hard if you decide to add another at some point!

JimandJackie said...

Ask your ped if you can use childrens melatonin to help him adjust, he may not weight enough. This would have saved us a few rough nights. IT IS SO TOUGH, I remember poor Parker's body thrashing and stiffening. I have no advice on going from 1 to 2, soon they are going to be playing together!

andy and meg said...

I have no tips, since I am not a mom. But, after reading the other ladies that posted, this sounds like a super common thing (which doesn't make it any easier).

I will pray that the kids learn the routine and learn how to share mom. This sounds like a really rough time, so I hope that this transition from grieving to attachment goes quickly.

Mom to a Fussbudget said...

Probably the best tip I was given was "cry with them". Sometimes that's really all you can do, and it shows them that you hurt, too. I remember Ella screaming for "Omma" over and over. And rejecting me, clinging to my husband because fewer women had abandoned her. And yes, my heart broke then and it does now remembering. The only other thing I can say is the biggest cliche in the world, but give it time. Things were great when Charlie was still in his own country, with the normal sounds and smells. The plane ride is such a shock to their little systems, and then waking up day after day not being sure what was a dream and what was real is rough. (On all of us.) I PROMISE it will get better, likely within a few to six months (I know, not helpful)... in hindsight it goes fast. Charlie WILL adjust, and you WILL stop feeling like you're the worst person in the world, and you will come to KNOW that you did the right thing for your whole family.

Make sure that you do take time for Claire, but also that you take at least a few minutes every day for YOU. Ask Bob to watch the kids, and go lock yourself in the bathroom and take a shower. Or run to the corner store to get milk. It's self-preservation and allows you to clear your mind for a few minutes, maybe even talk to another adult. And as hard as it might be, forgive yourself... because I know you're blaming yourself right now. You are not doing this TO Charlie, you are doing it FOR him, and for your beautiful family.

Remember: you are not alone; there are many of us who have been there and are with you and are thinking of you. It's not an easy thing to do, bringing a new child into a family, especially one from another world, but it is so very worthwhile. Lots of love.


Jessica said...

Oh Rachel,
One of these days we'll have to talk. The hardest transition, for me was one to two. There is something about that guilt. But you, and Claire, will grow with this experience and be fine.

Now, onto the grieving. It's hellish. there is no other word for it. Between jet lag and not being able to comfort a baby that doesn't want you--and, you're not attached to--no one would be sane. So, give yourself permission to not be perfect. Realize that there will be moments when this whole thing seems like it was the worst idea in the world. But, you will grow through this experience, too.

A small word on adjustments. Nathan had a really, really hard adjustment. He didn't like (forget about love)Kevin for over two years. He refused to share me with his sisters. For two years he screamed when I touched them. I didn't hold them without a screaming child next to me for two years. And, he didn't ever sleep. It was HORRIBLE. But, today my boy cries if Daddy leaves for work without saying good-bye. He LOVES his sisters and they have "sleepovers" on all the weekends. And, he sleeps through the night. The girls are wonderful, giving big sisters that seem to understand little ones. So, even though the adjustment was hard, they've grown and benefited, too. I would do it all again to have my Nathan. So, even when it's hard. Even when you are crying and can't believe you ever thought this was a good idea. Don't give up. Don't give up. Don't give up.

All of us are here for you.

Robin said...

I could have written your post. I wanted to encourage you that it WILL get better. Hang in there!

Kimberly and Ed said...

I have no advice on how to provide time for two kids - I will be seeking your advice once Kyle's brother is home! I just want you to know that I am thinking about you and praying for you.

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