Home 5 days

I have been very neglectful with my camera. I am taking it to the park this afternoon so I will try and get some pictures since that is always the highlight of people's blogs!
Life continues to be really hard. I so appreciate all of the comments and encouragement people have offered to me. They truly mean a lot to me and keep me grounded and hopeful.
Anna continues to learn about her environment and we are learning about her. It is a challenge to teach her our routine and it breaks my heart to discipline her and see her tears but she has to learn the rules too. I feel like our days are going from one crying kid to another, everyone fighting for attention. My kids have big hearts and are really wonderful children but this is an adjustment for them too and it shows. Poor Brian is giving 110% with eveyone and back to work full time. We are all maxed out. I said this before but I tend to not be the nicest person when I am extremely tired and still have guilt about being too hard on Anna. She is understanding English at an astonishing rate and doing a lot of repeating. I am amazed how quickly she is catching on. She is still in a crying heap ifshe loses sight of me in our house but does great out on the playground with the kids.
I have read so many other people's blogs about how great things are when they get home with their adopted child and wonder, is it really that easy for them? Am I missing something? Yes the ages of my kids are young but you would be amazed how many people end up with "virtual twins" through adoption. I just need to vent the truth about what is going on in our house- it's hard. I hope none of this is miscontrued about our decision or how we feel about Anna. I would not go back and do differently, and we (my kids) will learn to love her as they love each other. And, we DO HAVE really cute moments that give us light and hope and insight into what will be. It's not like this every minute. Anna is happy and smiling and the kids love to hold her hand (sometimes.) Bless her heart, I am pouring out how I feel about all of this and it must be tenfold for her. She has no idea that this is it and we are her family, forever. Again my answer is faith and time. We will get there- together.


  1. Jen,
    No it was not all rosy for us either. We adopted our daughter in 2006, she was 2 when she came home. We went through a long adjustment period and even at almost 4 yrs home somedays it is just hard stuff. Don't feel bad:)



  2. They say to give oneself a year with your adopted child. Time to attach. Time to develop routines. Time to let life unfold. Anna needs time. Be flexible wherever possible. Let some "rules" bend a little like the branches of a willow tree. Give yourself some time away to breathe. Anna is restarting her emotional growth like an infant. While our daughter at 21 mos of age bonded with me, it took her about 4 months being at home to bond with my husband. She bit and pinched also. Mainly at bedtime when she wanted to keep awake! Sippy cup helped the biting, and a soft, very cuddly teddy bear helped with the pinching. Sometimes pinching can be a way of checking to see if you are "real". Be aware of night terrors. Our daughter had several and they have not lasted. Now, being at home for about a year and half, she still needs me emotionally to be the one to take her to bed. Learning some Cantonese may be a good idea, especially some songs if you are able to. Sometimes even APs go through a period of emotional adjustment with reality setting in like bio moms go through after pregnancy/delivery. Fortunately, you are both a bio and AP so you may know those feelings from your other children's births and early days. It is good that you are true to yourself about this experience. Only APs who adopt internationally can know truly what you are experiencing. We grieve too for our child's losses as you well know. I made several photo albums of our journey in China for our daughter to look at whenever she wanted. One day, she waved and said "Bye-bye" to pictures of her foster parents and her orphanage caregiver whom she knew well for most of her two years in China. I cried when this happened. Life is so bittersweet. Keep a journal if that is a way you like to express how life is going with Anna. She may appreciate your honesty reading it in years to come. Zoe

  3. Hi Jen,

    I came across your blog from another friend's adoption blog and I read your most recent post and I felt a need to respond. My husband and have two biological children and two adopted children from China. Please know that the feelings and adjustment your are going through are completely normal. I remember how hard it was at the beginning when all my children were fighting for my attention and I felt so tired. Do not feel you are alone, while maybe some who bring home their first child do not experience this believe me they will if they adopt again. You are doing a great job and little Anna is so blessed to have such lovely siblings. Just remember it is all a process and you will have good days and bad days. Try not to be too hard on yourself. Express your emotions and do not feel guilty about these feelings, from one mom to another trust me there are many of us out there who went through the same thing. It will get better. I wish you lots of happiness with your sweet family!


  4. Hi Jen
    I'm a member of Shenzhen group.I read your travel and this new post. I want to say that what we can read on public blog, it is not the real life. How can this blog say the real life ? All this parents wait a long time, have many hope with their new child.... they are afraid of the judgement ! It's normal. They think that they must be better than the average. They said that we will happy when the child will be with them. So the blog don't lie but don't say all, don't show the back yard.
    With my son, the return at home was very hard. We are tired, he was on the choc, too much to learn in the same time. He was anxious, even it was not so easy to identify his feeling. After 10 days that was better. But 3 month later, that was very very terrible again. He make again a adaptation crisis. My intervention was not good all the time, because i don't understand his behavior. I feel destitute or untalended (sorrymy english is not perfect). Now i have regular advice from professional to help him to identify his feeling and help him to live with his feeling in peace:) It take a long time, most of patience, cool behavior from us.... but i'm not a perfect women and sometime i make My crisis too ::):):) So you have 4 kids. Keep relaxe, call a pizza, don't make your house cleaning, go out and take breath with all your children. And if you feel it's too hard, call for help ... as you have a new born baby because Ana live a new born in her life.