We're home

I am sorry for the neglect of the blog. We made it home safely and it has been incredibly busy since we walked in the door. Anna did amazingly well on the 30 hour journey home. She only slept about 4 hours of that time but was good minus a couple of crying spells. I have to admit I had a couple of crying spells myself on the long trip. It is just a long trip. Brian and Jack, along with both of my dads and a family friend were there to greet us at the airport. My Jack was so tearful and would not let me go for such a long time. Just a reminder how much I missed my children. Then he and Anna started playing a bit and she loved him. It was the perfect end to our trip. I was kind of bummed that we were arriving so late on Friday (9:15 pm) because my other 2 kiddos were at home in bed. There is no way they could have stayed up that late. We got home and my best friend was there- it was wonderful to see her too. Finally we got everyone in bed.

Anna got to meet her other siblings in the morning. Callie was thrilled and had Anna in princess dresses right away. Carter saw her and said "oh, there's Anna" as if he knew her all along. The morning was spent with everyone playing together.

I wish I could say that everything is wonderful, and on a lot of levels it is. Anna is adjusting so well considering she is in a completely new environment with nothing familiar. Sleep is hard right now as she is on China time so she is up at night and sleep deprivation is not something I take lightly. It's kind of like having a newborn. They get up in the middle of the night and you are so tired and just want them to sleep but there is nothing you can do. She is napping during the day right on schedule and she did sleep at night in China so I know it will come. Once the kids got over the initial excitement of having her here, they pretty much went about their own stuff. The hard parts are that everyone wants my attention and I want so badly to give my kids all I can. Anna, although I am trying to keep in mind that this is such a hard time for her, is displaying some behaviors that need to be addressed. She is hitting, grabbing, and doing other completely normal 3 year old behaviors but I have to discipline her. I don't want my kids or her to think any of this is O.K. I feel like I'm constantly walking a thin line because I know she needs to learn but I'm trying to be nurturing at the same time. Anna is also never more than 2 inches away from me at all times. She will not let Brian be with her and she wants to be with her siblings but only if I am in the room. It's a bit overwhelming for me and I really want some space, but I feel guilty about that. No criticism please, I really am doing the best I can. I guess the bottom line for me is how to find the perfect balance for how to spend my time with Anna and be nurturing but also keep all the rules intact for her to learn and my other kids to see that all is equal. I feel like I am failing at this. Now we are only on day 3 of being home. Maybe this is a learning curve for us all. Time will help with sleep. Time will help us all get used to one another. Time will allow me many opportunities to see what works and what doesn't. So yes, overall I couldn't really ask for anything more- I guess I was just so caught up in the joy of finally getting my daughter I didn't think of the reality of all of the little things that are hard in those initial days. It will get better and I wouldn't change any of it for the world.


  1. Adorable pictures! So glad you made it home safely.

  2. Welcome home. Hang in there. Sleep deprivation is no fun and you are going through a lot of adjustments. Glad you are being honest about it all. Praying for you!

  3. Jen, you have a beautiful family!! Sleep will definitely help with the coping. If I may make one small suggestion - we just got home with our just turned four little boy. I had to go out to a girl scout function with my eldest and he could not come. It was the first time he was away from me and I was really afraid of how he would do. There are a couple of sites on the web that give you phrases in Chinese and how to say them. So I said to him in Chinese before I went out "I have to go now", "I am leaving now". To which he cheerfully waved bye bye and went back to his playing. He DID cry when he saw I was actually leaving, but was fine after just a minute or two. Since she is three, maybe you could write down a few simple phrases to say to her in Chinese. I found some like "I am busy", "don't" and even "it's time for bed". If you want me to send you the specific site, I found please let me know. Try to get just a few minutes alone every day. It will help.
    now mom to three

  4. All very normal emotions. And you do need space...Anna knows you love her and she'll be fine if someone takes over so you to get that space for a little bit.

    Look into Melatonin for nights. It is natural and aids in sleeping at nightime for when you need it.

    Try to rest and don't be too hard on yourself.

    I am so happy to see you home.

  5. Hi Jen,
    Just wanted to say "I hear ya, girl!". Think I went through all those feelings you are having and we don't have the younger ones like you do! Sophie stuck to me like glue, and sometimes it gets really claustrophobic! You are doing great . . . overwhelming is an understatement!! Somebody told me when we got home that each day gets a little better and I agree with that . . . gives some hope (although I will admit some days are steps backward) . . . I LOVE your honesty! I feel it is so important to just put out there how you are feeling and what you are experiencing. It makes processing it all and moving forward so much better!
    Your family is beautiful!!!
    I can't wait to see her at gymnastics some day!!!
    From reading your post, I think you are doing an AWESOME job with all the new adjustments!!
    Take care,

  6. Hi Jen... all very normal adjustments from what I am reading. We are fortunate to have older children, so I could just explain to them she needs only me at the moment and the other kids understood. Our little one who is the same age as Anna likes to pinch and bite, mostly her brothers, and they are older and just laugh, ( which is not helpful in teaching her) I would have them get out of her " personal space or bubble" we figured she was over stimulated and when she exhibited these behaviors she was frustrated. Now we know and the kids have learned to give her some space. It is difficult with the language barrier, it will improve. It took about 3 weeks for us to all catch up on our sleep and get into a routine. Blessings to you!