Tears

Our second day together

Tears. I have seen them at least once every day since we have been home. Most often they are Honeybee’s but to be perfectly honest, there have been several times when my voice has caught in my throat and I’ve been near tears myself.

I try to imagine what Honeybee is feeling. Does she feel scared? I’m sure she does. Does she feel fortunate or blessed? Maybe sometimes, but probably not too often. Is she angry? Definitely, at times. Can she tell me any of this? Not really. Once the tears start, whether due to sadness, anger, or disappointment, all logic and language skills seem to disappear. I give her space and let her cry, or I try to hold her. Sometimes during a crying episode, I try one, and then the other, and in the end I often feel helpless. I whisper in her ear, I pray for her, I try to keep my frustration at bay.

The tears seem to well up as the sun goes down. I have experienced that myself during dark times in my life; I could hold myself together all day, but as darkness came I felt myself sinking down into anxiety or sorrow. Now I see my new daughter, who is happy and busy most of the day, begin to get grumpy, then resistant, and finally angry enough or sad enough that the tears start to flow. If they were quiet sad tears it would be easy to comfort her, but sometimes they are hot, angry tears accompanied by yelling and pushing all efforts of mothering away. Those are hard moments for all of us.

One night earlier this week, the crying became so extreme that the other children couldn’t sleep. We made many efforts to help Honeybee and finally in desperation, I carried her to my bed, and climbed in with her. It was 8:45 and I had projects planned for that evening, but I remembered many nights comforting crying babies, nursing them for hours, walking the floors with them and I realized that my work would have to wait while my new baby was comforted. The moment I laid down next to her, she wrapped her arms tightly around me and put her head on my chest. She stayed like that nearly all night, reaching out to find me when I shifted my position.

Do I think Honeybee is adjusting well? Yes, I think she is amazing and that she is doing something that is harder than nearly anything I have ever done. Is the adjustment easy? No, it isn’t. Russ and I are working harder than we ever have in our lives and we are weary, but we cannot let ourselves be downhearted because we are fulfilling the Lord’s calling on our lives and He is faithfully carrying us through this time. All is well, all is well, and I hope that tomorrow will be even better.

~Lisa

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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRIĀ® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

0 Comments

  1. Andrea
    August 22, 2008

    Wow Lisa, what a sweet story when you took her in your bed and she could cuddle with you and went to sleep. That’s probably all she wanted. I can just imagine how it went. Hope the crying will get less and less soon.

    Reply
  2. Lisa
    August 22, 2008

    So glad to see you’re home. I hope the tears don’t last long and she is able to start to feel the security and comfort of her new family. She’s beautiful!

    Reply
  3. darci
    August 22, 2008

    oh lisa, what a touching thing to read. please know that out here in blog world, prayers are being lifted for you and russ, that beautiful little honeybee and your whole family. my own throat swelled up when i read how she would reach for you in the night-needing you. praying praying praying. may you have His ‘perfect peace’ in the midst of it all. darci

    Reply
  4. Pam
    August 22, 2008

    May God grant you strength and help during this time of adjustment. My husband and I have a son from India. His adjustment was hard and long, but we are through the worst of it now at a year and a half. Some of those days were dark, and I wondered what on earth we had done. like you, we had responded to God’s call, and He was faithful. God bless you as you reach out to this hurting little girl.
    Pam

    Reply
  5. Amy
    August 22, 2008

    Im so proud of you Lisa! We went through this too with our daughter who was 4 when she came home. You are doing an amazing job! Thanks for sharing your heart here- I learn so much from you! Amy

    Reply
  6. Leslie
    August 22, 2008

    Praying for you all. What a realization your baby needed her mother’s arms around her. I know that feeling too.

    Reply
  7. Crazy Mama
    August 22, 2008

    Thank you for sharing. Honeybee is an infant and needs her mommy’s touch. She is a colicy baby that needs the comfort that only mommy can bring. Thanks be to Jesus that she finds comfort in the arms of a mommy that loves The Lord so much.
    Blessings to your wonderful family.
    Shanna

    Reply
  8. Raskell Party of 8
    August 23, 2008

    I am so thankful God chose you all for her. I remember the days going through that. I will pray for you guys as the transition continues. Love you!

    Reply
  9. PastorMac's Ann
    August 23, 2008

    Rough times. I think your description of taking care of your “new baby” like you have taken care of all our other “new babies” was such a good reminder and encouragement! No matter how old they are in coming to our families. They’re our new babies nevertheless and need that kind of time and attention and love. And it can be so tough and draining at times. Praying you through. Thanks for sharing these special moments.

    Reply
  10. Mark and Sarah
    August 23, 2008

    Thank you for your candid reflections on your experience. May you be sustained over the coming weeks and months as Honeybee finds her place in your lives as your daughter/sister. Your patience and love are inspiring.

    Reply
  11. MLB
    August 23, 2008

    Thank you for your honesty. In one of our adoption classes they talked about not being afraid to treat your older child like an infant. I encouraged to see that it’s such a positive thing.

    Your family, as always, will be in my prayers.

    Reply
  12. Nicole Anderson
    August 23, 2008

    Please know that we are all praying with you. We are praying for you, Honeybee, and the rest of your family. Thank you for sharing. Adoption is hard, I have been so encouraged from your blog. Now I will pray.

    Reply
  13. Michelle Riggs
    August 23, 2008

    Nights are the toughest. Sami
    did great during the day, but when the house is quiet or it is nighttime, it is harder for her.

    She has been home five months and she is now much happier and confident at night.

    Now the only times we see that insecurity is when her three year old sister/roommate is in the hospital. Which is perfectly understandable.

    You are all doing a great job helping your newest daughter.

    Reply
  14. Ann
    August 24, 2008

    Brings back memories of my own kids’ transitions. Our recently adopted 6 yo recently told me the reason he cried was he was already happy at the orphanage and missed his “mom”–his favorite caregiver.

    He still misses her and his orphanage friends but now he knows what it is to have a family and he never wants to go back!

    Someday Miss B. will know this too. You will get through it and so will she. Until then, you are in our prayers.

    BTW, I don’t usually comment on blogs but yours is one of my favs. Thanks.

    Reply
  15. Kathrin
    August 24, 2008

    I am thinking about you.

    Kathrin

    Reply
  16. Jody
    August 25, 2008

    Hi Lisa,
    (My husband Troy was in Ethiopia before Honeybee came and he delivered pics and letters for you)
    Anyways, we are going through the same thing. It has been very different than our other adoption of Araya’s siblings. It is so hard to figure out their feelings and it seems to flucuated between anger, guilt, frustration, sadness,…You know. I would love to chat with you. Somedays it seems overwhelming but thankfully the good days are way outnumbering the tough ones. Jody Doble

    Reply
  17. Sylvia Engerbretson
    August 25, 2008

    Lisa–This is so touching. I am praying for you all.
    Thanks so much for sharing your life this way. I
    am truly blessed.

    Reply

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