Welcome to Rob and Candy's Blog

We are going PINK- we are adopting a little girl from Ethiopia. We'll be sharing our journey to adopt our daughter!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A new family order

**** I am not an expert on adoption or claim to have all the answers. This post is to share our experiences after adopting three children.***

Every time a new child comes into our family a new order needs to be established. We experienced this with each of our children.  Although, the new order for Igor had the most impact on us, his parents.  We moved to a couple with no children to parents of a 3 1/2 year old.  Wow, did our lives change quickly!  We rejoiced because we were finally parents but there was some grieving for the care-free life style we lived before parenthood.

When we adopted Henry there was  a time of disorder that occurred prior to the "new normal".  It took  months to see the completion of this reordering process but in every family the re-ordering process can look different.  The  months of re-ordering were very hard for Igor who went from an only child to a big brother.  He regressed about a year when Henry came home.  It's hard to watch the regression in your children but it's natural, it happens in most families then something clicks for the child and the child moves forward again. 

The re-ordering process is a very difficult time for each family member because we are all impacted to different degrees.

I have found it difficult to balance Henry's emotional neediness with the minute by minute needs of Merone who has taken barnacle to a new level.   Henry has been regressing before my eyes.... He wants to drink from a bottle, he cries more often, he wants to ride in the stroller, and so on.  Igor less impacted because he remains the "oldest" but he still needs to learn compassion and love for Merone.

Today, I am lowering my expectations of what each child is capable of and of what I can do for each child.  I'm not doing this because I think my children are lazy or have emotionally checked out... it's because family re-ordering has taken an emotional toll on all of us.  Igor is "faking it until" he feels compassion and love for Merone.  Henry is experiencing a loss of his position of being the "baby" and I need to have compassion for him as he sorts out his role in our family.  So for now, he can have a bottle or ride in the stroller.  Yes, some of you are gasping at this thought but I am choosing to meet Henry where is emotionally right now.  I know he won't stay in this place for long.  When I have a few minutes, I am trying to make some special one on one time for Henry and Igor, after all older siblings need mom too.  

1 comment:

Team Dragovich said...

This is a great post, Candy. I completely relate to your thoughts. When Tony was deployed I instituted "Mommy Date Night". Every week I would take one boy out on a "date" and find a sitter for the other two. Though the scheduling could be tricky, it was wonderful bonding and healing time for them while Daddy was away. When JB and Risa came home, I started doing it again. It was a much for me as them. This time became very special (it already was from deployment) and a time when each boy could express frustrations, work out feelings he was trying to make sense of and begin building a new stronger normal. Eventually I added JB and Risa into the mix, but of course, that is hard to keep up. It helped me bond with them, too. Every once in a while I notice a Mommy Date Night need in one or all of the kids. (like Risa and I-- thank you for the link by the way :)) And I need it, too. Date Nights have helped me relax about the transition and the behaviors I am seeing in my child.

I think of your family all the time these days! Love to you and looking forward to getting together again-- as soon as you feel able :)

Hugs, Shari