Thursday, June 16, 2011

Today? Not So Good.

I just finished writing to a friend that I'm hiding in the bathroom at the moment.  I brought my computer in here for a measure of escape, but I had to get away for a few minutes to cry.  Today has been really hard so far.  When I see all three kids down on the floor screaming, and my every instinct screams to go to Matthew first but I know in my head that I should probably be dealing with the other kids first, I end up standing there frozen, not knowing what to do.  I don't know how much more tantruming I can handle from Seth A. (he's had at least six biggies today so far, they each last 30-60 minutes, and it's only 1:30pm), how much more attitude I can take from Matthew, and how much more princess-like, give-me-what-I-want-this-very-second-because-if-you-don't-I'll-be-on-the-floor-screaming-again-and-you'll-wish-you'd-just-given-it-to-me-but-by-then-it'll-be-too-late behaviour I can tolerate from Lizzie S..  My nerves are completely frayed and I feel like taking someone's head off...and Geoff's going to be first in line, 'cause he's getting under my skin now, too.

I need to get back out there and I have to say, I really, really don't want to.  I'm giving myself an "A" for it really matters.

I'll be better later, I promise.  I just needed these few minutes.


  1. Oh Ruth, I had many, many times in the bathroom wondering how I was going to go back out there.
    I'm so very sorry today is really hard. I'm praying for you all!
    Big hugs,

  2. No one said it would be easy. But it will be worth it in the end. Hold strong!

  3. Take a deep breath and remember where it is all coming from...3 young children who are confused, scared, and testing your love- even your bio child at the moment. It won't be like this forever.
    I was given great advice from someone about adopted children- you cannot give them enough love when you first get home. You can't spoil them and you certainly can't expect them to 'behave' as an attached child would. All that 'retraining' comes later. Just hug them, be near them always and reassure them. Easier said than done at moments, I know...;)

  4. Ruth, I didn't even make it to the bathroom some was all out lying on the floor sobbing while my husband was leaving for work because the thought of another day was too much.

    The next couple of months will be hard. I think just now at 5 months we are settling in finally.

    And yes, they do feel like strangers because really you are all strangers to each other at this point. Even with Matthew and Geoff and you try and figure out how 3 now become 5.

    Keep on doing what you are doing.

    It comes, it just takes some time.

  5. Oh my, that's tough. So hoping that the tantruming in particular somehow subsides as everyone gets more aquainted and settled...sooner rather than later. Days like this...yikes - sending a prayer for you now.

  6. Just tried to comment and something happened...feeling for you, and sending a prayer. Hard to look ahead to the next day (which will hopefully/likely be better) when it is the biggest test of strength just to look ahead to the next 5 minutes.

  7. Sorry you're having a bad day, it can be so hard!!! Praying for all of you. Hang in there, it will get better.

  8. You may not feel like it right now, but you've been such an inspiration to me. Your bravery, strength, perseverance and will is so admirable. Take a deep breath, and remember that so many of us are cheering you on, and wishing you all the best.


  9. Thinking of you Ruth. Hope that today gets better. If you need me to deliver you some chai let me know.:-)

  10. oh Ruth, I too have locked myself in my bedroom to get away from my kids (and at times husband's!!) tantrums and demands. Keep giving yourself breaks. I thought after our youngest came along that we would never regain our family "balance", but it does come back, and it will be wonderful. Hang in there- and make that an A+++ for bravery. :)

    Kristin M.

  11. Me again- I always go to the one who is about to trash the house first, or is screaming so loud that I'm worried the neighbours are about to call CFS! ha-ha!

    Kristin :)

  12. Hang in there! Hopefully tomorrow is a better day!

  13. Just emailed you -- I know it's so, so hard. XOXO

  14. Hang in there, Ruth. Last week was sooo hard for me, too. I was exhausted and found it so difficult, too. This week is already better...remember to take it one hour at a time, and use TV the odd time if it helps just so you can get your sanity back!!
    I'll be praying for you!

  15. A+ get an A+!!!!!!

    Hang in WILL get better!!!!!

  16. Definitely A for courage! Your last 2 posts make me wonder if you need to carve out times and ways to take care of yourself so that you can survive this transition period. (I could 'kidnap' you and take you through the Tim's drive-thru if you want--total time away, maybe 15-30 minutes? No pressure, just an offer). On a positive note, Seth's crying and now tantrums and Lizzie's diva-like behaviour say to me that they're beginning to work out their grief and insecurity, and fear in a safe place for them. Matthew and Geoff, well I don't know what to offer about them?! Oh my.

  17. Oh Ruth - you're amazing :) You can do it, si se puede, yes you can! :) lots of love, Katie

  18. I remeber those days!!! You are going to have some really hard days, but you are going to have some really good days, so just remember that. It is sooo hard, so very hard.
    I love reading your blog, you are such a great writer!! Keep it up it will get better!!!

  19. Just reminds me of when we had the newborn. Try to sleep when they do if you can. The rest you get will help you throughout the day. It's ok to be in pj's.

  20. Just survive these first few weeks. And know it will pass and your life will be back to "normal" one day. Allow yourself these moments in the bathroom. All adoptive parents have had them. We are all here with you Ruth.


  21. I am so sorry. Hang on my friend better days will come. Thanks for your honesty. Thinking of you.

  22. I recall my first days home with my 4 year old son. Jet lag, communication barriers, adjustment, it was truly a challenge. And I only have one son! Remember you are not alone, it does feel hard and long at first. You will settle in to new ways and until then, take moments to yourself. Thinking of you.

  23. It will get better. It will better. It will get better.

  24. There will eventually come a day when you realize you can't remember the last time there was a crazy temper tantrum. I swear. :) Try just popping in headphones with music, picking up a book, and sitting down on the floor with them. Don't let them leave the room, but ignore the tantruming til it stops. I read many a book sitting on the floor of T's room with my back against the door. The message is, I'm not going to *leave* you, but acting like this isn't really going to get you anywhere.

    But escaping to the bathroom sometimes is ok too. :)

  25. I wish you could have been a fly on the wall at my house those first few days and then were a fly on the wall today and could really see the change in my children. What I wish I had known then that I do know now (because they have been able to articulate it to me) is how scared they were back then. They were absolutely terrified and just reacting out of sheer exhaustion and fear. Even though they were sleeping, they were in a constant state of exhaustion because they was so much they had to adapt to, especially for their brains to have to be so alert all day for the language and for them to be on high alert because they don't know what to expect.

    I wish I lived closer and could offer some practical help, but all I can say is that I absolutely promise you that it gets better. Today when Gracey and Elijah were both throwing up, I didn't feel a conflict of her feeling like "mine" and him not because that has been gone for so long that I hardly remember it at all.

    Rest when you can rest. Take off the expectations you have of yourself. Feed them Kraft Dinner if you have to...without guilt. Don't do anything that isn't absolutely critical for your and their survival. Hang in there, my friend.

    There is a beautiful light at the end of that tunnel. God chose these 2 exact children just for you and He chose you for them and He will equip you with what they need. You can do this. Big breath. One foot in front of the other. Go!

  26. Your post brings back so many memories... our longest tantrum lasted over ten hours straight. Who knew that a little throat could last that long at such high decibels? Living through experiences like this is not the same as reading about it in a book. My son said on that day, "Mom, you and Dad told us this would be hard, you explained things like this and told us the truth, but living it is WAY harder in real life."

    Yes, yes it is.

    Good for you for taking a few minutes -and for your honesty about the journey.

    Jenn L.

  27. so. we've been home exactly one year and one day. with that anniversary has come a lot of "remembering". funny how quickly we move into a different season and are able to forget the hardships of the last one so rapidly - god has designed us well! we have been amazed at just how far we've come in ONLY ONE YEAR - and you will be too. we're rooting for you!

  28. HANG IN THERE! (Like you have any other choice, right?)

    I think I've said this before, but the first few weeks of having our kids felt like I'd been hit by a truck. No amount of preparation could touch the shock. But it quickly got soooooo much better. (Have you read Rana's latest post - about 'do things get easier?' - genius!)

    Moments like this call for loud, loud, LOUD music, louder than their yelling. And with three kids? That's LOUD.

    Thinking of you - hoping that you get a few magical moments to make up for the mayhem.

    (and ps - in your spare moments - HA HA HA - or maybe just next time you lock yourself in the bathroom - have you read melissa faye greene's latest yet? Fantastic - and maybe very affirming at the moment considering you are living through some of the tough stuff she writes about right NOW. Highly recommended! Easy to read, too, which I imagine would be a necessity at the moment).

  29. I'm guessing, Ruth, that no matter how prepared a parent is, the reality still hits you like a ton of bricks. And I'm also guessing that knowing it gets better is probably of little consolation in the moment!

    I love June's advice. And I also think you should do whatever it takes to get a regular break.

    Hoping today is a better day. But, if not, thank goodness for bathrooms. :)

  30. Thinking about you! I know how hard it is. And you have to deal with it x3. It isn't easy. It isn't easy for your children or for you and Geoff.

    It is ok to feel like you are going to go crazy and it is ok to lock yourself in the bathroom!

    I wish I had advice but I don't have BTDT status yet ;)

    Thinking about all of you!

  31. We've all had those days. Thanks for your honesty. Be kind to yourself.

  32. Hi Ruth;

    Have been very much enjoying following your journey and eagerly await your updates to hear how you and everyone is doing. Your candidness and honesty is much appreciated and helpful to so many I am sure.

    I am a Mom and Pediatric Occupational Therapist. I don't know if you have ever heard of "weighted blankets" before. They are found to be very effective to help calm. (They are good for Moms too!) A website that explains the concept more fully is:

    There are a few other useful "tools" for one's toolbox that I'd be happy to share with you - I wish I had an email contact for you.

    As so many people have suggested, one hour, one day at a're doing great even if it doesn't feel like it right now!

  33. Praying for you and appreciate your honesty as I prepare to bring my daughter home.

    Steph :-)

  34. Ruth... Will email you when I get a chance, but wanted you to know I her you, I'm thinking about you and you are not alone. I like what Jenn said about how we can read everything there is to read, but nothing prepares us for the reality. I will echo others and say, try to give yourself a break (literally - get away even for a few minutes and figuratively - go for the KD, it's Ok!). We're only in this a few weeks longer than you and it is already better... Hang in there. Hugs! A