Monday, February 25, 2013

In Which The Kids Seesaw

For the past three days Connor hasn't thrown up once or had a single seizure!  I'm pretty excited about that, as I've been running through a lot of oxygen and laundry detergent around here.  We don't think the little guy was sick; it was probably his body adjusting to his new medication that's been giving him some trouble. I'm hoping that this lovely trend continues!

He and Ellen had an impromptu musical session today involving a drum (Connor) and an ice cream container that was extremely cute and left them both grinning ear-to-ear.  It was really sweet to see their little heads pressed together-- one jet black and the other so blond it almost looks white.  Ellen has an incredible amount of patience for her brother and he absolutely adores her.  I'm so glad they're getting along so well!

I'm sorry to say that Ellen is having a difficult time right now.  She's doing a lot of grieving (which is completely understandable) and is spending a lot of time expressing her considerable anger and frustration.  I'm not going to go into any details on here as I want to respect her privacy, but she's definitely hit a bit of a rough spot right now.  It's really hard to see her struggling, knowing that while we can empathize with her, there's nothing we can do to truly understand what she's going through or to make those feelings go away for her right now.  Being a teenager is rough enough without throwing all the stuff she's dealing with on top of the pile.  We'll keep giving her reassurance that things will eventually get better and continue to help her work through her feelings during this time of emotional upheaval. 

I restocked my chocolate supply and then took a long bubble bath with a book while the kids were in school today, which was not a bad way to spend an hour or so.  I figure that the less stressed out I am, the better equipped I am to help my kids out when they're having issues.  Luckily the kids seem to be alternating who's having a rough time of it, so I'm not dealing with both of them imploding at once yet.  I have no doubt we'll eventually add that no-doubt fun experience to our list at some point, but I'm glad they're easing Jer and I into this whole parenting two children thing! 



Anonymous said...

So much brutal honesty here that it's almost hard to take. All of you are dealing with so much, and you are doing it so gracefully! Your ability to empathize with Ellen is amazing.

Julia O'C

Julia said...

As difficult as it is to watch her struggle and not have a magic wand to make everything better, she's probably learning some important life lessons right now about family, trust, community, identity, how to process strong emotions, etc. -- lessons that will serve her well over the course of a lifetime. When she sees that your love and care for her really are unconditional, and that both you and she can weather the storms, she'll become an even stronger and more resillient person. And I hope Conner continues to feel better.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

I admire the gracious, level-headed way you've handled rough patches, and see the bright spots amidst the angst. The teen years are so hard to begin with!

In hard times I remind myself from Lamentations, that "His compassions are new every morning".

Hang in there, and hurray for bubble baths and chocolate :D


Akire said...

I usually lurk, but had to comment...

Do let Ellen know, that whatever she may be feeling, she has my thoughts and love.

While not an international adoptee, I was raised in a broken home -- mental illness, substance abuse, some violence -- that eventually unraveled when I was 16; my mother died and my father was unable to care for me, leaving me with nothing. After drifting from one subpar living situation to another, a family that I had been friends with took me in as one of their own children. They had already adopted twice before.

I understand the grief. The loss. The rage. The realization that, as grateful for and in love with my new family as I was, the situation was still deeply painful. The struggle to accept that all of that valid and OK. The struggle to believe that, when things got bad, I wasn't going to be abandoned all over again.

I'd imagine, in many ways, Ellen's struggle is greater than mine was, as it is complicated by the international aspect, but, on a basic level, I still get at least some of it.

This process involves learning to trust and have faith in people in a way that it wasn't entirely safe to do so before. It takes time, but, once realized, that love and security is the most wonderful thing.

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