Wednesday, May 16, 2012
6 months home ! (Reni)
Talked about Summer being home but I have 2 other kids to discuss as well. We're going to get straight to it and talk about Reni. She is 10 yo now. 9 when she came home. Same age as Nik. Now, remember these are older child adoptions. It is NOT the same as toddler adoptions. Done those too. Older kids have a whole childhood lived and cared for in a different way than what you would do. You must take that into consideration. Raised a whole other way. When we met Reni last June, she seemed a little shy but nothing overly red flag about anything.
See, trip one, opening up a bit at the park. Reni, 9yo. She didn't have her glasses though clearly needed them. Now, when we were getting ready to leave her, that's when the tears came. She knew it would be a few months before we'd be back. Reni did NOT want to let go. Was it a clue? Did she need something more? Time would tell.
Second trip. Not for the faint of heart and frankly, "newbie" parents could not have handled these three. That is not to be mean or saying we're better. No. It is these 3 needed extensive experience in mental health and PI issues. People who've dealt with RAD and FAS and issues of that nature. People who've adopted older kids before. It's not all roses folks and I'm here to break that fairy tale that is out there.
When Warren left me that day to go to Shumen, I was left w/ screamin' demon in the apartment. Blood curdling screams for hours on end w/ Summer. Yet Warren and them were going to have to first say goodbye. Traumatic for kids that are 9 and 11yo.
This was saying goodbye. They were sobbing. I show you all this picture so you can see just how difficult it is for kids to say goodbye to the only home they've ever known. Whether it is an orphanage or not, it was home. This is the beginning of a long road ahead.
We got to the apartment and had to mesh as a family of 5 at that time.
Reni, with lots on her mind. She kept wanting to try to squeeze into Summer's 3T clothes for some reason. Was driving me nuts. But, you don't fight it at this point in time. You just get by minute by minute. While in Sofia, Logan was truly testing limits and taking much of it out on his sister. It became quite apparent she was his target for a long time. We sat her down, told her when we get home, if Logan ever hurts you, Yana & Irina will take care of him. The sense of relief you could see all over her face and body language. She clung to us a little more then knowing we'd protect her.
I will also never forget the day I reached over Reni to get something in the kitchen cabinet. She crouched to the floor, covered her head and shook her finger no, no. I knew we were dealing w/ some hurt for sure.
Once home, much was revealed. See, Reni wet the bed. We were told this. However, like some of our previous kids that have come home, we suspected it was nothing medical. Once she could speak more English, she revealed to us that in the middle of the night, other kids from the orphanage would randomly come in & punch them. Not every night mind you. But apparently enough to trigger that fear in her. Once she was home and slept through the night for two weeks straight, that was it. She no longer had accidents at night. She was safe and sound and I think her body could sense that.
Once home, she started to open up more and more. found safety nets in a few of the kids. She'd cringe at the sound of someone yelling. At first, hard to witness. Then, you'd start to notice something. She became one of the kids. Yep, had to get to the voice raising to get her to do something. She would not even flinch any more if someone raises their voice. With a deaf kid in the house, this happens often. You also started to notice something. Reni found her voice! Yep, that soft spoken kid was gone. No one timid here. She would stand up for herself in a heart beat & is not afraid to speak her mind. Not one bit! We put Reni in soccer. Mainly, b/c apparently in Bulgaria they do not like women doing a whole lot of sports. She was NOT allowed to be on a team over there. Reni and Logan both told me that girls aren't allowed to play on teams. And you know what?! Reni can hold her own on the soccer field.
Reni, taking a break a bit from all that running around. She is an aggressive player (the right amount though) and does well. Reni is realizing life it different here. The other day she said "I no like it Bulgaria." "I like it here." That is a sign she's ready to leave her old life behind. Not forget it, but leave it in the past and start fresh. That is a dream come true for a parent of an older PI child.
Reni has come a long, long way from her shy, timid, fearful days. She is outgoing, full of life, full of promise. Health wise, she's fine. We were told she was very mentally challenged. Umm, nope. She's a smart little cookie! She is very bright. Her complete and utter fear of the dogs is gone. She adores them. Walks them on her own. She has power now, confidence. Reni has a quest for knowledge. Loves to help Alyona figure things out. Big issue I had for awhile was her being a tattletale but that seems to be better nowadays.
Reni is not afraid to try new things now. Even a face mask that she says stings. No, it doesn't sting. she just didn't like it.
Reni has more of a carefree life I feel. She fits right in here. She's comfortable and I do believe she is enjoying a lot of her childhood that she may have missed out on. Taking much joy in simple things such as bubbles. It's great to see. Granted, she still has some things to work on, but for the most part has adjusted fantastic to family life and ready to take on the world. Not bad for just 6 months home, is it?? Logan's post will be soon.