Saturday, June 15, 2013

It just doesn't feel right w/ her gone

Oh my oh my.  I will preface this with saying my emotions are very raw right now and I probably should not even write a word on here but I have to do something to be occupied.  If I organize one more stupid thing, I may explode.  Though Martha may be proud soon.  My closet, the hall closet, the make up drawer, dvd's (those may even get finished this evening), etc.  So, back to writing.

Today was the day.  Today was the day that broke our family into a million little pieces.  Broken hearts all over the place.  I have never seen this much grief in one place coming out in so many different ways.  I think it's important for others to know.  There will be no pictures in this post.  I think it's wrong to take pics of people grieving.  They need that time and a camera would not help anyone.  We knew just a few short days ago, this day was coming. How do you prepare for something that you know will be so tragic for your family?  how do you tell the kids?  How do you go about daily routine knowing one of yours must leave?  How?  How do you go from having 12 happy go lucky kids (not all the time, let's be honest) to 11?  How do you go from all swimming at the lake and eating graduation cake together to going and saying good bye?  How?  There is no easy answer for this.  You just do it.

Many may not think it is a good idea to write about this experience.  I do.  Others have gone through it.  Trust me, I've heard more stories these past few days than I care to.  Not b/c I don't want to hear about what happened to them, but it pains me to think about all the kids that it's happened to.  We loved this child with all our heart and soul.  She was our youngest.  The kids here are in such grief.  If you wanted to see all stages of grief, you could have come to this home yesterday.  The overwhelming hurt was unbearable.  Still is.  Little One literally was grief stricken and collapsed on the floor in agony.  That was very hard to watch.  I've been comforting as best I could.  I am lucky in the fact that we have wonderful friends.  They came to help me comfort the kids yesterday and today.  I realized early on, I would not be able to do this alone.  And that was just a fact.   One person can not grieve and at the same time help multiple children grieving as well.

Yesterday and today I had help from friends.  But I also saw a few things that hurt me.  Boys acting out.  Kids wailing and moaning w/ tears that could fill buckets.  Some crying went on for hours.  Collapsing on the floor.  Terror of someone leaving them too.  Sleeping in the other one's bed.  So many things I noticed.  Questions all the time of when is she coming back.  Little One looks SO sad riding in the van now.  They used to be next to each other and talk in their own language.  All these little things you don't think about until it happens.  Summer doesn't understand.  She still thinks she's coming back.  I've heard multiple times today "I miss her."  How is she?  Is she crying?  I hate not being able to answer them.  No one said this would be easy.  It is a loss for our family.  It doesn't matter how you rationalize it, it is a loss.  And children that have come from orphanages and have abandonment issues, it is even more tough.

We have gone through much these past two days.  I don't wish it on my worse enemy.  I don't.  On Saturday, some friends are coming over to help out.  The only requirement was Warren and I must leave the house.  So, Warren and I are going out for the first time in a long, long time.  We had received a gift certificate back in January and are now finally going to use it.  I know we'll be worried and concerned but I also know my kids are in very, very capable hands and have a fun filled evening planned. 

They say time heals all wounds.  With time, it will get better.  That I know.  But time can not take away or erase the memories we had.  Without a doubt, we had felt like a complete family finally.  We were all happy.  Everyone was adjusted.  It was just pleasant and finally felt right.  I wasn't interested in any more children.  I had my kids.  We were happy, we were complete.  We were done.  Now, it truly feels like someone is missing.  It is just weird how one missing makes a HUGE difference.  Now the things that drove me crazy with her here, I long for.  I used to wish they'd all go to bed in the girls' room and stop staying up giggling and playing together.  I used to wish they'd stop pushing those shopping carts all over the house together.  I used to wish they'd stop holding onto each others' hands in the strollers as we were walking them as it made it hard to push.  So many wishes.  Unfortunately, I got my wishes sadly.  The last two nights in this home have been the quietest EVER.  There is no more giggling to bed.  No more laughter.  It is literally gone.  I long for her shrill voice and getting the others ramped up where they'd join in at night.   The amount of things I miss is pages long.  I really miss seeing my three youngest together though.  The Cat in the Hat (Summer) and thing 1 and Thing 2.  Fit those 3 to a tee!  Really did. 

I sit here not knowing what to do.  Only feeling like I'm going through the motions day to day.  I was supposed to get to a 30 mile yard sale today w/ my cousin.  Got up.  Passed the girls room to the front door.  I just couldn't go.  There are triggers all around the house.  Reminders of days past.  Grief comes in spurts and waves.  Sometimes it hits you when you least expect it.  Again, I know it does get better.  I don't need the lecture right now.  I should be ecstatic that we are going out to dinner this evening.  Yet, I could care less.  It's not under the right circumstances.  But, maybe it will do us good to get out.  Don't know. 

All we can do is take solice in the fact that we sent her off with more love than a person could fathom.  We loved unconditionally and w/ wreckless abandon for a few months of her life.  It has left a deep hole in our hearts but hopefully made hers a little fuller in the process.  Love is hard.   I can't say what we've learned from this experience just yet.  I can say we would not trade the time we had with her for anything in the world.  We were given a great gift to know her.  In the future, she probably will not remember who we are.  However, we will never ever forget her for the rest of our lives. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Jordan Lake-- part 2

After some cake, it was definitely time for some water fun! 

I do believe Reni is enjoying herself.

After getting taunted by Logan for so long, Max decided to reluctantly take a dip.  Not much longer and that sling can come off.

Yana taking Summer out a bit deeper and Summer loving every minute of it.

Nik enjoying his time in the water.  Can't believe we swam in that.  No blue to be seen.

So beautiful, had to show her twice!

Alyona.  Not so sure about the face she's making.

Alex, thoroughly enjoying himself.  Logan and him were playing soccer w/ some other people they met.  No, not one shy one in the bunch!

And someone gave Nik a water gun.  Heaven for little boys.

She wanted to eat watermelon but I think the bathroom won out.  LOL.  Potty dance anyone?  

We all had such a wonderful time, our local group has decided to meet again in July!  Same place.  It truly was awesome.  Kids all did fantastic and the Littles will definitely be fine for summer time fun.  Fish like the rest of mine.  Just was a nice way to spend the weekend.  Great food, great company, great weather, can't beat it.

I'd give anything for just one more night

I sit here typing teary eyed.  Already teary eyed and it hasn't even happened yet.  I know I haven't shared a whole lot of our situation.  And, still can't share it all.  What I can tell you, is that there are many hearts in agony tonight.  For tomorrow, we must say goodbye to something near and dear to our hearts.  We have to say goodbye to one of our Littles.  It is something we have not chosen to do nor do we have any desire whatsoever to do.  It is out of our control.  She has been here for quite some time and obviously bonds have been formed.  Deep attached bonds.  Breaking them will be like breaking cement. I am dreading tomorrow.  I will have a handful of emotionally distraught children.  Those who have asked if you can do something, I will at this point take any help I can get for I have seen already how this will be tomorrow.  Tonight has already taken a toll on them and she hasn't even left yet.  I have children begging me for just one more night.  All the time in my head thinking I myself would give anything too for just one more night.  One more night of baths.  One more night of kisses.  One more night of hugs.  One more night of story time.  One more night of little girls laughing together.  Anything for just one more night.

I will write much more in detail in a few days when my head is a little clearer and not so scatterbrained.  The knots in my stomach are horrible.  The tears I'm holding back.  Don't want the kids to fall apart any more than they already are.  This is hard.  I mean really, really hard.  Maybe this is our wake up call.  To treasure every moment we have with our children.  Not that we don't do that already but it will have much different meaning now with every book read, every kiss good night, every phone call to daddy, every hug, everything.  Everything will take on new meaning.  I know that it will.  It most definitely will not take away the hurt though of a loss of this magnitude. 

Put it this way.  Next week is our vacation.  Our big vacation.  Usually by this time, the kids are packed.  Counting down the days, the hours.  However, since they found out she is leaving and not going with us on vacation, they are just devastated.  They have not even asked once any more about our vacation next week.  No bags out.  Nothing.  Today, I tried to engage them by at least getting the RV bathroom stocked up.  They started to get excited.  Reni looked at the couch and said oh, Summer, Little One, and House guest will sit here!  Oh wait, she won't be here any more.  And she left the RV.  More about the RV situation later too.  Anyhow, hoping to get them pumped up again in the next few days.  They'll need the break after tomorrow.  They will.  They will need to laugh again.  We've had enough tears already and it hasn't even happened yet.  I have never dreaded a day so much in my life.  But here we are. 

We have given nothing but unconditional love these past few months.  We hope she takes that with her in her heart.  We know we will carry on.  But we also know we will never ever be the same.  All we can do now is pray for a peace beyond our understanding.  This transition will be hard.  A dear friend has offered to come over tomorrow afternoon to help me out.  Another group of ladies wants Warren and I to get away for a few hours while they stay at the house with the kids.  At this point, not sure if it will be better to stay with them or get away from them .  Remember, I have 7 with FAS.  We are not kidding ourselves with the magnitude of what is about to transpire.  This will by far be the hardest thing we've ever had to do. 

So, it may be a day or two or three or whatever before I post again.  We will be in a healing phase for the next few days, weeks, months, etc.  However long it takes.  If  you are local and see us or the kids, please be understanding.  Some may shut down and not want to talk much.  Some may be angry.  Some may cry.  Just know it is not directed at any of you.  They will need time to grieve in their own way.  If any of you could, say a little prayer for us tomorrow and the next few days.  Send good vibes our way.  Good thoughts.  anything.  I even have a son questioning prayer.  Prayer never works he said.  I prayed for her to stay.  We sat there trying to explain further.  They are hurting right now.  It is raw emotion coming out.  Hurt.  I know many in the adoption community understand that.  So if you don't mind, pray for peace and understanding for us and the kids during this time of transition.  Thank you. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Jordan Lake

On Sunday, we got up and went off again.  Little Ones were not to thrilled about going again somewhere and older ones were cranky and tired from the previous day's events.   But, we all sucked it up to go b/c we knew in the end, we'd have a great time.  And we were right. 

Crossing over Jordan Lake.  In the distance, that sandy area is where we were going.

Entrance let us know we were at the right place though we had no idea where we were going once there.  No reservations had been made but tables were being saved early on.  We just had to find them. 

Found them, settled in, and started putting sunscreen on for this sunny day.  Nik is putting some on too.  However, I failed to realize he would take his shirt off later.  Yep, he was a lobster.  See, last year we had the special shirts.  They outgrew them and I totally forgot he would take this shirt off in the water.  

Alex and Logan owed us 'time' for behavior.  What better way to use it than to blow up a giant beach ball.  Nik was wondering why it was taking so long.

Summer posing for me.  

Nik and Summer.  See, they do get along.  LOL.  Not all the time. They are brother and sister you know.  I have a really, really cute one w/ the Littles too.

The food was AWESOME!  Definitely getting some recipes.  Not kidding.  Really enjoyed them.  We all brought our own meat and then a dish to share.  Worked out well for sure.  

Alyona waiting to go in while Reni helps put flip flops back on Little One.

Logan and Max.  Logan was truly taunting and teasing Max about going in the water.  Since Max has had his surgery, he knows Max can not fight back and has made his life miserable.  Yes, he's been punished for it but I have a feeling once Max's arm is completely healed, Logan may not be the same.  Big brothers will set you in your place.  Max and another gentleman there both had either surgery or broken bones.  They actually hit it off and were able to pass the time w/ quite a bit of talking about tons of stuff.  Hey, we were there for hours.  And no, he's not supposed to have that sling off.

The two graduates we were celebrating.  Sasha and Irina.  Both from Russia.  Both have accomplished so much and are turning into productive young adults. 

More pics to come.  Need to get some errands done.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Manic Monday

This is going to be an insanely busy week for us and not in a good way either.

  • Had an awesome weekend
  • Kids very excited about the Bulgarian Reunion
  • Family is devastated right now about one of the Littles leaving
  • I'm dealing with behavioral/emotional issues in association w/ the above
  • Warren is off work Tuesday
  • Tuesday is packed full
  • getting van fixed
  • trying to trade rv in this week
  • gave Digby a bath
  • speech this week
  • trying to figure out who's playing soccer and where
  • we're mental train wrecks at the moment
  • need to fix Reni's glasses
  • need to buy Max new glasses
  • Max has PT this week
  • testing homeschoolers tomorrow
  • getting missing siding for the house tomorrow
  • taking Logan in for a mysterious lump that appeared on his neck.  Not a bite.  Concerned but hoping it's nothing.
  • Bojan wants his amputation like yesterday
  • have to figure out Max's school situation
  • fridge still needs repair.  Tired of squeezing all into one fridge
  • want to try some new meals this week
  • ceiling fan in dining room now going out
  • need to redo all the reservations I made for a different # of people
  • wanting to get better organized so today we matched ALL socks
  • tomorrow, we tackle shoes
  • Alex and Bojan are spending the night w/ friends
  • once again, Nik is distraught about the whole spend the night deal
  • hoping to go to yardsales this weekend

Much, much more but frankly, not in the mood to write.   Feeling all sorts of mixed emotions right now.  This is going to be one of our hardest weeks ever.   I won't go into detail yet.  We're still all raw w/ emotion.  Just know our hearts are breaking.  So, if posts are missing a bit, you'll know why.  Kids come first. 

Sunday, June 9, 2013

A day at the park

On Saturday, we drove a little over two and a half hours to a park in Salisbury, NC.  Awesome, awesome park if any of you live near Charlotte area.  Well worth going.  Probably the best park we've been to.  Anyhow, we were there to meet with some friends of Warren's.  Had not seen them in a few years and since a few were actually moving out of state, nice to play catch up and to wish them well. Such awesome folks and just pleasant to be around.  And, don't mind my kids asking a thousand questions or using them as a personal jungle gym. LOL.  After chatting for awhile, we decided to walk to a different part and take the kids to a playground and splash park. 

Max was the grill meister for us and did a great job.  It was hot dogs this day for lunch.  Simple.  Then we all brought dishes to share as well.  

Summer hanging around on the playground.  Funny story.  Well, not so funny.  House guest climbed to the top of the playground to the slide.  She refused to go down.  Too scared.  So, I told Summer to go up and bring her sister down.  Summer went up but came down by herself.  Not a whole lot of help.  Bojan ended up doing the retrieval but he barely fit up there himself.  He told me his back hurts from bending down to get her.  

Reni and Irina stopping to pose while they were on the playground. 

 Everyone deciding if they truly want to get wet or not. 

Alyona didn't want to get wet but enjoyed capturing a lady bug.

Picture below got stuck together.  Top one is of Nik letting water squirt up his shirt. He thought that was cool.

Summer was trying so hard to catch water from the fountain.  She'd stand on the rocks, mouth wide opened. 

Yana and Alex recovering from being soaked.  They weren't planning on it but being that it was so hot out, many adults were in that splash park too.  This picture though captures just how much Alex has grown in  the last year.  He's almost as tall as Yana.

Reni after the water park.  She's growing up fast.

Yana enjoying a pleasant day out. 

This child could love off corn.  Alex absolutely loves corn.  I mean loves it.  Eats a couple ears at a time.  So roasted corn on the grill for him was a huge hit!  Anyone has extra corn this summer, send it our way.

Some of the girls goofing off before we went home.

Nik, gladly sampled the chocolate one of the guys brought.  He'd eat a grasshopper if covered in chocolate.

Irina and Reni sharing some good times.  These two are really close.

We all had a wonderful time.  We were tired and ready to go home.  Long drive home.  But, had to get home to get ready to go to the lake the next day.  Kids did fairly well there so was proud of them.  Littles were totally wiped out and slept the whole way home.  Wahoo!!!  One of them discovered Coke.  She was going around and drinking every can she'd find.  Each time we'd turn around, we'd catch her with another can.  See, our house we pretty much have water and milk. Some times tea.  We do soda on special occasions.  This was one of them.  One can each.  Just thought it was funny.  I can see her in the future as being a coffee drinker.  She's not our sweet tooth kiddo but boy, I'm thinking soda is her "luxury."  Some of my kids it's chocolate and some of them it's chips (salty).  For her, I do believe it's soda.  Thank goodness we don't get it that often.  I'd have an addict.  LOL.  And don't worry, she really didn't drink a pile of them.  More to come about our weekend away.  We spent most the time away.