We left Sofia at 7:30am on Saturday, July 10th, with me dizzy, nauseas, and light-headed...it was awful:(!! Not sure what happened... BUT...Ava did amazingly well and never cried once the whole trip home...she just sat on my lap and ate pretzel sticks and sucked her thumb..she didn't seem scared at all, just content..
Once home, she did just as well and went off with the kids to play...very happy and contented!:) She's probably thinking, "Hmmm, new orphanage, new kids, permanent caregiver...this is GREAT!"
She has attached to me very well, just as she did in January, and is slowly opening up to Daddy..more and more for sure. She does NOT like our dog, but as long as Bella is "contained", she goes about her business playing, etc.
She is eating better...moving up to string cheese and today, hot dog..okay, not necessarily healthy, but hey!
Last night was the first night she didn't wake up crying 3-4 times... We tried co-sleeping, but she is all over the place and still cries, so we opted for the crib next to our bed. That way, she knows we're there when/if she wakes us crying, but I don't get her out..I rub her back and talk in Bulgarian to her, and she's usually back down in a few minutes. To put her to sleep, I rock for about 15 minutes with her and put her down awake in her crib..she screams..for only 3-4 minutes(it's a mad, stubborn cry too), but I lay there and rub her back, again talking in Bulgarian till she falls asleep. I don't want to hold her till she falls asleep, because then she doesn't wake up in my arms...which may be more frightening than just going ahead and letting her cry for a couple of minutes at the beginning. We're being consistent with this, because it IS working! If I thought she was afraid at all of the crib or anything like that, we'd do it differently.
She really has been a breeze so far...fits right in, and just is having FUN! She's a very easygoing little girl. Although that stubborn streak is there...she gives me the dirtiest look when I tell her "NE" or reprimand her... I don't she's been told "Ne" much;)!
For the gut wrenching honesty you're all looking for, RIGHT???? You may want to skip this part, if you prefer...
First of all, we have fought tooth and nail for this little girl to be in our family, prayed without ceasing for her, etc.... So, I can't tell you how shocked I was when, on that first night in the hotel..when she screamed for two hours...I realized...this is NOT my biological child! Duh, I know....but I never in a million years thought I would feel any differently toward her, not after what we went through to get her! I was totally "empty" as far as feeling all "lovey" toward her! What cold-hearted person would not love this child???????? I kept longing to feel that take-your-breath away love you feel when holding your bio child for the first time...it just wasn't there! I knew this COULD happen...have read about it....but KNEW it would not happen to ME!!!!! I KNEW not to fall in love with the referral photo....and I just trusted the love would be there... It's very overwhelming to say the least.... Could I really LOVE this child?????????? My heart was breaking for her and I just wanted to hop on a plane home!
I think I've realized this is probably a last ditch effort by the enemy to undermine what we've done in adopting Ava....I'm praying...without ceasing...for the love to grow stronger each day....for more patience with myself... I've just been SO SHOCKED by all this, that I want to run, and I can't! This little girl is OURS now...forever my daughter....stubbornness and all! All this to say....if this happens to you, don't beat yourself up! Get on your knees and ask to be filled with more of HIM and less of YOU! That's what I'm doing. This is probably more common than anyone realizes and is linked to Post-Adoption Depression, so don't be surprised like I was...be prepared! For all those following my adoption from the beginning, please don't judge me....it's hard to admit any of this, and I want to be of help to all of you still waiting...so I felt like I had to talk about it..especially since most of you already have bio kids...
I'm learning that this is like falling in love..It's a process..it takes time and getting to know them first..so that's what we're doing... If you have specific questions, please email me, I'll be honest, I promise:)!
Believe me when I say, Ava is doing excellent! She is happy and content and LOVES her siblings(and they her)! She loves being in my arms and is truly a joyful child! My husband loves her to pieces, even though she "shuns" him most of the time;)!
Would you pray with me that my heart is filled with "ooey-gooey" LOVE for our little Ava? I want her to have everything she deserves and so much more!
And if you already KNEW all this could happen...? WHY DIDN'T YOU TELL ME!!!????:)JK