Meeraf at home, instead of just hanging out as a picture on our fridge!
Sunnie and Meeraf playing in Ethiopia.
The car ride from home from the airport.
I want to go back and talk about my trip, because although I NEVER want to do that again, it really was a great trip. It was so fun to take someone there who had never been to a place like Ethiopia. It was so fun to go with my best friend from high school, Sunnie. It's not even like we keep in touch all that well and it's not like the plan for her to go was years in the making. It was a 9th inning call that was made within a few weeks of traveling.
If you know me well, you know that laughing takes me a long way. Life without laughing for me, is a bit like life without water. I have to laugh. It is what makes everything OK. When we boarded the plane from Denver to Frankfurt, we were already doubled over with laughter at the Italian guy next to me who snored louder than a buzz saw before we were even in the air and that trend continued throughout the whole trip. Of course, as the trip went on, it was mixed in with crying and temper tantrums and boundary testing, etc. . . . , but the laughter kept me sane. We were also, so beyond lucky to travel with Steve and Kelly, with whom I'm sure they are still thinking, "what would those girls have done without us." On the flights home, we put Steve in charge and he took up the challenge with great resolve and a smile on his face. So, thanks Steve - we would probably still be in the Sudan if you were not there to help us out! And thanks Scott, for letting Sunnie go with me.
At this very moment, I could use a little laughter in my life. The honeymoon is officially over and this has been the hardest day so far. Before today, I kinda thought that maybe we were one of the lucky ones. Sure, she was shunning me, but she was in love with Dave and from time to time she would give me a little encouragement and let me in a little. She smiled, she played, she shared, she was funny and silly, but BOY HOWDY, today has been a rough one. Hopefully, it is a growing one, though. Earlier today she had a melt down over washing her hands, so I picked her up, which sent her into a new level of melt down, complete with hitting and biting, but I just held her tight. Maybe it was the wrong thing to do, but after a slew of angry Amharic, she relaxed and then in a completely different manner, she began to cry. Not the angry cry that she had carried on with for quite a while, but a real sad sad cry. It was like two totally different languages. One of anger and one of pain. Oh - this is hard stuff. Mostly, for her, but it takes a lot out of us, too. I can't tell you how much I am dreading Dave going back to work. If he didn't have to go, then I would feel like this is totally doable, but I'm getting a little nervous. She will let him do anything, and me do nothing. Although, she will let me do whatever after she throws a little fit. It's just that I'm not sure I can handle a little fit, every time I need to put a shoe on, brush teeth, put lotion on, give her medicine, bathe her, pick her up, feed her, etc. . . I am so grateful that many well seasoned adoptive parents have told me that it is normal that a child attaches to the dad first, due to the fact that they have never had a dad that has hurt them, only a mom and a couple of female nannies who have left painful wounds in their tiny hearts. Well, that's about all I can muster about now, so I'm signing off.
OK, so I never sent that last post, so I'll just continue for a minute now. It is now 3 days later from the time I wrote the previous stuff. The next day was GREAT! She was so smiley, would let me help her, she played, and she didn't recoil every time I went to touch her. The hope is back! Whew!
Then yesterday was another pretty hard day, but kind of what I expected. Dave went to work the whole day. Spencer had a fever, but didn't want to stay in bed, Leah is getting another cold and I think Maci Meeraf thought she gave in a little too much yesterday. Under those circumstances, I think it was impossible to have a good day. We actually had a pretty good morning, but the afternoon was a train wreck. It was mostly Spence and Leah that were acting out, but Maci Meeraf was certainly keeping her distance from me. It felt awful, because I'm supposed to be providing this safe, cozy, comfortable place for Maci, but Spence and Leah were fighting, crying and falling apart and I had no back up. I found myself giving in to all my kids, because I couldn't risk multiple melt downs by everyone. Terrible - I know! It was the worst day possible for Dave to go back to work. It feels frustrating that Dave has saved a million vacation days for this very time, but he can't even use them, due to circumstances at work. Anyway, now I am whining. I know these posts are not terribly imaginative and just kind of informative, but I just want to keep people informed, I guess?
Today - it is only 7:58 on Friday and who knows what the day will hold. Please God - let it be better than yesterday!