Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Attachment Part 2--Thailand

I would like to apologize NOW for the following things that will be mentioned in this post. I know myself and I will feel the need to say I am sorry or I feel bad for many of my thoughts, feelings or comments. That would make the post very long for me to write, you to read and I have no pictures planned along the way to add interest. :)) So I will try not to do that if you promise to remember I am being truthfully honest about very real emotions. Not all pretty ones. In a stressful situation (not to make excuses). I am very thankful I have a merciful God Who does already know the thoughts and feelings I experienced.

As I stated yesterday, I was not ruffled in the beginning. I was actually thrilled Jet liked his Papa and was able to spend this time with him. As a SAHM, who home schools, the kids and I have plenty of time to be together. As the primary caretaker at home, it was enjoyable to have Papa doing "more" than me. I enjoyed being there, watching these moments between Jet and his new Papa. My husband MORE than stepped up to the plate which made it even more enjoyable to witness.

When I started noticing the difference in play with me, not sitting on my lap, trying to worm his hand out of mine, etc...I made mention to Papa. He didn't "see" it. I wasn't trying hard enough.

Now in all fairness to my hubby, he was not trying to mean here. As far as he not seeing it, the times most of those things happened we were out somewhere. The busy, hectic streets of Bangkok, a meeting for the adoption, the orphanage, a restaurant. As for the not trying hard enough, I will admit I was slightly uneasy. I was not too sure of myself, not wanting to scare the kid but emotionally wanting to swoop this child up, hug and kiss him and not let go. We had been dreaming and thinking about THIS particular child for 20 months. I knew my 2 kids loved hugs, snuggles, etc, but I was concerned it might be too much for him. So to a degree, I held back, I believe in retrospect.

I felt like I detached a little too, partly due to the fact that I was in a foreign country to bring my son home and also due to the emotions surrounding seeing the poverty, so many children without families and sex trade. We live in the land of plenty. I know there is poverty in the US, I just haven't seen it. And this I saw, every time we left our hotel.

I now realize the rather sheltered life I have led, though if you had asked me prior to this trip I would not have answered in that way. (Oops, I did have pics to share)

So after grumbling at my husband for being mean ;)), I tried even harder. I did make sure Papa was watching though. Not only to see for himself the difference but that I was trying.

During this time, I, of course, told Papa we knew this could happen. It wasn't unusual. The books did mention this as a possibility. However, how can one plan the way they will handle it, if it
happens to them?

I persevered. I still got in the water with them at the pool. I pretended to be a shark after Jet just like Papa was doing. I grabbed his hand to hold when necessary and "danced" our hands trying to make a game out of it. I tried very hard to ignore the unhappy shrieks and looks of disdain from Jet.

I never did stop trying but gradually I found myself walking a few steps behind Jet and Papa. Letting them be in their world and me be in mine. I did what I wanted, if I wanted to read in the sun, I did. If I saw something to look at in a store, I stopped. I took care of all the adoption paperwork stuff leaving child duty up to Papa. I was still a part of everything, but a distant part. I felt it didn't matter whether I was there or not.

Eventually, I became so disheartened I started making rather mean comments to my husband. In private, between us and not directed at him (or Jet) but venting, frustrated (and possibly snide :(( ) comments. I tend to be the picture taker in our house. Jet refused to be in pictures with me and he refused to smile (or look at me) when I was trying to take a picture of him and Papa. So I started making comments about not even bothering to take our camera with us since we weren't going to get any good pictures anyway. This is one example of the irritation I allowed to slip out to my husband. I struggled with wanting to "force" the child (my view at the time) to do the things he didn't want to do like hold my hand, sit on my lap. Those were my thoughts when the anger and frustration threatened to take over. I DID win that battle, just so you know. :))

My Peanut was home miserable with a BAD case of the chicken pox, my Bug REALLY missed his Mama and my long-waited-for Jet wanted NOTHING to do with me.

What had we done, I thought?

Next installment tomorrow....


Gem said...

thank you so very much for sharing your experience so honestly, it gives me such a lot to think about on how it will be when our time comes. Gem x

Ellie said...

I can relate with some of your feelings... sometimes, early on, I'd think, "What did we do? What have we gotten ourselves into?" I know, that this will pass... it's all part of your adjustment to your new normal! All part of the beautiful dance you are in.
Thanks for sharing!

Nicole - Raising Animals said...

omg, I had those exact thoughts in Vietnam when we were picking up our daughter. She would cry all day, every day, and not want either of us. The cleaning lady, the waiter, the cabby, they were all better options in her mind. 2 weeks into it I started thinking, "I have a little boy at home who cries everynight because I'm not there, and wants me more than anything...what have I gotten myself into??" I was a mess! Towards the end of our trip my hubby became the preferred provider but at that point, I was just happy to have the screaming stop!
I can't wait to hear more!

Kam said...

Megan, thanks so much for sharing this. You are such a blessing! I think you have a great perspective now and it will serve you well. My BFF always says, "none of us wants to be judged on our worst day..."
So don't be too hard on yourself! We are all a work in progress! A work of grace and faith!
Thanks again for sharing, You're the best!

Sharon said...

Megan, I went through exactly the same thing with my 2 year old! He attached to daddy first which was ok at first. We took our 4 year old with us to Thailand so at least I still had him to cuddle. I had a horrible 20 months with the little one. 2 1/2 years later he said for the first time 'me love you'. Well, as you can imagine it was a very emotional time for me. I think only now he is really settled and accepts me as his mum. It does take a bit of time but when your hubby goes back to work your boy will have to start relying on you and will slowly warm to you. It will get better, trust me! Go easy on yourself.

Jen and Jeff said...

I'm sorry to hear what a tough time you are having. Hang in there! I've heard this is fairly common for it to take some time and for a child to attach to one parent first. I know that doesn't make it any easier to bare at the time (you can remind me when I go through it months from now!) but I bet he'll come around real soon. You've only been home a short time so don't be hard on yourself. I have also heard from a lot of people the thing about men...that they either bond to or are afraid of men because they don't see them much in the orphanages.