Sunday, June 3, 2012

Because She Still Needs Both of Us

One of the main things that we want Zinashi to understand is that this is the last stop for her, that we are her family no matter what, that what happened before will not happen again.  We have worked hard on attachment, and we have worked hard to do our best to make her feel secure, but the truth is that some things can only be attained with time.  And just when I think that she is doing really well and feeling secure, she will remind us in some way that we are just not there yet, and maybe we're not as far along as we wish we were.

This morning, Zinashi was still sleeping pretty hard when Jarod got up to start getting ready to go to liturgy, and I was feeling a bit under the weather (or exhaustion?  if one can be "under" exhaustion), so I decided that I would just let her sleep and stay home with her myself.  Jarod came into the bedroom to kiss both of us good-bye, and as he walked out of the room and down the stairs, Zinashi started to stir.  I called Jarod back into the room and said, "Ababi is going to church, and you get to stay home and rest with me."  She immediately burst into tears.  A little gentle prodding revealed that she wanted to go with her Ababi.  Because of course she did; she sees me every single day, without fail, but Ababi is only here on evenings and weekends.

I find myself often trying to explain to people why we are homeschooling next year, and possibly for years to come if it goes well.  The bottom line is that it simply fits how we want to live our lives as a family, but what cemented our decision was Zinashi's continued need for our physical presence.  To rush her through getting ready in the morning, then send her off to school for six hours, then have to curtail her time with Jarod in the evening so she can get adequate rest will simply not work for her, at least not right now.  And I certainly couldn't see sending her off to school for the first time while we are all still adjusting to life with Elvie.

Her need for both of us is also why we are taking her to Ethiopia with us.  I always wanted her to be there for the big moment of meeting Elvie for the first time, but we weren't sure if it would be the right thing.  Did we want to fly home with two children, one of whom has significant medical needs and may need additional in flight monitoring?  What if one of us got sick?  But when we considered both our desire to have Zinashi there with us and the fact that she has not spent one night away from both of us yet, it seemed like a no-brainer to take her along.  And if one of us gets sick and needs help, well, isn't that what flight attendants are there for?  Furthermore, isn't it better to attend to Zinashi's attachment and security needs as opposed to having major regression while we are jet-lagged and trying to help Elvie adjust and grieve?  I think the answers here are clear.

And so, we are all three leaving for Ethiopia in eighteen days, so that we four can come home together, as a family.

countdown to ethiopia, 18 days

9 comments:

  1. I have to commend you and your husband for doing what is right for your family rather than doing what is easy for the two adults. Those are not always easy decisions to make, especially when life gets hectic.

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  2. I think homeschooling makes perfect sense, especially in your case. In fact, I commend you, because it's a major commitment. They still seem so little, don't they - this year I sent my 4-yr-old to a 2 hr. speech preschool 5 days a week. It would break my heart a little to see him so very capable, climbing aboard that school bus every morning. (He loved it, at least 99% of the time.) And how special it will be, for Zinashi to be there to receive her sister into your family. We'll just send up some extra prayers for everyone stay healthy and well!

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  3. kudos. purposeful parenting.

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  4. I think you are wise to home school. It will be great for your girls and add to your families quality of life. And taking Zinashi with you might not be the easiest, but I think it's the wise move. She needs to be part of the adoption process. She will see adoption from the other side as she helps to bring her little sister into the family. I hope all goes well and will pray for safe travel for all of you. Blessings.

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  5. There are many reasons to homeschool and my reasons for doing it change every year. You may find it becomes something you do not for their attachment but because of the joy it brings you as a family.

    Best of luck on your trip! May you all stay healthy and get lots of sleep when you meet little Elvie!

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  6. I can't offer any advice, just wanted to say what a pleasure and inspiration it always is to read about your beautiful family and the purposeful way that you respond to your child(ren!)'s individual needs. Hoping to do half as well as you do once my adoption(s?) go through.

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  7. So very excited for you! Only 18 days! How wonderful that you are taking Zinashi with you.

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  8. join the home school. the only hard thing about it for me: is those nap times and quiet times are are now for school, not housework. keeping up on laundry is an effing joke. that is all. everything else is wonderful. the windows for housework are gone. we've had to once again get occasional paid help with cleaning. Hubs keeps telling me. you can home school 4 kids next year, or stay up on the house. if you choose to home school we have to figure out a way for things not to fall apart. we are still figuring this out. I don't think we will be joining you in ET. I am not believe it's possible right now to let myself down easy, though many people are still getting a one week notice til travel...

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  9. You are doing the right thing for your family right now. I'm discovering (albeit slowly) that that is what parenting is all about. Kudos to you for ignoring what the world tells us and pursuing what your hearts tells you.

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