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September 19, 2008



Oh dear! I don't know what to say but hang in there. They are each afraid of what is going on to their father and knowing their background, it is very normal. They are afraid of loss and abandonment. So sad... But you will get through this and everyone will be bigger and better.


Oh MM...I am sorry. Sorry for BB and Dumpling and MD...but mostly for you. You are the dumping group for all of this, and as strong as you are? This just sucks.

Take care.


So sad that they are upset. It sounds like they are afraid Daddy won't be there when they get back. Especially BB. I hope the therapist can help with recommendations. Could taking a picture to school of him help? Or at least making sure to tell them he will be waiting for them when they get home.
My daughter is a Daddy freak too and wants him all the time. So I have seen some of the above, but thankfully we don't have the health issues. I'll be hoping things get better.


My daughter developed quite a bit of seperation anxiety after we lost the dog when she was 1,5. Seeing her fear, her anger and the total unability to put al that into words was so hard. I can't imagine how hard this must be with two kids and the fear and axiety you two must feel about the sickness aswel


Oh V, how heartbreaking! I hope that everything returns to normal soon!


Wow. You have a ton on your plate. Thank you so much for sharing this though. It really helps, even though we haven't brought our kid home, to know what we are in for.

May you all be written in the book of happy--and HEALTHY--life for the coming year. L'shana Tovah

B mama

We have had some similar responses from our five year old. It's been pretty intense, her anger.

My difficulty is knowing when to be understanding and sympathetic and when to put my foot down that this is not acceptable behavior. Tricky balance.

But actually, thank you for writing this because you've given me some good insights and ideas on how to deal with this behavior.

Best wishes. Hope things settle down soon.


That's so hard. I can only offer hugs....


My heart goes out to all of you. It is tough to be everyone's rock, and to try to balance everyone's emotions. There are no real answers, just to say that I am thinking of you, and hope that M's dad gets better soon, and that things settle down for you all. I empathsize about Dumpling, as my DD gets really angry too, and the slightest thing can set her off, it is as though she needs to let off steam. The nannies even said that she was angry at times in the SWI as a baby! wishing you health and peace...


What a difficult time for all of you. I don't have any advice for you, but I do appreciate you writing about your experience. It is helpful for those of us who've also adopted to know some of the potential scenarios. I hope things get better for you all soon.

Sister Carrie

Good grief, woman. That's a lot to deal with. I'm glad you're not trying to jolly Dumpling out of her anger. It's real, but she has to learn to deal with it appropriately. I think identifying specific bad feelings helps, though it's tough for a little kid to do. Hang in there.


I'm so sorry you are going through this. We haven't been to China yet, so I don't know exactly how you are feeling, but I've watched lots of friends deal with all of these same things. (((BIG HUGS))) to you. And even if your girls can't say it yet, I'd like to say THANK YOU for all that you do everyday for your family. You are an amazing woman.


It sounds like the girls need more stability in their life. They have all kinds of babysitters and you and your DH are out-of-town frequently, not to mention the hours that you are at work. The girls are very, very young and need you both so much (especially with their backgrounds). My kids are still very young and need so.much.time. with me still (they are 4,7 and 9). Maybe make lots more family time together and less babysitter/grandparent/school time if at all possible. Good luck and hang in there. It is so hard.


Melissa, I don't know who you are, I don't think you've ever commented before, but way to go on being supportive! As a matter of fact, other than my parents, only 2 people have EVER watched out girls, and the second person only did it for 3 hours. I do work,only the hours that they are at school. I drop them off AND pick them up, so they don't even know I wasn't home. there is one parent at home with them 100% of the time and as for going away, I did go away this year, for the FIRST TIME ever. My husband was with them the entire time.

so my I politely ask you to fuck the hell off.


Oh, and for the record (since I'm feeling particularly defensive right now), every mom at school and girl in my kniting group has offered to pick up the girls for me, have a play date or make us food. But because I *KNOW* how important routine is, I have turned everyone down. Not to be some sort of self-sacrificing hero, but because I know that Mommy being there at 1:30, Mommy taking them home and playing the same games as usual and Mommy's way of making the chicken is what they need right now. It would be very easy to take people up on their offers and find a little *ME* time, but right now, that is not the priority. I haven't gone to work in a week.
I'm not stupid: I know they are frightened and reacting to what's happening. But suggeting that I spend more time with them is just ridiculous. Unless I crawl into bed with them at night, I could not possible be doing more for them.


I'm sorry the girls, and you, are having such a rough time. I have no assvice, but I'm thinking of you all.


Gosh, I honestly didn't mean to upset you. It sounds like you are doing a wonderful job keeping things as stable as possible. I actually thought I was being supportive, saying it IS HARD and GOOD LUCK with everything. I'm sure you are doing the best you can, hang in there and hopefully things will get back to normal soon. I really do understand how hard it is (I just don't have a blog to write about it like you do.) I'm sorry you took my reply so harshly...it sounds like you have plenty of family time. I really do wish you good thoughts and speedy recovery for your husband.


Oh MM - I'm sorry. You constantly amaze me with your love and strength for your girls. Not much else to say, except to send you as much light and support as possible.


I haven't commented in a very long time, but I just wanted to tell you that I am keeping you and your family in my thoughts. All the stuff you are dealing with is scary, stressful and exhausting. Hoping MD feels much better SOON, and please, do try to take a minute or two to look after yourself. Even if it's just a glass of wine or a hot bath. Sending e-hugs your way.


Hey, V...I wish I had any great suggestions for you and the girls, but you'll pull through it. I think the idea of having Dumpling draw (or sing, or act out using her dolls or stuffed animals) how this makes her feel might possibly help. It sounds like she's very, very, very worried about her dad, and it's probably got a lot to do with those deep-down feelings of abandonment. Just hang in there and hold on tight.


Oh V, I'm so sorry, this is just so hard on ALL of you :( I can only imagine the emotional strain you and MD must always be under. Tell MD the CT crew send him their love and get well wishes.

V, I'm so glad you made this post, it is such a difficult thing to talk about and I know someone somewhere will be reading this and feeling not so alone as they struggle with a similar situation.

I don't know if this would help Dumpling but I'll just throw it out there anyway just in case. With Lulu when she is angry or throwing a wobbly at nothing in particular, or at least nothing she can articulate, I will ask her if she has her "grumpy pants" on, when she gets over it I tell her "oh goodie you have your sunny knickers on". What has started to happen is that she now uses it as a way to tell me how she is feeling and as a way to help her calm down when she is upset, "i'm putting my sunny knickers on now" she will say with a tear stained face, it kind of calms her, its a way for her to transition, to stop the wobbly escalating. I know its a bit bizarre but I wonder if something similar might help Dumpling articulate and handle her emotions, maybe she could be putting on her "i'm scared" or "I'm angry" knickers/cloak/hat/
or whatever on? You would have to start my naming the emotion you think she is feeling when she shows it and saying "oh dear you poor thing I see you have your "feeling sad pants" on and then when she is happy you can say "oh goodie, you have your sunny knickers on!!" then you can move to using the "sunny knickers" as a way to help her transition out of her "grumpy, frustrated, mad as hell, destroy the world" knickers when she is escalating and can't calm herself. Not sure if I explained that very well, but I think its a way for a child to hear her emotion named and recognized, be allowed to feel it but then have a way to move out of that emotion and into a happier one. Okay I'll shut up now because I'm aware I'm sounding just a little, whittle, bit nutty!

Take care and hope things ease up soon.


I'm a long time reader, well lurker, I guess. I have a niece w/CF and I know some of what you are going through. (though I am just watching from a distance, I would never think I could truly understand the strain you are under). I do realize that being home from the hospital does not equal fine.
I'm sorry it seems the girls are taking out their frustation with the situation on you; it just must be they are too young to understand where to put their emotions. And really, I'm sure you're sad/mad/frustrated too, not at MD or the girls but at the whole situation. You need to vent too, and if blogging about it helps at all, you have more support out here than you realize. I hope you get some peace of mind and things settle down soon.


Absolutely no advice but just sending big hugs your way. Sounds to me like you are doing ALL the right things. But its hard as hell to be in your shoes. Try and give yourself sometime for you if you can to regroup and recharge.


Long time reader (thanks to my baby sister who has you linked on her blog), enjoy how much you articulate, the uh-- reality of two littles. Mine are 2 1/2 and 4 1/2, one adopted.... and some days its nice to read about someone else experiencing the same stuff. My daughter, who will vehmanantly tell you she's 4 and 3/4 and is very, um, vibrant about everything also has a hard time with emotions. Two things that I pulled from when I worked in Child Life (and you're a craftier type then me, so it might work for you). First, I made a simple picture book of her with different faces for different emotions, some I pulled from our files, some I had her "make" - which she loved, some I pulled of her brother/dad etc. Now we look at it a LOT and I think it helps her to understand emotions a little better and label them, and it seems to calm her a bit to flip through it herself. Last week I even got her saying that's Gabe when he was really sad, sometimes I"m really sad too!
The second, which I keep meaning to do when appropriate and then forgetting is to write a simple story about what happened, with some pics and then read it when requested. For example with us, Dad had a 2 week business trip and I kept telling a bedtime story about the kids who missed him, and all the stuff that they were doing/and what he was doing. Next time I'll spend a little time printing it with some pics and then they can also tell it to each other. Its still the most requested bedtime story 2 weeks later, as they're still processing "goes away and comes back", and I think you might find the same impact with your girls. Some simple pictures of daddy at home, maybe just the hospital, daddy doing stuff at home, then lots of conversation. Just like "sam I am" at our house right now, sometimes it takes a LOT more repition then the grownups can stand, before they're done with it. Hang in there, we have medical issues with the daddy at our house too - and its nothing but hard, but sometimes the good days make you forget the rest for a little while.


I'm so sorry- you must feel like you are running in circles- I can't imagine what you are going through so I won't pretend to know- I just wish you peace, health and laughter back in your home- we'll keep your family in our thoughts and prayers.........


Oh wow, I'm so sorry you've had such a lot to deal with lately. Oy. It is so complicated for our babes, isn't it? Nothing is simple or straight forward. In addition to dealing with the stress of having a chronically ill spouse, you have to deal with the very complicated reactions and emotions of your daughters. It isn't easy. I wish I had sound assvice but we're just muddling through over here too. Both of my girls are hypervigilant and super-sensitive to additional stressors. Sending you tons of peace, good health and love...

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