Dec 12, 2011


Note:  This post is hard

 Today was hard.  It really was.  I knew this would be hard, I'm not naive about adoption.  But it is different once you are in it, experiencing it.  When it is your own family being turned upside down.  Gergana has been doing very well.  I am so proud of her.  But she has a lot of hurt to work through.  9 years of gunk to get ride of.  It will take her longer then 5 days to adjust to a family.  Many times when a family adopts a child they go through a 'Honeymoon' phase after getting home where things go smoothly.  Sometimes it is weeks, sometimes it's a month.  In our case it was a few days.  The last couple mornings have slowly been getting harder and harder and today was full blown madness.  

Gergana wanted to go back to her orphanage.  And we wouldn't let her.  Break my heart.  If I could take her pain away I would.  The rest of the morning was spent with G crying/rocking/taking her anger out on 'stuff' and screaming at us (in Bulgarian).  It was hard.  We know it is normal, and actually healthy for her to be going through the grieving step.  But how to you handle it?  Do you try to stop the rocking and hold her?  Do you try to distract her with fun stuff?  Do you just ignore her?  We don't know.  We ended up just letting her work it out.  Breakables and hard furniture was removed from the room.  The tv was unplugged and laptops and telephones were put out of sight.  And we ignored her behavior.  We did NOT ignore her.  But instead chose to ignore the fact that our living room was turned upside down.  When she would say something we would acknowledge her and occasionally we would ask her if she was done and wanted to play a game.  Usually the answer was a very loud no.  Thankfully the Christmas tree was spared any damage.  Phew.  She spent so much time rocking and banging her head.  Very hard to watch.  Right before lunch she calmed down and by lunch she was able to sit down with us at the table.  She made it through.

One thing I did not really think through before Gergana came home was how this would affect the other littles in the family.  I didn't realize it would be this hard on them.  Abby is not herself.  She is winy, clingy to mom, and flat out defiant.  You tell her to do something and she does the opposite.  That is not like her.  Today she also spent a bunch of time copying Gergana.  Yelling 'no' in Bulgarian.  She has been awesome about expressing her feelings.  So proud of this girl.  We keep telling her that yes it is hard, but it will get better.  

This morning when we saw that things were going downhill with Gergana I took her on a 'Babar' date.  Thankfully my room is in the very farthest corner of the the basement.  So it is perfect to get away from overwhelming new sisters.  While Gergana was working through some of her grief this morning Abby was safely tucked away watching Babar on the internet and playing with stickers.  I don't think she realized what was going on.  Thank goodness.

This afternoon was much better.  She had a brief break down once but it only lasted 15 minutes.  Besides that she was her amazing self.  I love her SO much and my heart just breaks for what she has gone through-and is going through.  I keep thinking about what could of happened if only we had gotten her a few years sooner!  Oh if only.  I just keep seeing her as a baby laying alone in her crib crying..and I start to cry.  Goodness.  

By supper time we were all happy enough to eat an amazing meal.  Serious.  My 10 year old brother made us chicken...stuffed with spinach and cheese.  And baked potatoes.  He saw it made on a cooking show and then made it himself.  And it tasted amazing.  So good.

Gergana made the biscuits.  Have I mentioned before how much she hates the camera?  I haven't taken any pictures since we got home.  But girly is going to have to get used to pictures.  So I will be easing her in with my point and shoot camera.  Welcome to your new life chicka!!
(as a side note, we think she may need glasses.  She is constantly squinting!)

My poor puppy.  Gergana was so scared of him when she got her, add on top of that him running at her barking?  And he is banished to the garage.  She is getting used to him.  He will be back in the house in no time I'm sure.  He is my little bit of sanity in this new life we are on.

The night ended with a little bedtime battle.  She was exhausted and it didn't last long.  But it is a sign that things have moved to the next level (disobedience) which is exhausting just to think about. I'm excited to see how things go tomorrow!  Gergana is going to do great things with her life!


  1. made me cry for all of you! the painand turmoil of yournew sister is heartbreaking and the impact on you all...but mostly your heart and love and leap of faith to work through it all for this sweet child. keep positive and know love will win and that ithink you and your entire family are awesome xxxxxx

  2. Oh girly. I know it must be so hard. I am amazed at your and your family's endurance, and your love for your beautiful sister. I'll be praying for all of you. This is preparing me for our own adoption. Even though it's hard, thank you for sharing!

  3. Thanks for sharing, Joanna. I think you guys are on exactly the right track with ignoring the behavior without ignoring her as a person. If things get really bad, I think the International Adoption Clinic at the University of Minnesota does phone and online video consultations - (Not 100 percent sure on that, but that's what we've heard.) I know that we will be hooking up with them before your little boy Alex comes home; we're also hooking up with a local children's therapist who will help him work through whatever "gunk" he will be bringing home with him.

    Hang in there! A lot of times in life the "way of the cross" and "Easter morning" overlap. Your family is very lucky to have such a strong instinct for real love. We'll say some prayers!

  4. Hi there! I just stumbled across your blog yesterday and have been so blessed reading about your experiences with Gergana. My husband and I are in the process of adopting an older child (14 yr old girl) from Bulgaria - we would love to connect with your family via email if that would be acceptable to you? (It's hard to find other families who have adopted older children!)Please send me an email at We would love to connect with your family! God bless you for your hearts for adoption. Love it! :)


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