It’s A Rollercoaster Ride For Sure

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We’ve now had Olivia in our family for 7 days. It’s a bit hard to explain how the transition is going. Moment to moment it’s sweet, crazy, sad, funny, frustrating, expected, unexpected, and sweet again. Last night after some really naughty dinner-time behavior Olivia gave me this little grin that I swear said “Yeah, you bought it hook, line, and sinker. I worked two years to create this narrative on the ‘An Orphan’s Wish’ website and you bought it. Hah! You thought I was this sweet quiet little girl, but this here is the real deal!” The thought totally made us laugh.

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Yes, our little Olivia is a total sweetheart. She has the cutest smile, the most infectious raucus little girl laugh, and the most beautiful eyes. She is also a little person with a very strong mind of her own and a screaming voice to back it up. When she’s playing with Julia and Rion and doesn’t get her way I’m sure most people in our hotel know it. When she starts to get bored with breakfast she likes to throw noodles and other food items at the waitresses as they walk past. She is rough and tumble and even though we keep fussing at Rion for being too rough with her, she’s usually still laughing.

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She has mostly warmed up to the kids and gets along with them like most siblings do, well at times, and not so well at others. Her relationship with us seems to be on a constant uphill slope, but with little dips in between that sometimes confuse and surprise us. With everything we’ve learned about adoption over the years and with two behind us, you’d think we’d just roll with it, and we mostly do, but there’s still this strong desire to feel the love back. We know it’ll come in time and we’re certainly seeing a little more each day.

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Phil is out of the doghouse now and she’s starting to give him a lot of smiles and likes to play games with him. At first she was terrified of him and every other white male she encountered. We’ve been working on having him give her little snacks and things to help gain her trust.

Olivia seems to have figured out that I’m her mom and she comes to me when she’s hurt or needs to be held. But, I think ours is the most back and forth relationship in the family, and from what I hear from other families here that seems to be so common. I think it’s because I’m the one replacing her former caregivers and people she loved. She wants my attention and affection, but will often shove my hand away angrily when I try to stroke her. One minute she’ll grin at me and flash those twinkly eyes and the next moment she’ll glare at me like I tried to hurt her. The good thing is the happy moments are happening more frequently. The other good thing is that the angry moments show us that she had some sort of attachment in place before we came along. And that’s so important for her future bonding process with us.

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At the moment we’re just trying to follow her lead and let her go as far with us as she is comfortable to do. She won’t let me kiss her, but she’ll now follow my lead, kiss her own finger after I kiss mine and then touch fingers, bringing a sweet smile to her face. I let her moments in my arms be as short as she wants them and then she’ll usually come back for more. So we’ll just keep enjoying the moments as they come and rejoice over each new victory! Can’t wait for a big grin, a giant bear hug and a kiss for those sweet little lips though!

 

Comments

  1. Ellen Ervin (Oma) says:

    Happiness, Sadness and HOPE – such is LIFE!

  2. Staci Rohwer says:

    I love reading your blog and the pictures are great. Safe travels home and I’m so excited to see the new addition to your family!