This is really hard. We have wonderful support and we are finally home and we are so weary. We did not baby-proof our home sufficiently, imagining that our children would be reliably obedient about forbidden zones from the get-go: very naïve of us.
As it is, it is as if we are baby-sitting in that we can never have them out of our sight. Having lived in a world where everything was a.) safe for children and b.) existed expressly for children, Andy and Juliana can not hang onto the thought that some things are truly and permanently off-limits. In the orphanage, things that were not appropriate for children were kept in other rooms – rooms the children didn’t even know existed – so anything that was in the three rooms in which they lived truly was for them, if not now, then later.
We will say that something is off-limits and they hear that it is off-limits for now. It is all very reasonable considering what they are familiar with. It is also wearing us out as they keep checking to see if something is still off-limits. It is a bit like living with toddlers, but they are tall and have excellent fine motor skills and can open latches etc. Yes, it is exactly like that. Imagine you have an inquisitive toddler who hasn’t learned boundaries yet. You put everything up high or behind a baby-proof latch. Now imagine that your toddler is tall and can easily manipulate your latch and there are two of them. What do you do?
So, you experienced adoptive parents, how do you handle this? Oh right, you don’t have time to read blogs, you are busy parenting. Hmmmm . . .
Just in case you are reading, here is our other dilemma. Juliana has night terrors which of course wake Andy up as they share a room. Juliana gets cuddled and rocked back to sleep as she is icy cold and sweating and is, well, terrified. Andy does not get rocked back to sleep as he is merely grouchy from being awakened. Of course the “I want what she has” reflex kicks in and then he cries because she is being rocked and he is not. This keeps her from going back to sleep. Obviously, we could deal with this by giving them separate rooms, except that in general, Andy is frightened of being alone at all. They are used to having an adult sleep in the same room, but we really don’t want to start that. Ack. Our current lousy plan is to take turns staying up late waiting for the terrors (they happen in her first cycle of sleep) so that we can get her out of the room before Andy really gets going. This of course will only work until Jamie goes back to work on Monday as the parent who did the night shift gets to sleep in the morning. Or I’ll be doing the night shift as well as getting up with the kids at 7:00 and I’ll be grouchy and crying.
What I wouldn’t give for 24 hours of our old life back, just so we could get the house straightened out and a solid night of sleep so that we could handle this better. I don’t want our old life back for keeps, but it would sure be nice to have it back for just for enough time to get properly ready for the new life.