Thursday, September 9, 2010

Some of the Not-so-Good

I've posted a lot of the "goods" about the adoption process, but I really feel like it's important that I also post some of the "not-so-good" parts too.  As I know when you are struggling and searching for support it helps to know that there are others out there struggling with some of the same aches and pains as you.  It also helps to know that what you are going through is some-what normal and you are not a complete failure.  So here are a couple of things we've struggled with in our first week home...
  • Hair Pulling....  Our first two days home Maddyx was literally pulling his own hair out.  As he cried, he would take his hand and rip the hair out of the back of his head.  It was so hard to watch.  He mainly did it when it was bedtime and he was grieving.  There was absolutely nothing we could do to stop him and I knew this was his way of trying to soothe himself, so we had to let him do it.  No matter how hard that was.
  • Head Rocking.....  Along with pulling his hair he also rocked his head back and forth.  The first couple of nights it was excessive and fast.  I was actually really worried that there was something wrong with him. Until I figured out it was just another method he was using to try and soothe himself.  So he was pulling his hair out, and rocking his head back and forth at the same time.  Absolutely heart-breaking.  And very scary for a first-time parent.  Let me tell you.
Good news, both of these soothing methods disappeared by day 3-4......  I did see a little of the hair pulling this evening, but we had a rough second half of the day, so it made sense to me.  Hindsight....

The truth is, this is not easy.  Even when you have a baby that is easy-going and pretty happy most of the time, as we do.  This is still a brand new little person in your life that is used to someone else's parenting style, and a whole other life for that matter.  I am a 30-something, first time parent, and learning as I go.  I've become and instant Mom to a one year old who just met me a little over a week ago.  I have moments of pure joy and others of complete dismay.  My husband told me two nights after we returned home from Seoul with Maddyx, that I've cried more in the last week than I have in the last 10 years we've been together.  Does that tell you anything?  You're learning all about this new little life and yourself all at once.  It's a life-changing experience that forces you to dig deep within your depths to find your truth.  Not always pretty, but it is YOUR truth.  These are the moments that define us and we must learn from each moment, both good and bad.

Thanks for letting me share.  I think I just needed to use this blog as a journal today.  Appreciate you listening.


  1. oh, michelle! i am so glad you posted this...and wish i could give you a big huge hug. and, i wish we were just down the block from each other. but, you are right...just knowing that someone else is experiencing similar things and surviving makes a world of difference.
    and, look at's 3am my time and i just gave leo a bottle and cannot fall asleep! i see trouble in my future tomorrow.
    hang in there...if you need anything - reach out (i'm on FB)

  2. You deserve a big hug! I can relate to a lot of the feelings you shared. I have a 6 year old biological son, and our new little guy (18 mos old) that we have only had for 4 months now. Even as an "experienced" mom, the adustment period for me was huge as well. My son wouldn't let me put him down, leave the room, or even go to the bathroom without sobbing for the first 6 weeks he was home. He weighed 25 lbs at 13 mos. old and my arms ached from carrying him nonstop. I had visions of carrying him to his prom one day! :)

  3. The hair pulling is very difficult Michelle. As I shared with you in my email Wesley has done this and unfortunately is still doing this. As happy as a 15 month old as he is, this is one thing that has stuck. It's excruciating to watch. I haven't blogged about it because it hurts too much. Good for you to share, it does help others to know that they are not alone. Continue to share with friends, family, other moms and you'll be surprised how many of us have had struggles. Us first time moms especially have to stick together and share because it's so hard in this particular circumstance with these children coming home older and more attached to FM. Hang in there and know that we're here :)

  4. Michelle-
    Samara has also done a lot of hair pulling since being home. She's been home 2 months now and we are seeing the behavior lessen but it's still there.
    With her it seems to be a control behavior. Anytime she gets frustrated or doesn't get what she wants she pulls- hard.
    Thanks for sharing.

  5. Michelle, I think Max does this sometimes too. It's the hair right above his ears mostly so I wasn't sure if it was teething related or what. It is sad to see though. Thanks for your honesty. I have some honesty of my own coming on my blog. Things have been kind of tough recently with Max and I don't want to gloss over that. If nothing else, so I can look back some day and say, "wow, we've come a long way." :) Hang in there.

  6. i so appreciate your honesty. it helps me know what to expect and what i might have to deal with and that above all, others have been there!

  7. Oh girl I'm so sorry I've been out of the loop. I so appreciate that you are sharing this. I know you can do this and you will get to the other-side.


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