The Subway Incident

We were all tired, so we went to Subway next to our hotel to get some supper. I set Suhui in a chair nearby while we ordered. It was a very small subway, and the door was open to the outside. She kept blowing bubbles with her spit and then running outside to spit on the sidewalk. I sat her at the table and got her notebook and colors out to try to amuse her long enough to get some food. She comes up to the counter where we are ordering and marks on the counter with a crayon. I tell her “Bu” (no) and “No” and point to her notebook and tell her to only color on the notebook. She scribbles on the notebook for a few seconds and then runs up to the counter and scribbles on it. Tommy and I both are saying “Bu! No!” I wrestle the crayon from her hand. She runs to the table while I am putting her crayons up and grabs her colored pencils. Tommy takes them away from her. Then she starts throwing stuff, whatever she can get her hands on. So I grab her and tell Tommy we are going to the hotel room and he will have to bring the food there leaving him to pick up the various items Suhui has thrown. When I took her to the room, I put her on the bed and walked away because I was too mad. She cried and cried. When Tommy and Caleb got back with the food, I sat down and told her that we love her in Chinese and then tried to explain by demonstrating that she could not write on anything except paper.

I agree with Aimee in the comments that she is testing us to see if we will stick around even when she acts up. But we really feel at a loss as to how to handle this child.

The other frustrating thing is that when we try to help her with something she yells out wanting to do it herself. She can do an awful lot by herself. Then a little bit later she’s throwing a fit because she wants us to do the exact same thing for her. We know that this need to control is because she has lost control of everything in her life right now. But we still don’t know quite how to handle this. I love snuggling with her at naptime and bedtime, but she is even controlling then. If I don’t have my head right where she wants it, she uses her hands to turn it the way she wants it. If I don’t have my arm where she wants it, she moves it.

Something else that I want to share for any other moms out there who may feel this way just to let you know you’re not alone. I love, love, love that she’s a snuggler. But some times like this afternoon she calls out and needs to hug me tightly and kiss me literally every 15-30 seconds. I try to stop and spend some time loving on her when she gets like this. But it just seems like she can’t get enough. I can handle it okay except when I’m tired. Then I feel like I’m going to go berserk. I guess this is kind of like when you are nursing newborn, and you have so much contact with the baby you just don’t want anybody to touch you. I remember when I was nursing my babies I couldn’t even stand my cats sitting in my lap.

Okay, it’s bedtime here. Good-bye til tomorrow.

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7 Comments

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7 responses to “The Subway Incident

  1. Linda/Robert

    Hang in there!! It is going to take awhile, but the end result will be worth the hard work. You are doing a great job! Being a parent is HARD work. I think Robert must be testing me. (His little mouth that will not quit arguing!!) Keep looking up!! Hugs and kisses to all, Linda

  2. Andrea

    I bet things are extremely hard now while she is still learning boundaries, but hopefully it will get better once you can establish a routine at home. It will be great to have you guys home. I am glad that you guys are able to vent a little and get some encouragement through this experience. You certainly aren’t alone. I would guess others who have adopted have felt similiarly. Not that that helps, but like you mentioned with a newborn..stages help us to get through things. We will be praying for you!

  3. Kim,

    OH Kim. I am so sorry. It must be so hard to try foster attachment and at the same time show her that there are boundaries. But, honestly, I think you are doing an amazing job. You are loving her and you are not letting her be out of control. She has to learn where her boundaries are..for your sake but most importantly for her and her safety. I am sure this will take time. I am sure in the back of her mind she is thinking, “these people are way too nice, any day now they will leave me too.” It must be such a struggle in her little mind. One minute wanting to shower you with affection, the next minute throwing a tantrum.

    We both know that God is sovereign over all things and He has chosen this specific child for you. What if you are shaping and molding the next Lottie Moon?

    Prayers are coming you way,
    Hang in there,
    aimee

    • Aimee, Thanks so much for the encouragement! Someone else said, “Just think what she will be able to do for Jesus with that spirit!” I know it will get easier when we get home and have a regular routine so that she knows what to expect. Right now she doesn’t know what’s going to happen next. Our guide in Wuhan told her that we were flying to Guangzhou and then to America. I have been trying to tell her in a few days we are going to fly to America to her home. We have used the change of scenery coming to Guangzhou to try to have a little more of a routine, naptime, reading books and saying prayers at bedtime. Usually she just talks and plays while we are praying, but last night she folded her hands like us and kept saying, “Mama kan”(Mama look). So sweet to see her at the very beginning of learning about Jesus. We also decided to start singing “Jesus Loves Me” at bedtime, and we told her “Jesus ai Suhui”(Jesus loves Suhui). She nodded. I know she doesn’t understand yet. But someday she will!

      Congratulation on getting your TA! Soon you will be over here! I can’t wait to follow your journey!
      Kim

  4. I think you are doing all that you can do to show her she’s loved and that’s what we all need. This phase won’t last too long and then she’ll be into something else!

  5. Kim,

    I knew there would be challenges but I too never dreamed of the challenges that you are facing with her behavior. I can understand why there is a physical and emotional limit to what you can endure. You will have to absolutely make sure that you once you get home, you must do what Tommy and I have both discussed that we have such a hard time doing – you must ask for help!
    Be loud and clear about what help you need, While you are so amazing to me, you are human and you already have a huge amount of responsibility with home schooling the boys. I want you and Tommy both to let me know how I can help. I love you both too much to see you so drained because you both try to be “little red hens” and do it all yourselves. You both will need time alone and time for both the two of you alone once you get home.
    You both deserve that and your sweet boys deserve that as well. Please tell me how I can help. Love, Susan

    • Susan, Thanks so much! I have already told my dear friend Linda (Caleb’s best buddy Robert’s mama) that she’s going to have to be Rachel’s second Mama because I can’t handle her alone! I am planning to take whatever help other friends offer as well. We will do whatever we have to do. We are supposed to try to stay together as much as we can at first for bonding purposes, but I have already planned to ask the doctors/social workers/etc. at the International Adoption Clinic how soon before I can send her to a mother’s morning out or some sort of preschool program. We visit the clinic on the Monday after we get home. Thanks so much for the advice and encouragement!

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