easy, hard, and everything in between

back in america. what a joy it is! the trip was wonderful in terms of lydia. she slept a large portion of the flight from tokyo to detroit and was entertained pretty much the entire other portion of the trip by play-doh. we couldn't have asked for her to have been any easier.

however, once we landed in norfolk i have never felt so drained in my life. i thought i was going to collapse right in the middle of the airport. i think it was a combination of physical exhaustion (we were on hour 27 with about 2 hours of naps along the way), lack of food (airplane food is a little lacking...especially japanese airline food), and absolutely emotionally wiped. and the anticipation of seeing everyone about put me over the edge. i wasn't sure if i was going to make it! i quite literally could not even hold lydia so thank goodness she was willing to walk. it was a weird feeling to be so weak. i wanted so bad to freshen up and look great - or at least better - for our reunion but it was all i could do to just make it upright. oh well, we just won't frame those pictures!

as for being home, it has been much harder and much easier than i expected. lydia has done amazing. at times i am even a bit worried at how well she has done but i think it is all part of her miracle. she has embraced the kids, runs around the house, lets our parents hold her. lest i paint too pretty of a picture, she does want someone with her all the time. so i can't really do anything unless eric or one of our parents is around to play with her. she will play with the kids to an extent but she seems to want an adult for security.

so that brings me to the hard part. i severely underestimated how physically and emotionally exhausted i would be. in that sense, i feel like i just gave birth. i am wiped. it is all i can do just to make it through the necessary steps of the day. today, the shower was at 6:00 at night. and added in there are so many emotions. for 3 years we have been invested in this little girl and her adoption and now it is over. there is some letdown involved. and now we have this little girl who while she was very much loved in our hearts it is a little bit weird to actually have her. i think it is going to take a while before i feel like she is really ours and is a regular part of the family. right now i sort of feel like i am babysitting. i don't know. i haven't really processed it all and can't put words to a lot of my feelings. and of course, there is the general difficult of adding a child and having 4 little ones to take care of now. suffice it to say it has been a bit hard.

she is sleeping with me in our bed. eric is on the sofa, although i think he may sleep in josiah's room tonight since josiah has taken to sleeping on the floor. she took her nap in her bed today so i think we are almost to the place where she can sleep the night in her bed. i would rather sleep with her than have to get up and tend to her. she has done great - last night was just about 5 minutes of crying and being awake. can't complain about that.

overall, we are doing as good as could be expected. lydia continues to do the miraculous. and we are so thankful for that. and someday, i will come out of the fog of 4 children...i have a year, right?

thank you so much for your prayers. we would appreciate continued prayer for bonding and attachment within our whole family (especially josiah and lydia) and strength to figure this all out. grandma and aunt chrissy leave tomorrow, eric goes back to work on wednesday and i will have the 4 by myself. yikes! when's naptime???


Justin and Lisa said...

Ash, I don't think we can expect to come out of the fog until they are all in college! Lower your expectations!! It will all come together-I'll keep praying!!

Nate Walter said...

Hey Ashleigh! You're so honest, it's great. How did your first day alone go? I can see how adopting a 2-year-old would feel like babysitting at times - you're interacting with a real person now, not just a picture. For us, it always took us 6 months after each child was born for life to feel normal and routine again. May the Lord carry you through to that point. Did you guys learn some Chinese? I'm curious. Did I ask you that already? I can't remember. Take care, and it's great to re-connect with you guys! --Faith

susan said...

You have been so amazing - you have shared your most intimate thought and prayers through all this. It is one thing to have faith, yet another to tell everyone! God will work out all the details...He won't give you more than is possible for you. He may stretch you farhter than you ever expected, but the result of a more intimiate relationship with Him is soooo worth it. God also doesn't want us to struggle alone - you do need to ask for help when you need it. It is NOT a sign of weakness, but of strength. That was a really hard lesson for me to learn. Helping you is someone's opportunity to minister for Jesus. God bless you. I am praying for you.
love, Susan

Andrea Nielsen said...

Hi, I have been following your jouney since I found your blog through another AHH family. I adopted last year and just wanted to say go easy on yourself. I also felt a bit like a bbysitter ( my daughter was 27 months when we got home) and it was a bit of a struggle at first, but it does get better. Your honesty is what will help. You will find many others who have walked in your shoes. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers. Blessings and get all the rest you can get!