Thursday, January 25, 2007

And here's our beauty one month on....

1 month along and lots of cold cups of tea!

Has it been a month? In some ways it seems like forever and in other ways it seems like yesterday....since what? Since my life was turned upside down :) ... I have made SO many cups of tea and found them cold some time later!
I want to take a moment to thank all the wonderful people that gently and kindly left posts - either privately or publicly - in response to my entry last Friday. You are wonderful people that put my heart at ease - your honesty had me weeping at times and I appreciate your wisdom and your willingness to share your heart and your thoughts with me.
I think the back pain I've been experiencing has coloured so much of my journey at this point. I had 2 really good days (in comparison to others) on Monday and Tuesday - and then yesterday morning I redid my injury, only this time it was on the left side of my back not the right. The pain has been overwhelming. I've had a lot of surgery in the past and put up with a lot of pain - but day after day of pain like this is something I've never had to deal with. It gives me a far greater understanding of what my mum and my husband have had to endure. I wouldn't wish this on anyone.
Needless to say - I just haven't been able to enjoy Ebony in the way I would so love to - but I do know that time will come. She is still melting my heart at times and pulling my heart out of my chest at other times. She swings from the happiest little girl to the angriest little girl in a heartbeat - but I now understand this is common with children who have never experienced love. Can you imagine that? Never to have experienced deep love at the age of 17 months. She doesn't know for sure yet that we are going to stay in her life - she doesn't know that we love her and would never leave her or harm her - she doesn't know who we are - she doesn't know what stability is or what a 'home' is. No wonder she swings in her moods. She desperately wants to be held all the time - which has been incredibly difficult for me. Graham has been able to stay home as much as he can - but there's a price to pay for that too with him being under so much pressure to build a home and provide an income too. I couldn't do this without him at the moment - he's been the shining light in a very dark tunnel. Graham and Ebony are bonding so well - she really wants him most of the time and as much as I'm delighted about it, it also breaks my heart because I just can't be what she needs at the moment. I'm glad God knows - 'cause I sure don't.
Yesterday we had some wonderful friends visit and stay for dinner (which the darling Teresa cooked so I could rest!). It was great and we took the children down to the creek and you'll see somem of the result in the photo's below. It was lovely family time and I'm looking forward to more of these when our home is built!.
Well, I'll post some photo's of the progress on the house in the next day or so, but in the meantime, here's a couple of photo's of my little angel.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Video taken on day 9

A video taken on our Forever Day

Goodbye handbag - hello baby bag

How different could life be? I know all you who are mums already knew what it would be like - I never for one minute thought it would be easy - and it isn't. I love my little girl with a kind of love that I never knew possible. I now know that saying "you didn't grow under my heart - but you grew in it" is more true than ever. I would die for this little human being. She fills my day with sunshine and, at times, with showers. But I must say it's so different having to prepare a nappy bag every time I go out now - mostly my handbag stays on the couch these days. As long as I have my keys and purse the rest doesn't seem to matter. Even make up has become a bit of a thing of the past!
I don't know why more people in the adoption community don't talk about the difficulties that happen when you return - anyone I have spoken to has said what I'm going through is normal - yet no-one prepares you. I want to prepare others for the gamete of emotions that happen and for the dependence, even from a now 17 month old, that can happen. We talk so much about attachment of the child to us - but attachment from us to the child is never mentioned.
There are times when I look in my daughters face and think "who are you to me really" - what does mother/daughter really mean? What does it mean to you and what does it mean to me?
What I'm about to say could open me to criticism - but if you know me and know my heart you will know I'm simply being honest because I want to help anyone else who is about to embark on this leg of the journey. I love my little girl and I would never, ever, ever go back.
Ebony is far more demanding of my time than I would have ever expected - is that wrong? No. She's never had attention like she is getting now - she has had us 24/7 for the 4 weeks since she was placed in our arms. Now we are home and life is different. There have been suitcases to unpack, clothes to wash (and try to hang out), meals to cook (and eat if possible) - bills to pay, a house to build, a daddy who has to go to work at some stage. Ebony is not getting our attention the same way she was and she's really struggling. She follows me around and constantly wants to be held or carried (VERY difficult when you have bulged disc in your back which happened 12 hours before we left China and is another story for another day), but it's difficult even if you don't have a bad back. She can't seem to play happily on her own. We have very short windows where she will - but they are very short. I guess this is normal under the circumstances.
I also don't want to keep saying no to her when she touches the TV/computer/fire place - so what do I do? I think I've worked than one out - I distract her. I say a firm 'no', but then I remove her and take her to her toys. She does return eventually and we go through the same process. She is only 17 months old today and is not developed as a normal 17 month old would be - so I need to understand how new all this is to her too.
Toys - that's another interesting topic. Very little seems to keep her happy at the moment. I'm about to try to introduce a few and take away a few. I don't want her to have too many at once - but I'm not wanting to be mean either.
Sleeping - at the moment we've decided that we will get her off to sleep with us around and then transfer her to her cot. I'm not sure how we'll break this habit, but I know we will eventually. She has spent almost no time on her own since she was found - so that's a tough one. She's waking up in her cot in the morning and copes with that fine. Her sleeping pattern is wonderful - she sleeps 12+ hours most nights, although we had one night when we got home where she was awake from 3.30am until 5.45am (then slept until 10.30am)! We are trying to get her into a pattern. She will sleep 2-3 hours during the day too. She really is a wonderful sleeper and I'm so grateful for that - it gives me a chance to get some things done. I want to be able to play with her, but my back is making it almost impossible to get down on the floor. More than anything at the moment I want my back to get better! then maybe I'll start to know a new kind of different.
Eating - Ebony doesn't want to eat. She has 3 bottles a day which are a mixture of milk formula and rice cereal. The Orphanage also put glucose in her bottle but I've managed to wean her off that. She will eat cruskits now and a tiny bit of cheese and she'll put saltanas in her mouth but won't swallow them. I'm looking forward to seeing the Pediatrician and her doctor next week that's for sure!
She really does love her bath and that's a blessing and she also loves her stroller. We want to try and do a family outing soon where she can explore and see a bit of the outside world. It has been SO hot here that we have been inside most of the time - it's just too hot to go out. That's probably not helping either.

Well - there is so much more I want to say, but will leave it for a few days. I really don't know how much of what I'm feeling is due to my back. Maybe the sun would be shining much brighter if I wasn't in pain. I'm still a very, very happy Mummy, I'm just a bit confused and I guess all new Mummys go through all these feelings.

Monday, January 08, 2007

A journey of no return

Wow - how much can a life change in such a short period of time. Ebony has only been part of my life for 2 weeks and it seems like forever in the best possible way.
Ebony you have filled my life and my heart to overflowing - you have made part of me complete in a way that I never knew possible. You fill my days in a way that I never thought possible. (and we're not even home yet!)
You are such a little gem. For all you have been through you are learning to love us so well. You still have a bit of detachment, but all in all you now know who provides for you. I pray, as the years unfold, you learn more about who really provides for you.
You are an amazing sleeper - you travel well most of the time, although you have had your moments. You dance with your daddy - you love your bath - you smile readily but you also know your mind and when you don't get what you want you are sure to let me know. I'm learning to say 'no' because I know it will be for your good in time to come (and mine!).
You say 'dad dad dad' although we know this had a different meaning when you were in the Orphanage. You wave your beautiful little hands often, which we now know happens because of singing along to 'twinkle twinkle little star' in Chinese.
You are so beautiful - you have a gorgeous round face and LOTS of raven black hair. You have perfect almond eyes and a rosebud mouth. You have a slight underbite that we will have looked at on our return. You came to us with silky smooth skin that is now very dry and rashy - we'll have to have that looked at too. You have 8 teeth, although there is at least 1 that is beginning to poke through.
You wake up so beautifully in the morning - no hurry at all (could be a problem when we need to get you up for school though....). You are a happy girl who plays really well with the other girls - although you are starting to join in a bit more (where you were just sitting and watching before) and can be a bit rough on the littler ones.
You are walking now - which my heart isn't ready for but my head knows has to happen. You are getting very confident. All of a sudden we are having to move things out of reach (already!).
How my heart swells - how easily a smile comes over my face when I watch you. How grateful I am to God for the gift He has given us. A week and we'll be back in Melbourne and you'll get to meet many others who have waited and prayed with us for you. I love you sweetheart with a love that I never knew possible.

Saturday, January 06, 2007


I want to say a big thankyou to eveyone who has posted comments - I have tried to respond but now the emails are down again - so please know how grateful I am and that you will receive a response as soon as my emails come up - they are all sitting in the 'outbox'. That is if I know who you are of course! Susan J I am receiving yours but for some reason any emails I have sent to you keep bouncing! Thanks for posting though!
Well today is day 2 in Shanghai - yesterday ws the medical day and you can read about it at You may also need to look at photo's there as the connection here is SO slow - I was up until after midnight trying to post photo's on the website!
Ebony is filling our hearts with joy. She is just a gem and we learn more and more about her every day. She still isn't eating solids although she is trying a bit more than she had been which is a start. She is a great sleeper and although I know there aren't photo's of her smiling (which I hadn't realized until mum pointed it out) she does smile! We are going to work at getting a photo at the right time today I promise.
We are back on a bus today, but at least the tours today and tomorrow are only 1/2 days. If Ebony can get her middle of the day sleep in her cot she is much, much better. It's very cold here 7 degrees today and 4 tomorrow, so we're really rugging up or the locals tell us off! They are beautiful people really - although far more beggars here than we have seen anywhere.
Well my heart continues to swell and I often find joyful tears in my eyes as I learn more and more about my daughter. Life is so different for her and yet she seems to be adjusting so well. She is still besotted with her daddy - just like I am :) I love seeing them together - it also fills my heart with such joy. What a journey - what a life ahead for us. We both are looking forward to bringing Ebony home to all the people who already love her - yet we also want to savour every moment we have here - loving her people and the Country that gave her to us.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


We had our first day of freedom yesterday and another one today. What a blessing. Our little girl slept for almost 3 hours! We are delighted more and more each day with the progress she is making. It would be very easy to think that she is coping completely. But I'd be a fool. She has had such major adjustment and at her age it's even harder. She is so much fun, but she can turn from fun to tears in seconds (yes I can hear all the mums saying that's normal :). I just keep observing. She is such a fun little girl and yet when we took her down to the playroom yesterday, she was very subdued. She's still not walking really. But she's very, very close. We just took it very easy yesterday and didn't venture far from home. Today we're going to the local department store and then back to the souvenir shop to have a bit of a better look around. Then mummy's doing a final shop before we leave here. We will be posting one box home for sure! Life is so much fun with Ebony in it - this last week has been totally filled with the high of highs and the low of lows - with confusion - joy - tears - laughter - pain - overwhelming love - uncertainty - tiredness - completness - and a peace that can only come (for me) through knowing all these emotions through my daughter.

Monday, January 01, 2007

A brand new year

...and who would have thought a year ago today that I would be in China this New Year with a beautiful new blessing from God in the form of Ebony.
I must mention that I can't get on emails at the moment because of the cable that has been damaged through the incident in ?Taiwan? I'll be back on line as soon as possible - but can't at the moment!
I don't want to talk a lot about what we did today - I just want to talk about the joy in my heart. The song that is there and wasn't before. I'm so 'filled' by this little girl who really doesn't understand or know me yet. She looks into my eyes now and I can see her confusion. I can read her pain and yet her joy. She is confused and there are times when I know she doesn't know how to express herself.
In her allocation photo's she was waving (look back on the posts around the 8/9th November) and we thought it was so sweet - now it is part of every day. She is the only one of the six that do this hand movement and we're told it's a game - but we love it to bits and so do the rest of the group. It's become her signature. The signature of a beautiful, happy and very sweet child. Yes she has her moments - but her general nature is incredible. We couldn't be happier.
I had to go and do some shopping for a few hours today and I truly missed her - I missed our family. It's a wonderful and special feeling and we could never go back to where we were - we will NEVER be the same. She is already filling our lives to overflowing. I know there will be difficult times in the future - but that will be when it will be - it's isn't now. Now it's just joy in the season.

We're back on line

It has been the most amazing few days - my heart has been all over the place. I'm emotionally exhausted. I am SO glad we took the journey down to Ebony's Orphanage - but I don't know that my life will ever be the same because of it. It was a wonderful day and a horrible day all in one. The Orphanage staff were so helpful and so grateful. I shed so many tears on that day. As we pulled up at the Orphanage the tears started and by the time we were sitting all together at the Directors table I was weeping and couldn't stop. He wanted to thank us and yet all I wanted to do was express my gratitude to them for looking after my little girl so well.
Seeing the inside of the Orphanage was a huge shock. I guess it's probably one of the better Orphanages, but I don't know that anything prepares you for what we saw. There were so many children that were all in their cot's at 11am in the morning. A few were sleeping and most were standing - some crying. There was the smell of urine and just a group of cots cluttered together. Their resources are so low. We were shown were Ebony spent the first 16 months of her life - she slept right next to Mei Gethen - the youngest child in our group. I had actually thought the day before that they had a bit of a connection.
We also got to peep in the nursery section and their I got to 'love on' a beautiful little hair lip/cleft palate baby. She was beautiful and she was very sad. I did all I could in a small space of time. But I've walked away trying to work out what more I can do to help them.
The next part of our journey (after lunch) - was the girls finding places. We were first and nothing could have prepared me for the gamet of feelings that fell on me. I was distraught and confused and so, so sad. What makes the world such that mummy's and daddy's have to leave their child in a place like this? I don't know that I will ever fully understand. I understand the parents and my heart cries out for their pain - but how could a government turn a blind eye to the realities? I was just a complete wreck for the rest of that day and woke up the next day feeling like I had been hit really hard. I still can't come to terms with it and yet I'll be eternally grateful we were given the opportunity. There are now fewer questions in my heart.
I just look at my little girl - at the miracle she is and I weep for the carers who have lost her and the mummy that had to make the difficult choice and who is missing out on such a joyful, happy and beautiful little girl. Here are some photo's. The ones with me with my hair up are firstly at the orphanage and secondly with the gold pillar's behind me - at the finding place. The third with me is on a tour the next day - loving being a mum to a sleeping beauty and finally in the bath - happy and loving it!