A Few Steps Back
For the first two full weeks things have gone much better than we ever expected. Neti and Meke's integration into the family felt complete. Still does. However, we've hit a bump in the road as of late.
We first noticed a change in Neti just a few days ago. During the day you wouldn't notice a difference. She still picks up new English words every day. She makes jokes ("Daddy little, Neti BIIIIIGGGG!" - giggle). She tickles her sisters, sings along with Bob and Larry, squeals in amusement at anything new, and regularly flashes a toothless smile while throwing her head back with yet another infectious giggle.
Bedtime introduces a different world. No longer does Neti find rest quickly. Instead, she spends the better part of an hour (or more) laying on her side, eyes glassy, sleep elusive. She's lost in a world only an orphan of her age could understand.
It seems grief has caught up to our little girl after being held at bay by scores of distractions thrown at her by the new world she's found herself in.
What's she grieving? Can't say for sure. The old country with the busy streets? The food? Her friends at the orphanage? The smell? Her bed? Her teachers? Her language? Culture? She's lost all these things in a very short time period.
What about the death of Mom and Dad? When a child of 6 assumes the role of Mom, does she bypass the grief process because of the added weight of responsibility? Who know's what Neti's grieving? And who knows how long she's held it in?
Meke hasn't slept as well either. She tosses and turns. She wakes up crying and sweaty. Last night she fell out of bed. Then she woke up at 5:30 and didn't want to go back to sleep.
But when the sun comes up things renew. Happy Neti and Bouncy Meke attack the day with the intensity of a child on Christmas morning. The video clips of giggling girls that many of you have watched over and over repeat themselves in realtime on a daily basis. During the day you wouldn't know that something heavy is rolling around inside those little heads.
I know this is a normal part of the process. With things going so well I though we had somehow leapfrogged the inevitable. Now here we are, dealing with the grief of two little girls.
Don't interpret this entry as a complaint, disappointment, or a play for sympathy. It's just to keep you informed. This is what we expected. This is what we signed up to do.
We ask for your prayers for our grieving girls.