Saturday, February 5, 2011

Our Dual Adoption Issues Vol. 1

followed by some cute pictures.

Before I begin to delve ever so slightly into sharing our experiences over the last week let me say thank you SO much for your supportive comments on my last post.
I have printed them out
and promptly
taped them to my forehead.

I needed to hear your encouragement and very much expect to need them again
thus I decided my forehead was the perfect place for safe keeping especially because the rest of my house looks like a bomb exploded in it and I wouldn't be able to find said list anywhere else.
And really, if we're not going to be honest then what's really the point? 

Where to even begin.....
as I mentioned and you read about, our time in China was incredible.
It was truly remarkable how easy the transition was and I am ever thankful that the issues we are experiencing now waited until we got home to begin.
Dealing with all of this
over there...
that would have been ugly.

I think they felt safe there.
And here?
Well, notsomuch.

This week has reminded me a lot of when we first brought the twins home.
2 more kids in the blink of an eye.
It's parenting on steroids.
Oh wait....that sounded wrong....I am not on the 'roids or anything....that's not what I meant.....oh nevermind.
Only this time instead of two newborns that I could just cuddle and feed and love I feel like I've given birth to a couple of scared 7 year olds who don't speak my language.
And the difficulty level gets ratcheted up a notch or 12.

Instead of scooping up a baby...or a 7 year old....and being able to fully focus on that child and his needs your attention is divided.
And divided attention when they are both crying or scared or mad is well

I am but one.
One mom.
One non-Mandarin speaking mom.

Personality wise the boys are
Night and day.
Black and white.
Apples and oranges.

Joey by personality is very snuggable.
I just made up a word.

Joey can be comforted by holding, snuggling, and rocking as he silently cries sobs.
Jacob by personality or more accurately, circumstance is not very snuggable.
I don't think anyone ever really cared to pay him much attention the last few years.
So comforting him as he cries very un-silently in whatever hidden location in our house he has placed himself is just different.
Heartbreakingly different.

When one is upset and being comforted by one of us they are quick to let the other one know.
Which results in some building animosity between the two of them.
Periodically they will say some rather un-kind things to one another in Mandarin which sets the other one off thus leaving me on constant alert for that subtle change in tone of their voice.
I don't speak Mandarin.
But I do speak Mom.
And there are some things you realize are happening without the need of translation.
They are scared.
They are somewhat shell-shocked.
They are ridiculously cute.
and they are loved.
They just don't know it yet.
But baby, ohhhh baby...will they ever soon.
Cuz though I am only one,
I am one who isn't going anywhere.


  1. oh they are wicked cute! yum! i repeat that line to my kids all the time: there is ONE of me and FIVE of you!!! do the math!!! he he... do remember to get yourself filled- spiritually and coffeeually (HA-- another new word!!) because if you're empty-- you ain't pourin' anything into those cuties!!!! the first month home is a doozy- after that-- it gets better each month until you're like- hey??!! look at me-- i can do this with one arm behind my back, and then God, in His infinite wisdom bakes you a delicious humble pie... but i digress... love you!!!

  2. Those pictures. Those faces. Oh my. We'd still love to try and Skype. Problem is I seem to be face planting in my fried rice each night at dinner because I'm still working out this jet lag thing...

  3. Those pictures do a great job of summing up their personalities as you have described them. :)
    Wow, are they cute!
    Continuing to pray for you as you work your way into a new normal.
    I know it can be pretty tough!

  4. All part of the process, if it were easy more people would be doing it!!!! Adoption is an adventure, just always look at it that way. Some things you try will work and others you will throw out in today's trash, but you will find the way for your family and it will be WONDERFUL!!!!

    This hard beginning sorting it all out days will just be a blurb in time pretty soon!!!

    THinking of ya!!

  5. Trust those Mama instincts gifted to you from our Abba Father. He knows that you know exactly what they need. You have so beautifully documented the truth that His Mighty hand has been in every detail of this dual adoption. And He never lets go!
    I can hardly wait for the one month home post. I anticipate this will be a blip on the radar screen. Just like the blur of those newborn days with twins. But for now, I know it is just plain H.A.R.D.
    Praying from Hong Kong!

  6. Oh friend, I am so sorry things have been so tough. (I've been sick, so haven't posted--but I have been keeping up with you.) I wish I had some magical advice, but I think it has all been given. Bottom line is a mama's love, and time. You keep doin' the lovin' and we'll pray for God to get you through this crazy "time" and on to better "times". And He will. And day by day your sweet-and-as-different-as-night-and-day boys will learn to trust you, they'll realize you are in it for the long haul (no matter how long), and that you love them each the same and differently--just as you love your other four. Praying for is His grace to carry you when the road seems too tough--we're still here cheering you on!

    Love the new pics. Love you!


    P.S. Nothing Americanizes a boy like an oversized Nerf weapon!

  7. My heart breaks for their pain and yours! I have seen you love your kids and I know it's not any different with the new ones! Things will get better! I wish we were still living close so that I could meet them!

  8. I love that you are taking this with a BIG sized MaMa's heart.
    They will one day realize it, get it and KNOW that you love them equally and LOTS.
    Who cares about the house.
    Just sit and play and love on them.
    Prayers are still coming your way.

    Much love,

  9. praying for you- soon you will discover what Jacob "likes" from you that is "different" from the others.. what makes "him" tick.. especially if right now he is not cuddly. Daniel wasn't either - but he would climb up if I read to him.. so I read as much as he would let me- and like joey- drew is a natural cuddlious one (yup that is a word.. i swear)
    now dan like to cuddle too.. not as much as drew.. but i will take it!
    Protect your heart and flesh as you go through these times- it is what I felt that got attacked the most within me- especially as the days went on BUT KNOW God is growing you as He heals them! I will be praying for you all! Thanking God for you and for a loving husband to support you through this! John rocks too ;o)I wouldn't have "made it" without my rock- Bob.

  10. saying that bob was/is my rock ;o)LOL

  11. ooh. the sobbing, both outloud and quietly just hurts my heart. hang in there mama. you will let these boys know that they are loved and one day they will be ready to embrace that. hang in there!

  12. I love this post because it is brutally honest. I remember saying I felt like I had just given birth to a 2 yr. old ;) I can't imagine having 2 older boys!!! I can only imagine how difficult it must be. I know things will settle down soon. It's definitely a process, and I am sure you will see some big strides soon.

    Hang in there. They are testing you to see if you will, or not!! How amazing it will be when they figure out you're there to stay!!

  13. Loving your honesty and knowing in my heart you are going to make it through this to a new normal for all 7 Martins. You really should write a have a way with words. Love ya friend. Hang in there. Praying.

  14. Oh friend, know you are in my prayers. I wish we could meet for breakfast in the morning ... just like the good old days in China. I do believe that was the honeymoon. There is something about not having all the other responsibilities that we moms have and being able to just focus on our babies in China. Then the reality of life sets in ... it just keeps moving at rapid pace even when we aren't ready for it. Praying for you this week!

  15. Oh Sonia, I'm really feeling for Jacob right now. I know that when we brought Jadon home, we thought the same sort of things...he just wasn't comforted, so he wasn't used to that sort of thing. But, he was 23 thinking of Jacob being 7 years old and never really comforted breaks my heart. So grateful that he has a mama and baba who love him and will care for him no matter what he does. So grateful that they both have a family who will always be with them. They are both exceedingly adorable!

  16. Oh girl, hang in there. You are an awesome mom and those boys will soon learn that you are there to stay and you love them forever! God will not give you more than you can handle. He led you to these boys and He is going to give you the strength you need. Don't be afraid to accept help from friends too!

    Love the new pictures!


  17. I've been following your journey while in China - knew another family traveling with you. I have loved watching you become a family of 8. Just wanted you to know people you don't even know are praying for you.

  18. Love your blog and the honesty. I would imagine if they haven't felt love for so long (especially the total encompassing love your family provides), if that in and of itself terrifies them (for what they fear they could lose)... heartbreakingly beautiful... will keep praying for your family!

  19. More prayers and long distance hugs! I know that God is with you and will sustain you through this. That He will provide the love to fill you so that it can pour over onto those boys who need it so much. Sending some love from here too! Praying that they will start to go back to "having each others backs" soon. I can only imagine how difficult this transition is for them and the reassurance that they both need. Hugs!

  20. Your writing style absolutely cracks me up. Though we've not yet met, I feel myself just hee-hawing with you like we're sharing our "Mom thoughts" over an ice cream sundae. I can't wait to read the book you are writing in your spare time!

  21. Maybe its time for a little school- it could help them with their English immersion and give you just a chance to breath- could they go half days?
    (This is Britta by the way)