Monday, September 17, 2012

Side Effects

In all the preparation for our yard sale, then the sale itself and now cleaning up and preparing to move out the left over things our busyness didn't allow a lot of time for dealing with behaviors that have been increasingly out of balance. I'm speaking in regards to the girls.

Hannah has had a bout of moodiness that finally was expressed when we pressed her on what was bothering her.  She is able to verbalize that she has mixed feelings as we prepare for our eventual move to our Florida home.  She could express that while she's excited about it this is the only home she's ever known. And seeing that she was 18 months old when we brought her home from China it is the only one she really remembers.  By being able to talk things out it helped her fears and concerns and gave her permission to know that her fear of missing this place was okay.  Then when she had a dream about being in our new home and "Goodwill flew us with all our boxes, then after a treasure hunt showed me this was home I was happy",  Hannah seemed to accept the current activities as a positive.

Lauren still hasn't really processed this because it's all unknowns for her.  Having a "new house" she sees in pictures, but we are still here.  Watching items she's familiar with leave and not being able to give verbal expression to her feelings and fears, she has reverted to old behaviors of misbehaving and inviting correction.  We've extended far more grace because we recognize this is disrupting to her sense of security.  When she finally pushed the behaviors to where correction was needed and she lost toys over it the melt down was inevitable and the wailing came in full force.  We learned from her early days with us that there are times you just have to let her sit in her room and cry it out.  It's like the steam valve on a pressure cooker it just keeps the whole thing from blowing!!

Art print by Yin Jun

Then after she's cried herself out, you can begin a conversation.  She actually did much better this time expressing that she really didn't know why she did the things she knew were wrong and would be in trouble for.  At that she apologized without being told she needed to. Now that was progress!!
So, after a good hug we asked if maybe she was worried about this move.  She immediately launched into a dialog about being scared because "I like this house and my stuff, and I don't want to leave my
baby doll here".  When I explained that it was coming with us to our new home, her eyes got huge and the revelation was clearly more than she'd realized.  We said we still have awhile until this happens, but there is alot to do to prepare with all we have here.  Then an explanation that if she was worried about something she needed to use her words to let us know not misbehave and have to get in trouble to get our attention.

These changes can be disconcerting as an adult who has a greater understanding and appreciation for what the plan is.  I find myself up and down for different reasons, mainly a bit overwhelmed with all that needs to be done before this change.  But, for two little girls whose life experiences are so limited and whose emotional tanks need a lot of filling up, this feels earth shattering if they can't process it as a positive.  So this life lesson for Kevin and I is not to assume they understand what seems obvious to us, but to take the time to get them to express from their perspective what's going on so we're all on the same page.

Who knew all this would come from putting together a yard sale.  Guess it's better to shed light on this subject now and be able to move forward with each of us operating from a position that this is a positive.

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