Monday, September 15, 2008

Blogging Deep Into The Night

Ella has been recovering from pneumonia and her sleep schedule is a little off again. Last night, I was up with Ella quite late and she said something that I did not expect. She asked if we could look at her "computer friends."
We adopted Ella when she turned four years old and knowing that she would remember her time in China I wasn't sure what to expect. In the first few months upon coming home, Ella had some pretty awful night terrors in which she woke up begging to go back to China and her nanny Jenny. I would sit and talk with her until she calmed down enough to go back to sleep. I have at times, sat with my daughter, 2 in the morning, in her closet, looking at orphanage pictures while she sobs. I know this is all normal and I try my best to comfort her own feelings. I never want to tell her that what she is feeling is wrong, but what I have tried to do is explain the situation. On the day that Ella left the orphanage, her nanny told her goodbye and explained to her that her momma and papa (baba) were waiting for her. Ella has told me many times "Jenny say bye-bye to Ella." My heart breaks knowing that Ella had to leave someone who loved her so much. I decided a few months ago that I would involve Ella in blogging. I want her know that she is not alone in leaving an orphanage to live with a family. I try to relate Ella's experience with what I can show her on the blogs. Ella LOVES to sit on my lap as we look at different blogs and talk about how all these girls said good-bye to their "Jenny's." I show her how happy these girls are to have a mommy, daddy, siblings, grandparents-whatever the situation may be. I tell her that these little girls on the computer are just like her. They left China because their momma and papa loved and wanted them so much. I always try to make it personal; she is your age, she goes to school like you, she has the same name as you, she has toys like you, she has a family just like you.
So to all the China Adoption blogs I have lurked, stalked and become a regular customer:

Thank You
Thank You for be willing to open up your life
Posting about the good and the bad
Your impact on my daughter's life has been immeasurable


Erin said...

Oh my goodness, Ronda. There is so much for me to absorb in your words. It is so poignant for me to think about Ella & you going through this together. The experience of adopting an older child is clearly unique, but even Libby, who came home at 14 months, has many thoughts and questions about her life in China. I will absolutely use your idea, to let her see the stories of other girls just like her. And... you are perfect for Ella. Clearly a match made in Heaven!) I am glad you liked that site... I LOVE it! Your comment reminded me to put a link on my blog. Thank you for sharing these very wise thoughts.

LindaJ said...

Lila has awful grieving for her foster mom. We spent almost a year helping her grieve and heal from her loss. I did blog about it way back then.

It's all normal and you are doing the right thing. I alway equalled it to the death of a close friend or family member. The grieving stages are similar. It may take some time, hang in there.

If I can help in ANY way, any questions, or you need to vent to feel normal again. I'm always here. Just email me or call....really any time.

Kay Bratt said...

It is heartwarming to know that there were really "Jennys" out there that loved the children before they were united with their forever families. And even more touching that you would help her process those memories with encouragement, instead of trying to smother them with new ones.


living4him5 said...

Oh my goodness! I am so behind on my blog reading!! Poor Ella and poor mommy and daddy. I will be praying for her as she recovers from her illness.

Thank you for your sweet comment about my dad.

Hope you get some rest tonight!

God bless,

living4him5 said...

Hi again,

I want to add that I understand what you're going through with the night terrors. Linzhi suffers from this too, not only at night but during the day as well. Please let sweet Ella know that Linzhi misses her nanny too. It breaks my heart that our girls and lots of other kiddos have suffered such a big loss at such a young age. You're wonderful to let her express her feelings the way you do. All we can do is hold them as them cry (and us). I'll be praying for Miss Ella as I pray for my sweet Linzhi. =)


mommy24treasures said...

hope your sweet girl is feeling better.

Beverly said...

Oh how sweet. Hope Ella is all better from her pneumonia. Glenys likes to look at the pics too but for obviously different reasons(different understanding) than your sweet Ella. What a good idea you had to use the blogs in that way and help her see she isn't alone. Isn't that was the FCC family is about anyway? Support?

Trish said...

Your post comes at such a perfect time. I needed to see that someone else was going through this.

Michelle said...

I am sorry to hear that Ella has been sick. Mia had pneumonia shortly after coming home from China and we spent her first Christmas Day in the ER. No fun. I pray that Ella feels better soon.

I had never thought of blogs being something to help sooth a grieving child. What a great idea, and something that you two share together. Give your sweet Ella a hug from me, Leila and Mia, ok?

Michelle said...

Awwww, Ronda! This post is so very moving...thank you for sharing with us what your sweet Ella is going through. You know...she is expressing what most likely our younger ones are feeling....but are not able to put into words as your Ella can. When I say younger, I mean younger at adoption. No matter how young....they still have a huge loss they need to work through. I think that it is wonderful that she is so open with you about her feelings...that is a true blessing!!!

Please tell her that the other Ella sends a big hug to her!!

Michelle said...

Hi Ronda...

I sent an e-mail to you earlier...with the e-mail address that is in your profile. Let me know if you don't get it or if that is not the right address...

Sherri said...

I hope sweet Ella feels better soon.

As hard as it is, I think it's good that she can express her memories from China.


a Tonggu Momma said...

Ronda - Michelle of Day By Day sent me here. This truly touched my heart. My daughter was just one at the time of adoption, but she left behind her "Abu," the foster mother who cared for her from six days old until three days before her first birthday. She grieved for her for quite some time and continues to tell me - at 4.5 years old - that she misses her Abu.

Somewhere In The Sun said...

Ronda, I think it was very wise of you to show Ella the blogs. I don't think I would have thought to use that as a tool for healing but it's a great idea. You are doing all the right things and in time she will be healed. I'm so glad I've gotten to know you and your sweet Ella.

(Livi Lu Originals)

Mom To Six said...

What an amazing gift you are giving to your beautiful Ella! Please tell her that we were blessed with 2 precious Chinese angels. Our Anna Grace is 3 and Kai is 4. We just couldn't imagine life without them.



Shawnstribe said...

hugs fromacross thesea.
You are a wonderful Mommy

Anonymous said...

Day By Day, Michelle sent me over. What a tender mama you are!
How insightful you are inot her life, I think this will be of tremendous comfort and healing to her!

xxMeredith Teagarden

AZMom said...

What a sweet little girl! I hope she feels better soon too! My daughter also likes to see her friends on blogs and IRL. We have quite a group here and in our previous home state of Colorado.

Give your girl a hug for us.

Amie@HeartSmiles said...

new here...

What sweet post!!! Made me tear up and Definitly made me think. I have never thought to use the blogs in that way!!!

I pray she feels better soon!

Hugs to you Ella!


Doug and Terrye said...

Our daughter was 15 1/2 months old when we brought her home from China. She was pre-verbal and often doesn't have words to explain why she is so sad and grieving. Thankfully most days are joy filled days, and the sad moments are becoming fewer and farther between. Please visit our blog and watch our almost 4 year old enjoy life with her mommy and daddy (and the rest of the fam)!
Terrye in FL

Jewels of My Heart said...

How courageous our children are. What a wonderful gift to help her healing... knowing she is not alone...she is not the only one. I will be praying for she is well soon and that her little heart is filled with joy and peace.
God Bless You,

missy said...


Sweet, sweet Ella! We somewhat know what you are going through as Paige was almost 3 when she left her foster mommy. She had been with them since she was 1 day old. She still speaks about them.

Paige and I are sending your Ella some pictures. Maybe she and Paige could be pen pals?

A Beautiful Mess said...

What a smart momma you are!! I would have never thought of using all these "cyber" connections to help our girls...thank you!

I hope your sweet ellea is feeling better soon!

Rebecca said...


I feel so much the same about the blogging community... I think I will feel it even more so when Owen is home. He is old enough to remember, too.

Thank you for sharing this!


Carla said...

Coming from Tongumomma's blog...Oh I so know where you are...well, except for the sleep. Katie chooses to lay quietly in the dark to do her grieving and remembering. She'll cuddle with us during the day, but night time she only wants to be alone to go to sleep. If she wakes up, and we come in...she'll cling to us.

It's been 9 months. She's just 2 now, but we still struggle mightily with her grief over her foster Mom. She called her 'My Mom' or something similar. She wouldn't even look at me willingly for 3 weeks. 100% complete and total rejection. {hug} You are doing the right thing, but I know it hurts to see her hurt so much.

Glen said...

Wow thank you for your blogging we are expecting a referral for an older child and are thrilled about that. Stories like yours and your daughters will help me so much when that wonderful time comes, I will have to go back and read the comments in this section when I get home from work.
Thanks again for you support,

Sandra said...

I appreciate your post. As the mother of a child who had terrible night terrors and post traumatic stress disorder, I think it is important for us to write openly about this. Adoption is a wonderful thing, but it isn't always all roses and sunshine; I wish I would have read posts like this before we adopted our youngest daughter. I might not have felt so alone and desperate...

Colleen said...

What a great idea to share the blogs and friends.

I hope your sweet girl is feeling better soon.