Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Journey: Redemption Part 3

Thank you for your patience as I tell Mei Mei's story.  It is hard for me to know what to share and what to keep private.  This might be a post that I eventually delete--and yet for now I hope it might help someone else who finds themselves walking in our footsteps.  You might discover your child has a different special need--but our journey is about hope and redemption--just as yours will be. 

We were so excited to finally travel to China for our Mei Mei!  I felt ready to meet meet, head on, any educational challenges Mei Mei might have.  One big plus in mothering a large family is having lots of experience!

When we arrived we learned that our Mei Mei's foster family lived on a rural farm far from the city.  We were also told there were no foster siblings in the home.

Boy, did that verse make more sense all the time! 

"God places the lonely in families."

As I shared in our Family Day post, our first day together was traumatic for Mei Mei.  Oh how my heart ached for her! 

But she soon settled in and was quiet and shy those first few days.  She was curious and learned how to work the I-touch immediately.  She was oh, so sweet--and she still is!  From day one Lan Lan called her "our sweet, sharing girl."

As the days went on tho, I noticed more and more that something was different with Mei Mei.  I couldn't quite put my finger on it.  She appeared to have some developmental delays, yet in other ways was right on target.  She would sometimes behave as if she was cognitively challenged--and yet she wasn't--at least, I didn't think so.  She was easily over-excited and extra sensitive to touch.  She often laughed inappropriately, sometimes yelled, and didn't seem to understand social cues--even taking into consideration cultural differences.  

One day, when we were in the hotel lobby with other adoptive families, she began mimicking all their babies, crawling and rolling around on the carpet.

And it finally hit me!  Mei Mei has social delays.

This was a special need I had never even considered! 

This was a special need that felt scary--very scary!


Anna said...

is that what its called? My daughter has down syndrome, we chose her for that reason. But there are little things that I cant put my finger on. Yesterday I went to lunch with a friend. (I can count the number of times this has happened since weve returned home on one hand) ANyway, she went into her own little world and it really upset me. I told my husband that It was like she was bored, adult conversation that she didnt understand and so she went to her happy place, rocking rolling her eyes in her head and making those guttural noises that terrified me on the first few days. I thought we were past that. hugs to you. thank you for sharing. This was for me.

Nancy said...

Oh I wish I could have been more with you then. The whole process is so so egocentric. I
I'm sorry I wasn't there more.
Yet so glad to meet all of you and mei mei too.
thank you so for telling the story. It's good... very very good.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your story. When I think of our adoption, if I would have seen my son's preadoption info at this time, I maybe would have said no. He is so very tiny for his age of 5 1/2. He is still in 3T clothes, weighing only 31 lbs. His two year old brother is almost the same weight. I am thankful that when we adopted him at 18 months, we did not know. Evan is right on target in every way, but just genetically smaller. I say all this to convey that God places children in their families, whether by birth or adoption. His plan is perfect. I am so thankful that He is revealing His plan to you each step of the way.
Kim Crawford

Anonymous said...

Our son who is from VN and was almost 5 at the time we adopted him has some similar problems. Though he was raised in a foster family with other children and did not seem to have missed any of the steps of being an infant or toddler. We find 3.5 years later he still has trouble with social cues, laughs inappropriatley, gets excited out of proprotion to what is going on, and them sometimes drooles which really puts other kids off. He controls himself better when we are around but kids at school, 2nd grade, especially the boys do not want to play with him. They ask him why he acts like that and tell him they don't like it. We will be going back to OT in summer to help him learn to watch for the signs of what he is doing and how to control it. We felt like from what we saw and could learn from him that he was probably rewarded for some of his over the top behavior and as we used to call it acting the fool. He also would inappropriately approach adults climb all over them touch them in ways that made everyone uncomfortable. It has been a long road of having him learn waht is ok and talking to him about when things are funny and when they are not. There are just a lot of gaps that we will never be able to fill in. Things do change and it all takes a lot of time which I think for us can often be frustrating. We finally have a teacher this year and a karate instructor who get it and work with us. The consistancy and expectations for behavior, outside of home, this last year have help him make some real changes in how he acts. As much as you want to accept them for who they are, there can be behaviors they really do need to change and learn how to control.