27 February 2010

Saturday, February 27, 2010 - ,, 28 comments

Grieving is hard

It's been a rough week.   Not flawed, just rough.

Even though the week started with sunshine and smiles and quickly turned to rain showers and tears, we've still managed to make it to Friday with milestones made, doctor visits completed and another week logged into our  family calendar.   As I sit here and listen to the monitor of my husband talking softly to his daughter as he soothes her to sleep, I find myself weary of what lies ahead as the night grows deeper into blackness.   

What will the darkness hold for us tonight?  Will we find ourselves amazed at 5am when we sit straight up in bed each asking the other if they got up in the night or will we be telling the other that "it's your turn this time, I was up a 1/2 hour ago".  Our nights have not been perfect to say the least.  Yes, we did have five beautiful nights of uninterrupted sleep but that was five out of 22 nights, the rest have been nothing but painful.  Very painful.  From that first night in China.  Painful.  A pain that, we as our daughters parents, have no idea how to fathom because we have experienced little compared to what her whole life has been like for her.  Until now.

It has been very clear to us from the beginning that when darkness falls and the routine for bed is winding down, a memory is ignited in our crickets mind that takes her away from us.  She leaves and goes somewhere we have never been.  A place that haunts her until morning arrives and she awakes either in our arms or slowly opens her eyes to discover that she is in the same beautiful room she was in when darkness fell.   The morning is what gets me through the night.  The smile in her eyes.  The curve of her lips as she sees my face.  The look on her beautiful round face as she realizes that I'm still there.  I haven't left.  She's still safe.  That's the look that pushes me through the long dark nights with little or no sleep.  That's the look that reminds me that my lack of a pillow or  a warm blanket is the least of my worries when it all I want.   It's all I crave.  

The pain for us is overwhelming at times.  Our sweet daughter wants nothing to do with us at night but yet wont let us leave her.  While she may recoil from us in fear of what may happen, we continue to hold tight and whisper, "you're okay" or "mommy or daddy is right here, I'm not going anywhere".  To brush her cheek with a kiss puts her so far over the edge it brings me to tears and a pain in my heart so profound stabs me to my core.  I have to remind myself, it's not me who she is reminded of in these dark hours.  Did her mother kiss her cheek before she left her at the gate of the orphanage?  I ask myself that every time.  It is a mothers nature to kiss her child's cheek as a comforting sign of love and when it is rejected it's painful.  Will I ever be able to give my daughter comfort in my gentle kiss or will it forever remind her of that last moment with the woman who comforted her first?  I don't know.  But I find myself doing it still because it's what a mother does.  That kiss whispers I love you into the skin.  It warms a sadness inside.  I will continue to do it through my pain.

Our pasts are written in ink and our futures in pencil.  We can not erase the past but we can fix the future.  I will never be able to erase the pain of that last kiss her mother left her with but I can continue to comfort this beautiful child of God in the darkest of night.  I can find strength deep down inside and struggle in my own exhaustion to give her space to heal within my arms.  Her grieving is made more difficult by the blackness outside at night but the light within her shines brightly and for that I am thankful.  I have forever to sleep, I can wait for my time to come.


I am new to your blog, and just wanted to express my appreciation for your words. What a beautiful expression of your love for her. I can just imagine she will read this many times as an adult and be reminded of the constant and unconditional love she has received from you. Blessings!

Kayce, I'm crying as I type this as I have been right where you are right now. I love what you wrote, "Our pasts are written in ink and our futures in pencil." So beautiful and true. Her grief is real and to the core of who she is, and you know she has to go through this to get to the other side. And she will. I promise. I've been there and it will get better. It just takes time.

Grace grieved hard and her time to grieve was also at night. Nothing we did seemed to help. But we kept doing what you are doing, consoling, loving and touching her. I remember our social worker who was adopted as an infant from Korea, told us that sleep and night time for our children was what she called 'the ultimate abandonment.' If you think about it, it's the time they are totally alone and it's the time they process what has happened to them. She will heal, I promise.

You are all in my prayers.



So true, such words we could have written too. The loss for these children is nothing we can understand. Hopeless does feel real to us.
Love, hugs, kisses is what we can do for her. Time heals. We finally felt like we were not sleep deprived after about four months. Such a long process; you are doing great. Even though we look normal on the outside, inside so much is going on with the sadness; it does come and go. Hugs to you; take care of yourself.

Alyzabeth's Mommy

Maybe have her sleep with you in your bed so that she can feel you at night .....

or have her sleep in a playpen next to your bed.

Thats what we did with our daughter and it work quit well.

I'm so sorry your cricket is hurting. I hope her nights get easier for her and for you.

This was a beautifully written post. I may just print it out and read it on those nights when I'm delirious to draw some strength from. The nights and lack of sleep are one of my biggest fears.... especially when doing this on my own. Hang in there. I hear it gets better... (smile)

seriously, the writing in this post blows me away. I have not ever read anything so descriptive that I can feel your pain and hers.

I haven't been through what you are going through but please know you are in my prayers my friend.

Much Love,


sleep is supposed to be a peaceful rest for ones mind and soul...yet so many of our girls struggle. It is so hard to watch, so hard to be your best when you are exhausted.

we hooked up Sophie's crib to our bed and that helped. Recently we have found that a weighted blanket helps...http://affordableweightedblankets.com/

beautifully written post by the way!

Just wanted to let you know that you're not the only one dealing with sleep issues.....we're having problems with our little guy too that sound similar to what you're going through. It's tough but will be worth it in the end. Hang in there.

Hugs, Courtney

My heart breaks as I read that. It is so beautiful but so painful. I am reading a book right now from Xiran "Messages from an unknown chinese mother" and it ties into what you wrote-- very painful to read but gives you an inderstanding into what these mothers felt and why they did what they did. The hardest book to ever read but sooooo worth reading!!

I will continue to pray for you my friend.

Christy :)

This post has brought me to tears...
This brought me back to when we brought Jillian home, she grieved her foster Mom, it was heartbreaking!
I know with your patience,, knowledge and understanding, you'll be just fine. Your an incredible Mom...

My heart just breaks to see her grieving so hard. Everything is so new and soon she will trust you and know you will take care of her and love her and kiss her cheek and help the tears melt away. Hang in there it will get better it will.

Right now I am living and learning through you and what you, the family and Cricket are going through...
I know it isn't always going to be roses...
It is sad that little Cricket is so sad at night but in time... she will understand I am sure that you are there... that you will be there when she opens her eyes... hugs to you all...

Kayce, I am so thankful that you have chosen to share this with the rest of us. I cannot imagine the grieving period and pain your girl is facing right now. It is so difficult for her....and for you. I hope that as the days, weeks, and months pass......so will these rough nights. Hang in there.....thinking of you all.



A beautiful way to express your feelings. You have so much love to give her, keep holding her close and kissing her through her tears. Hugs to you and your family.

She's grieving, and her little body may still be wrestling physically with the time change -- the life change. Your openness to what she's going through now will serve you so well in the days and years to come.

Hang in there!

Gayle, mom to two daughters from China (one from Yiyang)


I so appreciate posts from the heart. I feel lucky to have so many who have gone before and are willing to share the hard times as well as the happy times. This post is one of the most beautiful, sad posts I've ever read. I am so sorry Cricket has to go through these feelings.

HUGS to all of you!

Oh, it is so hard to watch your little one grieve. I remember nights were hardest for Lauren as well. I will say a prayer for your little cricket to allow the healing to continue and for her to bond strongly to you and her family that she has waited so long to be held by.

I tried to leave a comment like four times yesterday but Blogger was not cooperating.

Anyway, I'm sorry things have been so rough. For both of you. I read on your status update that things had gotten slightly better so I'm hoping that is still the case.

I've been thinking about you a lot.

sending hugs and prayers your way my friend!

What a gut wrenching story she has. What a blessing that you get to be there to comfort her, even when she isn't sure how to accept that comfort.

I will pray that your healing words and hands will soothe her little heart and mind and she will come to peace with her grief.

I think the unanswered questions we have about our girl's past is one of the most difficult things to cope with...especially when they are grieving. It's such a bizarre reality to be faced with...being the parent and yet not knowing our child's early experiences. It pains me greatly.

I know how hard the lack of sleep is..we've been going through it too. And, the inability to soothe our own child can be so hard to accept. Just keep doing what you are doing...her pain will ease and sleep will come.

Lots of love!

Grieving: The one thing we Mama's can't erase from the journey of our girls. I saw my daughter grieve very deeply for 3 months and then the sun began to shine all day and night. We have our set backs where the grief and pain resurface, but beneath it all, I see the most amazing little girl who radiates beauty. These are the moments that heros are made. Your girl is among those heros made. God bless her little soul.

Thanks for opening my eyes. I just came across this. May the Lord pour grace on her little heart. Thank you for letting God speak through your words.

Bless your hearts - and your sweet daughters. It will get better.... I have so been there!

Kayce, I couldn't read it all. You had me in tears. I don't know what to say but your Cricket is so lucky that "mommy or daddy loves her" and that "they aren't going anywhere". God Bless your family.

I am new to your Blog...and must admit to being teary-eyed over this post. What a beautiful testament of a mother's love for her child. And what POWERFUL writing. There's NOTHING like raw emotion on a page. God bless you and your family.

Kayce -

Hi, I've been meaning to post a comment to the blog for a while. My dad (Chuck Quibell) sent me the link right around when you were leaving for China.

I don't even want to think of how long its been since we hung out that summer in Huntington Lake. Good times!

Anyway, I wanted to tell you how much this post moved me ... It brought me to tears. I am a new mom (son Soren was born on January 9), so maybe that played a part, but regardless, your daughter so lucky to have you. I hope to meet her some day! xoxoxox Allyson