Monday, November 12, 2007

Hey everyone. Let me first say that I am so thankful and blessed to have the support of all of you. Without that I dont think we would have any sanity left right now. I am moving the blog as we are now home and have a new focus. One other than getting our daughter home but more of finding her, the real her. I knew we had allot of support but I had no idea of the responces I would get when I opened up about our struggles. All I can Say is Thank You from all of us. Each day will bring new things to our lives for a very long time. No one can listen to sad struggling families each and every day or we would all go crazy for sure so I know the issolation will come just as a death but with time we will all heal. I have to believe that. Here are some of the photos from Taiwan. You can follow our family life, celebrations and struggles at our new Blog. I will post a few more Taiwan photos here and then will continue to post but at that blog. Thank you all again.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

In case you haven't already read, this is what I shared with our adoption groups. I havent the energy to go back into it all so I'll just cut and paste. We had another hard night as Ti and Landon were both up crying off and on since 3am ...

Hey everyone, we made it home. I have to say that I have thought over and over about sharing the details of our lives here recently. In the end I have decided that if we are not open than how can anyone else learn or gain knowelge from our experience as we have from others. I also thought about the families that said they wish they would have shared much sooner than they did. With that being said this post will be long. Our last couple days in Taiwan and trip home were pretty eventful. Ti was as prepaired as a 6 year old could be like we were told. I think that as we thought there is no real way to prepare your heart for what you are about to experience fully until you do experience it. She knew very well what was going to happen as far as that goes. In respect to that she has done very well. She didnt mind so much going with us (though sad of the loss), the hotel, the plane or the ride home. She wasnt shocked by any of it. She reacted accordingly with wanting one of us then rejecting us, a natural reaction. She would recite who she was going to see and look at pictures of our house. She cried 2 nights, not consecutively, for her loss of her Keelung mommy and daddy. She likes her new home, her dogs, and her room. She is happy with Ahma, Nana, papa and her aunties. But I have to share however personal this may be, We are having serious issues. They are not so much related to the transition of families (though hightened is clear) as it is to many other facts. But let me back up a little so you can understand. Before we recieved our rulling, we recieved a very long letter from her foster mom that was very detailed about her personality. We felt very blessed to get such a long detailed letter. Much of what came as a shock as we had never been told any of it. As time passed the next month the conclusion was that culturally they can focus on some negatives and are critical. So we went with it for the most part though we are not naive to adoption or the issues related to older child adoption nor fostercare children by any means. We now know that everything that was said in the letter was true and said politely. Please understand that we already love our daughter and we are commited to her future and her in our family. The problems that she had with the foster family for 4 years were very real and they are the same that she has now. We have been punched everywhere including the face, smacked, clawed, strangled, kicked,bit, and spit in the face more times than any of us can count. She has hurt Landon several times and just about broke his finger, ripped his skin, strangeled him, and kicked him in the face with pointy toed boots, and then some. All for no reason and out of the the blue to Landon. For him at Random and for no reason other than to do it. Most other times these things arent done to us unless we do not let her get her way 100% exactly as she wants it. It is very real. Fostermom said that she can not be left with small children that she doesn't understand she can break bones and it is true thought we believe that she completly understand that she can hurt him or anyone else. We can not leave her with Landon at all. Her aggression comes out when she is happy, sad or mad. She will be very excited and happy, touch his face softly and then claw him to death in that very spot and touch. Landon is so affected by her and can not trust her at all. He runs in paranoia most of the time and is on gard with every touch or if she nears him. But when everything is good, and rules are not having to be told or enforced so much she is sooo happy, smiles and giggles. Very sweet, happy and affection. And some days are better than others so far dependng on how much rules have to be applied. She is also very very smart and can manipulate already. Odviously we know that she isnt used to our rules and we cant expect her to follow our way of life right away. We would never expect that. For examples of some of the rules we had to enforce in which she reacted in this way: standing up in the plane seat and bopping the person in front of her and behind her on the head, trying to open mouth kiss me, being aggressive or physically hitting any of us, and/or break or throw things. We were told that she does not like adults unless she thinks that she can control them and we have found this to be true already. When I tell her no or do anything that she doesnt like or want me to do she screams over and over in every tone and expression on her face "NO, NO NO NO NO" stairing me down and ussually swinging. She then stairs without blinking into my eyes sticking her head forward as and says in this voice that you think only a 15 year old would be doing "NO" and if I look away she celebrates. Yesterday I decided I wasnt going to look away no matter what and she litterally staired at me for over 20 minutes until she fell asleep. It broke my heart and I cried after. I hate to have a battle of wills or domination but I cant let her celebrate her win of dominance when that is what she has done with them for the last 4 years. Unfortuenlty we honestly feel that she will not make it successfully in life on her own, never depending on any one else and we can not successfully parent her if she controls us and we live in constant fear of her. She will have to learn to respect us and everyone else. She will have to learn not to result in physical aggression and contact when she wills. Though I dont want to scare any of you, I have to tell you what is real. The strugles we are having are unique but every child comes with their own set of challenges. She was thrown out of one school for beating up a boy 2 years older than her. I have to think that there had to be an incident more than this or wonder the severity of the incident if she was not allowed back and made to go to another school in which they had to work on these behaviors. Liberti is very happy when things are going her way and no rules are given. Today was a really good day for her considering it was her second day home especially surprised us. She did punch Greg in the face when he asked her if she needed anything and sat down by her. (she was fine with him yesterday) It wasnt because she was rejecting him today. she went to bed mad at me and woke up mad at us. So we left her alone for a while. Then I came to talk to her and she got furious and began hitting me as well. I held her hands from hitting and explained she cannot hit and it wasnt ok to hurt people. She does understand "no hitting" She would not stop. I put her in my arms and rocked her telling her I love her and that she would be ok. She began to cry and trying to still hit i just held her and wouldnt let go. Not like typical holding therapy just kinda rocked her like a baby. until she gave in and layed there but she was furious. Still the feeling wasnt that she was mad at me for any other reason than I didnt let her do what she wanted yesterday. She can hold a grudge too. When I let her up she punched me in the face 2 more times so I held her again. I wasnt holding in her arm or hand or not letting her move. I just rocked her holding in a natural position. After about 10 minutes she calmed down and then Greg came in and she reached for him and I allowed that. We are not 100% sure of the things to do just putting into use some techniques from our research of other families and what feels natural. She calmed down, ate breakfast and was happy all over again. She played and laughed. It is easy for her to be rebelious to us and hate everything we do as she should, not knowing us or loving us. We accept that part of it. But when she is not fighting a battle of wills she is completly content with showing affection, talking laughing and things of the sort. She wants me there if she goes to the bathroom or takes a bath and feels secure in that. She litterally is like nite and day. Jsut as her videos were of her having one of these fits and the other of her enjoying her time at the zoo. We are sure that if she wanted anything she had/has to ask me. and if she refused then she didnt get it or couldnt do it. She was happy the rest of the day and into the night. Though I didnt have to enforce any rules today really so she didnt have too much to get mad over I stil felt better today than yesterday. She was better with Landon too and he felt ok to ride around with her in the riding toy outside and play with her on the floor for a while. Still she did little things to him when she would walk by that werent enough to make him cry but enough to make him flinch. she would grab his hand and squeeze, or bop him a little too hard on the head or things like that. But this you could expect from most siblings. Not completley acceptable but progress considerably. We are very compassionate about the fact that her world has turned upside down and if we didnt know that she has done all of these things for so many years then we would think it was all do to the transition and move. There is considerable stress, fear and confussion, loss of culture, family, country and language on her part. There have been some other incidents as well of things just as serious that have to be looked into further. This and her pain are nothing to forget about or take lightly and we won't. Even with today being so good we cant help but wonder what tomorrow brings. This is going to be a very very long journey. Her foster mother expressed that life with Ti was like a relay race and that she was very tired and hading over the baton. That sentence speaks very loudly to me now. She also expressed that she has the potential to be a very good person or a very bad person in life. That too is loud and clear. Still with all of this, alot of tears and emotionally drained we still know that she is our daughter and we must help her. We have begun talking about some steps to help her move forward. We will give 4-6 months of dicipline, love, and structure and if without enough progress then consider professional therapy unless we feel it is needed sooner for what ever reason. We hope that a very strict aware school and a sport like gymnastics in which she can feel personal gain and reward as well as release energy in a positive physical way will help. We will be contacting our homestudy agecncy and our adoption agency to speak with them and get their professional support and opinions about implemementing some strategies and resources. We may even consider to have counseling to some degree sooner. At home we will be consistant in working towards trust and bonding in and of itself that can take a long time, as well as rules that she can clearly understand and abide by. We have a very strong support system with family and friends but we know there are sure to be times we feel very alone in all of this. We trust that love and time heal most. We know that these habbits that have been aloud to develope are very instilled and it will take a lot to reroute her reactions to many things. We have faith that can and will happen in time. How much time we dont know. Will we be pulling our hair out? yes. Will there be lots of tears, yes there already have been. Will we question what we are doing, have done or whats working? Of course who wouldnt? Right now we are tired and a little weary but again faithful and trusting that we were lead to our daughter. Do we feel the way we did with Landon? No we dont. Do we feel love? Yes we believe we do and its still growing. Are we sad or discouraged. Yes a little. I am sur eI sound like a crazy person right now with limited sleep, stress and jet lag. This is all just being honest. And I write it today as I am not sure I will have the gutts to its publicity tomorrow.
Still needing and asking for prayer

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Last post before we head back home tonight! We are ready to get home and start healing. Ti cried herself to sleep the first night, not the second night, but again last night. It is heartbreaking. Her pain is so clear and so strong. i cant even imgaine. She is spitfire though and many of her charicteristics are the same the girl we fostered for so long so i think we can make headway. There is jus tno way around the pain. She has to go through it unfortunetly. She is happy and giggly most of the time, hates to here the word no but loves to shout it, has the biggest smile I have ever seen, and is so smart. She can say, write and pickout of order the entire English alphabete. She can also count to 20 in English, and make pronunciations for words like C ca ca cat. It is very good. We here new words everyday a nd like Landon she has the need to communicate. Today she practiced on her own "Come here Landon, Come here Daddy, Come here mommy" It was so cute. In English she can say...Thank You, come here, goodbye, hello, Landon, uh oh, NO, yes or no?, wow, cool, laptop, computer, CD, and a few other things slipping my mind. So kids are getting up! Gotta run but hopeful will post more from home. Thanks for all the support. I'll post pics once we are home an can get a good enough connection :) I forgot to say that she can also say and spell her name as Liberti. I am not sure if she can write it yet but she can write several other English words already!

Well I haven't had much time to talk to Nicole but I am going to post a couple of pictures. Their internet is still pretty bad so communications have been pretty limited. Ti cried hard the first night, as to be expected.

She is more comfortable staying in the hotel room then she is going out.

I have seen a little bit on the webcam and she seems to be very affectionate

towards Nicole. She is still refusing to have her picture taken though. I miss Landon so much and I can't wait to meet Ti. I will be glad when they

get home.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

I talked to Nicole for a minute on webcam and was able to freeze this shot. Nicole said so far so good and the meeting went well. She will tell me more and try to send me some pics after Landon and Ti are settled down for the night.

More Pictures

Today was another AMAZING day! We toured Keelung with Nick Lee. Super great guy. We fell in love the our daughters city. The weather was horrible and has been since we got here. Very very cold, lots of rain and overcast so we werent able to make it through some of the sites like the Queens Head. We visited temples and festival spots ect. lots of hiking, walking, climbing and taking in but it was all very very good! Nick invited us to his favorite local resteraunt the Shabu Shabu. He got us to eat alot of stuff we wouldnt have thougt of and alot of which we told him not to tell us the name LOL We are not teh adventurous type when it comes to food and anyone who knows us can attest for that. (even Randy and Jes) We enjoyed our lunch very much and it was wonderful to experience a meal in such a way. I guess he takes many of his customers here to get a feel for the culture. After touring Keelung most of the day we headed to his house to meet his family and have a traditional Tea ceremony. We were very honored and humbled by this invitation and have been told that an invitation to one home here is a big deal, especially for Tea. Many types of tea! We feel like they are friends. His wife is beautiful and very kind. Their children are just as sweet as they are and played with Landon for a couple hours. We learned alot about them and Nick's collection of Baseball everything LOL He plays and so does his son. Many of his customers have given him memorabilia like bats and balls, many of them signed which he treasures. It was a great day. We ended the night with him dropping us off at a local American diner to pick up some food to go. I laid down my head at 8:00pm after being awake for 18 hours and how now been wide awake since 10:30pm! yikes not good. We meet Sally at 9:30 am and take a taxi to Chung Yi. We will meet with the governemtn social worker from CCF and the fosterfamily from 10-11 and then the birthmother from 11-12pm! Can you imagine. What a day we are about to endure. I have to e rested and sorry to say I actually just took one of the musscle relaxers to help sleep, that I got from the dr here for my tooth and TMJ. Not sure it will help but willing to try anything to be well rested before meeting our daughter. We feel much better so far, despite the obsticals, about this trip than last year. We have learned far more about our childrens country and ahve been able to really appreciate their cities, country and culture of birth. Landon did really well up until last night and after such a long day it was a blessing. Hoping he sleeps through the night and doesnt wake again at 4 or 5. SO THIS IS IT !!! LAST POST UNTIL WE MEET OUR DAUGHTER IN 10 HOURS! cross fingers, say prayers, and send well wishes please!!!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Today was a little easier day. We started out by eating at NY Bagel which was ealy nice. It didnt taste exactly like American food but close enough for me. I ate french toast and potatoes, Greg and Landon had eggs,pancakes, and potatoes. Theirs wasnt as impressive but Landon shared mine and was happy for a while. HE hasnt eaten much at al here. He doesnt like the taste or the smell of the food. He didnt like alot of the food her when we picke dhim up last year thoug etiehr and was happy to quickly switch to american food or more so american Italian LOL Loves his noodles but douced in Italian creamy sauces for the most part. He doesnt like anything even a tad bit spicy which is hard to find so far for us. Yesterday he was bak to on and off crying, whining and tantrums. Just wants to be carried everywhere. Not too unlike our home life LOL but worse. Although he was happy to run around a small park by our hotel just fine. I think that alot of it is he really is over stimulated, off schedule, very tired and just plain mad about the food. I am so happy that our Tainan visit was way better than yesterday. Today we will tour Keelung. Our daughters birth city and the place she has grown up in the last 6 + years. Randy and Jes left last nigth and we were sad to see them go. We never did get to meet the Nicholsons though. They couldnt get to the pizza party as Harley fell asleep and they didnt want to wake her. We are excited to go to Keelung. Nick Lee will pick us up at 10am and we will head out there after breakfast. Leaving it up to him pretty much where to go but I am thinking alot of walking LOL. I'm praying that Landon stays asleep for another few hours at least. I cant seem to sleep past 3 or 2 today. I went from 3am till 8 last night, yikes. I was so drained. I know I need my strength when we meet Ti. Still cant get pics to upload but was able to send some through messenger to Gregs parents and mom then she posted them to an album. Tomorrow will come quickly as we tour most the day then travel back to our hotel for the night. We have to get our gifts ready and situate the room. We are praying that this transition will go smoothly but as normal hoping for the best and expecting the worst. We love you all and and thankful for all the support. SOON VERY VERY SOON! (dreading the 24 hour flight home I must say though )

Friday, November 02, 2007

We we made our way to Tainan today. It was a pretty emotional but very very good day. Landon started screaming with excitement when we made it to SLC. He was so happy to see the caregivers and play with them as they showered him with love and gifts. The went through the picture album we brought and all ooh and ahhed over his pictures. He tried hard to mimic alot of what they would say to him in Chinese and their tone. They thought that was really cool. They said that he was always very smart and quick to learn. Always independent and strong willed, yup that is our kid! We were able to spend time with some of the babies but NO PICTURES ALOUD :( at all in the nursery. We wished that we could have shared with families what they let Judy share but they did not. Judy we didn't get to see Eric as he was out getting a shot, ouch. WE enjoyed our time in Tainan alot. We toured all over with the driver that Judy H. reccomended and he was sooo great. We took the high speed rail there and yes got on the wrong train back, lucky for us it was also going to Taipei :) We are so exhausted. Tomorrow we take it easy but tour around Taipei. We will head to 101 as well but not rushing anywhere. WE are suppose to have our pizza party with the Nicholsons and Dias's in just a bit. It was postponed until tonight. Still cant get pictures to upload and weird since we are in the same hotel as Jes and Randy LOL but you guys know me and pics, I post them. So I will keep trying! Only 2 days left and we meet our little girl. Oh, we saw amany kids fromteh schools out touring in Tainan today and it stopped our heart many tmes when we would see the little girls with similarities of Ti. We cant wait. But soon...