Our Family

Our Family

Monday, December 17, 2012

A Full Year

Yep, as promised, the last one!  We landed in D.C. one year ago and Dasha became a legal citizen.  In some ways the year has flown by so stinking fast that I can't believe we have been home an entire year, and in other ways it has been an incredibly long and trying year.  I have never fully come out and said it on the blog, but I have hinted at it, and I am very public about it in person, but after we came home I did indeed suffer from P.A.D. (Post Adoption Depression).  The lack of sleep, not being able to eat, a husband who had to go back to working 90 hours a week 2 days after being home, and bring home a child who hated my guts was one of the most difficult things I ever had to do. 

I thought I would of had the support of my adoption life group when I got home.  There were 3 of us who all brought home kids within 1 month of each other, and it was determined to not undermine the attachment process, the women would meet one week, and the men would meet the next week.  I was told that I could NOT bring my kids on the woman's week, but that it would be detrimental to Dasha if I hired a babysitter so I could attend.  I got no help from the group that I desperately needed at that time.  Not many people's husbands work 24 hour shifts, it is a unique situation.  My sister and I were on the outs, and though I love my parents to death they didn't understand adopting a child. 

I was all alone, crying at every moment that my kids weren't around, and praying for help.  I decided to email the only person that knew what I was going through.  She may not know it but she helped me more than I could ever imagine.  Those emails back and forth were my saving grace from someone who had "been there, done that."  I also called some my close friends from back in college who also are the TRUE friends that everyone wishes for.  The ones that even though you haven't talked to in years, they will drop everything for you. 

Over the months things really started to improve, Dasha and I definitely formed a bond, and are nicely attached now, and I truly can't even picture our loves without her anymore.  I know she was meant to be in our family.  We defiantly have our moments, but what parent/child relationship doesn't.  Please don't let my experience deter you from adoption, if it helps, I also went through the baby blues after Camden was born, so for me MAJOR life changes affect me pretty significantly.  But I made it through it.  I also have made changes in my life.  I don't wait for people to include me, I seek out my friends, I plan stuff, something that is HUGE for me.  I am a very shy person, and I don't have a lot of self confidence.  I am trying to stay positive and I have even started making strides to improve my relationship with my sister. 

I also know that without God, and my special email friend, I really don't know where I would be without them.

This is my favorite picture of the two of us.


  1. Denise,

    I had no idea that you had struggled with PAD. I have religiously followed your blog for over a year. There were many moments at the beginning that I envied your finally having Dasha home until we brought our daughter home in April. So maybe in a way you were meant to blog out there to inspire others along the way. I'm so sorry your first months were so tough. There are significant adjustments we all experience. Just know that your blog has been an inspiration to me and it's reassuring to know that there are other families that are experiencing a similar path. Russian adoption is special and Dasha has turned into a beautiful little princess.

  2. A year is a HUGE milestone! Congrats on reaching that. What a difference a year makes :)!!! Hugs going out to you, Friend!

  3. Oh! I wish you'd said something! I think a lot of us go through at least some of what you went through. I had been married over 20 years was in my mid 40's and all of a sudden had a toddler who was a whirlwind of activity. My quiet low key life was turned upside down! Like you, after a couple of months things calmed down, but even then it took a while for the attachment to really kick in. Aidan attached to us immediately. I was the one with the issues. God bless and congratulations on being Dasha's mama now for a year!!! The time will really fly now. . . : )