John is a junk food junkie. He was eating this bag of chips and he had crumbs everywhere as he zoned out playing a game on Tyler's phone.
John helped us put away food from the store. I later found the pasta and ramen noodles in the fridge.
Some of the translations make us laugh out loud. I told Michael that the milk tastes better in Bulgaria than in America. He typed this response for me.
Last night, Tyler took the triplets out for a long walk around the center of Sofia. They had a nice time and arrived home around 11pm. We read scriptures together and prayed, then Tyler and I each sang for them. I hugged each child and told them that I loved them. I am thankful for a bedtime routine.
I was still feeling pretty low last night. Tyler gave me a priesthood blessing and then we talked about changingy perspective. I had been focused on how Sarah's behaviors made me feel, when what I should be focusing on is what I can do to help Sarah - and the boys - transition smoothly whilst having some fun along the way. If Sarah feels pressured to act a certain way, it won't be genuine. I would prefer to wait until she desires my affection on her own. Until then? I still have that bedtime hug and kiss and I will strive to be happy with that.
I never posted the previous post, so I will just add on to it what happened today (Thursday). It's amazing what can happen in a day! We got up and had breakfast and Tyler took the kids for a walk.
Next we went to the Sofia branch to meet with some missionaries there. For about 45 minutes, the elders taught the triplets about Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. I was amazed at how attentive each child was and they asked questions and answered some, also.
Next we went to the store and then home for lunch. The kids snapped these photos of Tyler and I dancing in the kitchen.
The kids wanted to watch the movie transformers, so we went to the mall for that. Sarah ended up sitting next to me and halfway through the movie, she snuggled up to me and fell asleep! It was wonderful seeing her choose to be affectionate. I was on cloud nine, I tell you.
After the movie, we came home and I made spaghetti with corn on the cob and bread. It was an unanimous hit with everyone! Then Maggie came over to visit and we all huddled into the master bedroom because it has air conditioning and the living room does not. We talked about all sorts of things, including weaknesses and strengths of Tyler and myself, family rules (Do your best. Have a good attitude. Have fun), introducing extended family relations through pictures, explaining how to lift up the toilet seat and not pee all over the seat, emphasizing that there is nothing the children can do that would separate them from our family in any way, etc. The kids began to open up about their biological mothers. Sarah and John said they do not miss their mothers and John shared that his mother used to beat him often. Michael said he misses his mother a little bit, but is happy with his new family.
John and Sarah wanted to go on another walk, so Tyler went with them and Maggie showed them a nice park nearby. On the drive over to the park, Tyler said that Sarah talked non-stop. She opened up about some horrible things she remembers from her time with her mother when she was little. She was left alone for hours on end with nothing to eat and often without any clothing. Her grandmother and grandfather were very poor and they would ask people for clothing donations so that Sarah could wear something. As a result from this, she is incredibly modest in how she dresses herself.
Once they arrived at the park, Sarah just continued sharing one sad story after another of how her mother would beat her and her sister. She said she was so scared of getting into trouble with her mom that she rarely spoke to her at all. I believe that Sarah's stutter comes directly from this.
When Sarah recorded her mother beating her older sister and showed it to her grandparents, her mother was so angry with her that she dropped her off at the orphanage. When Sarah's grandfather died, her mother forbid Sarah to attend the funeral. After all of this, Maggie gently reminded Sarah that I am not her first mother and that I didn't do these things to her. Sarah said she knew that. She said that she doesn't know how to have a good relationship with a mom, because she didn't have one. She doesn't even know what it looks like or anything. She said that she has had some contact with her dad in the past and that he was nice to her. She said that is why she has been more drawn to Tyler - which makes a lot of sense.
Tyler then asked her why she was so affectionate with me during the first trip. Sarah shared that she didn't want to share all of this sad background about her mom at that time and she was in a home where she felt comfortable to show love and that the orphanage staff had coached on things she could do to make a connection with us - one of which was affection.
By this point, it was after 10pm, so they headed home. Sarah said she wanted for me to know everything she had shared and Maggie suggested that she could come tell me on Monday (for one of our appointments) but Sarah said she didn't want to wait that long and that she wanted Tyler to tell me tonight.
When they came home, I was lounging in my bed with Michael playing on some iPad games. Sarah looked at Tyler and made some kind of face that said, "Tell her, Dad!" Then she jumped in the bed and snuggled right up to me. After Tyler told me the whole sad story, we realized that Sarah had fallen asleep in my arms.
I am so sad for all that this little girl has gone through. I admire her courage to open up her heart to try for a positive mother/daughter relationship after the disfunctional one she has had. And I held this girl for over an hour as she slept away. It was one of the most precious hours of my life.