Tuesday, October 13, 2009

What makes a bad day

I have noticed something related to Hanna's behavior. It took a couple of times for me to see the pattern, but it is definitely happening. After she talks on the phone with a friend from the orphanage, one she hasn't seen during the last 8 months, her attitude regresses back to when she was first home and she fought submitting to me. Within minutes of hanging up the phone, she doesn't get along with her siblings and she gives me that squinty $#%&* look if I ask her to do anything. (I don't know how to describe that look that we all know without using words as ugly as the look. You know the one.)
I felt like I was pushing a boulder up a hill during class today. I am pleased that I knew what was happening and didn't loose my cool, but I was silently praying the whole time that God would keep me from blowing it.
I can't decide if it's that talking to people from "before" just dredges up memories that make her sad, or if it is the content of the conversations themselves that are riling her up. I have begun requiring her to sit near me while on the phone, but she is speaking in Amharic, so it's not like I know what she is saying. The conversation yesterday afternoon was only 10 minutes long, but it has effected the last 30 hours. It happens with a couple of the girls she talks to, but mostly with the girls I know are themselves struggling with their adjustment. I hate to consider it, but I may have to cut off phone contact for every one's peace. I want to help her keep connections for her benefit as well as her friends', but not at the expense of her own contentedness as well as our family's peace.
Does anyone else recognize this behavior? Any insight?

4 comments:

Shannon- said...

I got nothing... of course. But just wanted to encourage you. You know what is best. You may be doing the girls on the other end of the line a favor as well. Good luck. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

traci said...

I realized after I received a call from my friend that I should clarify scale when describing a bad day. with 1 being perfect and 10 being world war 3, we are talking maybe a 3.5 . Things normally go well, so when things go south, it is very aparent.
thanks for the encouragement.

Babs said...

Don't doubt your inner voice. You know what is up...you've experienced the pattern...not just seen it (if you catch my drift). Do these other girls have parents/care takers? Are they someone with whom you can discuss this with? Maybe those other girls are going thru the same thing. Phone call monitoring another language only works if you have an interpretor on a 3 way call. Maybe Dad can get a dialog going about the nature of those calls.
What does God call parents to do? Are we to respect our childrens'privacy in social situations? or mentor them thru them? You'll know the right answer for your family. Hugs to all!

Julie Swenson said...

I have just read you blog for the first time. Our daughter has been home for 6 months. She skype calls her friends from the orphanage. It is also in amharic so I am not sure what they are talking about. She is so thrilled to talk to them. I love it that they can keep in contact. Those do seem to be the nights that we have the most difficulty. It seems that it just gets her wheels turning. She is a little defiant on those nights. Mostly she ends up wanting to talk about the past which ends up causing significant sadness. It is hard to say no to the conversations. Good luck to you. Keep up the good work.