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December 14, 2005

Very important! Please read this!

This is Emma. She was home from China just 8 months when she died.

Her adoptive mother is charged in her death. This is the 2nd China adopted child in recent months to die or suffer horrible injury (blindness, permanent brain damage) because she was shaken by her mother.

Please remember as you look at my blog (and everyone else's) that life with baby is not always as rosey we depict it here on these pages. Gwen has her moments and I'm not embarrassed to say that she's really made me angry more than once. When those things happen, you have to get your emotions under control. If that means that you have to put your baby in her crib or playpen while you go into the backyard and breathe into a paper bag, then do it! Don't shake your baby. Don't hurt her, please. When the moment is over, you'll be so sorry you did this and even if you don't kill or seriously injure her, you'll teach her a horrible lesson about how to deal with frustration!

If you don't already have your baby, please keep in mind that things will not be "happily ever after" when you come back from China. Everyone around you will continue with their life as usual but you won't. Your life will look NOTHING like it did when you started this journey. In most ways, it'll be amazingly better but in some ways you'll be shocked to realize that it's miserable. If you already have your baby, you can probably confirm this. Eventually, your new child will fit perfectly into your family but don't expect it to be smooth for several months. Some people say it takes one month for each month the child was not in your care. So if you adopt your child at age 13 months, it could take another 13 months to have her blend in and bond to your family like she would if she was born to you. Please give the process the time it needs and please seek help if you feel overwhelmed. Consider putting your baby in day care for a few hours each week (or longer) if being a stay at home mom is hard for you. There's no shame in that! If you're really pulling out your hair and just need someone to talk to, email me and we'll chat. I'll even call you on the phone if you need that support! Just count to ten before you react with violence to your child. You waited so long to get her, 10 seconds of cooling off time should be easy to give her now.

Please don't shake your baby.

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