May 14th, 14 weeks home {attachment and bonding so far}

Normally, Mondays are a little rough here.  The excitement of church on Sunday for Julianne tends to result in some recovery time every Monday.  She LOVES going to her class and playing with her friends on Sundays, but the getting-out-of-routine does tend to rock her little world, still, even after fourteen weeks home.  This past Monday was no different; we definitely struggled with the post-Sunday adjustment and recovery, but when I look back, the hard parts of that day aren’t what I remember.

What I will remember is that she asked to be held.  Even more, she went and got her baby carrier off of a shelf in her closet and brought it to me!  The first time we tried this carrier, she screamed.  Being SO close to me and tied to me in that way was really overwhelming for her, and I respected and understood that.  I never tried to make her be held in it again, but when she brings it to me, I happily and gratefully oblige.

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Once she was firmly ensconced,  I used the opportunity to baby her a bit more!  I filled a cup that has a silicone, baby-type spout attached and gave it to her.  She didn’t reach out and try to hold on to the cup, she just let me give it to her.  For my sweet girl, who automatically reverts to needing to control her environment on these challenging Mondays, this was a big deal!  She didn’t touch the cup!  She. Let. Me.  My heart was full.  She let me hold her like this for about 20 minutes… and it was medicine for both of our hearts.  This moment, these precious minutes of her and I being close, it healed so much.  This moment allowed her to let down her walls a little more later in the week.  It allowed my heart to just ache with love for my child when we became aware of some evidence of trauma and pain in her past.

Tuesday was a Whiplash Day.  Those are the days when the good and the bad seem to fluctuate so quickly I’m not even sure which way to look!  They may give me emotional whiplash, but it’s okay.  Lots of breathtakingly difficult scenarios played out as she trusts more and bits of her past float to the surface.  And through it all?  Peace.  Loads of peace.  Given by the Prince of Peace, because there is no other source for the peace I felt during this time.

Tears fall, and my heart aches, but there is peace.  I know with my mind that she is mine; I feel in my heart that she is mine, and I love her more every day.  With my first three, the love and bond was instant… I mean, they had been inside me for nine months!  With Julianne, it is a different looking process.  It wasn’t instant in the same way… we loved her from the moment we first saw her picture, but we had to learn about her to love her for who she is!  She’s not a newborn, after all, she’s a four-year-old with a definite personality!  The developing sense of protectiveness I feel for her is beautiful and lovely.  I cannot imagine my life without this spark in it!  She is making me a better person, because I am trusting Jesus more to teach me how to be her mother every day.

I. Love. Her.  When I peek in on her at night, it feels the same as when I peek in on the other three.  The smile that comes to my face when I see my babies sleeping peacefully is the same, regardless of how they joined the family.  I’m so thankful that she is allowing her walls to crumble a little at a time.  I’m thankful that I get to be the one that holds her, and rocks her, and cries with her.  I’m thankful that she is ours.  Forever.

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