9:12 AM

Life book - for toddlers

It was pretty clear to me from the start that Elora is very emotionally in tune.  She has found a way to express to us her feelings even when there was a language barrier.  She was fully aware of the permanence involved when Nanny brought her to us.  She had seen her other friends leave her room never to come back and when her turn came she knew full well that her big day had arrived.  In many ways she was very prepared for that big change, not happy about it, but prepared. 

I mentioned one of the big things that helped her to form her attachment to me was to watch the video of the first time we met.  Nanny is speaking in the back ground telling her we are her mama and baba forever now and that she has to go.  Hearing Nanny confirm that we are hers is comforting to her, so we watched it over and over and over.  On bad days we would sit for hours or more replaying the six minute clip.  She misses Nanny and wanted to hear her but I think she also needed to hear the story of what was happening to her from some one she trusted.  This was the first clue that I had better hurry up and get that life book made.

Back at the beginning when things were hard I would rock Elora for hours stroking her hair trying to comfort her and I would sing Baby Mine.  It is a lullaby I sang every night to my son, sometimes during the wait I would sing it to him in the dark with tears streaming down my face longing to sing it to the daughter who was still not home.  This is our song, the one that will forever belong to my children and I. 
Baby mine dry your eyes, baby mine don't you cry.  
All those same people who scold you, what they'd give just for the right to hold you.  
If they knew all about you, they'd end up loving you too.
I sang her this song until I lost my voice.  She would howl and scream and I would just sing, to keep my sanity, to keep my breath coming and even.  After those hard months had past, I stopped singing that song.  Honestly I needed a new theme song.  It was more bitter than sweet to me at that moment.  So it took me very much  by surprise when Elora began "singing" the song to me.  It had been months since she heard the song, she did not have any words yet but the tune was near perfect.  We figured out when she would sing to me it was her cue that she needed some mommy time so again we would sit and rock and sing.  Sometimes these moments would lead to a little grieving.  I was amazed that she was able to seek out these moments from me so that she could find a safe place to let out some emotions.  Second big clue that we needed to get that book done.

I struggled with that darn book.  At this stage it is what they call the three photo story.  It's not even the real and truly life book.  But I struggled and I am not too sure why.  It just seemed so hard to put into words, hard to get the exact words and really hard that I didn't know all the facts my self.  In the end I just used the exact words from the book Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child.  It is simple but effective.  She brings me her book to read to her several times a day.  It is her treasure.  The only thing in our whole house that she refuses to share with her brother, rightly so, although he is very interested as well.  It is really helping.  It is helping her to feel grounded and safe.  It is easing the night terrors.  It is helping her to understand what happened to her.

Last night the most beautiful thing happened.  She lay in my lap stroked my hair and she sang to me "be mine, mama, dada"  Yes, little miss, always.  We belong together.