12:30 PM

General thoughts and update

Yes, I wholeheartedly agree.  My parents are beautiful people.  But it's not because they adopted me.  Adoption has nothing to do with their inherent beauty, or mine for that matter.  And I can't help but wonder, does it take an equally 'special' and 'beautiful' adopted person/child to adapt to an entirely new family and country?  To be completely cut off from their roots and still smile through it all and say, yes, isn't this wonderful to not know who I look like?  And isn't it wonderful to not have any access to my genetic and family ancestry, to not know the stories of where I come from and of who I really am...?

Loved this quote from an adult adoptee, over at one world.  It sums up so much of what we have been experiencing lately.  Elora is going through another period of grieving.  Not as bad as it was at the beginning but the longest and harshest we have seen in almost a year.  She is such a puzzle in some ways.  She personifies the quote in that her ability to love and adjust is simply amazing and beautiful.  She opens her heart so often.  I wonder if that makes her grieve more freely too?  In a typical day she will list of half a dozen people in her life that she misses.  People she saw 6 minutes ago and people she saw 6 months ago.  It is making me extremely conscientious of who I bring in to her circle of trust.  I don't want fair weather friends near her, because she loves you and she misses you and she grieves your ambivalence when you did not treasure the gift of her love for you.  It can be easy for an outsider to break her heart.  She is my tornado, bull in a china shop, warrior but she has a heart made of glass and a memory a thousand miles long.

She talks often of her days in China, saying things that break my mama's heart for her.  About wanting to go to "China's home", about wanting me to come to China faster to feed her and open her door.  Her words are finally strong enough to express some of her memories and emotions.  She is telling me stories of China about her bath and how I do it wrong compared to Nanny.  We followed her direction to give baths "just like nanny" and after all this time and every solution under the sun we have almost abolished her bath time tantrums with her direction! Naming the children in her baby book photos and expressing not just that she is missing Nanny but that she is worried about things Nanny could not give her.  We are talking, talking and talking it out, going though more detailed explanations of her life book and story with her.  She is seeking confirmation from us verbally about 50 times a day that we are her family and we always come back to her. 

We stated to return to every thing that helped the first time.  Swaddling, she used to hate it, it worked but she fought the closeness it forced on her.  Now that we brought it back she asks for it.  We are working on using the soother again to help her self regulate, and even feeding her like a baby.  She likes me to re-in-act infant care on her.  We are also trying for the first time letting her sleep with a wrapped granola bar, for comfort.   She is trying to fill her gaps.  She is more emotionally aware then any one I have ever met. Although she is grieving in a text book way, she is years ahead in emotional developmental stages.  Many of the questions she is asking and expressing are more along the lines of a 5 year old. She is even testing out the dreaded "real mommy" push-pull that I was not really expecting for another 5 years or so.  I knew it would come one day, but when it happened for the first time at the ripe old age of 2.5 I did not handle it with all the grace I should have.  Cue call to adoptive mama buddies to brainstorm and cry.  

I feel confident that we will survive this with consistency  and a return to the basics.  It is so typical for my girl to do these things, as with all things, fast and furious.  That means she goes very deep into the grieving so that it is all consuming.  In the middle of it, it seems like there is no end to this barrage of crying, misbehaving, head banging, questions, whining,  heartbreaking,  mommy shopping and indiscriminate attention getting.  I find it near impossible to carve out more then 10 minutes in a day that I am not correcting, soothing or pulling out my hair.  And then one day it all melts away and she is leaps and bounds of development ahead.  I have seen this pattern before, so this time I have confidence to take each day one at a time.  It's furious but it is also fast, it's just hard here in the middle of furious.  She knows somehow exactly how to get her self out of this cycle.  I just needed the wake up call that this thing called attachment is a marathon not a sprint.  It's a journey.  After a little bit of self evaluation, I checked my self, and got back to basics.  I have peace with where we are but not always patience.  I wish I knew the trigger, in the past it was pretty clear.  Hoping we can find it together as I suspect it may be the root of this and help us to over come.  I miss my sweet ridiculously over confident girl.  She is lost in grief right now and I worry that I am ill equipped to lead her home some days, her hurt is so big.

If only I could give her a small connection to "China's home".  We write to the orphanage director, we know she keeps all our emails and photos, but no one ever writes back.  What I would not give to let baby girl skype with Nanny, to let her know the love she is sending across the ocean is being received.   Elora my darling, I know how you feel, it was a short time ago that I was pinning for someone in "China's home" in the same way you are now, never knowing if they felt my love, this one sided love can make you loose your mind, when just one word from your loved one could sooth your soul.  If only.  I try, I try so hard to give you what China doesn't want to let you have, what is your basic human right.  We are spamming Chinese social media with our messages asking for help asking people to share hoping that one day the ones who cared for you before me will find us, reach for us. We are just waiting with open doors for the day.  I want to give it to you so desperately.  You have made it clear to me from day one that you need it.  I hear you and I am trying.