I haven’t updated in a while. I sort of feel like I have to have something profound to say before I write. Which I have nothing. Not even any really good kid stories.

Which I suppose is a story in itself.

That there have been no stories.

We have moved into a new phase of our family the last few weeks. It’s as if everyone grew up a little and suddenly the dynamics are new. Micah has morphed into a big boy and suddenly wants to play with all of Josiah's toys. Josiah in turn has been very gracious and ‘allowed’ him to barge into the Lego land that is also known as Josiah’s room. It did require me explaining to him that we were not going to have ‘micah legos’ and ‘josiah legos’ and that they would need to work out some sort of deal, but amazingly (and with great maternal pride) I watched Josiah welcome micah into big boy world. And with that turn in events there seems to have come about a new brother camaraderie that wasn’t there before. The great masculine bonding experience of wrestling has come upon our house and the boys go at it frequently. And again, with great care, Josiah plays with his little brother and takes care of him. I am so proud of the big brother of the house.

The girls continue to be best buddies. It is amazing to watch how maternal Anna Claire is. Quite astounding, especially since her mother is NOT so caring and gracious much of the time (the story of kids crouching in the corner quivering and afraid of their mother will have to come another time)

We have seen a new side of the adoption story the last several weeks. On a handful of occasions Lydia has started to cry with a primal terror that is far different than a normal cry. As far as we can tell, it seems to come when she thinks we are gone but when we really aren’t. In other words, we haven’t told her we are leaving and suddenly she thinks we are not there. One time it was when I went out to the van to start it up to get warm and she was still at the breakfast table and suddenly saw me leaving. Another time was when everyone else was camping and I was still in the bedroom. She walked down the hall in the morning and seemed to realize she was alone. She does great when we leave her and she knows about it. But it is the times when she is caught off guard that fear grips her little soul.

At first it bothered me a bit. That feeling of ‘oh no, I can’t do a thing about this. What is her life going to be like?’ (I realize that is moving ahead a little bit but seriously, I think about how adoption will affect her!) but then I realized that OF COURSE she remembers her loved ones leaving and never coming back. I would like to sweep that memory under the rug but that would be denying her reality. She was 2 ½ when we came to get her so certainly she has a very vivid memory of being taken away. I think about if Micah had gone to china this summer and left us and how he would be reacting. So of course it would make sense that Lydia would have elements of terror in her heart when she thinks we are gone. And in her case she was taken away from her foster family 3 weeks before we got there and moved to the orphanage. And then we came. So she has two very recent and clear memories of being left.

Sometimes that’s scary. The unknowns of adoption. The fact that when she plays with her babydolls they are always crying.

She is grieving. We saw that in china but now we see it here. it’s a helpless place to be as a mom, unable to ‘fix’ her problems. I can hold her and thankfully she does lay right on my chest like a little newborn and snuggle into me. She lets me hold her and rub her head. But she cries and cries and I only wish I knew what was in her heart.

It does go away. Usually in about 10 minutes. And it hasn’t happened a lot, but definitely a noticeable amount of times. Such that we are now very conscious to tell her when we are leaving her, even if it is to run outside for a second. And i have begun talking to her much more about always being her mommy, never leaving, always loving her. I thought those conversations would be saved for when she was a bit older but I guess not. and they really aren’t conversations, they are a one-way dialogue of me speaking truth and love into her sweet soul.

I hope she hears me.

And just for laughs…tonight at dinner, Anna Claire was spending the night with Grammy and Pops, and Eric remarked at how different it was with only 3 kids. Josiah piped up, “man, it’s like only 3 instead of 1000!” not sure if that is a commentary on his sister…or 4 kids…or an 8 year old’s love of exaggeration. But it made me smile. Just wait…5’s coming.


Marie Foote said...

interesting insights, ashleigh. we'll have to "dialogue" more about being adoptive moms ... either by replying to each others' posts or by email.