I love seeing my Julia's eyes light up when she sees her mom, and how she follows her everywhere with those eyes.
I love hearing the cooing and giggles.
I love hearing her sleep(would love to be asleep then too, but this is a blessing in that).
I love hearing the excitement from family and friends over our blessing.
As Cara posted below what has been hard for me is not being able to comfort my girl, it kills me, BUT it is intentional pain as it serves a greater purpose of helping her trust and depend on us, big picture as her forever family, and I will GLADLY take whatever pain if it can relieve ANY of hers.And yes I will cry like a baby when my baby accepts me as dad. Even the times she has reached out and touched my face and given a small smile have sent me over the edge. Being dad to a little girl, is such a privilege.
Adoption is a gift for all parties involved, but it is not always the easiest path, BUT it is an awesome one. There are realities that are hard, my beautiful 8 month old is not 8 months old physically/developmentally. She doesn't have the same strength and mobility other kids at their age do-BUT we see improvements already,as she is loved and intentionally helped with exercise, we are blessed that she WANTS to be more active ,that she will start to work her body to reach further for toys, to start to hold onto Cara or myself more when we pick her up. This is NOT a barrier that can't be overcome. In a few months she will catch up as we are intentional in this area.
It is hard to know she feels pain and anxiety when mommy leaves the room, because in her little heart she thinks, "Am I going to be left again?". Again not a barrier that can't be conquered, and we pray she will know that her birth mom did NOT Abandon her...
She was INTENTIONALLY placed in a safe place where the birth mom knew she would be cared for. She is not a mistake, she is here(alive) for a reason, and it is a GOOD reason.
It is going to be a challenge for us as a family.When biologically you add a child to your family, you have time to transition ,baby is a few days old, sleeps lots, you have time to help other kids learn how to act etc.(this is not saying it is a piece of cake to add to your family biologically, just providing a perspective here) Come December 23 we have an "instantly here" 8 month old for our 22 month old to deal with, and for us to find our new normal. Big strain on Cara(She IS such as awesome mom- wouldn't dream of doing this thing without her, and COULD NOT do it without her-moms are the frontline workers, even when they have actively engaged husbands in the mix). But what a wonderful experience to be a family to a child without one and to experience being a family with her.
Our travel group is joking about the Grandma clothing police encounters we have, and what is cool is we know those heart intentions are good, so I smile when it happens, it is all part of the experience and I am happy to let that happen. I am so glad I have family that understands the attachment process and knows that the steps we take, with the holding and particular things we do to care for her is intentional, and that their respecting of that shows us and her so much love and respect. It will be a challenge to deal with folks "out there" that just don't understand, that judge, and think we are being too weird about it, that we should pass her around like every other child has happen to them when they arrive in a family...
I am praying now for grace and patience to be able to tell them every other child has not had to experience orphanage life, to be taken here and there having a few to multiple caregivers(and there are wonderful folks doing this, don't get me wrong they are a gift, but it is gift coming out of what is not normal and this effects my babies perspective on her world) and sees her world as scary and unstable and seeing a sea of faces in hers only communicates, "is this going to be who I get love from? Who will care for me, oh passed off to another one... won't anyone hold me and care for me forever, what is wrong with me,I am scared, will I get food in my tummy when it hurts? Will someone hold me when I cry, I don't know I can trust them or not..."
So if by chance you are reading this and you aren't informed from an adopted families perspective, of these dynamics, and that we HAVE to do things differently for our babies sake, please try to put yourself in this babies place, arm yourself with some real knowledge of adoption dynamics so you can SUPPORT families you know who are on this journey, not be a stress to them. Email or talk to me, I will happily resource you with info you can use or pass along to others who need it so that more people become aware of the dynamics so they don't say and do stupid stuff(intentionally or inadvertently) that hurts these precious ones, they have had to experience more of that in their short lives already than is right. Okay, sermon done LOL, I am just so passionate about this, children are such treasures and have such value, it just gets me fired up, even running on waaay to little sleep!