Look What She Made

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This girl has been talking my ear off today!  Today she read 4 books that were full of information, and believe me, I have heard so much about random things!  Like how a python can get so big that it can eat a crocodile!  Ummm…Wow!

But the best part of her day was making these cool Lego creations!  She is so very proud of them, and I am very proud of her.  She had a great day and is riding high!

Love you Little Bit!

Mother Daughter Time

Recently, Little Bit and I had the opportunity to spend a weekend by ourselves.  It just so happened that all the boys were at a Boy Scout Jamboree, and Little Bit had a Girl Scout carnival to attend.  I decided to use several gift cards that I had received over the past year.  Gift cards that I would  not do on my own, but with a little girl by my side, would be perfect.

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The weekend started with an afternoon appointment to get a manicure and a pedicure.  The pedicure was hilarious because Little Bit is extremely ticklish, and would not stop laughing the entire time.  I think the specialist was slightly annoyed, as he decided just to paint her toe nails.  She was done in ten minutes, and sat there in the massage chair to wait for me.  It was pretty funny to watch her in the chair.  She has never sat in one before, so the giggling continued until she was silent.  She became so relaxed that I think sleep was on its way.

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The next day was spent at the Girl Scout carnival.  We had a great time together and her friends.  She loves the Girl Scouts, and even though they may not be as outdoors as I would like, there are a ton of crafts, which is right up her alley!  The day was long, but so much fun.

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Finally we went to a local painting pottery store.  We spent four hours painting our matching plates!!!  Four Hours!!! It was so worth it.  We relaxed and talked about so many things.

That weekend was so wonderful and just what we needed to continue our bonding.  Things have been rough for her lately, but when we have times together, I think it helps her recover from the tough parts a little quicker.

Hope you all are having a wonderful week!

Love,

Suzy

 

Sometimes, all you Need is a Cookie

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Times have been rough with Little Bit.  For the past two months, her fighting has gotten progressively worse, and Mr. Bits and I have been beside ourselves trying to figure out how we can help her.  The therapist she had in December, just wasn’t a good fit.  Not a whole lot of guidance on how to control her anger.  We start a new therapist today, and there is much anticipation about how this one may help.

Last week, her anger got the better of her and what was supposed to be a mother daughter day on Saturday, turned into just me going.  It was our annual ladies tea at church, and she flat out chose to fight rather than go.  I made a huge cookie tart for the event, one of her favorites, and sadly took it to the event without having my daughter with me.

The next day at our coffee hour, we had a ton of leftovers from the event, including a little more of the cookie.  There was one more piece, and I knew she was eyeing it.  I looked at her and said, go and take it.  The smile on her face spoke a thousand words, including, “I am still a little girl.”

Sometimes, I need those reminders, that she is a little girl that does not know how to be little.  It takes a cookie to remind us all sometimes of what truly matters.

Love to you all and please have a cookie today!

Suzy

Adoption: The Hard Truth for Some

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Many people have said to me, “Oh my goodness, you adopted!  What an amazing thing!  Your daughter must be so happy that you saved her!”

When I hear this statement and ones similar, about us saving her, or how amazing this must be for us, I cringe just a little, and realize that before we picked her up and brought her home, I too had this romantic version of adoption in my head.  I had my thoughts focused to how happy she will be that we took her from the awful situation she knew.  That she would love and hug us everyday.  That she would quickly and seamlessly integrate into our family, and never look back or have thoughts of the horrible place she came from.

Oh how reality hits, and hits like a brick sometimes.

On the day we swooped her up in our arms, we quickly realized that our story would be quite different than the others that were with us.  First, she was older, second she was more vocal.  None of which are negative, but when adopting can be difficult.  She would scream from the top of her lungs in public place that she hated us.  Because it was in Chinese, we did not know what she was saying at first, but learned from our guide.

When we brought her home, all her anger and frustrations was directed on me, which makes it difficult for the bonding to occur. I will admit to distancing myself, and diving right into work, which looking back, I have realized that was the worst decision I could have made.  Hindsight, is a wonderful thing.

But, lets fast forward five years later, to today.  You would think that all of the hate and negative behavior would be unlearned, and the statement of, “She must be so happy”, would be true on some level.  I guess maybe on some level it might be, but she is still angry.  She tells me she hates me and wishes for a different mother at least once a week.  She tells me she only loves her dad.  She tells me she is an orphan and the orphanage nannies were so much better than I could be.  This always makes me shocked, because she came from an orphanage with 2,000 kids, the pictures told of no bathing, lice, and filthy conditions.  When we got her, we quickly discovered the bruises on her body, where a cane would strike her.  She has mental bruises from sexual abuse.  She went through PTSD therapy for two years, and is going back again, since the relapse seems to be causing her little mind so much anguish.  She tries to gain control so she will not be hurt, like she has been so terribly hurt  before.  Her tantrums are not the screaming and stomping feet kind.  They are kick holes in the wall kind, they are the kind of tantrums in which she tries to let out all the hurt she feels from feeling strange and alone.  She is not happy we took her from all of her pain, because now she has to think about it, which can be worse for a little girl who fights so hard.

The comments above make me laugh loudly, because she is the one who has opened our eyes to the hard reality trauma can cause.  She is the brave one, that keeps going even when she does not want to.  She is the one that faces all her demons, and wants to love, but just cannot bring herself too.  I recently talked with a gentleman from our church who adopted a little girl from Korea in 1971.  He is now 80 years old, and his daughter is estranged.  He tries on a daily basis to get into contact with her, but she will not talk to anyone in her family.  He said looking back there were warning signs, and in the 1970s it was still taboo to talk of such things.  He looks back and thinks of all the ways he failed, but has also realized he raised a little girl who must be a good citizen because she has never needed money, which he still tries to send, he has never received a call from the police etc.  This is the way he consoles himself, and gives himself comfort that he believes she is safe.  My husband asked what his thoughts were on helping our child feel loved, and this gentlemen said something that has changed my world forever, “It is not about feeling loved, it is about helping her understand that she is secure.  The love will come after that.”

Oh, security, isn’t that what we all need?  I need to be secure as a mother, my husband needs to be secure as a father, she needs to feel secure as our daughter.  She needs to be secure in herself.  She does not even feel safe in her own mind, constantly on the verge of feeling like she will lose this “good thing” forever.  Must hurt us before she gets hurt.  You know , self preservation.

So how have I changed, that should be the real question.  I now give her baths, rock her to sleep in the rocking chair.  Rub her head, feed her food.  I know this sounds ridiculous for a nine year old, but what would you do for your baby?  How would you help your baby feel safe?  These are things, I should have done years ago.  Again with that hindsight business.  I take her to therapy, I pray with her when she gets angry, because I need that to.  I need to be just as secure that I can parent her, as she needs to be she is our daughter.

I am thankful for this older gentleman who was willing to share his story with me, but my heart breaks for him and his daughter.  His story is now the story that he tells to help others heal, even though he cannot heal.  We still have time to change our stories.  He feels like he is out of time.  He looks at me and says the next time we come over, he wants to show us pictures of his daughter.  Says he takes them out and looks at them every so often, wondering how she is.  A tear comes to his eye, and he hugs me.

What do I want to tell others who have adopted and are struggling?  What is my story?  I do not know yet.  But the man above told me his so that I would have a different one.  So that I can remember that it is so much bigger than me feeling sorry for myself.  It is about a little girl desperate for security.  Grasping for it, and it slipping from her fingers.

She is my baby, and I am her mother.

Thank you for reading this long post.

Have a wonderful day everyone,

Suzy

Mother and Daughter Camping

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Not quite sure what my look was in this picture.  But I think I was trying to grab a cookie?  I do not know.  I show you this picture to tell you this little girl and I have been having so much fun together.  We had a wonderful time frosting cookies together, but last night we had another treat.  The boys all went igloo camping with the boy scouts, so it was just Little Bit and I hanging out.  Instead of sleeping in the woods, we went and saw the movie “Into the Woods”, which is very good!  Then we came home, and instead of starting the fire, we turned on the gas fire place.  Instead of roasting marshmallows over an open fire, we roasted marshmallows over the gas stove.  And instead of camping in a cold igloo, we slept on the floor in front of the fire place.  The boys had a great time, but I do believe we had an even better time.  Spending quality mother and daughter time together, and staying warm?  Who could want anything more!

This Moment

Linking up with Amanda today

{this moment} ~ A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.

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It Happened

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It happened.

The question every parent of an adopted child wonders when they will hear.

“Mom, can I meet my real mom?”

It hit me like a ton of bricks, even though I knew it would come one day.  What would I answer?  How could I look into her eyes and say that she may never meet her real mom?  How would she feel?  How would I feel?  There are so many questions and still are.  Because I know this is not the end of wondering who she really is.

So I looked into her big, brown eyes and explained that I do not know if she ever will this side of Heaven.  That China is a big country and her mother left no clue as to who she is.

She asked me where her mom dropped her off at.  And again, I looked into big hurtful eyes and explained that here mother left her alone in a shopping mall as a baby.  No note, no bag.  That some nice policemen found her.  That they searched for her mother, but her mother was no where to be found.  You see her mother would have been in big trouble if she was found.

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“Why did she do it mommy?”

“I do not know.  But I can tell you that she probably thought you would have a better chance.  That she thought she was loving you so much by giving you up to live a life you probably could not have had the chance to live with her.”

“You think she loved me mommy?”

“Yes, I think she loved you very much.  She loved you so much that she wanted you to know a better life. As a mom, I know that it would have to be a very good reason to do what she did.”

“I wish she could have raised me.”

I will not lie, those words stung.  I wanted to break down crying.  But I had to remember that this conversation was not about me.  It was about a hurting little girl, who was confused and needed love.

“Honey, one day, I will travel with you to China.  I will take you to the orphanage you lived for four years of your life.  I will show you where we picked you up, and hopefully you can meet some of your old nannies.  I will help you find your mother, and if we meet her, I want to be there to hug her and thank her for the opportunity to raise such a wonderful little girl.  I may not be your real mother, but you have been born from my heart.  You know how I talk about how funny it was for your brothers to move around in my belly, and for me to give birth to them?  I have different memories of you.  I have memories of waiting for two long years to finally get to you.  Of seeing pictures, and wanting you in my arms.  Those are the same as having a baby inside you.  You want them out, so you can hold them and love them.  Then labor comes and it is painful, but so worth it because you now have a child to love.  The same is with you.  I would never change anything about my labor with you.  I have a wonderful little girl to love.  I believe you were supposed to be with us from the very beginning.”

“Is it okay if I love both of you?’

“Yes, honey, I think that is a great idea. I love you, and I love your mom for giving you to me.”

I realized at that moment she has been purposefully trying not to love me because of fear that her mom would return and her mother would not like her loving me.  When I told her it was okay to love both and that I loved her mom, you could see a little light switch on, and my heart warmed.

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I know we will be alright.  I know she is where she needs to be.  I know that she will be alright.  The road continues to be difficult, but I would not change a thing.

Love,

Suzy