I'm scared of a date on a calendar; July 25th.
The reason that date scares me is because it's the date that Elaina, Evangeline and I came home from Ukraine last summer after spending seven weeks there finalizing Evie's adoption. I thought that by our first year anniversary home with Evangeline we would be well bonded, in love, and that Evie would be a different child and I would be a different mother. I was talking to a dear, honest friend who is also an adoptive mother the other night on the phone. She was telling me that her mantra in her head at first was, 'Let's just get through this first year. If we get through this first year it will have to be better."
June is almost here which means July is right around the corner and between acclimating to four children and Polly's strokes and surgeries for Moyamoya, Evangeline and I have done nothing more than a dance of two steps forward and one step back.
I realized I haven't even taken pictures of her nor the other girls recently. A part of me wants to get through this time and forget about it. I don't want pictures reminding me of the pain and struggle we've gone through in order to mold into a family of six. Most days there is still a tinge of grief.
Sometimes I am at a loss on how to love her.
Oh, we have good days... good weeks even. But overall, this whole experience has
been difficult. Really difficult. Not-what-I-expected difficult. Evie is not who I expected her to be but more importantly, I'm not who I expected I would be as an adoptive mom.
We see light in Evie's eyes. Sergei and I find ourselves watching Evie do funny things or make cute faces and we laugh. "I'm so glad she's ours", we tell each other. She's mesmerizing.
But other times, the times she eats the mop and dives for a pile of dirt on the playground and cries when I pick her up to rock her, scratching my face in order to get away, rocking herself into a stupor, I find myself frustrated, at a loss, convinced I am failing miserably. Surely, another woman could do better than me.
So many other friends who adopted at the same time are doing well.
And it makes me mad.
So, I'm scared of July 25th.
Because although we've come a long way we have a long way to go.
The switch will flip some day, right?. Evie and I will love one another better, more often, in more tangible ways. But the interim hurts. Rejections sucks. Evie and I take turns rejecting each other. And the underlying nagging pain is this: I'm the mother... I should not feel like rejecting my child.
There, I said it.
This relationship with my fourth daughter has brought a new dimension to my relationship with God. It's poignant. It's not wasted.
I am thankful for invisible fishing lure line, taunt, strong, connecting me to Jesus.
And tomorrow I'm going to try again. I'm going to pray for love and patience and therapy strategies and creative ways to engage Evie. We're going to visit a developmental therapist to see what else Evie is dealing with besides Down syndrome (I suspect she is somewhere on the Autism spectrum as well) and see what other help we can receive. I'm going to interview more therapy helpers, students who major in special education. We want someone to work with Evie and Polly for a few hours a week this summer because when I think about doing it on my own I get dizzy.
So I've admitted these things (things I can't say out loud to anyone but somehow I can write it here). I'm going to look my four girls in the eye tomorrow morning, assure them and myself of my love and more importantly of God's love and then make oatmeal and toast for breakfast.
Tonight as Polly fell asleep she kept asking me to kiss a boo boo on her elbow.
If only everything could be fixed with a kiss...
(Note: I welcome comments... more than welcome, I actually crave validation and I know that's another issue... but anyway, if you are inclined to comment that I'm a good mom and not to worry, things will get better, thanks, but that's not really the kind of validation I seek. God bless...)