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I love to laugh and love with my family, read, exercise, cook and sew, all the while giving thanks to God for his immeasureable love and faithfulness to me.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

You came back!

This process of bonding and attachment is a funny thing.  Just when you think everything is good to go, something will happen and you'll realize, oops, no, there's still shaky ground here.
We are coming up on our one year (!) anniversary of Mei Mei coming home.  Hard to believe that we met her last February, but there you have it.  It feels like she's always been part of our family.
I don't have any doubts that she is bonded and attached to us (or we to her for that matter).  What we have been noticing lately, however, is that she is having a very difficult time when we have to leave her (generally at home) especially in the later afternoon/dinnertime.  She gets very clingy, especially to me, and a few times, has become super emotional too.  We're not just talking whining and crying, but literally clawing herself up me and holding on for dear life.  It seems that she is so fearful that we won't return.  Bless her little soul, it just breaks this mama's heart!  Interestingly enough, she hasn't had any difficulty separating to go back to preschool or to Sunday School, thank goodness.

How horrible to live in fear that the people you have grown to love and trust may leave and never return?  While we know this isn't true, it is an ever present anxiety in her little mind. Such is the reality of children who have been abandoned and spent time in orphanages and foster care.  People often leave unexpectedly--and it is horrible.
When one or both of us do have to leave, we continually reassure her that Mamas and Daddys always come back for their children and that she's part of our family and will never leave and things of that nature.  When she wakes up in the morning she'll say "Mama!!  You came back!" or "Daddy, it's so good to see you".  You can hear the relief and excitement that she's seeing us again.  Poor thing.

Some evenings her anxiety has gotten so high, even when we're just going about our normal routine getting dinner ready and not going anywhere, that I've just picked her up and held her tightly against my chest and rocked her.  This seems to really help soothe her and it serves as a stark reminder to me, that even though things look good on the surface, there's still a lot of uncertainty lurking just below it.
All we can do is continue to work through it with her, reassure her and pray with and for her, all the while, holding her close and loving on her.


Ann Niklasson said...

Hello from Tuttle Publishing. I'd love to send you a copy of a children's book that we published last year. Mei-Mei's Lucky Birthday Noodles: A Loving Story of Adoption, Chinese Culture and a Special Birthday Treat. Would you be interested in a copy for review?

Check out the book here: http://www.tuttlepublishing.com/books-by-country/mei-meis-lucky-birthday-noodles-hardcover-with-jacket

Ann Niklasson
Tuttle Publishing

3 Peanuts said...

This is always so hard but as you know it get better with time. Love your blog. Your daughters are adorable.

E said...

Thanks for the good reminder! It is important for me to remember to take it day by day.