Elizabeth was baptized this past Sunday. It was wonderful having so many of the family members present. Both sets of grandparents and most of the aunts, uncles & cousins were there. It was a big group! She wasn't too excited about having our pastor hold her but overall she did great. When he was holding her (for like 5 seconds) she was wimpering "mommy, mommy, mommy", reaching for me. Our pastor is an adoptive Dad and was very sweet and quickly handed her back to me with his hand still dripping with baptismal water.
A fellow adoptive mom at church came up to me afterwards and said she and her husband were crying watching the miracle of adoption and hearing Elizabeth call for me and see me as her mother. It really is a miracle. I told her I still get a "kick" out of hearing her name me like that. She said she still does too even though her daughter is elementary age.
But I also want to share that its not always that sweet and endearing. I know other adoptive parents read this blog from time to time. It has been so good for me to have seen other's walks and not feel alone in the "bad" times. So here is some of the struggles as we are 7 months since Gotcha Day.
Ever since we traveled at Christmas time Elizabeth has become rather OCD...obsessive compulsive. I've seen kids who are just quirky and want things very orderly. But I truly believe a lot of what we see in her behavior is just an expression of her fear of change, instability, trauma. It is very, very understandable. I mean, this is a 2 yr old trying to make sense of circumstances that even adults can't understand. I want to share this so if other families experience this they might recognize it might be more than just quirkiness if your child is adopted.
If we do something a certain way (like the order of getting dressed) then she wants to do it EXACTLY the same way next time. She cries & has a tantrum if I don't comply or don't understand that ORDER. And she is still very impatient when it comes to eating. The moment she decides its time to eat she wants all the food in front her her NOW. Sometimes that just doesn't work when you are in a family with 3 other siblings. I have to say the food thing has gotten better but it can still be challenging. Where we see the most fear/OCD come out is at bedtime. There is a fine line you walk as an adoptive parent with being compassionate & providing security but then you don't want to enable unhealthy behavior. So we have about 6 steps at bedtime (I'm talking the actual getting in the bed phase...not bath, storytime, etc). If something isn't quite right then Elizabeth starts crying "uh oh". Sometimes I realize one of the two doors is still open (bathroom & closet doors must be closed) or maybe I tucked the sheet but I didn't tuck the comforter. Sometimes I can't figure out for the life of me what is causing the "uh oh". So we've gone round & round with the "uh ohs" several nights. Hearing "uh oh" over and over and over at 2 am is rather un-nerving. Its kind of like have a fussy newborn...you don't know how to fix it! Now we are doing those 6 things that usually are enough and have stopped trying to fulfill whatever else is not "perfect". Walking that line.....hoping she feels secure as best as we can provide but also helping her learn that real security won't come from a perfectly ordered world. Bless her heart, how in the world can she ever understand? We just pray for God to give us wisdom & patience. And for Him to heal and fill the scars on her heart that only He can do.
Godparents Thomas & Eve