Monday, May 14, 2012

Adjusting: It Gets Easier

Amelia + Margaret in
Uganda, December 2010

Adoption attachment doesn't go smoothly for everyone.

Our family had a best-case scenario with Amelia.
  • She'd been well loved at her baby home.
  • She'd learned to attach to Mama Sarah, which made her able to attach to me.
  • She was only ten months old.
  • She has a pleasant, easy-to-love personality.
  • She and Caroline immediately bonded.
  • I was in MISERY until she was finally home, so any difficulties in adjusting were overshadowed by the joy of wrapping my arms around Amelia.

I could go on and on about what went RIGHT for us.  I think I forget that the first weeks home were actually very hard. I was in denial about how hard those days were when I was living them.  Adding a child to the family, biological or adopted, is always hard.  If you are in the hard days, this post is for you.  It gets better.

On the eve of Ash Wednesday this year, I received a precious email from another mother from Amelia's class.  I cried as I read it, remembering how frazzled our family had been the prior Ash Wednesday as we adjusted to life together.  We were all a wreck.  Gratitude blinded us to the thinness of the thread from which our sanity hung. 

our first week as a family of 4

I'd forgotten those days.  We have come so far.  If you're struggling, hang in there.  Adding a child to the family (biological or adopted) makes everything change.  Breathe.  Adjust.  Seek help.  Talk to others who have been there.  And be encouraged.  It can get better.

The email:

"As I am sitting here tonight thinking about Ash Wednesday tomorrow, I remembered it was last Ash Wednesday that I got to meet Amelia for the first time…sweet, scared, full of tears Amelia. Caroline was in tears because she had gotten shots that day. Miss Linda was having to do Amelia's hair.

"These days, I go in to pick [my daughter] up [...] early when I can. Amelia is always full of smiles, and always comes up to hug my leg. She also hugs [my daughter]. [My daughter] talks about playing with her each day from school. I am moved to tears when I think about how far she has come. Both of you have done a wonderful job over this past year, and I am in awe of you. I feel so fortunate to have been able to see if all happen, and I am so happy [my daughter] and Amelia are little friends. The first thing out of [my daughter's] mouth today after school was, 'I play Melia…Melia pretty.'

"Have a wonderful night. Maybe we'll get to see Amelia tomorrow at Ash Wednesday!"

"He has made everything beautiful in its time."  Ecclesiastes 3:11a

He can make your story beautiful, too.

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