I've learned more about being a Mom with her than I have in all my 13 1/2 years of motherhood. Adopting a child is so different than giving birth and having your baby in your arms from the moment of their first breath. My boys never had to question if Mommy and Daddy were for real, if we were permanent, if we would leave and never return. We have worked very hard to heal the hurts of Eme's heart, but sometimes, things pop up out of nowhere and we have to be on our toes, ready to read more into a situation than we care to.
Eme woke up from a nap last week in a total defunked mood. Out of nowhere.
She woke up crying, sobbing in fact and my first thought was to let her cry a little longer because her cry didn't sound like it was 'awake' and I thought she needed to go back to sleep. But then I remembered that I am not parenting a child without special needs, she needs me now. As I was heading her way, she came out of the room with her favorite *Glinda* blankie and just stood there. Her eyebrows were crooked and I swooped her up for the longest hug ever. I held her for over an hour and she didn't move off my chest. She was awake. She held her head low and wouldn't look in my eyes. Daddy came home and she wouldn't acknowledge him. She was in her own world and it wasn't a happy place. I 'repouched' her in the ergo and there she spent the rest of the evening, happy as could be. We took a walk, visited a neighbor to pick up W and she never for one second fought to get down. She was safe and calm and happy to be strapped as tightly to me as she could be.
What was going on inside her little head?
This is a tough gig for sure. To have 3 biological children, I can say with 100% certainty that parenting an adopted child that comes with a history at 15 months of age is completely different. I still work to prove to her that we are forever. This Mommy and Daddy will ALWAYS come back. She struggles and my heart breaks for her and all that she has been through. It is a different way of parenting, just like it's a different way for each child that I have. They are all different with different needs. Eme NEEDS attachment parenting, it is me being conscience of what she has missed and needs. It would be soooo easy to just lump her in with the 'normal' way we have always parented, but parenting is not a one size fits all thing. I am plugging the holes of what she has missed out on as well as growing her up to where she should be, while making sure her emotions are in check. It's a constant walk across the 4 inch balance beam.
This upcoming week we will diving into Neurol0ogical Re0rganization and hoping to help heal things from the inside out. I long for Eme's heart to be in one giant piece, but I think we have a long way to go before that is possible. Don't get me wrong, we've made lots of progress, but we also have a long way to go. What took 15 months to hard wire into her little being, will take us a lifetime to undo and I will do whatever it takes to heal her heart.
I have concerns that Eme's pain threshold is way to high. For example, she can hold an ice cube in her hand until it melts and never feel a thing. Her hands don't feel cold, which scares me because if she touches a hot stove, will she feel hot?
Eme's crawl was horrible and she still can't crawl.
She can't march. She will march by lifting 1 foot and stomping it.
Her hands and feet do not do cross patterns.
Her back is completely flat which means she had NO tummy time to grow the muscles and stimulate the brain.
She doesn't lift or climb with her knees, she just hikes her foot up over whatever and goes for it, some would say she is super flexible.
She gets very annoyed when you put her on my yoga ball, it causes her to use unknown muscles.
She walks/runs with both hands behind her.
She rubs her fingers together, as if she is rolling the skin off the tip of her finger. Self soothing? Anxiety? Don't know.
These are just a few to name that make us go 'hmmm'....I'm curious to see what a professional says and how we can better understand how to help our girl.
She missed a lot in her first 15 months of life, so now we will spend the time needed to relearn, retrain and repeat all that she needs to make the proper neurological connections.
Just look at her...she's perfect. She's my girl.