When we were drowning in the wait to bring Sitota home (which does seem like eons ago), and I started blogging, I did it because connecting with other adoptive families was the lifeboat that helped me to realize that she would eventually be here with us. And I know other people feel that way, too. And when everyone (me, too) facebooks their new families, it's to share the highest of the highs. Nothing more.
The firsts are so fun, and the connections with the other Punks are sweet. And the photo-ops are plentiful.
But that's not so much about what I have to say today. This is a peek into the other stuff. Because reading the real stuff- even when it is utterly mundane, shares more than the highlights. And that's good for the world of adoption. I think.
The good- We have been home for a little over 2 weeks and the mollescum on Sitota's neck is so much better. I would say it's reduced by half.
The bad- She developed an abscess beneath the mollescum that started to look almost like a boil. Yesterday, we took her to the doctor in hope that he would just prescribe an antibiotic, but he decided it had to be drained, too. It. Was. Awful. From the moment we walked into the outer office she wanted to leave. I know she remembered the TB test from last week and wanted exactly nothing to do with that. Little did she know how much worse it would be. We probably should have had the nurses help instead of us, but we wanted to try to comfort her. I held her head and went nose to nose with her trying to comfort her. Rob held her body. Singing the ABCs, striving for a look of ease, I just kept eye contact. It stunk.
What could she have possibly been thinking?
Then the doctor said we had to go back the following day. That's today. Gah. I'm dreading it something awful. It looks better today, so I am hopeful that they will just let the antibiotics run their course. (Because this post has been written in 5 minute blocks over 2 days I can tell you that they didn't drain it again. Thanks, God.)
The attachment- Having 3 punks around to help occupy, entertain, and teach the littlest punk has been fun and helpful. But there are challenges. She chooses them. They aren't pushing the hard stuff on her. They get all of the fun stuff. I'm so happy that they are bonding. This is a true statement.
It is also a true statement that it's hard and I am a bit jealous. Yup, mother of the year.
Sitota is careful with her affection. And by careful, I mean stingy. She hugs and kisses her punks pretty freely. But us? she's stingy for sure. She looks at me with the sweet little shoulder shrug. "No." That's ok, I smile. I think it's a test. I hope I'll pass.
Don't get me wrong- we know. We know it will come. We know it's only been a little while. We know we don't have anything to worry about. But it still bums me out. For now. That's ok.
Also, she's still "off" baths. I tried the sink today, and the result was 45 minutes of crying and yelling... and that was after she got out of her 5 minute bath. Poor Aidan who always wants to rescue her, was completely unsuccessful in helping her to reset. She wanted him, but he could do nothing to please her. He was so patient. But this was between me and Sitota. So, I did what any insane parent would do. I scooped her up despite her protest and plopped her in the car for a change of scenery. Just the 2 of us with the music blasting. Then when we got home, I sat right next to her in the car and had a little talk.
"Sitota, sometimes we are going to have to take a bath. Mommy takes care of you, and sometimes that means a bath."
"The bath is all-done!"
"But, you know, someday you will have to have another bath. Like tomorrow. Or the next day. And when that day comes, if you could not completely flip out and freak out, well, that would be awesome."
"All done bath!"
Yes. All done bath. And then I got a kiss.
And I know it seems completely stupid to write about this stupid little incident. But it is surprising to me how something so small can take my mind down a path so quickly. How easy it is to make a list of things you might be doing wrong. Of times when patience runs dry. The questions I ask, the thoughts I think... and the guilt.
It's "supposed" to be all perfect now. She's home! Finally! Prayers answered! Waits survived! It's over!
I mean, now we get to start.
And so today when I was completely jealous of how she loves Aidan, I was pitiful and jealous and even resentful. It was wonderful. I'm so proud.
I reached out to some other adoption friends. I said, "It's ok to just cry sometimes and say, 'this is hard,' right?"
One replied, "I cry every day." Another said, "Absolutely. You can even do it more than once a day. Sometimes I would pretend to use the bathroom to squeak out a quick cry. It is hard. For awhile, but not forever. I think sometimes in the beginning, they want to sort of push us away...test the waters...will you still love me when I do this? What about this? I just try to focus on the child being a vessel that I have to fill with love, and completely take myself out of it."
Then I cried because I was thankful for the light and the hope and the feeling that other people were with me.
Tonight, on the eve of thanksgiving, I don't have to remind myself of the things I'm thankful for or second guess choices I've made. I just have to think about laying in bed next to the Littlest Punk. Starting prayers, her little voice echoing my words:
Thank you God for Aidan
Thank you God for Clay
Thank you God for Lucy
Thank you God for Sitota
Thank you God for Mommy and Daddy
Thank you for our home
and our food
and our love...
And then she shushed me, "Mommy, Mommy, ene, ene (me) do it, Sitota do it"
Tank you Gah babies
Tank you Gah woof-woofs (this one is a LIE, she hates dogs)
Tank you Gah applesauce
Tank you Gah Mihretu (her friend)
Tank you Gah Moooooooo
Tank you Gah Mommy's hat
Tank you Gah seven, eight, nine...
And I wish you could have seen her little clasped hands, and closed eyes... absolutely a moment to remember.
Also, it was night 2 of going to sleep without tears. Of sleeping with babies and the pillow pet night light. Pre-sleep conversations and quiet connections, and a big fat kiss.
Tank you, Gah.