Friday, October 3, 2008
I think I may have left you all last night with a feeling that things are disastrous here. I can assure you, they're not. For the most part, we are a very happy, busy family with a wrench or two thrown in once in a while. Hey, makes life not boring, right?
There are 3 things I want to say today:
1) I want to answer a couple of questions I've been asked.
a) Do I have regrets about bringing Anna Grace home? You guys know my blatant honesty. The answer to this question is very clearly, "NO!" I have no regrets. Maybe if you would have asked me 2 months after she was home, I'd have waivered. But now, she is MY daughter. I couldn't imagine life without her, as crazy as that sounds. When she's asleep or quietly doing something that she has her guard down, I could sit and watch her for hours. She's beautiful. She's sweet. She's loving. And she also has attachment issues. We all have our issues. That's hers. There is a hope and there is treatment. It's a slow, long process. But I would feel like there is a hole in my heart if she weren't in my life. "Sing to the LORD, you saints of his; praise his holy name. For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning. Psalms 30:4-5
b) Does Ann Grace have RAD (reactive attachment disorder)? No. Anna Grace definitely has mild to moderate attachment issues, but not RAD. Anna Grace has come a very long way and she is so close to being able to let herself love. There is a barrier there that we must break. I am confident it will happen, with God's strength and mercy. When it does, I know her heart will be mine as mine will be hers. She definitely has the ability to love fiercely, that's why she is hurting.
c) How do it I do it? I laughed when I read this because the answer is, "I don't know." Sometimes I think I don't do it. Actually, not true. I DO know. I do it through Christ who strengthens me. Writing out yesterday's post made me see even more how I need to lean on Him for everything. I don't know why I continue to carry this burden when He is there just waiting for me to say, "Take this from me." All I need to do is turn around and walk away. That's a lot harder than it sounds. Not sure why I want to hold on to it, but I'm slowly learning. Also, journaling my thoughts and knowing we are being prayed for when I don't have the strength to pray myself has been very helpful in getting me through the dark moments.
I really owe many of you so much! Your emails filled with scripture and love and the sharing of your own stories have filled my heart up. I know I'm not alone. I am back in the game! So, watch out, Anna Grace, because your Mama is gonna love you BIG forever 'n ever, girl.
2) I also want to mention how God totally knew that I badly needed some "sign" from Him that He is here. After posting about the song, "Go light Your World" and telling you about the song "thief's" email. I got this comment back from her. (Sally, thank you so much for affirming to me that it was God's hand involved in yesterday's little miracle!)
From the blog song thief herself, I have to say your post moved me today like no other on any blog I have read before. First for your honesty and candor about what it is like to parent a child with attachment issues (BTDT) and second, knowing that somehow God used me to help reveal His presence to you through this difficult attachment process. The miracle of it all is that I rarely ever post on someone's blog that I do not know. I do not know your story as I had just found your blog and then immediately stole your song, but your authenticity begs me to come back for more! Thank you for the post!
I want everything I do to honor and glorify our God. When I posted yesterday's post, I felt I would be judged and be frowned upon in my role as a mother. I also knew that I had prayed about posting something so private. Yet, God filled me with peace that I was doing what He wanted. Where do you think the "bad" feelings came from? I followed through and refused to let Satan steal my joy and worse yet, not allow me to share my "light" with thsoe around me! Who was glorified in the end? Our mighty God!
My dear friend, Kim, sent me this verse: "The one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world" (1John 4:4) And all I gotta say is, "Amen, sister!"
3) Lastly, I want to remind you all that tonight at midnight is the last opportunity to participate in the giveaway. I am so excited!!! Anna Grace will draw a name from the bunch tomorrow morning and I will video tape it and announce the winner! My little spitfire may even have a bow on. :)
If you haven't participated yet and want to join in on the fun. Scroll to the top of the page and click under the header! Hurry....do it now!
God bless you all and thank you from the bottom of my heart for your prayers and support.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
I apologize ahead of time for the length of this post, but I wanted it as detailed as possible so that hopefully in ten years when I look back at it with Anna Grace, we'll both laugh and she'll say, "I did that, Mama?" I can then reply, "Oh yeah! You sure did! But look at what Jesus did!"
We called Anna Grace in and as I sat on the floor with my little girl on my lap, my sister and I prayed over her. We asked the Lord to heal her heart. To make her whole. After we were finished, she went back out to the living room to play with the other kids.
My sister then prayed over me. I cried. I cried hard as I heard her asking Jesus to fill me with His spirit and to remove anything from within me that wasn't of Him. I know in my heart that guilt and shame are feelings that don’t come from our Savior. I know that He is pure love. I sat there with my eyes closed listening to her words as she emphatically told me to carry all of my burdens to the cross and lay it at the feet of Jesus. Oh, how I wanted to.
When we were done, she left me sitting there for a while as she returned to what now was a household full of people. I cried some more as I sat there praying that this would be the miracle I’ve been waiting for. But, as we know, miracles occur when you truly believe they will. I still felt that hopelessness. Although I felt somewhat freed and closer to Christ, I hadn’t been broken. After a few minutes, I went to the bathroom, washed my face and joined the family for her birthday celebration. The next day was Sunday. It was non-eventful and life returned to normal.
A week went by and now we are looking at Monday of this week. Anna Grace had a horrible week at school the prior week. She refused to nap and sat at the dreaded “table” almost on a daily basis. The “table” is their time-out area. You must receive 3 warnings before going to the table. On some days, she was at the table 4 times.
Back to Monday. I was very excited about Monday morning. It was picture day at school. The kids were told to come wearing their Sunday best! If any of you know me personally, I really enjoy my kids going out looking cute. Not necessarily in expensive clothing, but just hair nicely combed and dressed up when the occasion calls for it.
I awoke extra early and pulled out a pair of dress slacks, dress shirt and vest for Kai. Anna Grace was going to wear a beautiful hand made dress I had bought for her while in China. She usually wears bows to school on a regular basis, but this morning, I had taken the time to braid sections of her hair and had 2 matching bows holding the pattern of braids that I had made. It probably took me 25 minutes between the squirming and her fidgeting to watch Pinky Dinky Doo while I was working on her hair. When I was finished, I asked her to stand back. She truly looked stunning. Her black hair against her very light skin made her almond-shaped eyes stand out even more. I told her how she looked like Snow White. I also told her she was a princess and that she was the most beautiful girl in the world. She beamed with pride and asked me why was she the most beautiful girl in the world. I responded with “because Mama loves you so much and is so happy that you are her baby girl that there’s just no other little girl in the world as beautiful as you.” She gave me a half-smile. I hugged and kissed her and told her to sit and watch TV on the couch with the boys while I finished dressing.
Ten minutes later, I walk outside to tell them to get ready to go and I almost fell over when I looked at Anna Grace. She had not only pulled out both bows, but had completely dismantled every braid and her hair looked as if someone had tangled it up with a toothbrush. I couldn’t believe my eyes. I started to cry and I all I could muster was asking her, “Why? Why, Anna Grace? Why?” She didn’t respond. She didn’t have to. The answer was quite clear. I had told her that she was beautiful because I loved her so much. She figured if she wasn’t beautiful, I wouldn’t love her. That plain. That simple. She has never taken bows out of her hair.
I quickly brushed out her hair, put a plain bow in on the side as I do every morning and tossed the three kids into the van. She was silent the whole trip to school. She knew what she had done. I was angry, hurt and again, not wanting to have anything to do with her. I walked them both into school kissed them goodbye and headed back home. My “grace” from the previous week was gone.
One of the big things about children with attachment issues is their need for control. In an ideal world, had I walked into that scenario, I should have said “Anna Grace. You decided to change your hairstyle. I love it! Wow….Mama loves you so much. It doesn’t matter how your hair looks. Mama will never stop loving you.” Well, you can do this once, ten times, fifty times, a hundred times, three hundred times, but day after day and month after month, it wears you down. It’s so hard to “fake it until you make it”. You feel trampled and crushed. It gets to a point where you want to throw up your arms and say, “Ok! You win!”
In the afternoon, I picked her up from school. She had a good day. She napped. No table time. I was afraid to praise her. So, I calmly responded with “Good girl, Anna Grace!” I knew that anything more would be cause for her to act out more.
Throughout the afternoon, she tried several times to be mean to me, only to get the “fake” responses followed by an “I love you.” I could see in her eyes confusion and defeat. I sat next to her on the couch while she was watching something on TV. I could feel her inching away so that I wouldn’t touch her. I asked her, “Anna Grace, you don’t want Mama to sit next to you?” (Remember, this was not play time. It was quiet, therefore an opportunity to be close). She said, “I watching TV, Mama.” without looking up. I got up and walked away.
About an hour later, Scott came home from work. She greeted him with her usual hugs and kisses and they talked about what a good girl she was at school. I stood as a bystander precluded from the conversation. Part of me hurting that I don’t get those responses, the other half telling myself I didn’t want to be a part of it anyway. (Can you read some enemy fire in there?)
Scott then walked into the kitchen and we were talking when I heard Anna Grace yell out to him, “Daddy?” just as he had headed to the bedroom. I went over and said “Daddy went to change, what do you need?” She looked me dead in the eye and said in a loud, stern voice, “I no talk to YOU about it. I talk to Daddy.” Then stood there. Waiting. Challenging me to blow up. I turned without saying a word. Minutes later Scott walked back into the room. She ran up and said, “Daddy, can I have water?” Something that she could have easily asked me to get for her. But she wanted to make sure, since she had seen us together, that I realized she was going to him for her needs. Another thing she does quite often.
A couple of other minor incidents occurred before dinnertime that I completely ignored. I was already angry and hurt immensely. I just wanted her to have dinner and go to bed. I wanted the day to end.
We sat down to dinner. Anna Grace sits in a chair right next to mine and I usually feed her because otherwise she’d fool around and not eat anything and the food would be all over the table and/or floor. As I began feeding her, she ensued with the usual holding food in her mouth and not chewing. This is one of the few things that I have no control over. I’ve learned that if I take the chair away and she has to eat standing, she chews and I win. I have control over whether she sits or stands. So, after about 15 minutes with the first bite still in her mouth and everyone almost done with dinner, I say, “Ok. Time to stand up and eat.” She pouts a bit and stands up. She begins to chew. I glance at her and she gives me probably the meanest look, eye roll included, that a 3 year old could muster. Then all of a sudden she pretends to cough and spits food all over me, all over my face and all over my food. (This was the 4th time this week that she has accidentally coughed or sneezed food at me.) At that point, I completely lost it! I pushed my chair back and screamed to Scott, “I can’t do this anymore! I can't!” I remember turning to look at her stoic face and yelling at her that she had to stop being mean to Mama, then running into my room and curling up into a fetal position crying hysterically. Begging God to please heal her.
At times, I don’t have the strength to continue. I understand her issues. I swear I do. I know she’s come a very long way. We both have. I can’t explain in words the feeling of desperation when you try so hard and you take one step forward and three back. Consistently. I want to love her so desperately. I want to tell her she's beautiful, inside and out, without repercussions. I want to live without having to think before I speak. I want to be able to pick her up and carry her and smother her in love, as I do the boys. But most of all, I want her to be able to love freely like that. Without reservations. Without fears. Oh, Lord. How I want that!
I laid there for about 20 minutes until there was nothing left inside of me. I then thought about the boys and what they had seen. I felt horrible. They are caught up in the middle of this mess. I went back outside. Anna Grace appeared to not have been phased by the episode. The boys were happy to see me. Everyone was already in PJs. Scott took Anna Grace with him and I sat on the rocking chair in a different room with the boys. I read them a story, said prayers and put them to bed. A few minutes later I went to bed. The day was finally over. The following day all was back to normal.
At last, now I get to my small miracle. This morning, as customary, before taking the kids to school I read my email. There was an email from one of my readers mentioning that she had “stolen” the song I have on my player now, “Go light your world” and put it on her blog. This was planned by God.
I love this song. Yet, as much as I love it, I don’t know the words. So, you usually hear me singing, “Take your candle and go light your world”. Over and over.
The kids were dressed and Anna Grace had ventured into the office where I was looking up the lyrics. She said, “What you doing, Mama.” I said, “I’m listening to a song. Do you want to listen?” She nodded and stood next to me as I sat on my chair. I started reading the lyrics and it hit me that each and every one of us has a candle inside of us. The Lord is the only one that can light it and we are the only ones that can share that light. I refreshed my blog page so that the song would start over and I stood up. I said to Anna Grace, “You want to dance?” She smiled. We dance often but always to upbeat songs where she is dancing on the floor in front of me and we clown around. This song was different. I bend down and scoop her up. She sensed something was coming and I feel her becoming a little rigid. I ignored it and was reading the lyrics as I danced around the room with her. About mid-way through the song, she put her head on my shoulder and relaxed. I could hear a tiny voice in my ear humming and every once in a while the words, “take your candle”. My heart felt so darn good! Tears rolled as I read the words,
“Cause We are a family whose hearts are blazing.
But then, the most miraculous thing occurred. This has only happened maybe two or three times since she’s been home. As the song was finishing, she picked up her head from my shoulder, looked me straight in the eyes and said, “I love you, Mama!”
I will leave you with that because I know that every mother out there knows how powerful those words are coming from your child, especially one that rarely says it. I thank God for giving me that glimmer of hope at a time when I’ve been thinking there is none.
I also wanted to say thank you to all of you that have supported me with my struggles with Anna Grace and her attachment issues. You indeed DO carry that candle in your hearts and it is burning bright. Many times you have lit up my world and I have been blessed by so many of you. Thank you for your support and your prayers. You’ll never know how much it means.
I'm just forewarning that this may be long. But wait! Before you go running off, I may break it up into 2 parts. Depending on how I'm moving along, how bad the rambling is, and well...how much of the Lord's grace I am feeling as I try to put my feelings into words. Some of you may not even bother reading this, but I need to journal not only for me, but to bring glory to my Savior.
The other day when I wrote the post about Anna Grace's surgery and I rambled a bit about our ongoing attachment struggles, you had no idea the depth of the feeling of being in the abyss that I was in at the time.
The past few months, I've felt so very far away from God. I feel like I know He wants me to go to Him. But, I've felt like, and again I know this is the enemy, that it's pretty much hopeless. Nothing will change, even with prayer. I also know that's a lie.
God has chosen me to parent this little girl and to love her unconditionally. To love her in the same manner that He loves me. I think about how many times a day I disappoint God, especially when it comes to Anna Grace. I find myself wrapped in a ball of guilt, shame and so unworthy of being loved by Him. I tell myself, How could I go to Him? How can I face Him with my head hanging low asking for forgiveness, when still after a year, I struggle with not having the same exact feelings that I have for my other children? Didn't He choose me to love her as He loves me? I've let Him down.
This is pretty bold of me to say publicly. But I prayed about it a lot before doing so and I asked God to give me the words that He wanted me to say. I am believing that He will do that. Those of you that don't understand and choose to judge, go ahead because I know in the end it will be for His glory and that's all that really matters, isn't it? I can only respond with (John 15:18) "If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.
As usual, I digress. I feel like I disgust Him. He's given me a treasure made by His own creation and I sometimes in the midst of my battle say, "Lord, thank you, but this is really not what I signed up for. I think you should've chosen someone else. I can't do this!" And I've meant it every time I've said it. Can you imagine saying "No" to God? Well, that's how bad it's been the past couple of months. So, what do you do when you feel alone and ashamed, you pull away from the one thing that can make you new again, because it's too painful to admit. Having to face my Father in shame for something I feel is so huge, well, it's been more than what I could handle lately. The funny thing is, that again, I know He knows my thoughts and feelings, so I'm hiding nothing from Him.
A couple of weeks ago, I called my sister for something. It was shortly after she had returned from a retreat and was flying high in the Spirit. She was filled with the grace that I so desperately needed and wanted, but had given up on.
She picked up the phone and said, "I was just going to call you. I thought about it first, and thought, Naaah...but then I decided that the Lord really wanted me to give you a message." I knew, I just knew that it pertained to Anna Grace. Part of me was bracing myself for the truth, the other part of me didn't want to hear it. Up to that moment, my sister had no idea of how bad it's been around here lately.
She proceeded to tell me that while in prayer, she felt a strong urge to pray for Anna Grace and myself. She wasn't sure why, but she was obedient to it. We spoke for about an hour and she quoted scripture to me about God's unconditional love and about Anna Grace being His masterpiece. Yep, everything I've thought about, but haven't wanted to hear.
I'm gonna go off track here a bit for those reading that haven't really experienced big attachment issues with their child, or in case you've never adopted. It's a whole other world how these children are hardwired. They have been hurt psychologically by the interruption of trust and nurturing that a child should receive, especially in the first few months of life. This is something crucial. We learn to love, bond and trust in the womb. In our earliest stages of life, when a newborn cries, a mother responds. This forms a cycle. When that cycle is broken, the child stops crying and begins to rely on themselves for self gratification since they know that their cries fall on deaf ears. Sometimes, they do bond, but for one reason or another (i.e. moving from orphanage nanny to foster home, then foster home to adopted parent) that bond again has been broken. The person they love, and whom they feel love them, has been ripped away. It's so difficult for a baby or a toddler to understand the whys of it all.
As a result, they begin to guard their heart. They associate loving someone that deeply with pain. Pain of abandonment and pain of feeling like they were not loved. Betrayal. When you've been hurt that badly, without understanding why, who would want to feel that pain again? Their natural response is to hurt/reject their new caretaker (i.e. adoptive Mother) in order for them to prevent themselves from loving that person. Their brain is consistently (and I mean consistently!) telling them that if they love, truly fall in love, with this person, they will again be hurt to the likes of their previous abandonment. The cycle begins. That's where we/I am at now with Anna Grace. We've come a long way. No more rages. No more lack of eye contact unless she really feels threatened that she's getting too close to me. For instance, when we are playing and I am carrying her like a baby tickling her. If I stop in mid play and look her in the eyes and tell her softly that I love her. Her world crumbles. Her face changes, the laughter and giggles cease and she begins slowly (much better than in the past) pulling away. She then wants down and tells me she wants to play with Kai or AJ. There is no turning back after that point. I've crossed the line. She feels the slightest twinge of love towards me and immediately needs to put the wall up. I, in turn feel crushed again that I could never show her how much I love, or want to love her, without having to feel the constant rejection. I HATE it! It literally kills me inside and in turn, makes me not want to be close to her. It's a vicious cycle for both of us now. At that point, I usually go along with the request of putting her down, although in my heart I know I shouldn't, but when that occurs and it is quite often lately, it emotionally drains me and don't want another battle to ensue.
Going back to my story. After speaking to my sister, I hung up the phone and thought about opening my bible. No, I decided. My heart hurt. My head ached. I just wanted to put it off....again. This was a Friday. The next day we were going to my sister's house for her birthday. She had suggested that while we were there she would lay hands on me and Anna Grace and pray over us. I said, "Sure."
The next morning as we prepared to go to my sister's house. I thought I would pray on my own first. I initially thought about praying over all of the little ones, but then thought, "Naah...I'll just pray for me." Lord knows I need it.
I prayed that Jesus would open my heart and allow me to see Anna Grace like He sees her, the magnificent, perfect creation that He formed. I prayed that he mold me and use me to be the person He created me to be. Then I held my bible tight to my chest and asked the Lord to reveal to me His desires. To speak to me through His word. As I was praying, the words "Matthew 19" came to mind. I thought to myself immediately. "No, that's me thinking to open to Matthew 19. I again said, "Lord, please lead me to what You want me to read." I then slowly opened up my bible and looked down. It was the book of Kings. I scanned the pages seeking for something that might speak to me. Nothing. Again. I was disappointed. I was going to close the bible, but curiousity got the best of me (actually God did!). I said to myself, "Ok. Let me see what Matthew 19 was". I opened up to Matthew 19 and glanced down at the page. My heart raced and my eyes welled up. He was speaking to me. The first words on the page that jumped out at me were:
The Little Children and Jesus
Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. But the disciples rebuked those who brought them. Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." When he had placed his hands on them, he went on from there.
Do you remember that I had mentioned before I began praying that I wanted to pray over the children and decided not to? Well. There was my answer. Bright as a neon sign. I called Anna Grace into the room. I explained to her that I wanted to pray with her. We knelt down and as her little head was bowed and I begged God for help, for both of us. I asked His Blessed Mother to intercede for us. To always be a reminder and and example to me of what a Mother should be and how her children should be loved. As I wiped the tears from my face, I kissed Anna Grace and told her to go back with the boys. I thanked the Lord for revealing His word to me and then I went on about my business of getting myself and the kids ready to head to my sister's house.
To be continued......
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
I figured I'd get those two reasons out of the way before you ask what's up with me that this is my THIRD post in one day, when usually I can't get 3 done in one week.
Well, I just had to share this. And yes, I admit it, since I can't hide under the cover of Not Me Monday and I have to be honest. I've been on the computer for HOURS today. A LOT OF HOURS! Just when I thought I was finished reading all the Not Me's I came across THIS blog!
Oh Lord! Amanda and I, and Scott in some instances, have spent the last hour laughing so hard at some of these that we had tears running down our cheeks. It was also SO COOL to actually see and hear some of my blog friends. Sometimes you feel like you know these people although you've never met them, and boy, this made that feeling come to life. What a great idea.
Check this out. To celebrate their launch, Handbag Planet is giving away one handbag away every hour for 24 hours on October 15. Go ahead and enter.
If you link to your own blog you will receive 25 entries to the contest. All of the bags range in price from $30 to $80. You never know.....
Before I post what I want to say, I want to remind you to please pray specifically for two sweet angels that are in surgery this morning.
Teddi Winder, who happens to be the precious daughter of my dear friend Tina at One Blessed Nest. Teddi is in surgery this morning having her palate repaired. Please pray that all go well and that her palate remain intact without any fistulas forming.
UPDATE ON TEDDI! "Teddi came through her surgery well. They were able to close her palate completely. She's been sedated most of the day and is cranky while awake. Thanks for all your prayers! Please pray for a restful night and that we get to come home tomorrow."
And of course, continued prayers for Susannah, who is also in surgery this morning. Again, Susannah's blog is HERE. Also, be sure to read today's post! It's definitely a "God thing"!
UPDATE ON SUSANNAH! PRAISE GOD SHE IS OUT OF SURGERY AND ALL WENT WELL!!!
Now onto my title post, You Just Never Know Who's Reading!
This morning I awoke to a message in my email that stated that someone had left me a comment on my Guestbook. I was quite excited because although I receive emails and comments on my blog all the time, most people don't bother with the Guestbook anymore.
This message was extra special though. It was from Jan Beazely. Remember Jan Beazely? She is the remarkable author of the book The Strength of Mercy that I am giving away! I feel so blessed and humbled that my little blog was read (even if by chance) by someone who has helped so many. Since my Guestbook is public, I have posted below her entry.
Thank you again Jan for taking the time to write. You are a faithful servant doing God's work and it is so very evident by the blessings in your life that you have shared with so many.
It's around three in the morning Portland Time and I couldn't sleep. So I started scrolling through blessing blogs and websites since I am going to be designing and doing one for AGCI called Small Blessings! named after our magazine and our gift store. As I was scrolling down your blog all of a sudden there's The Strength of Mercy staring back at me. I couldn't believe it! It took me back now almost 18 years ago when our own story was unfolding. Looking back I am always encouraged and pray that other families will be inspired by our story to pursue God's heart toward building their own families. Thank you for sharing my book with those on your blog! Hannah will be 18 in December, can you believe it! She ultimately became the first of almost 2500 children now home from all over the world. Hope all is well with you, watch for the new blog site addition. We'll be sending out an announcement when its up and running!!! Blessings to your wonderful family and to all !
Monday, September 29, 2008
The author of My Charming Kids started something that I've found is hilarious and quite a few of my bloggy friends are doing. Could it be the fact that women all over blog world are being totally honest with what they occasionally do, and it sometimes reminds me of me? No...that couldn't be. Not me.
I did not sweet talk Scott, after he worked all day, into making dinner so that I could spend the evening reading my favorite blogs, only to fall asleep after a full tummy. Nope...not me. A good wife doesn't do that.
I would never call out to AJ "Wait. I'll be right there." for about 10 minutes after he woke up from his nap, just so I could finish watching Miami Animal Police in peace. No worries! It wasn't me! I'm an attentive, loving Mama.
I did not walk out the front door to get the mail and walk right back in when I saw my nosy neighbor standing outside. Furthermore, I certainly did not peek out the window hoping she didn't see me and come over to chat. That would be mean....and I'm not mean. Am I? No...umm....no, not me.
I did not tell the telemarketer that called this morning that Mrs. Bombardier won't be in until this evening and that I was the babysitter. I would never do that. Those telemarketers work hard for their money, and that just wouldn't be right. Definitely not me!
I did not sit in front of the computer this morning, eating Doritos and drinking a Coke while looking up Weight Watchers meetings. I'm serious about the diet I told Scott I'm starting and I would never do that!
After almost a year to the day of OUR visit, Anna Grace will be having her syndactyly surgery at Shriner's Hospital in Tampa.
I have to chuckle at God's sense of humor though. After my ranting on a previous post that I was going to vote early to be done with the elections, the only day available that she could have surgery without having to wait until the next month is November 4th!
I'm praying hard that this surgery be the breaking point that we need so that she fully understands and accepts me as her Mama. Our little girl has indeed come a long way, but those attachment monsters have yet to cease to rear their ugly heads. The past 3 weeks have been non-stop. One night I was so exhausted and resigned to the fact that this was going to be my/our life forever that I completely broke down. I haven't done that in months.
At times it's so hard that I feel like I can't deal with it anymore. It's exhausting. I have to keep reminding myself that I can do all things through God that strengthens me. And although we've been through a year that the baby steps have added up to big steps, it's so difficult to stay focused on that. I know I don't have to explain to those of you that are going through the same issues how it drains every ounce of your being. I digress.
Going back to the surgery. We have a pre-surgical appointment on October 21, and then we need to head up there on November 3rd, in order to be at the hospital by 6:30 a.m. I'm not sure of the details of the length of the surgery or what exactly they will be doing. I will post when I know more. Of course, I will also post as the date approaches asking for prayers for my baby girl. I think I will be having to stay with her alone up there. Scott will be going for the surgery, but do to a new job and the kids' school days, it will be almost impossible for him to be there the entire length of the stay.
Again, I feel like I don't know if I'll be able to handle it all 24/7 alone, but I am looking at it as if God had made all the arrangements and that she will indeed see that I am there for her through her pain and confusion, without ever leaving her side. They did inform me that they have "cottage rooms" for the parents to stay at during the night, but I told them that I would be by her side the entire time, so a room is not necessary. That'll even include meals since they work similar to the hospital where Kai had his surgery and they bring 1 parent up a meal with the child's meal. Hence, no reason to leave her side.
I pray daily that not only her surgery go perfectly, but that her little heart be healed at the same time. That she no longer see herself as a stranger in our family unit. Don't get me wrong, she laughs, plays and is involved in all that we do as a family, but it is still all at our request. Never does she "join in on the fun" without standing back and watching to see if she is invited to play with Scott, Amanda or myself. It's very sad.
She is still receiving speech 2 times per week and her communication is much better, but I do know that there are many times that she doesn't completely understand what we are saying or she doesn't know how to express her feelings. We are working hard on both.
Oh...lastly! I am impressed at the number of responses (and lurkers) that have commented for the giveaway. Thank you! If you haven't signed up yet, you have until this Friday at midnight. I will videotape Anna Grace drawing the winning name on Saturday morning and post it right away!
That's it for now. I have lots of cute pictures to share and will be doing so soon, so please be sure to check back.