I'm giving you fair warning. Some of you may think that this post is a bit warped, but unless you've walked in the shoes of someone who's been raising a child with moderate to severe attachment issues, I don't think you will appreciate the joy in it.
I titled this post Such A Sweet Sound.
You may ask what sweet sound am I talking about.
Children laughing? No.
Children playing? No.
Actually, the opposite end of the spectrum. I'm referring to the sounds that I heard on the telephone late last night after dropping off Anna Grace to spend two fun-filled days with her Po-Po. It was the sweet sound of a hysterical, crying child.
Shortly after 10:00 p.m., I received a call from my Mom (who had only had Anna Grace for maybe two hours). She said, "Anna Grace is hysterical crying! I don't know what to do." I responded with, "Crying? Are you sure?" I know. Stupid question, but this is a child that rarely cries unless it's being done in order to manipulate a situation. Something we've all learned she uses as a manipulation tool because of her attachment issues.
My Mom said, "Of course, I'm sure. I put her to bed, kissed her goodnight and tucked her in. She was fine." I was outside the room watching TV and a few minutes later heard a whimpering sound. I went into the room and asked her what's wrong. She first said nothing, but her eyes were red from crying and the sheets were soaked. I carried her and asked her again and she couldn't hold it anymore. She completely broke down. Tears streaming down her face. Shaking she told me, "I miss Mama!"
I listened to my Mom in disbelief. Anna Grace has never responded that way to us being apart. I asked her to put her on the phone. Sure enough. My little girl's heart sounded like it was breaking. Genuine sobs poured over the telephone line. I so badly wanted to wrap my arms around her at that moment as I cried too. Tears of joy. She missed me! She gets it!
We talked for a while and I reassured her that she was coming back to Mama. She would always be with Mama and Mama would always be there for her. We prayed together. Sang a song together and exchanged many "I love you's". Her Po-Po then snuggled with her, continuously reassuring her that her Mama would always be there, until she fell asleep. She was much better this morning when she called to tell me about all the fun they have planned for the day.
AJ and Kai had spent a few days this summer with their Ayi and Po-Po. Anna Grace had a very, very difficult beginning to her summer. She doesn't take change well. She often asked when it was going to be her turn to go visit. I kept putting her time away off. Sweet hubby and I have stuck to our guns with her attachment therapy and she has literally been glued to me all summer. With the exception of sleeping and showers, she's been with me 24/7 all summer. We've had many setbacks this summer, but with every step backwards came a tiny permanent baby step forward!
Scott and I often discussed that we thought we had finally reached the peak of her healing. But every so often this summer, I'd see a little girl emerge that I had never met. An inquisitive, funny, silly girl who showed boldness and courage, instead of fear, hostility, manipulation and aggression.
Towards the end of the school year, I met with the school district's pyschiatrist who thankfully was very enlightened with the traumas of children with attachment disorders, since there are no attachment therapists where we live. We spoke in depth about Anna Grace's actions. She reiterated to me that it sounded like a 'text-book' case and that I was 'doing everything right'. She urged me to continue on the path and that I was probably 18-24 months away from seeing the fruit of our efforts. At first I thought, "18 - 24 months?" Yikes! But in the scheme of things, that's nothing compared to what this little girl has been through. The changes in her life. The ups and downs. The instability. We stayed on the path.
Being home during the summer did us good. Her "good days" last longer and longer with each passing day. We've even gone almost 10 days at one point without regression. It used to be 10 bad days, 2 good days. Now we're seeing those figures reversed. And last night, oh last night, was the sweetest sound I've heard in a long, long time. My little girl crying. Crying hard! All because she missed her Mama. She knows I am her Mama!
She's been home 2 years, 1 month, and 19 days (780 days total). That's how long it's taken to hear those sweet words, "I miss Mama!" and she truly, truly means it!
I miss you too, baby girl. We have a lifetime together.
Thank you, Jesus for keeping your promise!