"Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows that we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12

“There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven’t yet met.”- William Butler Yeats

Friday, August 7, 2009

such a sweet sound


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!


Sherri said...

Ohilda, I'm rejoicing with you! Praise Jesus!

He & Me + 3 said...

That is so neat. So good to know you are missed and loved. That is an answer to prayers

Holly said...

I am totally crying.
Faithful God!
Thank you!

Becky said...

How precious!!! And no, not warped at all.

Anonymous said...

Wow! that is great news! I am so happy to hear that her attachment is progressing....

The Byrd's Nest said...

Thank you Jesus! You know there were little glimpses of this that you wrote about several months ago ( I can't remember exactly) and now she is a Momma's girl! Oh He is so good and faithful. I get this Ohilda....I understand your celebration even through her tears. This was the same with Emma Jane and it took two years also. I am so happy for both of you....love you!

Waitingfaithfully said...

Saw your news on FB last night, rejoiced with you then, and I'm rejoicing again with you now!! It's been a long road sweet friend, but you've stayed the path. He is faithful!!

Thank you Lord!

Love you O~


The Princess's Mommy said...

Oh I'm crying tears of joy! I know how long you have waited to hear those words! God Bless you, Ohilda! You and Anna Grace deserve a lifetime of happiness!!

Love you,

Jewels of My Heart said...

OH, Thank You Jesus!
That is a major break through indeed!
Healing is a beautiful thing...

Karin said...

Rejoicing with you!! I know how amazing it is when a child with attachment issues misses her Mama!! Thank you, Jesus.

day by day said...

okay...you know that I TOTALLY get this. Completely.

Woohoo!!!! So happy for you, my friend!!!!! This was HUGE!

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

what a sweet post...so glad that you stopped by...

Keisha said...

So sweet! We Momma's loved to be missed don't we?! LOL! I do too..
YAY!! Thank you Lord for this sweet change in Anna Grace!

Aus said...

I'll say a prayer of thanks later - right now I'm thinking it's PARTY TIME!! You have no idea how happy we are for you guys - I was confident you'd make it - but it's great to see that you are!! (insert snoppy dance here).

Great stuff - I'm sure there will be bumps - but you are really getting there! (I'd say you are there - but life is a process - not a goal!)

Hugs - loads of love -

aus and co.

The Ferrill's said...

Ohilda I know it was music to your ears to hear those words!!!!
I'm singing that song:
In His time, In His time,
He makes all things beautiful in His time!
Praising the Lord for this sunshine! Love you!

Faith Imagined said...

Oh I am crying tears of joy! How wonderful! And I love her shirt! What an angel!!!!

Michelle said...

What a sweet, sweet sound indeed. What music to your ears!! Praise the Lord!!!

My3Monkeys said...

That is the sweetest, best news I have heard in a long time! Those Hefei nuts are hard to crack, but once you have their hearts, they are yours forever!

Amy said...

Several days late reading this, but what beautiful news to start the day! Sweet friend, you and your precious girl are so deserving of this breakthrough! With Joy and Thanksgiving and Much Love...

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