Which mummy and daddy?

Yesterday, while walking past a (much!) bigger house than ours, Big announced, “That’s a nice house for me to live in.” I replied with, “Do you mean when you’re a big girl like mummy?” She looked at me. “Because you’ll live with mummy and daddy until you’re a big enough girl to live by yourself.”

“Which mummy and daddy?”

As several million thoughts crashed through my head, I responded “me mummy and daddy” which granted does not make much sense and is far from being a grammatically correct sentence but was all I could mange at the time.

I wonder how long she will be with us before she doesn’t think that she’s going back to her birth family or on to another family? How many mornings will she wake up to us saying ‘Good morning’ and nights will she go to sleep with us saying ‘Good night’ before she feels that this is where she’s going to be?

Then I wonder if we’re not doing a very good job of talking about things with her. This week has brought about much more physical contact, just tiny wee touches here and there but these are huge for us and I think I see just a tiny shift to her being slightly more relaxed, there have been fleeting glimpses of real smiles, seconds of real laughter and moments of a leaning in or a pat as she goes past. So something is happening.

But after 11 months it feels that emotionally she is as closed off as when she came. And I don’t know if this is something we should be doing something about, something that we wait until she is ready, something that she’s going to need lots and lots of help with or something that is a combination of all of these and more.

After my parents had been up for a week, when we had said goodbye, Little burst into tears and said, “I don’t want Grannie and Grandad to go. I want them to come to my house.” She was able to voice this and was able to be comforted about it. Big’s way of dealing with it was to spend the rest of the day and the day after becoming more violent. We knew that she was feeling the same as Little and we put this into words for her but she didn’t feel safe enough to say it. Another rejection, more people leaving her life and she just couldn’t cope with it.

This is where understanding is tricky because actually, I can’t understand what it must be like to four years old and to be so fearful everyday. I can try my best to but to actually try to  put it into words is hard for me and I’m nearly 34. It’s no wonder she has no words. I would be terrified of saying anything too. And actually writing that down makes me remember that actually what she needs from me is patience and reassurance and a promise that when she’s ready, we’ll be here for her. And we will.

The best bits this week –

Near our house there is a small plot of land that for some reason was not built on. It has a few tress and the floor is covered in moss and the girls love playing there. This week we took their scoot bikes and they must have gone down the wee hill about twenty times. Little had a massive crash but as soon as I got to her, she looked up at me beaming, ‘Again, again!’ They were awesome, feet up rolling down a hill. Very proud mummy and daddy!

We went to the park yesterday and both girls took turns to sit on our knees on the swings. There was a real giggle from Big and Little pretty much just laid down on us gazing at the sky. ‘We’re in the trees!’ she said.

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5 thoughts on “Which mummy and daddy?

  1. First of all love your best bits, especially the park one, we used to go to the park a lot in the early days because the boys had such fun there and we would all laugh together. I think that everything that you are doing to settle your children is amazing and I would say just keep doing it. Our youngest was closed down emotionally when he came to us at two and it took a good couple of years before we could see any real emotion being shown. That may sound scary but if you just keep doing all the loving things you are doing, I’m sure it is gradually eroding the fear. Thanks for sharing on #WASO

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    1. Thank you. It’s good to hear of your progress, gives me hope. The world is a scary place for her, I hope we can help her. Our two love the park too, especially the swings! Thank you for your comments.

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  2. Buddy once told me that he didn’t think we were a real family, that Hubby and I were a family and he was like a friend just staying with us. It has been a slow growth for us, but we’re several more months in now and he no longer feels that way. Honestly, I don’t think he realizes families through adoption are just as good as biological ones (yet), but he’s made big progress. In some ways I envy the families that have it easier than we do. But I also think there is a lot more honesty and grace in our family because we allow each other to feel however we feel and not put on airs about it. It sounds like you are doing an amazing job, and I know it isn’t easy! Best to all of you!

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    1. Thank you. I can’t imagine being her and walking round not knowing what was coming next. The world is a very scary place for her and I need to remember that! You sound like you guys are doing really well, I love hearing that it’s going better, gives me hope!

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  3. I can really relate to so many of the things you write.
    I wanted to share with you that around 2yrs after placement middle girl saw a house she liked and said ‘I could live there next time’. My heart sank in the same way yours has.
    We’re now 5yrs in, and middle girl has finally just begun to open up her little box of feelings and trust.
    Hang in there 🙂

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