Tomorrow marks one month since the day we took our beautiful daughter out of the orphanage forever! It's flown, truly flown, but it's been great. This week, though, has been especially awesome because we seem to have hit a true turning point.
Most of the week was pretty "normal", if you can call it that, but Friday was nuts. It seemed like, from the moment she woke up, our new Princess was holding us at distance and determined to go it alone. She threw fit after fit, rejected my attempts to comfort her, was completely unable to focus. She ate poorly, was generally grumpy and unhappy. It wasn't just a bad day, though. I could feel this tension, this wall, that she was putting up between us. Her distrust was palpable. The day before, I had felt as if we were starting to develop a real connection, so Friday was deeply disappointing for me. I put in my best effort, I was consistent and patient... but by the time it was three in the afternoon I needed a break. The physical toil was painful, but it was nothing compared to the emotional toll of this new coldness between us. I called Nick and asked him to come home early and let me go get my hair and my sanity did.
When he came home and relieved me, I have to admit that I was at my wits end. I had spent the entire day attempting to calm a screaming toddler, and often she would set off the other toddler and I would be trying to manage two at once. I love my kids, but I needed to get in the car alone and go somewhere they weren't because it gave me a much-needed opportunity to talk to God and cry my eyes out so I could come back renewed, which is the amazing miracle He always works for me when I truly need it.
The hardest part was the giant step back. We had been making good progress in terms of her ability to trust us and connect with us, and there was lots of spontaneous contact developing and good interactive play. She was really enjoying us and vice versa, and suddenly it was all lost. It broke my heart to see her past sneak up and pull her down when we were starting to move forward.
I realize now that Friday was a decision day for her. She was struggling so hard that day, trying to decide if she was really going to trust us. She was testing us, all day, and we somehow managed to pass it because on Saturday the wall came back down and now we are at a new level of connection that is beautiful. It's still hard for her, as she tries to process some of the other people in her life and figure out this confusing new dynamic, but she's clearly doing better than ever and trusting us more than before. It's even become easier to give her the medicines she needs... although bath time remains as challenging as ever.
Friday was a hard day, but on Saturday we reaped the rewards of loving her through the storm. In fact, it just proved what I've been feeling for a while now. Sometimes, truly loving your kids is a lot like hugging a tornado. And yet, it's so amazingly worth the effort.