Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Dirty Little Secret

Today started off much like every weekday for the past month.  I went to Target, TJ Maxx, a swim lesson, Lexie's Preschool, and the gym.  But then something big happened.

Before I go there though, let me give you some background information.

Adoption community....here is my dirty little secret...since returning from China, I have been going to the gym anywhere from 3-4 times a week. I never went to the gym in 2011. In fact, we didn't even join until right before we left for China. Anyway, I love this hour of the day -- it is my time to focus on keeping myself healthy and, shockingly, it is kid free.  Lexie is in school and I drop Emma off at the  'Treehouse'.  Yes. Gym daycare people.. Pick your jaw up off the floor and hold your judgement.

Anyway,  typically drop-off is heartbreaking. For my family & friends, I bet you are thinking, 'oh Emma cries and it is so hard to leave her', right? Not exactly...in fact, just the opposite. It is heartbreaking because she does not cry. She just grins, go's to her favorite toy (a little tykes rocking horse) & starts rocking away.

More background here...typically when parents return to pick their child up, the front desk lady call's the child's name and the appropriate child comes running to the door.  Emma is actually just learning her name so that makes it difficult. Of course, there are like 12 Emma's so they yell 'Emma' a lot...so that further complicates things. So, in general, our Emma has not historically reacted like the other children. In fact, when we first got home, I would physically go over and sit down next to her for her to recognize me.

Anyway, today I went for my run and when I came back the front desk woman called 'Emma' like she always does. And you know what? Emma turned, grinned, and ran to me.  It. was. amazing.

People ask me a lot if they can hold Emma. They ask if she is 'willing' to go to them now that she has been home for some time.  In my opinion, this is one of the biggest misconception among the non adoption community.  The whole  'oh they just picked up their child, I won't hold her' is not b/c the kid will freak out. It is b/c the kid won't freak out.  We want the kid to freak out...that is the goal. It means they are attaching.

To that extent....I found this article today. I just wish I would have found it earlier. Perhaps it was actually in an adoption training online that I 'breezed' through in late 2010. Anyway, it basically explains that attachment happens over time for ALL children.  When Emma joined our family she joined it as a newborn - starting her attachment process from scratch.  Emma has now been with us 4 mos (in the adoption land this is called 4 mos old in 'family age').   As you can see attached, it is not until 4 mos that children begin to have a preference for specific people. So today's events were right on time! :-)

In any case, this event made my heart melt. Maybe b/c I needed it today (don't get me started on the havoc my girls brought onto my house yesterday). Maybe b/c adoptive parenting is hard work. In any case, today reminded me how much I love the unique nuances about being an adoptive parent.   Sometimes the hard work you put in is different then with your bio kids... but today reminded me that  so is the reward you get back.





9 comments:

Lana said...

Yay!! And we were just talking about this. Wish I could have been there to see the big moment :)

Matt and Abby said...

Your little Emma is beautiful. I love hearing international adoption stories and reading about all the attachment information. I am hoping to adopt internationally at some point. Thanks for visiting my blog, hilarious that your cat needed up to date on shots. I think adoptive moms need to tell more stories like that paperwork because sometimes it's just ridiculous:) We live in NE Indiana, not far from MI:)

kayder1996 said...

Thanks for the info on the arm warmers...now I won't be wondering. And the sleep bit...at some point, you have to do what feels right. I would never skip over attempting to co sleep with a newly home kiddo who was having sleep troubles. But I also don't think it makes you a horrible person if you give it a good go and it just isn't working. It's a bit like breast feeding, I think. Yes, there are a lot of reasons why it is a good idea but if it isn't working, then it isn't working. It will get better, the sleep will come. There is no magic pill that just makes it work. (And oh, how I know that those words hurt.) You will get through it!

taralee815 said...

Ha - GYM Daycare...right there with ya! I just joined a gym for the first time in a long time - had to find a little peace and sanity! And yes, I drop my littles off at Kids World and they have a blast..and I get my hour of sanity! Best money I have ever spent, cheaper than a therapist and cheaper than buying a new wardrobe to fit my growing ass. I am mad at myself for waiting so long to take a little sliver of time for me. Enjoy your gym time - and your daughters are beautiful!

April said...

Thank you! Your experience is an education for me while I wait on my I800A to be approved and continue forward to adopt our second daughter from China. :-)

Anonymous said...

Welcome home from Kunming - we brought our almost 3 yo home from there in Nov. He was very distant, but mimics what other kids do, so he would run and call "Mommy" when I picked him up at daycare. But, the spark was never in his eyes until recently and it makes my day.

Also, I'm totally jealous; the first thing we did when we got home was cancel our gym membership - which had child care -for financial reasons. Enjoy that time, you need it!

Stephanie said...

Green with envy about your gym membership! This momma needs some time away and could use a little fitness in her life. :)
Good for you for putting yourself on "the list" of things to take care of.
So glad to hear that you are seeing Emma's attachment progress!!

Aspgriswold said...

She is a doll! Such a cutie!!

Christy said...

Hi christy,

Can you email me your email. It keeps disappearing and I need to ask you about a guide in yunnan. Did you like your guide? We were asked if we had one we specifically wanted but I dont know so I asked the yunnan group and waiting to hear. Would love to hear from you. Also, anything you suggest while in kunming?

Thanks, we leave thursday!!!!!