Bubbly is going to therapy regularly now. We started by doing some work through a pretty well-known adoption/attachment clinic. I sent many a video to this clinic. The videos were all of Bubbly doing the things that we would like to help Bubbly with. We want her to learn some coping mechanisms to be able to keep her feelings in check. We want to work on some of the trauma she has endured in the past. We want her to work on her attachment to us so that she doesn’t attach indiscriminately. I showed them videos of all these things. I showed them videos of how upset she gets when she’s frustrated and she can’t find the words to ask for help. I showed them videos of her when you try to turn the lights off in her room before you turn on her “little light”. Finally, I showed them a video of her in a social setting and how everyone LOVES Bubbly because Bubbly will hug them, and love them and tell them how beautiful they are. She could care less about FPD or I (well, not totally, she will come to us when she’s hurt, which is better than where we were before). It’s getting better, but it’s a constant battle to keep these three things under control. The clinic was very helpful in identifying what we should focus on with the therapist. We used the adoption clinic to help our local therapist identify some goals for Bubbly.
Today, we began working toward these goals. Bubbly did a bang up job of showing our local therapist exactly how she can get frustrated when she needs help and no one is there to just give it to her. The therapist had her try to assemble a fire truck made of Duplos. Bubbly did great until she needed to slide the ladder onto the truck. She flipped because we were talking and didn’t see that at that moment she needed help. She angrily ripped the truck apart and chucked it back into the box. I shrugged and simply said “30 times per day” to the therapist. We deal with this up to 30 times per day. She’s one of seven children. I can’t sit all day and help just her. I can’t anticipate her every need. The therapist explained that she can see that I try to, but I’m only one person. I want her to be able to explain her feelings in words. She won’t be the only child in her class when she goes to public school. Crying in the middle of the KG room because she can’t figure out her math problems isn’t an option. The whole point of this is to make Bubbly a functional adult. She can’t sit in her office and cry when she needs advice on a project. This is the whole goal, a happy and emotionally healthy adult.
We’ll get there, but we’ll need some help dealing with these issues at home. Bubbly understands that she’ll be seeing “Dr. Feelings” every couple of weeks as we work through this. We had a lot of talk of what led to all this for Bubbly while we were in the office, being that this was our first meeting. We discussed a lot about her beginnings. She became visibly stiff at the mention of her orphanage and told me that she “will no go back to Ghana”. The therapist recognized that there is negativity in the discussions that surround her orphanage. I told her that was true. Her sister is EXTREMELY negative in discussions that include Ghana in general, her brother less so, but he’s still pretty on about all the things that are “wrong” with their life before. In all honesty, I’m negative about all of it as well. Bubbly feeds off of that. The therapist agreed that Ghana is only a “feeling” to her now, not a true memory. Ghana is a feeling that evokes fear. How sad. She equates her whole homeland with being afraid. She equates her homeland with darkness, starvation and beatings. Ugh. We’ll work on that too.
All in all, I feel good about where we’re headed. I’m hoping that between Dr. Feelings and what we’re doing at home (which I need to detail in another post) that this is the road to recovery for her. This is a TON of work, and sometimes, I’m kind of exhausted with all of it. But, it feels good to see progress. It feels good to think of her happy, and whole, for the first time in her little life. It feels good to know that someday I won’t even think of her as “broken” or “abused”, we’ll all just think of her as a regular little girl.
who loves to see her babies smile.