I have now been home with Dolly for one week. It was actually one week last night, but it still seems like so much longer. It seems even more odd that she and I have only known each other for three weeks today. It feels like she has been my daughter for.ever. We bonded SO much more quickly then the older children and I did. It wasn’t anything to do with them, she just needs me more. It’s easier to bond with someone who needs you for every little thing. It’s also easier to bond with someone who is this stinkin’ cute.
She has bonded with me too, that’s pretty easy to see. She rejects FPD more than he would like, but that is getting better as I slowly let him take over and tend to her basic needs too. The kids are allowed to feed her a snack here or there, but when it comes to meal times and bottles, it’s always me or FPD feeding her. We change her diapers. We comfort her when someone well-meaning bops her in the head with an oversized picture book while trying to read to her (ahem, Bubbly). We try to make sure she knows it’s us who will be doing these things for her from here on out. She accepts that, although I can’t get her to call me ‘mama’. She can say it, but when she’s upset, she still shouts ‘AYI!’, which is the Chinese word for nanny (aka orphanage worker). It breaks my heart a little every time. Yet, all we can do is press on in our quest for attachment.
This is how I got to where I am right now. Sitting next to her crib in my dimly lit bedroom, where she sleeps at the foot of our bed, typing this post while she falls asleep with me in her line of sight. If she were any other almost 2-year-old, I would kiss her goodnight, turn on the nightlight and leave the room. She’s not any other almost 2-year-old though. She is a baby that, just like Bubbly, never had a mom or dad before. She won’t sleep with me, because good lord, why would she ever let anyone rock her to sleep? This is a totally foreign concept to her. The crib, however, is not. In fact, it is sadly familiar to her. To save all our ear drums, I do the following wretched little routine every night for probably an hour, because this is the road we travel now.
I sit in her eye line, rubbing her back every time she cries, leaning over her crib and whispering to her until she quiets again. I’ll sit back down where she can see me, a few minutes later she’ll cry out again, and I’ll go back and rub her belly or her back. Sometimes, I do it until my own back is on fire and I feel like I just.want.to.quit. This goes against everything they teach you about sleep training, but this isn’t any other kid. This is an abandoned kid. So, this is the road we travel now.
I won’t take a chance that we’ll make the same mistakes we did with Bubbly. We took what we had been told about Bubbly at face value. We assumed she had people in her little world that loved her, comforted her, and took good care of her. Not the case. We were told the orphanage that Dolly comes from does the same. Maybe. I have no clue. I kind of doubt it though. So, we’re going to assume they didn’t do anything they should have, and we’re going to act like she has never attached to anyone.
If anything I am doing right now is going to stop us from walking the road we’ve walked with Bubbly, I’ll do it. We see a new therapist for Bubbly again on Wednesday. I counted. This will be our ninth therapist. Numbers don’t matter to me though. Attachment matters to me. So, this is the road we travel now.
From Cardiologists, to therapists. This is our road.
who has never been happier with her road in life. Her babies, they are amazing.