I have to brag on my little girl for a minute. If you’re a consistent reader of this blog, you probably know that our Bubbly struggles a little. She came from a hard place, and it was NOT at all easy for her to learn to trust us. And, at the time she came, I had never parented a child that was anything but a newborn at arrival. Bubbly and I learned about the attachment road together.
That road is rocky. It winds its way up mountains and down into some deep dark valleys. For awhile, she and I walked through a dark tunnel that neither of us could see the end of. It got so bad that I ran out of tools in my toolbox and we had to seek outside help.
For nine months now, Bubbly has been seeing a therapist who specializes in working with adopted children. Her expertise is with children who have come from places where no one loved them the way they deserved to be loved. She is helping Bubbly learn to name her feelings and how to identify the root of those feelings. Sometimes, sadness comes out as anger and excitement comes out WAY bigger than it should.
I can’t say enough about what finding the RIGHT therapist has done for her. Occasionally, she is sad about having to see the “feelings doctor”, but when we explain that therapy is just as much for FPD and I as it is for her, she’s willing to go. She goes there and willingly participates. She talks, she cries and we always, always celebrate her successes. There have been so many of them lately. So many. Usually, transitions for Bubbly are terrible. She has stepped into summer with enthusiasm and acceptance. First grade is done, but there is so much to look forward to. I am so proud of her.
I’m sharing Bubbly’s story because I think it’s the story of a lot of kids who come home from rough places. They struggle to overcome their beginnings, and sometimes, they’re saddled with parents who don’t know how to help them (ummm…ME!). We spent the first three months with Bubbly’s therapist doing assessments and evaluations to pinpoint exactly where she struggles. Then, FPD and I sat down with her therapist and discussed her exact diagnosis. I was so nervous about this meeting. I had imagined about eighteen possible diagnoses. The one she ended up with REALLY surprised me.
She is clinically depressed.
There were a couple other minor diagnoses in there, but this was the main one. I never would have guessed it. The theory is that Bubbly struggles so badly with her emotions that she, in turn, feels so bad about herself that she meets all the criteria on the screener for clinical depression. Over the past few months we have been working on her self-esteem. She is doing better. So far, she hasn’t needed medication. But, should she in the future, we are open to this. This is a medical diagnosis. While we are managing it currently, we may need more than what FPD or I can offer through supportive care. She may need medication. We’re okay with this. We will take each day as it comes. She rocked first grade, but struggled with interpersonal relationships with other children. The other children she struggled with have issues of their own, that didn’t help the situation. We’re hoping for a better crowd in grade 2. We couldn’t have asked for a better teacher though. She wouldn’t have made it to where she is without her teacher.
I have so many hopes for our girl. So many dreams. I want to see her healthy and happy. When she came to us 4 years and 10 months ago, I wasn’t sure that would ever be possible. I wondered if I had just adopted a child that I would be parenting forever. That dark tunnel seemed to have absolutely no promise of a light at the other end.
She and I found our way though, hand in hand. There are still mountains to climb up and valleys to work our way out of. But, we’re committed. So is our girl. Keep rocking it Bubbly. I’m not giving up, and I won’t let you either.
–FullPlateMom, who loves her BubblyGirl.