This is pretty much all of how I spend my days lately.
It looks lovely. And, for the most part, it is.
It’s also exhausting.
Building Gigi up involves following her around absolutely all day and commenting on everything she does. “Gigi is building.” “Gigi is playing with Sofia.” “Gigi has the green block.”
Gigi moves like lightning.
One activity to another, running from activity to activity commenting on EVERYTHING she’s doing.
Fun facts like “infants hear words up to 5000 times before they master the word”, echo in my head at night when I finally stop running. How can I maximize the number of times she sees a sign? She’s blind in one eye. Am I signing in her remaining visual field enough? Am I giving her enough language input? Am I learning fast enough? Should I take another class?
I see her learning. I see her signing so fast that her hands blur in most pictures. But we’re in a critical window here. I, quite literally, am running against a clock before we miss that window, before it’s too late for her to make gains she’ll need to be as fluent as I would like her to be. Or, so I’m told, over and over, as I’m asked to do more and more and more to help her.
On top of that, I’m attempting to master a foreign language and navigate a new culture. A culture that, I’ve got to tell you, isn’t super welcoming to the hearing mom who is trying to gain fluency. A culture who, overall, disrespects my decisions and her place in our family. A culture that, largely, thinks I’m not good enough.
I’m still working through the punch to the gut that is her heart. I have no new answers on that.
I had to call Audiology three times for them to tell me that they can’t see us until the end of the month. Meanwhile, I’m being asked to make decisions for fall based on whether she’ll have any access to sound.
I’m doing all this while the local school district offers us NO services. I get eight different answers from eight different school personnel to the same questions about her. We have been home four months now, with a child with no language, and we are still “being evaluated.” Any services Gigi receives are also because I’ve fought to get them for her. Because I found them. Because I paid for them.
I’m building her up. But…
It’s tearing me down a little right now.
This is the price. It’s not the thousands in adoption fees. It’s not the two weeks in China. It’s this. The real work has begun now.
Being “real” here involves saying that.
Sometimes, you, as a mom, get torn down a little while you work to build your child up. In the end of the day though, there’s this. An infectious giggle with a mouth full of cereal as she plays, grows, and learns.
I have to hold onto that as I repeat “This too shall pass” over and over.
–FullPlateMom, who may need to be torn down in order to be built back up.