Thursday, June 12, 2014

{Faking It}

As I was rocking Andie-Grace to calm her down after another hard moment last week, I had a revelation. 

Somehow in this crazy messed up sinful world, God led us to adopt a child from the complete opposite side of this globe in which we have a tiny little space on and put me in my daughter's life and she in mine because...we were exactly alike. 

We both have learned the art of faking it.

I had it mastered some time around the age of 11.  Cancer had reared it's very ugly head in my family once again and I dealt with it the only way I knew how...I put up walls and became very convincing at saying these words through the biggest grin you've ever seen..."I'm fine!"

Was I fine, um...absolutely not!  Was I going to let anyone know otherwise...nope, not a chance!

Except this one person saw straight through me.  My mother.  And so she gave me a notebook and a whole slew of pens and said "well, I know you won't share it with me so write it down." 

Writing became my coping mechanism by the 7th grade.  I journaled, wrote lyrics and poured my heart out on paper no one would ever see.  Occasionally, I'd be bold and write a letter to her letting her know that it wasn't her that I was mad at but the disease that wrecked her life...and mine.

I covered it up well again 6 years ago and still do when it comes to my first girl.  The truth is that most days, I'm not fine at all.  I'm broken and hurting and grieving and finding any reason I can to keep going.  But, I'll never tell you that out loud.  I'll smile when we greet one another at the beginning of worship and then let tears flow down my cheeks singing along to lyrics that mean more to my soul now than they ever would if I didn't literally have my own flesh and blood in Heaven.

And now I have another daughter...this beautiful, glorious, redeeming little gift who has already taught me more about myself in three short months than I've ever come to accept in years.

She fakes it pretty well, too. 

Except she's only a mere 19 months old.  I should've never learned that at 11 but she especially, even more shouldn't know this tainted art so young. 

Put her in a crowd and she's golden.  She soaks up every single moment of attention.  She smiles and flirts and puts on a show like no one's business.  Blowing kisses?  Oh yes!  She's got it down.

And then she gets home and the walls come crashing.  She cries.  She hoards food.  She hits and throws tantrums and bangs her head on anything nearby. 

Don't get me wrong.  This is not the majority of time with her and some of her little moments are just purely female driven. {Girlfriend is a drama queen and quite a sassy pants!}  But, then there are moments that are textbook attachment issues.  Things that we've been trained to look for, expect to happen and know proven ways to deal with them.  She's taken a while for her to trust us enough to show her true colors...and I know it's a step in the right direction that she finally is.

But she doesn't have the gift of writing her heart down for no one to know.  She's trying to process so much and doesn't know how.  She doesn't have the words or the understanding yet. 

And in less than 3 months by her side, my motherly instincts have kicked in and I'm seeing exactly in her what my mother saw in me all those years ago. 

Her world is spinning out of control.  She wants to trust us but she's scared.  She's had so many different women care for her in her first year that she still doesn't know with absolute confidence that I won't leave her too.  She'll make anyone smile because it's worked in the past.  She gets more attention that way and did for her first 16 months.  And...she has a place deep within her that fears being left...being alone...being forgotten. 

My heart literally hurt when God gave me this revelation holding her and staring into her dark brown eyes for what seemed like a lifetime.  He was sharing her heart for her through the connection we made in those moments.  His voice was almost audible.  And I was left broken enough for both of us.

I've taken a few steps back since realizing just how hard this road really is for a child with such a broken past.  After all, she's a master of faking it, too...and she's very convincing sometimes.

I've been wearing her more in the ergo carrier especially in crowds.  She'll go to anyone...which is a very bad thing for a child with severe attachment issues.  So, I'm trying to keep her closer to me which hopefully draws a little clearer boundary for her and others. 

We're sticking close to home more.  Summertime sort of lends itself to that anyways in our home.  We love to play in the yard in the evening and swim all day.  The boys are perfectly content if the only outing we make each week is to the library so they are loving our cocooning a bit longer. hard as it is with those close...her daddy and I need to continue to be the only ones to meet her needs.  The only one to comfort her, feed her, bathe her, change her and more.  Wyatt sees when she's up from her nap on the monitor and begs to go get her out of her crib...and I've allowed it some in the past but it's gotten us no where.  So, even big brother is having to take a bit more of a back seat approach with her for a while.

Goodness, it's hard parenting...especially a child that can fake it as well as she can and has so much that she wants to hide.  But, it's worth it when we see smiles that are genuine...and a heart that lets us in without a fear in the world because she knows...she trusts...she believes that we are never letting go.

And to think that God chose us for her...even in these hard moments I am reminded that He never makes mistakes.  His plans are always for good.  And He holds the entire world in the palm of His hand.


jennifer said...

I love this post. We had to use some of the same techniques with Wesleigh and are seeing different issues pop up as she grows. I have to remind myself of what my girl went through because she's also good at faking it! Such an amazing journey we are on with our girls....

Anonymous said...

Oh- for sure God chose you to be her mother! You know her pain and can help her heal through your love and patience. My father died when I was only 6. I too was able to fake my emotions. When I had my three babies, I wanted so badly to know that my daddy was present with me. Each of my babies were born with headfuls of black hair just like my dad. I felt that God was saying to me- your dad is here and so am I. I know for sure that God still performs miracles and Andie-Grace's life story is one of them.

God Bless your sweet family!
Jennifer Waldrop

Dena said...

I can't wait to start reading about this sweet girl from the beginning! I am already in love with her!!!