Sunday, October 14, 2012

Feel Again

Driving down the road, Sweetie sitting next to me in the car singing these lyrics. These are the moments that I live for. It has been one month since Sweetie was hospitalized and the difference it has made is remarkable.
I am not sure if it is the medication or the fact that she knows that I am here no matter what that has made such a huge impact on her. Perhaps it is a bit of both. We had a big breakthrough in therapy this week where she started to share things about her past for the first time. Things she has never shared before, with anyone. She was worried that I would not love her if I knew. But I love her all the more. I know she is now starting to feel the unconditional love I have for her. She has become extremely attached to me. She does not like me to be out of sight and has become even jealous of others who receive my affection. This is good because now she cares if I am disappointed in her or if I am upset with her. I am most likely the first person she has truly cared about in many years. I am still trying to gauge how much we can do outside of the house. This week was too busy with Disney on Ice and going Pumpkin Picking. At Disney on Ice I was actually brought to tears when I looked over and saw how genuinely happy she was. She was cheering and clapping and having such a good time. This was the first time she had ever done anything like that. It kind of breaks my heart to know of all she has missed out on her childhood. I am trying so hard to recreate 12 years worth of memories that we didn't have together. I am so glad that emotionally she is younger and that she does not yet realize that she is older than most kids doing the things we are doing. I am hoping that it continue to last.
We had sure a wonderful day Saturday up to Riverbend Farm. She picked out her very first pumpkin. She really enjoyed all of the silo slides they had there and loved playing with Nia, James, Parker and Max. It was so awesome to see her running around for hours just being a kid!!! A kid with no worries. It made my heart so happy! I know we still have so far to go, but just the fact that she is able to go and start to really enjoy herself is all the encouragement I need. Seeing her really happy makes it all worth it!
Sweetie's new favorite song :)

Friday, October 05, 2012


1 year 8 months 3 weeks and 6 days...that is how long it took to adopt Sweetie! What an amazing journey!  One that has truly changed who I am as a person. Almost 21 months ago we knew we wanted to be parents. We had no idea of what a test it would be to become parents.
But today we sit here the parents of a 12 year old special needs child. To say that we went into this wanting to adopt a child with such severe needs would be a lie. Honestly, I did not realize the extent of the wounds that so many of these kids have. But as I started to review bios of children and see the extent of damage to almost all of them we knew that parenting any of these children would be a challenge. Cris and I had many discussions on what we thought we could handle. And as our journey progressed and I educated myself more, our window of what we could handle grew. Most of you who have been following know of the heartbreak we faced during this journey when we lost Leah. There is still not a day that goes by that I don't see a baby and think of her. I worry for her, that she will end up lost in the system and end up a lost soul like so many of the children like Sweetie. I pray that our brief time with Leah made a small impact on her life. Even with all of that pain, I know in my heart that we were not meant to be her parents becasue we were meant to be Sweeties. I do not remember what life was like before her. All I can say is life was quiet before and now it is anything but quiet :)
So, let's get back to the adoption ceremony. (which I attached a link below to watch...the proceedings start around 3 minutes 20 seconds on the video...the rest is just us nervously chattering). It only last for about 5 minutes or so. At first Sweetie didn't seem phased by the fact that the adoption was final. But when she did, she broke down and cried. I can not imagine how much relief there must be for her. After years of disappointments and noone looking out for her, Sweetie has us. When everyone threw in the towel, we held on and pushed through. We are staying no matter what. No matter how bad it gets, she will have us to love her. This does not mean that her issues are magically solved. I wish it were that easy. Now we start the real job and the hardest part, helping a child mend a heart that has been pulverized by every adult she has ever know. How do even begin to try to fix that? I am not even sure it is possible. But I am going to give it all I have to help her have the best life she can.

Link to Our Adoption Video