from this place

i haven’t been diligent about blogging.  i can’t promise that it will happen now because things are about to get a whole lot crazier around here!  but we are going through some big things and i don’t want to miss out on the opportunity to write from this place in my life.  i want to remember these last days as a family of three.

my mind is a whirlwind of anticipation, suspense, questions, worries, hopes and lots of waiting.  i am excited and terrified for our next chapter, and the pages are turning quickly…less than 3 weeks until my due date!  my body is a constant reminder that it is almost time, baby won’t stop moving and things are getting quite uncomfortable.  i don’t know exactly how things will be once we add a little baby to our eccentric family, but i do know that things will get shaken up significantly for better or worse.  while i am looking forward to the challenge of caring for a newborn, i also realize that i will have many moments where i will question my sanity and it will be all i can do to just get through the day.

i think it is no coincidence that just as i am trying to wrap my head around this pending massive life change, Mikisa is going through some new challenges of her own.  we don’t know how much she understands about having a baby sister, but i suspect the whole anticipation of something unknown is freaking her out just a little.  in school she has been learning about emotions, and we are seeing some fascinating changes in her emotional development.

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last week, every afternoon when i picked her up from school she would tell me “Miki sad.” and then proceed to cry for an average of an hour a day.  for no apparent reason.  this wasn’t fake crying either…real, body-shaking sobs with tears streaming down her cheeks.  it was really quite perplexing.  i did my best to comfort her and tried to allow her the space she needed to work through the sadness.  we got through somehow and i only lost my cool a couple times.  but we still don’t know what is with the new flood of emotions.  she has also started crying when we say goodnight to her [something she has never done.  she’s always been happy to go to bed.]  it’s almost as if she is finally starting the real grieving process for what happened during her first five years of life.

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we are trying to encourage her to have appropriate emotional responses, but this will take lots of time, redirection, and patience.  there are some great things happening with this development too.  she now thanks us spontaneously for things we do with her or for her.  “Thank you for playing with me daddy” “thank you for making pancakes mommy”.  it is really sweet!  she also frequently asks, “how you feel mommy?”  “how work daddy?”  and she lets us know when she is mad, instead of lashing out with aggression.  “mommy, i mad. rrrrr”  and i try to help her work through why she is mad.  last week, after a particularly rough day at school, she told me through her tears “everybody mad at me.” and a few nights ago, for the first time ever she asked to go to bed: “daddy, i tired…i need to go to bed.”  wow!  we were amazed:)  so it is an interesting time for our sweet only child.  we are bracing ourselves for many more emotions once baby is born!

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5 responses to “from this place

  1. That is a huge breakthrough…..learning about sadness! I remember very well the day this happened for Nesro. Before he knew, he was just MAD! Everything was ANGER. Sad was mad, pain was mad, sick was mad, even happy was mad-just a softer version of it. The more we talked and the more he understood about the different emotions, the better it got. This is a huge corner she is turning. We pray for you guys often and Nesro loves to see pics of Mikisa. Your family is beautiful! Praying for new and easy transitions!

  2. “everybody mad at me”…that one made me cry. I’m so proud of her for using these new words and so proud of you for your patience and love. It’s been amazing watching you be her mom and watching her become a daughter. Love you both (and Troy & Baby Girl)!

  3. I wonder how her object permanence is?
    If it hasn’t developed yet she may not believe she exist when she is asleep. I was just listening to a great cd on it by Holly Van Gulden. It’s common for children who came from traumatic beginnings to not develop it. Basically out of sight, out of mind. Including self. So kiddos who have not developed object permanence yet can believe they die when they are asleep. A way to develop it is by playing peek a boo. Or dropping things out of sight and then bringing them back making a big deal of it being back.
    I would love to bring you some meals once your baby is here or come and help you out, I will even clean house!

  4. Pingback: reflection | welcome blessings·

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