Lena is still melting down constantly. She just bursts into tears over the most odd, random things. One day, we were headed to the grocery store and she started crying. I asked her what it was and she said “grocery store” (as in she wanted to go there). It was the same way we always drive to the store. I was not too thrilled. This is very typical of her lately. Crying usually slows us down from what she really wants to do. Go in the car, go to the grocery store. This weekend she was particularly upset and missed out on eating lunch with everyone yesterday, a trip to the playground and Sunday school today. She starts crying and can’t stop herself.
While everyone went to the playground today, we just cuddled and I gave her a bottle of water like a baby. She seemed to really enjoy this and I took the opportunity to rub her back and tell her all of the things I’ve been telling her a lot lately– that I’m her mama, that I love her, that I’m always going to come back when I go somewhere. After she was done cuddling, we looked at some photos of the orphanage. I thought this might help us get somewhere. We looked at all the rooms and she told me about them. I am not sure if it is real memory, or just that she can recognize a bed, a sink, a play room, etc. We talked about the different people that we saw– and whether they were nice or mean. She alternated for every person “nice, mean, nice, mean”. Then I asked if she ever wanted to go back there and she told me “no”. So, I told her she wouldn’t and we said goodbye.
I thought that might all help, but when it was time for Sunday school, she started in tears again. I told her she needed to calm down to go and we gave her plenty of time to calm down. But, she never did. I took her upstairs and held her for awhile. Eventually, she asked me for water again and she took it like a baby, laying in my arms, drinking the water. Then, we laid down together for awhile. I don’t know if this is what she needs right now, but she doesn’t resist it.
Reed has been doing really well lately. He can really hold a conversation with you and talk about his feelings. He can tell me about different things that have happened, even awhile ago. He told me that “Liva” (which is either Olivia or Alina) got attacked by a big brown bird at the orphanage one day?! He can tell you what is wrong and what makes him feel better. This is just great and I feel like it has really improved his relationships all around. He can also understand so much, so we have lots of talks about what it means being part of our family and what all of our roles are.
He and I had a good talk about a week ago. Aaron and Lena were already in bed, so I asked him if we could talk after his bedtime story. I brought up the orphanage, “the dom” as we call it. I asked him how he felt living there, happy or sad, sometimes happy, sometimes sad. He told me he was sad. “Why?”, I asked him. “Because there was no mama and no papa.” No hesitation… he just melted my heart.
Tonight, we piled on top of him to give him his pre-bedtime hug and he wrapped his arms around our necks and said “these are my peoples.”
All photos courtesy of Photography by Amy Hall.