Saturday, December 21, 2013

Attached at the hip

That is Vivian and I these days:  attached at the hip.  Like, literally.  This child does not let me out of her sight.
To be honest, I am exhausted.
Girlfriend follows me EVERWHERE.  If I walk in one room, she follows. If I sit at my computer, she crawls up on the chair with me.  If I run downstairs to try and quickly change over the laundry, she is right behind me. If I try to unload the dishwasher, she crawls up on it and tries to unload it with me.  If I shower, she gets in (like EVERY TIME I shower).  She even follows me when I go to the bathroom.  It is 24-7.  She is my little shadow.
And I am exhausted.
She has been home for almost 6 months and we been together for almost every minute of those almost 6 months.  Rob and I have had one babysitter since returning home.  I have been to the gym a big fat 0 times since returning home. 
I miss things. I miss having kid-free lunches with my friends.  I miss my friends, actually.  I miss nights out with my husband.  I miss the gym.  I miss exercise.  I miss running errands BY MYSELF while the kids are at school.  I miss being involved in the big kids school.  I miss being alone.  I am someone who really likes to be have some alone time and let me tell you, there is NONE of that these days. 
But, this is what I signed up for.  When you adopt, you read a lot about the importance of "cocooning" your family the first few months home.  And when we decided to do this I made the commitment the give up the "me" stuff to try and give my child what she needed, for as long as it took.  And the thing is, all this staying home, and not running around and not leaving the kids has had its advantages.  We have all bonded.  We have all had A LOT of  together time.  We have slowed down and relied on each other, and our extended family, for pretty much everything. 
And when I hear myself start to complain, I have to stop. I am aware that this stuff I am calling "hard", pales in comparison to the hard things my daughter has had to endure in her life.  When I think about what she has been through, I shut up. 
I am constantly living with the reality that there is a woman somewhere on the other side of the world that doesn't get to do what I am doing.  A woman who might give anything to be able to have one minute of my life.  A woman who may only dream of having her daughter follow her around everywhere.  And when that reality hits me I turn from tired and annoyed to humbled and grateful and determined to do better and be better the next day. 
I am reminded that Vivian is a gift, given to me by someone else.  Trusted to me to treasure and love. 
And really, it was the same with my other children.  They also were gifts, given to me and trusted to me to treasure and love.
Being Vivian's mommy may be hard in this stage we are in, but it is also awesome.  For all the worries I had before we went to China about attachment issues, I never dreamed my child would attach to me so well.  Yes, some days it drives me crazy, but most days I am grateful.  She had every reason in the world not to trust me, yet she has, from the moment we met. 
I may be tired, but I am loving being her mommy.

“...because "Mommy" is forever.  It's such a powerful name.

Mommy means "I trust you." Mommy means "you will protect me."

Mommy is for shouting when you need someone dependable and for laughing with when you are excited.

 Mommy is for crying on and cuddling with when you are sad, or giggling and hiding behind when you are embarrassed.
Mommy is the fixer of boo-boos and the mender of broken hearts.

Mommy is a comfort place - a safe place.

 Mommy means "you are mine and I am yours and we are family. 


  1. That last picture with your face in Vivian's hands is the most precious image I have ever seen. What an utterly amazing gift He has given you both!

  2. Love love LOVE the last photo. Print that BIG somewhere in your home! :)

  3. Oh friend I so get it!! Each time we went to China I told myself it is only a year of my life to put all the "stuff" at a stand still! And each time it has taken about a year and each time I got and still get frustrated I feel ashamed the next day:). Janie is still my shadow at home but she is much more confident to go off on her own. I am back to doing a few things on my own now and it feels so good but that time was so worth it as you know!! Have a wonderful first Christmas with your precious girl!!

  4. Beautiful....our son is 5 1/2 and has been home from Vietnam for almost 5 years. He also attached fast and strong. Then he became more independent and lately, he has been much more clingy and lovey. I am trying to remember to SOAK IT UP! It won't be long until he is a teenager and Mommy may not be this cool.

  5. Do you think there would have been huge problems if you had not been able to be solely with her for six months? For example, if you had to return to work sooner than that? While we are committed to do whatever is needed - as we have with our other bio children - it is not in our plan for me not to continue to work after 3-4 months or so. I love your posts and your honesty and so appreciate your perspective on all of these issues.

  6. What sweet photos - look how much love and trust is evident in these photos. The last one shows how far she's come! Yes it's hard and yes, relish this precious time - when they adore us and want to spend every second with us!

  7. I just published a book about the relentless love that adoption takes. We are parents to four special needs kids from China and know exactly what you are talking about. The book is Chinese Take Out : An Adoption Memoir available from Tate Publishing-- Blessings Sheila Temple

  8. Tears flowing down my face! We just submitted our paperwork to our agency today and waiting on approval! Your blog is amazing!!!