Soooo it's been a while.
Let me explain...first of all, you all know I suck. Also, for those that were around with my other two babies, you also know I sorta go into hiding the year after I get a new addition to the family.
Speaking of which, it has been a year since Lil'Miss joined our family!!
Lil'Miss has changed and bloomed so much over the past year. She went from wearing size 12 month clothes...to (almost) 4t. Do you realize that means I have changed out her clothes like a billion times? I don't think I could have survived that feat if it wasn't such a joyous occasion each time. That and a shout out to my sister who singlehandedly drowned me in clothes for her for each size.
But OH has Lil'Miss grown in more than just size...she is writing her name like a champ, her speech is perfect, and she is such a perfectly happy healthy little thing. She has a temper that most people don't see and has mastered the art of the perfect pout...everyone that meets that little girl adores her. She has a way about her that attracts attention and people everywhere fall in love with her instantly. She is funny, smart, trusting, and so so giggly. She also loves to ask questions.
This past year was like watching a butterfly slowly open it's wings. I know that is a little corny but it's just so damn true. Every month Lil'MIss would grow and shine a little more. Her smile would grow stronger and deeper...her skin is rosier, her eyes sparkle just a little more. Each month we would gain a little more of her trust. After her beginning, for her to so openly and willingly trust us, it blows me away. God's love shines from that little girl.
We have all attached really well, though it has definitely deepened as time progresses. We are still perfecting our attachment, smoothing it out, but the rough roads seem to be mostly behind us. While we are very realistic and understand that we will continue to see effects in to her future, we are cautiously optimistic.
I really wish I could find the words for this past year, but it is just so personal and raw....I just haven't been able to form a blog about it. I'm not sure if I ever will. It is why I haven't blogged really....It's a roller coaster of emotions and a lot of them you are not proud of, and then others are so overwhelming that it brings you to your knees. I was so hoping to share with you as I went, but it just proved to be too much. I'm sorry about that...I will try to put into words what I couldn't at the time...
I am not one of those people that attach right away and never look back. Attachment was a process for me. I initially attach strongly, but to dig deep into those barriers of attachment, each day, week, month was a struggle. I had to be fully aware all the time, and sometimes I didn't like what I saw (with me), other times I felt like we did so so well. I can't even tell you how we got this far, in many ways it's a blur of sleepless nights and anxiety, wondering if we are doing the right thing for her or if we should be doing something more for her.
I also didn't expect for my love for my boys to be a barrier as well....it is VERY hard not to compare your love for your children to this new child and what ensues is a lot of guilt and self-hatred. My husband helped me to just calm down on that and to just take it day by day. I did...and now I can honestly say I love my children each very very deeply, just as deeply, in so many different ways. It doesn't happen overnight though, and that is something I had to come to grips with.
I had to tell myself to stop weighing and disecting the love I have for her...and just LOVE her.
What is possibly the hardest thing I had to do?
Forgive myself. Forgive myself each time that I wasn't the mom I should have been this past year. Forgive myself every time I fell down...
Lil'Miss was a champ attachment wise...she was so trusting and loving. When I think back on this past year and how much her life changed, well it astounds me how easily she has accepted us. We had to teach her what love is, we had to help her feel comfortable with love, touch, other people. It was still a slow process and each month she opened more and more.
One year later....and she tells us she loves us all by herself and at random moments. She asks for kisses and hugs. She will randomly come up to me and sit beside me with her head on my arm....not because she is feeling insecure or wants attention, just because she wants to cuddle and love me and have me love her. I don't think anyone can ever understand how much a child needs security and love...until they have been around one without that.
The boys' attachment has been the easiest part...though it still wasn't exactly easy. It's still tough on Lil'Guy at times. I think out of everyone, he has had the most difficulty and ups and downs. He doesn't always know how to show his frustration or how he feels, and he is so stinking perceptive. Of course that also could be a big old case of 5-year-old-itis. Then there are the times that we wake up on Saturday and instead of fighting we hear giggles and Lil'Guy and Lil'Miss are having a tea party in her room, or playing house. Melts my heart!
In many ways though, the year mark was just the beginning. Now the deep attachment has begun and, just like my boys, each day I love them more and more, though I can't imagine loving them any more than I do today.
So I leave you today with a video I made my daughter. Her placement is so different than the boys, and because of how small and frail she was when she came and what a tigress she is now, I wanted something that would portray that. Show the world what exactly I mean when I say that watching her grow this past year has been like watching a butterfly unfold it's wings.
YouTube: Lil'Miss One Year