Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day - 2009

Last year on Mother's Day, Sofie and I were coasting through life, exisiting on pure love, bliss and ignorance. I'm grateful for this blog because, to be honest, I don't even remember last Mother's Day. We were definitely on autopilot.

This year has been quite different. Don't get me wrong, it's been a great weekend. The weekend just hasn't gone without some notable sadness on Sofie's part. Many emotions are leaking out of her soul that's punctured with so much loss. I had a friend recently tell me that for kids, the first year of grief/loss can be the easiest because many just sail through not quite realizing what's really taken place. Only after they feel safe and secure do they really let it all hang out and the emotions become real. That's our life right now. Much sadness, clingy-ness and filled with grief.

The couple of weeks leading up to this weekend have been somewhat torturous while all the while overflowing with love. Sofie is a very "feeling" child. That's much of what I truly love about her. I envy her ability to show her emotions at such a young age. I never could and sometimes still struggle with showing appropriate emotions.

There have been many theories about what's going on with her. From separation anxiety about the impending "loss" of her 2nd grade teacher to the fact she's finally settling into our lives and feels comfortable expressing her sadness, loneliness and fears, she's settling into her own existence and life without Debra...and this morning she actually brought up for the first time, her birth mother. The bandage on her psyche was ripped off and I think Mother's Day may have been the underlying culprit.

The discussion about her birthmother, although unexpected, went basically the way I expected it might. During breakfast she asked if Mother's Day was meant for *all* mothers. By the way she asked that, I clarified with, "Do you mean Mama Debra, too?" She said yes but her body language told me there was a "but" or something to add to that. So I asked what she meant. "You know" was her answer. I thought a minute and said, "Do you mean your birth mother?" She nodded and said, "Why did she give me up for adoption?" And there it was...the question all adoptive parents anticipate, practice answering over and over in their minds and dread for life...was I going to answer it right?

Without missing a beat I mentioned the economic environment in Ukraine and the fact that her birth mother did exactly what was right in her situation. And of course I added that I'd be really lonely and sad if she weren't in my life. She had questions about Ukraine and why it was a poor country. Try explaining that to 2nd grader!! She had great questions that I sometime felt I was pulling the answers from the air, but I think the conversation went well. I can say one thing changed...she slept like a log last night. No sadness or clingy-ness. She actually had a reason not to sleep well last night. She had a pretty bad scooter accident last night, complete with several patches of road rash and a nice flesh wound on the palm of her hand.

Suffice to say, the girls alright. Here's a picture from Saturday just after her new haircut...which is perfect for her!

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