Monday, November 17, 2014

Celia... One Year Later

Today marks one full year since the day we first met Celia in a courthouse in Ohio.  She was so sweet and quiet, in fact she didn't speak at all for about 2 hours.  Part of this I'm sure was a combination of shock, and awe, nerves, confusion and wonderment, but we had also been told by her first family that she was a very quiet child.  We didn't hear a word out of her until after we left the parking lot of the courthouse and asked her if she wanted to go to McDonald's for lunch.

 What we found out later was that she had not been prepped AT ALL for what was about to happen to her.  I had sent pictures of our house, cats, the twins and us for her to see, none of which had been shown to her.  All she was told was that she was going to go live with another family.  That's it.  We also realized that in her first family the rules must have been pretty stringent (military family) because she associated being a "good girl" with being quiet.  All the time.

 Oh what a difference a year has made.  Quiet would be the last word in the galaxy one would use to describe this child.  She learned pretty quickly that in our family we do loud, we do mistakes, we do emotional, and all of it is ok.  Do I miss that sweet, quiet little lady at times...YOU BET...but I know now that she wasn't allowed to be her true self in her previous placement.  I feel good about the fact that she has bloomed with us.

In the beginning the twins adored their little sister and wanted to help her with everything.  They doted on her and were so sweet.  Yeah that's LONG gone!  As it should be I suppose.  They are real siblings now, they fight and argue over everything and the older two take any opportunity to boss little one around.  Although I have an older half-sister, we did not have the pleasure of growing up together, so the drama of sisterly interactions is all new to me.  With my little brother it was totally different, always physical, rough and tumble, no drama.  With sisters, from the intel I've gathered, it's all of the above PLUS a huge dose of manipulation and drama.  Deep breaths.

I can see both sides of their stories.  Little sisters are annoying.  In fact, I told Caroline she could keep a journal of times that she wants to punch Celia in the face (along with how many punches each infraction is worth of course) and once Celia turns 18 she can go for it.  I don't feel at all guilty about this seeing as Caroline can't keep track of anything for longer than 23 minutes so the odds that she's maintain and know the whereabouts of such a journal are astronomical.  Listen folks, don't judge, if we didn't laugh over here, we'd be crying...a lot.

So, yes, Celia has bloomed into what I can only surmise to be a more true version of herself.  That being said, it's NOT all butterflies and rainbows over here.  She is still hurting.  She is angry, and I can't blame her.  Although she just turned 5 years old, emotionally she is functioning more on the level of a 2 year old.  I think this is because she wasn't allowed or able to process the raw emotions that come with being adopted in the first place, as well as just being a pain the a$$ toddler in her previous family.  Now add onto all of that a tremendous, rational, fear of abandonment, and you've got a very emotional little girl.

Her attachment to me began immediately upon meeting her in the courthouse.  She came and sat in my lap right away when I motioned to her to see if she'd want to.  We sat for a while while I showed her all of the pictures I had hoped he had already seen of her new sisters, home and cats.  It seemed to me that she had been craving a motherly connection for years and since her first adoptive mom wasn't able to bond with her, she just had not had that in her life for the past 3 years.

Her attachment to Mike is still a work in progress.  You see, she adored her first adoptive father and he adored her.  He was devastated in the courtroom, while mom had no affect, zero, it was eerie.  I promise to write more about her disruption story soon which will give you a little better picture of the background here.  Because she felt so connected with this former father, you can tell she struggles with the question "if I let this new dad into my heart, am I betraying the old one?".  Of course most of her anger and feelings of betraying are directed at this old dad as well, who isn't around to take it, so Mike, the poor unfortunate soul, becomes the target of all of it.   She's come a long way in a year though and heart healing takes time.

I'm going to keep it very real here folks.  There have been many a day that the twins have finally started grasping the concept of sleeping in and Celia's up at the crack of dawn and I ask myself "Why did we do this?  Things with the twins were JUST started to get a bit easier!  Why'd we have to rock the boat?!"  Also, although I'm only 33 years old, my soul is much older.  I wasn't cut out to do this toddler thing.  Ain't nobody got time for that.  I prefer to be around those who are able to think rationally.

Of course I wouldn't change it for the world.  God has taken us on such a crazy roller coaster the past year.  It has taught us so much about listening to Him and His will and plans for our lives, even when it doesn't seem to make any sense to anyone else.  I can see this little girl's heart healing right before my eyes and it's all God's doing.  Beauty from ashes.


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