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Thursday, April 5, 2012

Birth, Grief and Healing

 My decision to put being a Ya-Ya first today, reminded Alli that births are special.  She was also reminded that her beginnings were very different from Olivia's.
Alli was NOT at all jealous.  She loves little Olivia... But this is what transpired.


How can the  birth of a precious, little Olivia, cause our youngest daughter to grieve? 
The day of one's Birth is a WONDERFUL, BEAUTIFUL thing....that is IF you are as fortunate to be a little Olivia.
She has parents that adore her, and were totally in love with her before she was born.
She is secure and peaceful and calm.

Alli, on the other hand, was reminded by the celebration of Oliva's birth,  of the fact that she is no longer with her first mom and dad, or her first adoptive parents, or her second adoptive parents.  She was reminded that we are her FOURTH family; that not only was she rejected by her first family, she was rejected and turned away by two more families,  and it made her feel sad, and it  made her feel insecure too.

Yesterday, I was gone most of the day.  I went to the hospital in the morning, returned in time to get Sarah and Alli to gymnastics,  brought them home, and then after dinner all the girls went with Daddy to a youth function so I could practice music for Easter Sunday.    It was a BUSY DAY!
In fact, it was so busy, I didn't even see Olivia yesterday.
So today, I went back to the hospital to visit with her and enjoy some Ya-Ya time. 
One of the facts of my life is that I am a Ya-Ya AND a Ma-Ma too.  And sometimes I am torn between both worlds. 

I came back home and Miss Alli was still not dressed for the day.  She went to get dressed and while she was dressing, she was overcome with grief.  She went outside crying and nobody knew why.  I had  a sneaking suspicion, so I went and snuggled her back up to the porch and we sat on the swing together. I told her I loved her, and asked her why she was crying.  She said she didn't know how to explain it.

So I asked her, "Does it hurt that Olivia is so cherished?"  There was a little nod.  "Does it hurt that you are reminded that you are not in your first family?"  "Yes."  And then the tears flowed.  "I love you mommy!" "Thank you for understanding."
We snuggled and wept together. 
She looked into my eyes, totally vulnerable and I told her how very much I love her, and that when I was holding Olivia today, that is how I feel about her... she is just a little bigger. :)

It is  sad that our girls had such tragic beginnings, and that working through those losses can be so painful.  But there is joy on the other side of grief.  As parents, we have to remember that the other side of adoption,  is loss... our children have LOST so very much.  They have lost the thing that little Olivia will always have , thank goodness... they lost their security, their peacefulness and their assumption that they were cherished and loved from the beginning. 

Miss Alli is cherished in our family, just like all of the children; she is VERY MUCH a part of the family. I reassured her that it is OK to grieve the loss of her first families, and that her feelings are very normal.   Then we all gathered around her and prayed with her.

I rejoiced over this moment together, because a year ago, she may have felt rage or anger, because she didn't know how to express her thoughts of grief, or describe how she was feeling.  A long time ago, the only thing that would come out was anger.  Today, she grieved in a very healthy way.  WOW! I am so proud of her.

After we talked, she washed up and came out with a big smile on her face; that big, famous Alli smile that only she can give. :)
So, I am writing as a mama right now.  A mama who  is proud of the hard work her little girl has done over the last year... And VERY PROUD that she was able to healthily work through some grief that had been there a long time, and try to make sense of it.

Alli knows she is cherished and loved, just like Olivia is..... and I am proud to be her MaMa, just like I am proud to be Olivia's Ya-Ya. :)

2 comments:

Kelly said...

And we love you to Miss Alli! You are awesome. Blessings.

Good stuff, mom.

Amy...who wanted 4. said...

Wow. I would have never even thought of that. That is an amazing story and even more amazing that you knew what her sadness was about. She is a lucky little girl to have you, and you to have her. I love happy endings!! :-)

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