It will get worse before it gets better. We are in the thick of it. Exhausted physically and emotionally.
Ivy was great the first 24 hours. She slept through the night. The first evening she only once said we should call her foster mom. Then she got back to playing. The night was sooth. She was the one saying it’s time for bed. We made it special. We put up above their beds the small Christmas lights. It’s festive and fun.
Every night we change in pajamas, we brush teeth, we read stories, we sing songs, we say prayers. But how the rest of the evening goes is completely different. First night she fell asleep fast. The second night she took longer to fall asleep and cried for her foster mom. Quivering lip. Hiding away her sadness. I waited with her. I asked her what was bothering her. Eventually she mentioned her foster mom. I asked her if she misses her. She said yes and buried her forehead into my chest. She is trying to be strong and brave. And it breaks my heart. I told her it’s ok to cry. She said no. She fell asleep in my arms, after I sang a few more songs to her. Jackie was long asleep by then.
The third night I scolded Jackie for being in my face, and not listening. Ivy sent me up to my bed. (I thought hurray! in my mind) I went into the living room to chat with Conrad. I heard her say: “I’m thirsty” and came out of the bedroom. Went to the kitchen, sipped from her cup, and then came straight towards me saying: “I’ll stay here with you.” I did not have it in me to indulge such a late wish. I said “nope! It’s time to go to bed.” She posted and turned left to the room. A few minutes later she was fast asleep. So was Jackie in her upper bunkbed.
Today, as I was solving some business with Conrad, deep in thought, Evelyn stopped on her scooter to ask me loudly: “Mommy, are you happy about me?” This question is so sweet. It pulled me out of my deep thought and I smiled broadly. I said I’m happy about her. With her. For her. For us. Then she said: “Come give me a kiss.”
Yesterday though, right before her afternoon nap, she wanted one more scooter ride. We had an early lunch but it was sunny and we went out. Jackie and her friend were on their bikes, riding fast, up and down the hill. Ivy after them. The incline wasn’t even that steep. But as she turned to watch them, as she was going downhill, she lost her balance and bit the dust. Literally. Her nose scraped. We ran to her. She yelped. Conrad brought her in his arms. Her nose scratched. Only after I cleaned it I realize how long the scape was. She slept for two hours after that. Now the nose is healing. She is so beautiful to me. Scrape and all.
Our house is filled with noise, and play and giggles. I don’t understand why I have to watch this and watch that all the time. I am an obedient patient and hair salon client. We cook together. I read on demand. I sing again all the songs of my childhood. For the most part we have a good meals routine, noon and 5 pm. Then ivy gets hungry at 7 or 8, right before bed time. We adapt. We have fruit and yogurt and delicious bread with healthy spreads.
How is it going? It’s wild. But it doesn’t compare with the doldrums of waiting for our daughter to come home. We live life, with high waves and splashy sea, holding on tight, the winds are intense, but at least we are going somewhere.