fiddlehead.....every changing, ever growing

fiddlehead....ever changing, ever growing

Thursday, July 8, 2010

"aha" moment

So, I recently had a big "aha moment".  One that made so much sense, one that put me at ease and help me understand my sweet girl.  Then and now.

We have now been home with our daughter just over 4 months.  When we came home I felt like Tessa (8 months) was adjusting to our family really well, but was feeling so uneasy about her attachment.  Knowing full well that it would take time, I also felt like something was "off" and I couldn't put my finger on it.  Having had 3 birth children, it was inevitable to compare the process to a certain degree. Maybe not fair, but that can hardly be avoided.  I remembered each of my boys at 8 months, 9 months, 10 they smiled and made gleeful noises, their silly expressions, the eye contact.  What I kept coming back to was Tessa's flat affect, poor eye contact,  inability to laugh out loud and non-reaction to any playful expressions.  I just couldn't make sense of it and then began to wonder- what am I doing wrong?  Does she not like me?  Will she love me?  

  Despite everything I had read, I began to wonder if something was really wrong in her ability to attach....or perhaps there was something I should be doing that I wasn't.  After about the 2 month mark I noticed she was becoming more expressive and needing me more.  Things were improving!  

 With Tessa just celebrating her 1st birthday last week,  I was reflecting on how much she has changed in the past 4 months.   I realized something, which I wish I had understood earlier while in the midst of my anxiety about our bonding process (but perhaps that is why I couldn't).  All of a sudden it dawned on me that while in the care center that Tessa's basic needs were met.  She was fed, diapered, she was very healthy physically and I believe was given love and attention.  But during that process there wasn't time for enough individual interactions at a deeper level.  Of course there wasn't in that setting.  And without that focused individual attention and bonding she was unable to develop the social skills that one might normally acquire during those formative early months (like with my birth sons).  Tessa had no idea what I was doing when I was trying to make her laugh with my expressions.  No idea that I was playing with her.  While Tessa could easily attract a person's attention with her gaze and big beautiful eyes, she may smile at you, but wasn't able to go beyond that.  It is subtle, very subtle.  I am a very sensitive person and keenly aware of expressions, so now as I see Tessa initiate interaction with her silly eyes, her scrunched up nose...I see that she has now learned to connect!  She had to have the individual attention to learn these social skills aren't  nature, they are nurture. nuture. nurture.

To some this may be a no brainer....for me it really wasn't and I felt a lot of anxiety.  Pricelessly because it is something I care so much about-connecting with my daughter.  Coming home with an infant is different than one born to you.  Right from the beginning a baby is developing their social skills, their ability to connect.   You can't put your hands on it and often can't wrap your head around it, but really isn't that just the most beautiful thing!  The bonding is happening now and I can see it in her eyes at last.

Tonight someone asked to hold Tessa at a store.  Someone she doesn't know.  In the not so distant past she would easily go to anyone without any complaint.  Tonight she complained, hung on tight to me and wouldn't let go.  She wanted her Mama and didn't want to go to a stranger.  aha!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fourth of July at Bone Lake!

You probably didn't know that Santa makes an appearance on Bone Lake in Minnesota each 4th of July!  It is tradition!  
 soul friend.   We met as children and played in the neighborhood before Ang moved to Bone Lake.  Then met again in college and made our lifelong connection.  Mr. P is her little munchkin....he is
as snuggly as he looks!  Ang married Art, a great friend and Figi brother of Andy's. Below Art is getting some skiing time in.  We are so lucky that 2 of our best friends married each other and that we get to visit when we are all in MN!

Then the sun began to set and we awaited the fireworks...this is a little piece of heaven.

Happy 4th of July!  We are proud to be American!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Double Birthday, Double fun!

July 1st, 2001 & July 1, 2009
Judson & Tessa share a birthday!

On this day Judson opened my eyes and heart as a mother.  I became a mother and my life was forever  changed.  I never knew I could love like this.  Happy Birthday my sweet boy, I love you more than words can say.

A world away our sweet girl was born in Hosanna, Ethiopia.  Of course, we didn't know it, but she had been born in our hearts long before.  We knew our daughter was on her way to us, but didn't know how or when it would be.  Tessa entered the world and made her journey to our family. Happy Birthday sweet girl.  You are a dream, you are a joy.  I am forever grateful that God brought you into our family and that I am your Mama forever. I love you forever.

With Tessa's birthday, I am thinking so much of Tessa's first family.  I send love and gratitude out to Tessa's first family for giving her life and bringing her into this world.  How I wish I could share with them how loved, how safe & healthy, and how happy she is....(I suppose that is why I share it with you.  To send it out into the world.)  How I wish I could give them that peace.

And now for birthday photos of the birthday girl in her birthday tutu.  I couldn't help it...
Brace yourself for tutu crazy cuteness!
the end

Ahh....vacation in MN

We are lucky ducks....  we just had a week up north in Minnesota with our family.  We played, played, played....shuffle board, tennis, golf, in the lake, on the jet skis, jumping on the trampoline and digging in the sand.  All of us playing, relaxing without distractions together.  A little piece of paradise right here in my home state of Minnesota.

Aren't these photos of Judson and Tessa fun?  Maybe they are both destined to be Badgers like their parents.  If so, these photos will really come in handy!  love it!

Thank you for visiting the fiddlehead report!