Monday, July 11, 2011
Happy Birthday, Emma!
Emma and her sisters-Kalee 12, Kyndelyn 11, Gracie 9, and Emma 10
Emma turns 10 this week. I can't believe it's been 10 years! I remember our first night together. She wouldn't stop crying. She had horrible gas and I assume abdominal pain that has continued nearly daily her entire life. I rocked and rocked. I fed her. I changed her. There was no relief until I laid in the guest room with her directly on top of me and rocked. She went out. I drifted in and out, terrified I would roll over. After a couple of feedings and a clean diaper, she all quiet and sweet for my husband when he finally strolled out of bed. He was convinced she just liked him better. Of course, he quickly learned that wasn't necessarily so.
She has grown into such a great kid. She is funny, has a beautiful voice, is thoughtful, tries so hard to do the best she can, worries about others, and has perfected the ability to look busy instead of actually doing anything. I can't imagine my life without her. She is a joy to parent and love. I even love that she sneaks into my room several times a week with a sleeping bag in the middle of the night just to sleep near me.
Ten years later, Emma has a fantasticly open adoption. We live 10 minutes from her Mother, 2 sisters, Nana, Poppy, and Uncle. We coordinate her holidays, vacations, and special occasions with her first family. Some are way more important to them than us so she spends it with them. The 4th of July was one of those. Her birthday is the day after her sister's so we have to plan a bit more. This year she will be with us the day of but will be picked up for dinner with them and spend the night. I love that she has this option.
It's not easy. We've worked hard on this relationship. Some of us are more committed to it. We had a major issue just a few short weeks ago. One that I feared we wouldn't overcome easily. One with screaming, threats, police involvement, and tears. I do not take it personally. I know they have emotional issues that do not allow them to react calmly. I was surprised at how big it got. I remained as calm as I could and as usual, made sure they knew I wasn't ever going to give up, I was here for them, things would be ok, and I loved them.
Things have since blown over. We've talked about it in small doses. They wish it would just go away but I have to make them work through it. They need that and so do we. Our shared child didn't know any details. She became physically ill for days and required medical intervention to regain control over her emotions. She is her Mother's daughter. The difference is that our daughter will grow up with the rules, stability, love, and support her Mother did not have.