She was very shy at first and kept hiding her face in her nanny when I'd get too close. (The nanny very consistently kept redirecting Lyric's attention back to me, she kept reinforcing with her that I was the "mommy" in the room.) So, I kept my distance. What I WANTED to do was grab her up, immediately, :) what I knew would be best for her to overcome her fear of me was to let her approach me. Not easy. I got down on my hands and knees (a good bit away from her) and offered her some cookies, she was not so interested so I got out the Cheerios. Success! I swear those things are universal. They don't have them in China (Glen later told us that adoptive parents often ask him to take them to the store to find Cheerios and he has to tell the parents that they don't have them) but she liked them immediately.
It is customary in China to give gifts so we'd brought gifts for her foster family, the orphanage director, the nanny, and some government guys for the next day. I offered Lyric her own gift, packaged the same way as the others. She wasn't so impressed, it meant getting too close to me.
Little cutie. Her "purse" contains her urine bag and the extra tubing. She has a catheter that comes out of her belly button due to some bladder issues. (We've already seen a specialist and things look good, she's scheduled for some minor/check-it-out surgery on October 1.) Her foster mom made her two of these little bags so that she could take her into town and no one would know that she was "special needs." She was WELL-LOVED by her foster mom and taken very good care of. (The orphanage staff showed us how to care for her before they left.)
"All right, this woman with the Cheerios might not be so bad."
She didn't cry (she sobbed herself to sleep that night.) And no, this is not normal behavior. She'd been with the nanny for two weeks and she'd known me about 1 hour. She should have cried. It'd be all Disney and warm-fuzzy (and I'd like it better) to say, "Awwww, she knew who her mommy was." But it wouldn't be true. The bottom line is that she was a child in trauma. Two weeks before, she'd been a happy little kid with a family who loved her and then suddenly she'd been taken, against her will, back to the orphange to live for two weeks (and right as she was in the throws of that big change, they left her with us.) Yes, they were her foster family. Yes, she was an orphan. Yes, she was ours and we were coming for her. She wasn't kidnapped. But, she knew none of that. To her, to her little sweet mind, she was taken away from her family - her mom, her dad, her sisters. One minute they were there and the next, they were gone. It's a hard truth and it still hurts my heart.
We've recently seen a family therapist at the International Adoption Clinic who phrased it as a "trauma bond." She was in the midst of heart-breaking, mind-numbing, trauma and she clung to the person who she thought could offer her the most safety and kindness - me. It's not a true bond, it can become one but she was just surviving a nightmare come true. It's a big downer to think about that part but if the adoption focuses on the child and not the parents (and hello! it should) then it's a very real fact that must be considered in every action taken with her.
We signed guardianship papers and then a thumbprint! (We'd go to the civil affairs office in the morning for the official adoption.)
Finally, I get that baby girl in my arms! Later, we'd head out for diapers but we spent some time practicing saying, “Ling Yong” which means “adopt” in Chinese, first.
|(Yep, she did ask to be held...I was surprised.)|