Saturday, January 11, 2014

Thankful for Fear

It's been a long week!

I went back to work teaching full-time this week. It shouldn't have been a long week because we actually only went to school Wednesday and Friday because of weather closings. So what made it so long you ask?


Polina has decided she's afraid to sleep in her own room. She has been coming into my room 3-4 times a night. Now, let me explain something to you. I am a night owl. I would give my left arm to be a morning person, but I'm not. I never have been. I have a terrible time falling asleep at night and rarely do I get good sleep until after approximately 2am. I'm also a very light sleeper. I am awakened with the lightest of noises and cannot sleep with any movement in my bed, much less someone touching me. We have a king size bed comprised of two twins and I make poor Jason stay in his zip code when it's time to sleep!

If I don't get my sleep, I'm a BEAR! No qualms about it. So this week, has been long and rough.

Why NOW? We used to put her in her room and shut the door and she went to sleep and stayed in her room all night. Now, she cries and begs us not to shut her door (a problem because she's hyper-vigilant and will not go to sleep until everyone else does if her door is open) and gets out of her bed several times a night with ever-growing excuses.

The fear is genuine. This momma knows when the tears are real, and these are! But why now, after 11 months? If she did this when we first came home, I would have done some co-sleeping in her bed - after all, I could nap during the day then.

Well, I had an epiphany tonight. You see, Polina loves to be rocked, but when she gets ready to fall asleep, she asks to be taken to her bed. Sleeping anywhere other than her bed or my bed (where I let her nap with me during the day sometimes) is a challenge. She hardly sleeps in the car and hotel rooms or visiting family is extremely difficult.

And then, a momma's dream came true! My daughter fell asleep on my lap in the recliner. It was the first time she has completely fallen asleep in my arms in the 11+ months that she's been home.

(I'd really like to post a picture here but either I'm too tired to function or Blogger is glitching)
It was as if fireworks were lighting up and booming awake my brain cells that seem to have died over the past 13 months. I'm thankful for her fear because of what it represents.

For the first time in her life, Polina is experiencing safety and assurance. She wasn't fearful before because without having truly felt safe, you can't truly fear. She's been numb. Things that should have bothered her haven't, not because she is so tough, but because she she WAS numb.

Praise God my baby girl is no longer numb!

Hebrews 11:1 says faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.
We've been doing a lot of talking about things (concepts) we cannot see or touch. We've been trying to teach her to trust us and that she is safe with us. These concepts are abstract - you cannot show her a picture or let her touch it. She has to experience it with her heart, mind and soul. She has always had anxiety about uncertainty. She needs her day laid out before her, step-by-step, person-by-person.  She's been working on familial relationships and gaining confidence in her status as a daughter, sister, granddaughter and cousin.

Tonight, when she fell asleep in my arms, I realized she has found confidence in our promise to always love her and protect her. This is such a huge step in attachment and right then, I prayed over her for continued progress in our attachment, for our relationship as she grows and matures, and for my wisdom in guiding that process.

If you are a momma struggling with a lack of attachment with your adopted child, I'm praying for you tonight. I know there are times you may feel like you'll never get there. I've felt that way many times! Put your faith in God and keep pressing on with hope. Be confident. He called you to this with purpose.

If you're not one of those mommas, please join in praying for them tonight. I know they'll feel a renewed strength in the morning!

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