We started Jada with a play therapist who also specializes in attachment and bonding - it was all for her you know - NOT something Joe nor I needed! We felt that it was worth going to try - yet another person that might have the key to unlock our little one. Our initial thoughts on this wise man was that we could finally breathe a big sigh of relief - he was not another doctor that looked at us and said he was baffled by her behavior - he looked at us with tenderness in his eyes and said, "I've seen it before - all of it." He encouraged us with the progress we have made and sent us home with two books to read (I told you I liked this guy!!).
We went back today for what I thought was his first time with Jada (like I said, Joe NOR I need this therapy). He promptly took us all in his office, had Jada cuddle up on Mom's lap with her feet in Dad's lap and it began. It was a journey like no other. With my almost-four-year-old snuggled up on my lap, we took turns feeding each other a pretzel --literally feeding each other - it's like birdie feeding and it's to build trust. However strange it felt, I put that aside and nearly had tears running down my cheeks. This little one that has spent the last three and a half years of her life with no mommy to feed her was enjoying every minute of her Dad and Mom feeding her pretzels - just like a baby bird with her mouth wide open - except when she was smiling so much she couldn't open very wide.
But the big ride came when our therapist had me tell Jada what it would have been like if she had come out of my tummy. I tell you what, I have never had to think SO hard. I had to tell her what it felt like the day she came out of my tummy, what I thought when she came out of my tummy, what it felt like to hold her minutes after she was born. I was doing all I could to hold myself together as I told my little one "our birth story". She was beaming the whole time - I mean truly beaming - her eyes never left mine - she was soaking it all in. She had a birth story and so did I. I felt for the very first time, that this little one was a part of me. Some feel that with a referral picture - I never did. Some feel it when they are handed their little one - I never did. Some feel it after they've been home a bit - I haven't yet - until today. This little girl, that I have never doubted that God put with our family, and whom I love dearly has just never felt like "mine." I can't explain it any other way - I could follow God's call - I could raise her and shower her with love - but I did not feel that bond as strongly as I had felt it with my other kids......until I told her about the day she was "born". That is not an easy story to tell - but what it did to my heart was amazing.
We then went on to tell her about the day we flew to China and were given one of the best gifts ever!! Her adoption birth story - it is all a part of her greater story. Although she never came out of my tummy - she and I both needed to hear that story. I wasn't the only one crying either - Joe was choking up telling her what he felt the day she was "born". And all the while, I told you Joe NOR I need this therapy - I hang my head in shame - I am never beyond taking help, God puts people in your path to help you. This is another one of those instances. It was an amazing experience. We watched as he pressed her hands and feet on black construction paper to make her prints - just like on the day she was born. Jada will be four in two days - we do not have tiny hand and feet prints in a baby book - but we now have almost-four-year-old hands and size 9 feet prints to remember the day...the day we relived her "coming out of mommy's tummy."
It makes me wonder - who is this therapy for anyway?? We did it for Jada but I see that it may speak volumes to Dad and Mom too....