Monday, November 30, 2009

A Break Through

There has been one question that has plagued us every Sunday since we have been home from Ethiopia. When should we start transitioning our sweet peas into the nursery at our church? It has been a struggle every week. We have worked hard on attachment so we do not want to do anything that would unravel all of our hard work. But have you ever tried sitting through church with a toddler? Have you ever tried sitting through church with 2 toddlers?

In all honesty I have not gotten one thing out of Sunday service since we have been back. How can I or Hubby for that matter concentrate when we are busy trying to keep our kids busy while still being quiet. This gets a little harder too when Jocelyn decides that whoever is praying is taking too long. If someone’s prayer is past what she deems necessary she clearly says “Amen” in the middle of their prayer. It is a good thing she looks so darn cute while doing it. Most people just snicker and smile.

Last Sunday when we only made through worship time before Isaac began to get rowdy we decided to take them to the nursery and sit in the nursery with them. I will admit that I am the one that pushed for it. Charlie tends to be more reserved while this stay at home Mommy is longing for an hour of time in God’s house without a really cute wiggly daughter on her lap. To be honest they did quite well. Of course it helped that we were there sitting on the floor while they watched and played with other toddlers in the room.

This Sunday I was more than ready for Isaac and Jocelyn to go into the nursery for service. I am still having days (every once in a while) where it is hard for me to adjust. Saturday was one of those days. So…Sunday I was ready to actually worship and hear God’s Word minus our sweet peas.

We took them into the nursery and Hubby kept them busy while I signed us in. We noticed a small window of opportunity where they were both watching the other kids play so we snuck out of the nursery. Hubby and I told them to not let them cry for more than 5 minutes before getting us. We did not want them having separation anxiety overload. A nursery to them looks an awful lot like an orphanage (except with toys). As we rounded the corner of the hallway I could hear someone crying…”don’t listen” I kept telling myself. I tried to convince myself it wasn’t Jocelyn but I knew it was. I didn’t say anything to Hubby because I knew he would turn around and go get them. My only goal was 5 minutes in service without them.

I won’t lie it was hard to focus in service. I was worried about them…wondering if they thought we had abandoned them…wondering if we were doing this too soon. I kept checking the pager they gave us to make sure it was on and it was. The worship service was now over and Pastor Neil was speaking…

Seriously, do they not know where to find us? Our little sweet peas couldn’t possibly make it through service could they? I scribble a note on a piece of paper and hand it to Charlie letting him know I want to leave before service ends so we can see how they are interacting with the other kids. I was also worried they might get scared if they saw other parents picking up their kids if we were not there.

We get down to the nursery and never got the chance to see them playing because by chance Jocelyn happened to be looking at the door just when we got there. Her response triggers Isaac to look up. Can I just say I love seeing Isaac react to seeing his Daddy? It is a beautiful sight. One I wish everyone could behold. My son needs his Mommy but he adores, adores, and adores his Daddy. He usually yells “Daddy” amidst giggles and running in place with shear excitement. He was thrilled to us and couldn’t wait to cuddle up to Daddy. Jocelyn’s reaction was totally opposite. She instantly was distressed and had her arms up letting me know she needed to be held.

It was good to see that they had been in the same room with Melissa who heads up the pre-school ministry. Our sweet peas our familiar with her since she is our friend, has been at our house and is in our Sunday School Class. She informed us that they did great. They were crying when she got down to the nursery so she took them with her into the room with older toddlers. I think it was just what they needed – a familiar face to help subside their fears.

But the most amazing thing is what happened after church. And yes I realize this is a long post to finally get to my point but I thought it was important for you to understand what was going on to fully appreciate what took place next. Hubby and I came to the conclusion pretty quickly that Jocelyn had a break through Sunday. So what is a break through you ask? Well…it is when we can see an undeniable change in one of our sweet peas for the better. What is even more amazing about this breakthrough is that it comes on the heels of a really hard day for Jocelyn. Last Wednesday we could tell something was wrong but we didn’t know what. You could see the sadness and distress in her eyes.

So Sunday was amazing. We believe Jocelyn has come to a whole new level of security. We believe she finally has realized that we are not going to abandon her. She was so relaxed and happy after we picked her up from the nursery. In fact her constant jibber jabber from her car seat was non-stop. She would talk, laugh then say “hi” while smiling at me. For the first time since bringing her home we saw her 100% relaxed. She was so happy it was like someone had fed her a pound of sugar and had her wash it down with a 2 liter of Pepsi. In fact we couldn’t get her to sleep for her nap. She laid in bed hanging on to the crib rails swinging her legs back and forth saying “Na Na Na Na Na.” It took three trips into their room to settle her down and she still only slept about 30-40 minutes (by the way that is not enough sleep for her).

This new relaxed, overly excited, extra talkative (if that’s even possible) Jocelyn continued on into the night as we headed to my parents house to help them with a few things. She only needed reassurance one time as to where Mommy had gone. The rest of the time she spent laughing and playing with her Grandma worry free 100% relaxed.

We know we will continue to see changes. Most people in the field of adoption will tell you it takes a good year for a child to truly believe they will not be abandoned. Hubby and I believe this is very true and Hubby has a great deal of experience in this area since he wasn’t adopted until the age of 5. We know becoming a family is a process. Each day brings new adventures and joys. And some days bring with it an unexpected break through that fill our hearts with unspeakable joy.

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