Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Shot in the Heart

For anyone who thinks attachment issues ever really end:
Miss I's surgery was more than a week ago, and she's been feeling much better, but she's also been crying . . . and screaming . . . and waking during the night. She's refused her favorite babysitter's attention on a visit, and asked a friend of mine to take this dictation: "Dear Momma, I want S. to go home" while I was in the room but S. was (intending to be) playing with her.
But nothing compares to the manifestness of the expression of her anxiety in preschool. I've even been staying in preschool to ease the transition, which is how I know.
Her teacher brought out the play doctor's kit in part because so many of the children were curious about her surgery and hospitals and this would deflect attention from Miss I's surgery specifically and perhaps give her a space to explore her feelings. Explore she did. Miss I took the role of doctor, had her teacher K become the patient. When she gave K a pretend shot in the arm, she leaned in, and with menace, said "Now you're never ever ever ever gonna see your Momma again." K said brightly, "I know my Momma always comes for me," to which Miss I replied in a sing-song voice with mock disbelief "O-Kaaaaaaay."


Heather said...

Oh, wow. It rips your heart out.

Dawn said...

I can't remember how old Miss I was when she came home. Have you read the trauma book AmFam was blogging about? (Julia at kidneys and eyes read it, too, in the context of her son's transplant surgery.) I would love to hear your thoughts on it.

abebech said...

She was 17 mos old.
I haven't read it -- I'll have to find out about it. Thanks!

Journada said...

Hey, Dawn!

What's the book title? I'd be interested in that!

Oh, Abebech-- it is gut-wrenching to read Miss I's difficulty here. I am so sorry. Hang in, fiercely loving momma! And Miss I who amazes.

There's an Andrew Peterson song that's been in my head all week called Don't Give up on Me. It makes me cry every time...usually in the context of my relationship with God or my marriage. But many of the lyrics also apply to adoption. It has been my prayer all week. It is now my prayer for Miss I.


Dawn said...

Here's Amber's post about it:

Amber says it doesn't address adoption specifically but she could see so much of it relating to L's adoption. I know Julia got a lot out of it, too, and it helped her identify her son's depression and respond to it quickly and push hard for treatment when his docs balked.

Both of them told me that it's a difficult read so to make space to take care of yourself emotionally if you pick it up.