8 months and a million memories and milestones later

So to say I’ve slacked off would be an understatement. I’m not even really sure why but I think the main thing holding me back, other than having 3 little kids and 1 big one to take care of, it’s that I am a teensy bit afraid of jinxing it and even more afraid of over sharing our good fortune.

Parker and I talke at least a few times a week, at the end of the night, about how totally amazed we are by Macey.  Yesterday was a great example. I was sitting outside at Starbucks with her. My back was sort of facing away from the seating area and she was facing it.  She yells and points “look, Sheryl!”  So I looked and wtf?  It WAS Sheryl. A Sheryl she has seen all of oh, maybe a handful of times and that’s literally it.  The girl is a brilliant, bursting with joy, little sponge. Nothing short of amazing and about as different as we ever could have anticipated.  She remembers everything! Except to tell us when she poops, of course.  Stinker.  Literally.

For the 1-2 people out there who actually read this, you may recall the gut wrenching decision we made last year in moving forward with Macey’s adoption.  Based on one of our most qualified pieces of medical advice, the best we could hope for was a learning disability.  The worst was severe mental impairment and the possibility that she would never be able to be independent.  The question we had to ask ourselves, over, and over, and over, and then ask for an extension from our agency so that we could ask ourselves over and over and over again, is could we indeed parent this little girl if the worst case scenario played out.?And the answer was obviously yes.

Macey was a special needs baby. She had a bad head CT scan so her file got passed by and passed around for over a year.  Few people want to go “there.”  There meaning mental stuff. As adoptive parents the one big risk you know (versus the million you don’t know until you get the kid) is whether they will bond with you.  We were scared to death. TO.  DEATH.  That Macey would not bond with us and with her potential mental/emotional issues, the risk was even greater.  And now?  She loves us just as much as we love her. Not to say it didn’t take a while and not to say we didn’t have to actually work at it. Many nights forcing her to let us lay on her bed next to, but not touching her. Tickle sessions so that we could have physical contact and playing the “baby” game where we cradle her and talk to her like a baby.  Nights of Parker and I talking to each other about how we longed to be able to really love on her and snuggle up without her squirming, grimacing and even laughing.  It’s still a work in progress. She won’t snuggle up close face to face but instead prefers to rub an arm or a cheek of ours without us hugging her too tightly or laying too closely.  But now she does openly run up to us for love and I can’t put words to how that feels.  I guess I am a really big deal!  At least to one little person!

There’s also part of me that still feels guilty though. I’m sure there’s a name for it. I feel like we cheated the system.  We adopted a special need kid with a messed up brain for God’s sake and she’s totally freaking fine. Maybe even above average.  I’m starting to feel less guilty about it but that’s probably the biggest reason I haven’t shared too much.  I don’t want to boast. Instead of therapy and early intervention, she puts on her flip flops and runs out the door to music class and is getting ready for, as she says, “Macey big girl, go to school!” We are so humbled by how well it’s going.  So rather than continue to blog about the challenges of adopting a special needs baby,  I’ll simply be sharing about the normal chaos and challenges of family life.  Back on the horse.  The strong, galloping, less gimpy than last year’s, horse!


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