Yesterday was my gorgeous little bird’s birthday. A whole 3 years old. I honestly can’t believe it. From that terrified little baby that was placed with us, who took almost a year to settle into our family and to start trusting us, to this vivacious little character we have now.
I made this little video, a stroll down memory lane of the last three years.
Obviously in the lead up to her birthday and subsequent placement day, on the 24th April, I spend a lot of time reflecting on what has past, what we’ve been through and how much we’ve all changed and adapted to a family of 4. Hannah challenged us as a family, it took a long time to bond with her. You know that expression, children who need the most love ask for it in the worst possible ways?
That was Hannah. She was so frightened, bewildered, scared, confused and distrusting when she was first placed with us and for the longest time I battled to bond with her. To understand her. It was so so hard. I won’t lie, there were days when I really regretted how things had turned out.
But then she started to relax and accept us, to trust us and slowly we all bonded together as a family of 4.
This past weekend, I realized I did Hannah a grave injustice. After Ava was placed, I was desperate for another baby. I so badly wanted a second child. But it’s only now that I realize, it wasn’t any other baby I wanted, I wanted a clone of Ava. And when I didn’t get that, when Hannah didn’t act like Ava in ANY way, shape or form, it became even harder for me to bond with her.
This was a hard realization. That I’d been trying to make my little bird (Hannah) be my little sausage (Ava). How very unfair of me.
I really hope I’m not the only mother who has had that unrealistic expectation of my child(ren). Life and love has gotten so much easier, so instinctual and intense, since I learned to accept her for who she is and not expect her to be like her sister.
Also, as a side note, yesterday Hannah broke my heart. I showed her that little video I made of snaps of her life. She was so excited initially, watching the pictures and pointing us all out, then half way through she stuck her fingers in her mouth and grew silent and just before the end of it, her eyes filled with tears and when I asked her what was wrong, she burst into tears and told me it was making her sad. She sobbed, with her head buried in my neck for more than 10 minutes, until both of us were covered in her tears, snot & gob. When I asked her what was wrong, she said that the photo’s made her sad and I can’t help wondering if somehow those baby photo’s stirred a memory or an emotion in her from back when she really was our fragile, terrified little girl, so desperate to be loved but so afraid of taking the love offered to her.