5.26.2006

Brace yourself...it's long.


I have been wanting to post about this for awhile now, but have been busy or couldn't find the words to express what I wanted to say.
When Bradyon was born, the minute he was in my arms I knew it was love. I looked into those eyes (all goopy) and felt this sense of motherly love. To know that love is a wonderful feeling. It's instantaneous, it's warm, it's motherly and it's home all at the same time. I knew it was love and have felt that close love from the time he came into this world. When I was pregnant I would think, how am I going to love this person I have never met before? What if I don't? Well, as you can see that went all by the wayside when I first saw him.

When we first started our paperchase for Lila I had the similar thoughts, will I love her like I do Bradyon? Will it be instant? Will she love me back? When I saw her picture I wouldn't call it love at first sight, but it was a feeling of closeness, that feeling of belonging. Over the 6 months it took for our dossier to get to China and the long agonizing wait for travel approval I grew to long for this child I had never met. The longing to show her the love that I was so capable of giving. I also longed to mother her, to show her things in this world that we as a family felt were important. Knowing what it feels like to love a child I was trying to compare the two feelings, but kept coming up short on the love factor. I kept telling myself it was all going to be different the minute I hold her or see her in person for the first time.

The day finally came. I saw her in the hallway of the Civil Affairs office in China, blowing us kisses and bee bopping like she had no cares in the world. Little did both of us know that our worlds were about to change forever. When the foster mother put her down on the floor and she ran to me with open arms, my heart melted. I thought for sure that this was going to be the moment that we all wait for. In a flash it all changed when the foster mother walked out the door. I was left standing there with a child I knew little about, she knew NOTHING about me, and did not want me, Brandon or braydon. At that moment any ideas of love were out the window. It was about survival. The next 24 hours were rough. She cried for 6 hours straight, not wanting to be with us. She for sure had that fire in her that we all saw in the pictures.
Going into this journey I had no preconceived ideas of how it was going to go, I was wishing for the best, but expecting the worst. We ended up someplace in the middle.
The next 10 days were very taxing on all of us. For me, I was exhausted, angry, and confused. There was no time to think about love. There wasn't even time to think. I knew I liked her. She seemed to like me, or was it survival mode? Technically I was the only thing to attach to that somewhat resembled a mom/caregiver. Okay, understood.
She wouldn't let Brandon hold her and at times didn't want him to look at her let alone touch her. I had to pack her EVERYWHERE!!. (all 25 pounds) She had to sit on my lap to eat, I barely ate. No wonder I lost 10 pounds. Heck, for the first 3 days she slept on me. (really) The only time she would let Brandon hold her was to peek at me in the shower, just to make sure I was still there. I was starting to have feelings that I didn't think were possible. Frustration, anger, resentment. I was so ashamed of myself for not feeling love. Why was it not feeling like love?

I was not thinking clearly, but the thoughts I was having, I really needed to get in touch with. I was angry at the fact she didn't want to have anything to do with Brandon. Didn't she see how much he was truly in love with her? He was more in love then I was. Why wouldn't she just go to him for a minute? I was feeling bad about that. Brandon would have traded me spots in a heartbeat.

We made the long trek home. All was well. As well as to be expected. A Couple of weeks went by and we started to settle in. I was liking her more and more. Her personality was coming out bit by bit, I was feeling less smothered. She was coming around to Brandon.
One day it was like a switch I looked at her playing next to me on the floor. She looked up at me with those big dark eyes and Said, "Mama, help Lila?" I again, melted. And it truly was the feeling in the hospital with Braydon. The over whelming sense of motherly love for my daughter, finally.

I have been trying to find the words now for months to explain what it was that I felt. I wished that it was love at first sight, I thought it was supposed to be and I felt bad that it wasn't. But, it did happen and she is just as much in my heart as Braydon. The feeling I feel for her are now sometimes overwhelming. I want to just squeeze her and never let her go. I want to tell her a thousand times a day that I love her and that she makes me happy. Most of the time she looks at me like I'm a complete nut case. But then she turns to me and in her soft squeaky voice she says, "I lub yous toos"
For those few days in China I was thinking what kind of monster am I? But, now I have found love with my daughter, and I have to say it feels right.