Since we are coming up on the one year anniversary of having Rachel in our family, I have been reminiscing about the year and all of the changes we’ve been through. We are still adjusting, but it is SO MUCH EASIER than it was back in January and February. Every person in our family has come a long way. But no one has come as far as Rachel. She amazes me!
God is so good! He has been so gracious to us during this year. One thing I have come to be most thankful for is His timing. Rachel pretty much jumped right in our family and just took off while our heads were still spinning. She had a few moments of grief early on. But it seems that she has begun to have spells of grieving more and more as reality sets in that this family is for good. And maybe she is feeling safe enough to share her sadness with us. God has been so gracious in letting us have the first part of the year to deal in large part with our own adjustments. Now I am in a place where I feel that motherly protectiveness of her so that I can be who she needs to comfort her during her grief.
Several weeks ago Rachel and I went shopping together. I was trying to buy some stocking stuffers along with other items. With the boys I have always been able to shop for small Christmas items while they are with me. They don’t notice a thing. Rachel, on the other hand, does not miss a thing. (I also never had problems hiding gifts before she came along. She finds everything.) So I was a bit frustrated already that I couldn’t get my stocking shopping done. Then we’ve had the ongoing, “I want that for Christmas,” from Rachel every time she sees a toy commercial on tv or something in the store she likes. Yesterday she told me, “Mom, I want some Skechers.” She’s six! So we’ve been talking for weeks about how you don’t get everything you want for Christmas. You just get a few things that you want. This particular morning Rachel kept saying, “I want this for Christmas,” til I could not stand it anymore. I had already asked her several times to stop asking for things, but I finally snapped. And I snapped at her as we were checking out.
In the car on the way home, she was quiet and pouty. She has the pouty bottom lip thing down. 😉 When we got home, I went about my business. A few minutes later she came to find me and hugged me sobbing and saying, “Mom, I just want to say I’m sorry for saying, ‘I want that for Christmas.'” She was truly heart-broken. I just held her and talked to her. She lay in my arms letting out heart-wrenching sobs for about 10 minutes. Somehow I just knew that this was not only about the whole store incident. It was much deeper.
Then one night this week I went to a concert (to hear Todd Agnew!) with some friends. Tommy told me that while I was gone Titus told him that Rachel said that she was going to climb out the window. She came to Tommy crying and saying, ” I don’t want to be in this family anymore.” When he asked her why, she said, “Because I always get in trouble.” Then she sat beside Tommy and cried and cried.
She does get in trouble a lot for not listening (she’s usually talking 🙂 ). But, for the most, part she has really come a long way. She really doesn’t need correcting much more than the boys. She does seem to have a skewed view of things. She’s always asking why Titus and Caleb get to do such and such. Then I point out to her that she already had a snack, or she got to go to the store with me yesterday. I wonder how long the whole jealousy thing is going to last.
Recently I looked back at some photos of our Gotcha Day. It just struck me how terrified this child was. I’ve mentioned before that now that I know her I realize that she gets extremely hyper when she’s nervous. That day she must have been terrified. I remember watching her and thinking, “This child never stops moving or talking.” When I think of all that she’s been through in her life and then this HUGE change to a completely new life, I am just in awe of this beautiful girl child.