Each day, Meghan shows us a little more. Sometimes it’s in a new physical milestone or letting us see something new bring her joy; sometimes it’s a further glimpse of her personality or further growth in her relationship with us. Lately, she’s been showing us mourning… grief and loss. Nothing in particular that shows us she’s grieving her former life, but little things that show us she’s afraid of what’s going to happen with this life.
Today I fixed her lunch – a large bowl of rice cereal + formula, a half a banana, and a half dozen pieces of cheese – not that that’s relevant, except that MAN this girl eats a lot, especially compared to before. Anyway, she was in her high chair, happily enjoying the company of her siblings who were having their lunch all around her. The mailman came, and I went outside to get the mail. The girl who rarely cries started sobbing, and screaming, and just… just SOBBING. Grief-filled, heart-wrenching, gulping sobs. She could see me walk out the door, and saw me out the window – all the way to the mailbox. And I could hear her, 30′ away with her inside the house and me out. I got the mail and came back to the house – walked into the dining room, and upon seeing me the tears instantly stopped. This isn’t separation anxiety – this is I’ve been left before; everything has been changed before – everything stripped away from me; why is she leaving and who will take care of me next anxiety. My husband joined us for lunch and when he headed back to the office, she had the same fat tears and and choking sobs until she looked over and saw that I was right there. That particular outburst lasted about 8 seconds.
It will be some time before she’s left in the care of anyone else, grandparent, babysitter, church nursery, whatever. She doesn’t understand – and even if a language barrier wasn’t an issue, she’s spent 3.5 years knowing nothing but loss. And that breaks my heart. Her face lights up when she sees us each morning. She spends her time lurching from one set of arms to the other with joyous squeals when my husband and I are within about 2′ of each other. She is feeling secure, I think. I hope. But all is takes is watching one of us walk out the front door to send her into a tailspin.
I look forward to the day she knows – really knows and truly understands that we are her for always people.