I am giving much praise this month! Chad has made some really BIG steps!
First, I should probably explain, because this is a topic that I didn't share with most people. Not even the details with my husband. I felt there was something wrong with me. I didn't want to people to think that our family was a failure. Maybe I thought if I didn't say it out loud it really wasn't the case. But anyway, I know now that was all very silly of me to think. So, now I share the details.
The day I first saw Chad. He looked me straight in the eyes, screamed and cried hysterically. I felt like he had seen the devil. His foster parents had showed him pictures of me and had told him that I was his new Mama and he would be leaving them to live with me. This was something he did not want at all!!! My heart ached for this little guy. I knew how scared he was. The next few days, Chad was limp. He had no expression and didn't talk. After a few days he slowly started opening up. And one day we found out he had those gorgeous dimples : )
He bonded with Jamey pretty quickly. Actually, it seemed like he bonded with everyone very quickly, except for me. He wanted no part of me. It was hard for me, but I understood, he had lost his Mama and he didn't want to risk losing another one. So, he would rather not have one at all.
When we returned home everyone was greeted by the most loving child ever! He snuggled, kissed and hugged everyone he saw. Well, except for me. As I heard everyone say how sweet he was, my heart broke. How could I ever tell these people how Chad was when they left. You see when there was no one else around and he was stuck with me, he would start to love on me and then he would stop himself and either bite me or scratch my face, aiming for my eyes. It was so hard to take, day after day after day. I finally expressed my concern to Jamey. He thought I was a crazy or jealous of their bond. He never saw this side of Chad. Because when Jamey was home, Chad had someone to cling to and he was able to ignore me.
This went on for probably 5 months and then this summer he began to get much better. This summer he started having very few of his "attack mama" spells. Certain things triggered it, such as our Our Family Adoption reunion. My heart was so broken when I couldn't pick him up for a week without him attacking me. We had made so much progress and I felt we were back at square one. But he soon stopped the attacks again.
In September I took a much needed weekend getaway with my two besties. I was somewhat worried about how Chad would act when I returned. To my surprise he acted like I hadn't even left. But then the day after I returned, Chad came running into my arms, looked me in the eyes and said as happy as he could be, "Mama always comes back!" Yes, I do Chad! My eyes were so full of tears. Tears of joy that he realized this, tears of sorrow that he had a past that had made him doubt this.
So, here is the BIG STEPS I am giving PRAISE for:
Chad loves to look into my eyes now. This was something he always had avoided.
Chad loves to run into my arms. Unfortunately, I still find myself crinching as to protect myself when he comes to me with his mouth open, but I always get a kiss now.
Chad yells for MAMA when he gets hurt! This child would go to any stranger in Walmart for comfort before he would come to me. Yes, it is quite embarrassing when your child walks ups to a stranger with tears, clings to their leg and begs to be picked up.
Chad wants to be with me when he is scared. He used to sit alone with big terrified eyes and would push me away. Now he wants to be in my lap with his head snuggled in my neck!
Chad has actually cried or fussed when he knows I am going to leave and does not want to go with anyone else. He previously would walk out the door with anyone. People would jokingly say that they would love to take him home. And he would cry because they did not take him home!
I hope this gives some of you hope out there that have been dealing with attachment issues. And I hope this might prepare some of you that are in the process of adopting. It will be hard not to somehow blame yourself. It will be hard to always want to hang in there. Please find someone who has been through this or is going through this to talk to. I would never have made it through this year without my great friend Megan. This is one of those new friends that really gets my life now!
I am not naive, I know that we are on the top of a mountain now and we will fall back into many valleys along our path together. But I am so PRAISING the Lord that Chad finally knows he is home in his Mama's arms. He knows that he is greatly loved!
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. . .And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. - 1 Corinthians 13:4-13