Alyssa was only two and a half years old when she came to us but she had already lived through more than most adults. This tiny little child was so full of rage that she would scream for hours. She didn’t speak but would flip people off if she did not like them. She hit me, kicked me, and spit in my face. She broke anything she could and sometimes hurt herself when she was angry. I spent countless hours sitting on the floor with her in my lap, holding her while she screamed. I also walked away frustrated many times. There have been moments when I completely rocked it and helped her work through the grief of being abandoned by her first family. There have been other times when I completely failed and did not react with the compassion she needed in that moment. Through the ups and downs, I have stayed though because I believe that family is forever and real love stays even when it’s hard.
Through the ups and downs, I have stayed because I believe family is forever and real love stays even when it’s hard.
Family and love were foreign concepts for my daughter when I met her. She had been bounced around between unhealthy homes and shelters. She had experienced loss and hunger and absolute fear. She had no reason to suspect when she came here that our home would be any different. Even after our adoption, Alyssa would ask several times each day if I was still her mom. She does that less now but that fear of abandonment still rears its ugly head sometimes when she gets in trouble and she goes back to being the scared little girl who believes no one really wants her. In those moments she occasionally asks if I will still be her mom as if I might disappear while she takes a timeout in the corner. “Always and forever” I tell her. “No matter what you do, we are family and family is forever.”
I don’t know what the future holds for Alyssa. She still struggles with her past and her special needs add additional challenges to her future. I do know that she overcame the odds and learned to love in spite of the pain. Alyssa wants to be a mom and I couldn’t be more proud.
Let’s keep talking about adoption in the comments or on Facebook and Instagram. How did you know when you were finally getting through to your child? Are you still in the mess and needing encouragement? I want to hear from you too.