Gladdie Mae went 27 days in a row wearing her Gotcha outfit. We started kidding with each other...making bets for how long she’d hold out. Then came Sunday. She didn’t change out of her pjs all day. Then Monday, the same. Then Tuesday, the same. We Thought, HOPed, PRAYED that she was turning a corner in her trust and acceptance of us. Could it finally be? Then, that tiny sliver of sunlight was shut out when the window slammed down this morning. She got dressed in her Gotcha outfit. Once again. I’m not going to lie. I was upset. I melted down. Partly from pride/jealousy. (Am I not enough for her? Why can’t she love me like she loves her foster mama?) Partly from inconvenience. (Geez, now I’m going to have to wash this outfit every night again!) But mostly from a broken heart...for my daughter. Here she is, having just had the rug pulled out from under her. Her entire world topsy-turvy. She’s trying to make sense of it all by clinging for dear life to the only tangible thing she has from her ol…
Whew! What a day! In the words of the wisest 7-year-old I know, today was "tough--tough but good." Having gone through a Gotcha Day before, you'd think we would know what to expect, right? Well, right and wrong. We knew she was timid, introverted, and shy; we knew she had a previous disrupted adoption; we knew she was scared of foreigners. What we didn't know was how that would all manifest itself. Well, it was something. There were lots of tears...from Gemma and from us. There were a LOT of prayers. And the biggest thing I can say is THANK GOD FOR SIMON! He was my rock, and he was Gemma's rock too, even though she didn't know it at the time. We arrived at the Civil Affairs Office with 1 other Lifeline family. We saw Gemma before she was handed over to us, and she looked happy. After she was given to us, it was mayhem for a while. To preserve Gemma's dignity, I won't go into details. Let's just say our hearts were breaking for her. The fear in her …
We met Gladys Mae 7 weeks and 4 days ago. That's 53 days total. For over 40 of those days, Gladdie refused to wear anything but her Gotcha Day outfit.
We knew (mostly) the "why" of this phenomenon. For the days in China, we decided to just let it ride. Her entire world was changing, and this ONE thing was all that she could control. Plus, she was grieving HARD for her "mama," and I think these clothes gave her comfort in her grief.
Once we arrived home, we hoped that she would embrace her new life with as much vigor as she grieved her old.
She kind of did.
But not with her clothes.
She clung to those things for days...and days...and weeks...and weeks.
My parents came to visit in early June...we'd been home for a few weeks by that point.
My mom said that Gladdie's Gotcha outfit was starting to look a little worn out. I totally agreed. And it brought to my mind again an idea that had been swirling around in there since China.