Thursday, April 30, 2009

The birth mom

Last night I was crammed with Genea in our recliner chair. As you might imagine, squishing in the chair with Genea is even less comfortable than with Teena as Genea has about 6 inches and 10 more pounds to squish in there. Yet, squish we did. (I really just need better furniture!)

She had picked out a book, it was Angel in the Waters. I bought it last year to try and get her brain to a place where she could consider the idea of a birth mother. I wrote a long post about it last fall which you can read if you want. Mainly, I realized she had no idea there was a woman in Ukraine who is her birth mom. She remembers her first adoptive family clearly and I think has some natural confusion as to where she came from.

So last night was the first time in a long time she has shown an interest and asked a few questions. She was looking in the book at a picture of the baby on the 'inside', and asked what was the long string, so I explained to her about the umbilical cord. She made the statement "I lived in your belly before I was born", so I told her, you have a birth mom who lives in Ukraine and we have never met her. You lived in her belly. She asked do we know her name? No, we don't. We don't know her? I said, well you met her. You were with her for one day. Then she said, I was too little to remember.

That was that and the end of the discussion for the day. OF course after the fact I thought up at least a hundred better ways to handle her questions. Ah well. Coincidentally I have been stepping up the attachment sorts of activities throughout our day and Genea has been considerably more responsive than in the past. Feels less like trying to hug a whining cactus. We have a new little bedtime routine where she tries to kiss my nose and I try to kiss hers while she covers it and wiggles around. She tries to get me and I move at the last second though I do let her get me often. When I am trying to get her I tickle her just a smidge. She is SO tactile defensive that she would normally lurch away and howl but for whatever reason I am able to tickle her as part of our little routine. I have to be really careful to just barely touch her. She so desperately craves touch but then it feels so uncomfortable to her she cant take it. Getting a kid all riled up at bedtime would not usually be my greatest parenting idea, but somehow this fun little game has turned into a perfect way to end the day. It gives us one absolute guaranteed happy exciting thing together. We needed it!


  1. That's great you have found something that works for you well at bedime. That is alway a great time of day for bonding.

  2. Ah, what a sweet little bedtime game.

    When Katya was first with us, she was defensive about touch at times too (though not to Genea's extent, I don't think, and she's really fine with it now.) But, she used to ask me to brush her back with a hairbrush! So strange, I thought, but really, just a "safer" massage from someone craving, but not totally comfortable with touch.

  3. Hi Essie,

    I think your responses after the book were spot-on and very loving. You're too hard on yourself! I hope you and your family have a wonderful weekend. I am also sorry to hear of your car troubles. :(


  4. That's so sweet! Letting your kids squeeze in next to you is a must. My mom still lets my sister and I do that, and we are technically supposed to be adults.

  5. I think you are right Rozmin and I hadnt thought of that before. I am going to look for a double- wide recliner chair!
    Genea sleeps like a rock that rolls around so getting her all wound up before bed doesnt make a difference. I have been leaving that little book around where she can see it but hasnt asked me to read it again. She is probably still getting used to the ideas.
    I dont want to push her but I want to get it all (moms plural) out in the open. I suppose though if she isnt ready for it it would be pointless anyway.

  6. Rachael I just remembered! I have been thinking about using a Wilbarger brushing technique with Genea but I forgot to do it. Now I gotta find a brush.

  7. All my kids have responded to massage - even Ilya, the feral child. I just had to find the right "sort" - which in his case requires enormous effort (I need to work out my hands, if there is such a thing).

    But those little games are real blessings. I have great ones with Zhen, in particular.


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