Here's the thing about kids. They keep you on your toes.
Here's the thing about kids from hard places. They keep you jumping from toe to toe minute by minute.
With Olivia, one day we will be smooth sailing and the next I am analyzing each moment to try to figure out 1: Is this because she is 2? or 2: Is this because she is processing and that darn implicit memory is being triggered and painful feelings of her past are being stirred?
We have had a rough couple of weeks with our girl. She has been clingy, not sleeping and going back to feeling insecure unless she is in my arms.
Finally while sitting in church this morning, all of the emotions we have been seeing in our girl clicked.
Rewind two days ago. Brooks, Olivia and I joined some friends for a day trip to the zoo. We loaded into our friend's van, started talking about the animals we would see. Olivia was quiet and minutes after we turned onto the highway the waterworks started. My friend Ali knows Liv very well because she watches her while I work. She looked at me and said "I have never seen her like this". When asked what was wrong, Liv said "teeth hurt" which is her go to when she is upset. We stopped for Motrin as we didn't wan the zoo trip ruined by a teething 2 yr old. The second the Motrin was in her mouth, the crying stopped.
As you can see we had a great day at the zoo.
The next two nights proved to be some of our hardest yet. Olivia I screamed in terror all night. Sweated through her Jammie's and trembled in fear each time I left the room. We finally ended up sleeping together and she wouldn't stop tossing and turning until she was cradled in my arms.
So, as I said, in church it clicked. Driving to the zoo, in someone else's van, without her daddy and big sister for a very long time, our girl was terrified. You see, a year ago, a very special caregiver put her in a unfamiliar van, drove her three hours and left her. Although she may not have realized WHY she was scared. Our girl was petrified. My stopping for Motrin was just letting her know I am meeting her needs for now and for forever.
That same moment in church I looked at Brad and said, "it's time for a big girl bed. Her crib is bringing up memories". He agreed and by nap time she had a toddler bed.
I could look at these pictures all day. This smile. It's a genuine smile. It is saying "You get me. You understand me". She has spent the last few days giddy with excitement and full of giggles.
Don't get me wrong, the girl is two. She doesn't want to go to bed at night but, she is no longer fearful, just feisty.
Thankful for that Sunday morning revelation.
"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go for to you I entrust my life" Psalm 143:8