She is nine.
Nine years ago today we had no idea she even existed. Nine years ago this week we had just been through another failed adoption that left my heart broke in half. Nine years ago today, my L was left alone in a hospital with no one to claim her, no one to love on her, no one to celebrate her birth.
And this just added to her already broken mind and heart.
As an infant she had no one, we wouldn't know about her until she was a week old and then we wouldn't be able to meet her for another five days.
She was eleven days old when we took her in our arms. She had already been hurt in the womb, then left at the hospital, given to a foster family, then given to us. In eleven days my L had felt the break from her birth-mom, the nurses, her foster mom, and finally she was placed with me.
My L was already on a course of attachment problems, and we didn't understand what she had suffered.
I love birthdays. I love celebrating those I love on their birthday. I love spending time with them, giving them gifts, letting them know they are loved.
I want you to imagine your deepest fear. Is it spiders, heights, loss, darkness, large crowds, speaking, or even death? Now I want you to imagine that every birthday those who cared for you most made you experience this fear, they pushed it upon you and they celebrated and had fun the whole time you sunk into a deep darkness, into total anxiety, into a swallowing hell of fear.
That is where L goes when our love is poured upon her. L's greatest fear is love, as love is no where near controllable. Her need for control is as strong as her need for water, for food, for air.
This may seem ridiculous, but so are most fears. When someone screams bloody murder over a tiny, little spider, that isn't even poisonous, it seems ridiculous right? Or when someone can't go up an elevator or up a large flight of stairs due to their horrific fear of heights...the rest of us can't understand.
But I promise, no matter of talking, showing charts of safety, or forcing will help that person overcome those fears in just one day.
It takes years, maybe even a lifetime of baby steps of little doses of this act for them to hopefully overcome this fear.
That is where my L is. She literally thinks she will die if she allows us to show her love. She truly goes into complete and total anxiety driven fear when I do anything that resembles too much love.
My heart aches that I don't get to make cute little invitations to her birthday party, my heart breaks that even singing to her will cause her to fold up inside and regress from all her progress. It destroys every part of me that we can't celebrate her the way I want to, they way a mother should be able to.
Each birthday she has, is a reminder that my love, that no one's love will ever be enough to heal her, to console her, to bring her joy.
She is literally wasting away her childhood and all we can do is wait, wait for her fear to subside through therapy, wait for her to desire more, to desire to trust, to desire to feel this kind of love.
We love you our little L, more than we can show you.
We are waiting, our precious L for that day you will want to run into our arms and feel completely safe and happy because of our love will finally be a source of light and joy, rather than a source of pain and fear.
We pray every day for that day to come.
Happy Birthday, our dear L.
Mommy and Daddy
I want to add, per L's amazing school director, that what we are doing for L is how we show our true love for her. We don't give her the big party or any kind of big celebration, we give her what she can handle today, we hold back our desire to give her more than she can take. We keep her birthday simple, but I can't tell you how perfect that is for her right now.
I simply told her, Happy Birthday this morning and she beamed from all angles. That is how much she can handle right now, a simple and predictable day, with the ever so small addition of, Happy Birthday. The stress from a party, from others laughing and cheering, the unpredictable aspects of fire and candles and too many presents sends her over the edge.
Just as putting a person afraid of spiders into a room full of spiders would be too much, and then singing, Happy Birthday and expecting them to be happy about it. :/
So we will go against the world's view of showing love and give her the amount of love that is best for her, the amount of love that won't spin her into darkness and a fit of rage, the amount of love that she needs at this very moment so that she will one day be able to accept the total amount of love we want to so badly give her.