Monday, July 25, 2011


Attachment and Love is an active process and evolves (changes) over time.

In the beginning Hannah would say "I love you" in response to me saying it. I am sure it was at least in part because she knew that was what was expected.

After starting Daycare and hanging with her little friends I started getting big hugs and smiles with a very sincere "I like you Mom". This felt so good because it was so sincere and I knew that in her world "I like you" was the highest compliment and meant I really like to spend time with you.

Then at some point Hannah started saying "I love you" spontaneously without me saying it first. As monumental as this is and for wonderful it feels you would think I would remember the first time but...sad to say I don't.

Lately she has been very generous with her "I love you"s to me. She frequently reaches her hand out to me or slides up to me and then gives me a big smile, says "I love you" and follows it with a hug.

I am in heaven!!!!!

This past week on vacation Hannah played hard with her cousins and three other nice kids they met at the resort. They had wonderful fun and Hannah seemed to hardly notice me but she definitely noticed when I wasn't right around and she hollered for me when she was hungry, needed to go potty, or needed help in general. I guess that is the role of a Mother.

Adoption in our lives

Hannah has never really talked about her time in Russia or her life before me but every now and then the realization hits one of us in some small or big way. I try to be very open and matter of fact about it like it is just part of our life, because it is--just part of our story.

Some of the ways it has shown itself:

1. At one time she came across my pictures from my visits with her at the orphanage. This was early on when she wasn't able to express herself in English very well. About half way through them she just put them away and turned to me with a big long hard hug. I couldn't tell if she was saying "Thanks for bringing me home" or "Don't make me go back" but she hung on for dear life.

2. She knows that she had a first mom in Russia and then went to live in the orphanage but has never asked why. She also is keenly aware that she doesn't have a Dad and will often say her Dad is sick and is in Russia. I haven't really figured out how to handle the birth father thing yet--partly because I don't know any facts and partly because there is no current father that has take over that role. She really likes other Dad's. She loves my brother's and brother in laws and all of her friends Dads.

3. One day when she was really sad about something she said she wanted to go back to Russia because she missed her kids. I had some video of the group of kids from her orphanage so we watched that--she sat enthralled but did not want to talk about it when done.

4. We were watching a movie where a horse licked an icicle and his tongue got stuck so we talked about why that happens with ice and Hannah said, "I did that before" and when I responded "You did??" she said "Yes--when I was little in Russia" and I then asked what she licked and she said "Just the fence". Again--is it real or not? I just don't know but it could be.

5. the most recent happened on vacation this past week and tugged at my heart strings. It happened very unexpectedly. We were in an ice cream shop and eating our ice cream. A young couple with a baby sat down at the table next to me and the wife held the baby and talked baby talk to him and generally cooed over him. Hannah stared at this for a bit and then asked "Mom when I was a baby who did that to me?" is not an overwhelming topic every day but it is in our lives every day. I just hope I can provide the right answers at the right time and always make her feel very loved.