There have been many lessons to learn since adopting my daughter – but one of the first ones I look back on is appreciating small memories and capturing them. Taking baby steps as they say – or as I say taking 6x steps.
Due to her brain damage caused by her birth mother drinking when she was pregnant with her, she has spotty memory. She has little to no memory of being with her birth parents, very little with the first foster family and the memories associated with the second are slowly disappearing. Even times we have shared she cannot always recall.
Besides my first memory of hearing about her, seeing her and meeting her, one larger memory I have is how tiny she was when she came to me. She was eight years old, four feet tall, 40 pounds and wore a size 6x.
The adoption worker told me many young children in the system are small and she will likely remain that way until she feels safe. Her body is so hyper vigilant in trying to keep her safe, it can’t relax and let her grow.
But the memory this leaves me with, is an experience I feel every time I go into a store that has children’s clothing. I look at size 6x clothes the way moms who have given birth to their babies look at newborn clothes. I say to my daughter all the time, “I remember when you were a size 6x”. And all the excitement of her arrival comes back to me and in that moment I can feel so much love. Doesn’t matter we have been to hell and back….I would do it all again…I just remember the excitement of having this precious child become part of my life.
The photo above was taken in the first 10 months we were a family. We went to therapy for attachment issues – I can tell looking at myself I was not taking care of myself. I was not remembering my sacred breath. But back then I didn’t know how important it was. I was just surviving. And loving that little girl who had completely turned my world upside down and inside out.