Another parenting epiphany at the fair

May 25, 2013 by nohandsbutours adoption realities, Chinese culture, Kelly 6 Comments

He had to take her to the emergency room.

We had been waiting in line at the fair for our tickets. I had told her to stay still too many times. Up and down, jump, up and down, jump. And, every time, the rickety metal steps leading up to the ticket trailer would rattle and shake. “Lydia, sit down! Stop moving!” She frowned and sat for about 5 seconds before she proceeded to climb the railing again and fall and hit her head on the corner of the step.

There she was, screaming and bleeding, clearly needing stitches. And, I was angry.

We were going to have a fun night at the fair, one of our last nights together as a family before Mark left for China for 2 weeks. I had told her to stay still; I had told her to stop; she didn’t listen…again.

He had to take her to the emergency room; I wasn’t ready to be the parent she needed there.

With the roar of the rides and all the bells and whistles of carnival games in the background, somehow my heart quieted, and I remembered what I knew to be true about my daughter. The world was not as it should be for my daughter during her first year of life. When that is the case, there is a profound impact on children, and we’ve seen that in our little girl. With the complicated integration of her traumatic infancy, personality, and the nature we all share to choose our own way, we have our Lydia. She’s always moving, always touching, always climbing and jumping, always sensory seeking. And, it’s really hard for her to not. It’s not simply an issue of disobedience.

I left the fair and met them at the emergency room. I saw my baby all curled up with her father in that big bed, sad and scared. All those feelings of compassion and fear for her welled up within me. I could love her now the way she needed to be loved, with the kind of love that pursues knowing her more fully, the kind of love that considers who she is and guides her based on that and not what I want.

She got a couple stitches that night as her daddy and I literally covered her with our own bodies while the doctors worked on her pretty little face. When it was all over, she clung to us, this little independent girl physically demonstrating her utter dependence on us.

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And, then we went back to the fair as a family. Riding side by side on a kiddie roller coaster was just what the doctor ordered—for Lydia and her mom.





6 Responses to “Another parenting epiphany at the fair”

  1. Kam says:

    perfectly stated! sometimes those moments as a mom where i just need to “walk away” or “be away” from my kids because i’m frustrated are the very ones the Lord uses to teach me and to quiet my heart…and cause me to see Him for who He is and me for who I am.

    beautiful post. and hey, kudos to you for going back to the fair!

  2. Chris says:

    wow, my Avery is the same. always moving…..always. i have discovered through a process of many things, that yes, her constant moving is not an act of disobedience, it’s just who she is. our daughter was in an orphanage for almost four years before we brought her home. she doesn’t share much so there is no way to know what her life was truly like there.

    thanks for being so honest. i, too, have felt your emotions regarding the wiggly, moving, doing, touching everything daughters we have. this post brought tears to my eyes and grounded me once again. *sigh*

  3. Leslie says:

    “I wasn’t ready to be the parent she needed there.”

    That is very sad. I have walked alongside my youngest three through 15 surgeries now (combined). I’ve done stitches and staples too, and I can assure you surgeries, especially heart surgeries, are much harder.

    I can’t imagine not being able to go with my child to the hospital when he/she is injured b/c he/she didn’t listen?

  4. Leslie says:

    And yes, I should have added I have some sensory seekers, though they weren’t all adopted. It can’t always be put back on adoption or early deprivation, though that can certainly be a part of the puzzle. My biggest sensory seeker was not deprived nor adopted.

    • My eldest bio child has SPD, but he’s sensory aversive rather than sensory seeking. Regardless, parenting has been God’s greatest tool in my life so far to sanctify my sinful heart. I’m thankful for that.

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