Ruth has now been home for as long as most babies live in the womb! And just like how some women forget the pains of child birth, so we’re starting to forget the difficulties with adoption; the process and the adjustment, and we are truly reveling in the new family dynamic. We are starting to take joy in Ruth in deeper levels, our connection with her is growing and we are very thankful.
Ruth is just fantastic- I’m happy to say there’s really no other way to put it! She loves to play with her friends, mostly Gracie, Ella and now Parker has made the list! She is very much a girly-girl. Not only does she love accessories like purses, sunglasses, jewelry and dresses, but she prefers playing babies over anything else. We think Allen is a little put out when friends come over and nobody wants to play cars or monsters, ha! But Ruth is developing healthy friendships, and that’s certainly a good thing.
The major challenge for the past 4 weeks is a unique one: we need to collect a stool sample so Ruth can be tested for some things. She’s had constant bloating since we got her and we’re suspecting parasites are to blame. But to test, I have to collect her, um, business in a little bucket. This requires Ruth to tell me BEFORE she uses the bathroom. And she hasn’t done that for 4 weeks now! I found myself getting extremely frustrated with her last week for forgetting, yet again, to tell me she needed to go. So angry, in fact, I scolded her pretty harshly. I was over my limit and did not take the time I needed to calm down. God put things into perspective for me almost immediately: Ruth was unable to use the toilet at all when we got her, but she learned so quickly and efficiently that she is now completely independent. Taking herself and even wiping herself without my assistance (not always great, as the laundry tells!). Yes, we needed this sample for her health, but in my frustration I had forgotten the miracle- how she was flourishing. We still have yet to get that sample, and we may have to get creative, but I won’t soon forget how thankful I am that she’s so comfortable with herself and her life.
Ruth is also growing closer to her extended family. She is particularly attached to my youngest sister, Anna. Aunt Anna is just the bees knees in Ruth’s eyes! She wants to be everywhere Anna is, pestering her and hanging onto her like life itself! It’s adorable, and also oddly satisfying because I can tell Anna gets annoyed after a while and I just think, “Haha, what goes around comes around!” The big sister in me comes out in me at 11:00 in the morning when Anna’s still sleeping in and Ruth wants to go wake her up!
So there you have it, nothing more to say than she is doing well. Things are going great and we are enjoying life! However, I recently read the obituary of a young man from Oklahoma that passed away. He was adopted as a young teenager and never could deal with his trauma. His parents tried, he had help, but it wasn’t enough. And that article wrecked me, as the mother of a child with a traumatic past. So, while I watch her play and run and dance, I’m always thinking in the back of my mind, “How will I be able to tell when she’s not okay?” Because that day will likely come.
Trauma manifests itself in very different ways in all individuals. Some live with it their whole lives and it doesn’t noticeably affect them. And some, like the young man from Oklahoma, are so engulfed by their trauma that they simply cannot escape. But there are many, many in between those two ends of the spectrum. And whenever Ruth if faced with her trauma, I hope I can see it. I pray God gives me that ability: to at least recognize that my daughter needs help.