Yesterday afternoon was full of small conflicts easily resolved with a suggestion to "Try again with respect." I am so thankful that Nazeret and I are truly comfortable with each other and learning how to do this mother/daughter dance. Just three short months ago these small conflicts would have been full out melt downs for hours. I believe this is becoming easier (for both of us) because we have attachment and trust that were not there in the beginning.
So, why the "Not my mom" title? Well, that one got lobbed at me at dinner. It's not the first time and I know it won't be the last. This one was different though because my baby girl added that she was not staying here; she was going home. I felt the pain stab into my heart, but probably not for the reason that you think. I knew that her emotions had just moved to another continent. Her argument with me started over eating dinner before she could have a sweet treat, but now we were dealing with loss and grief.
I snuggled her in my lap even as she insisted that I was not her mom and she was not going to stay here. She started to cry and talk about the people and places that she has lost. She misses them and my heart breaks for her. She wants to go home. Who wouldn't? The situations and brokenness of her life in Ethiopia have not changed; she cannot go back. I don't take it personal (by the grace of God). She loves me and I AM her mom, but she has to grieve the loss and this is just part of it. I assured her that I will always love her and be her mom no matter what feelings she shares with me.
It was over as quickly as it began. We sat down together, finished our dinner and had a sweet treat. Later at bed time, she held her arms open for a hug and whispered in my ear "I love you, Mom."
Life is good....hard....but GOOD!!!!
I have to add how proud I am of my other two girls. They handle all of this with such grace. Nazeret's "issues" often show up at the dinner table which makes eating rather unpleasant. They worked together to clean all but mine and Nazeret's plates and gave us some space. When we finished eating they rejoined their little sister (all forgiven) to play and watch a VeggieTales Sing Along. I am so blessed to have three wonderful daughters!