Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Attachment both ways

Samson gets his cast off in less than two weeks. After the first night of having the cast, it's almost like he doesn't even have one. He just is not bothered at all by it, other than a few limitations. The only time I remember that he is wearing it is when I get clobbered in the head with it during the night. (Yes, he still sleeps between Steve and I.)

Today I want to share our turning point with attachment. We continue to make headway with attachment each day but it took Samson to break his arm for us to see that the attachment is really happening and to witness how much headway we have really made. I'll try my best to paint a picture of what this turning point looked like for us.

When Samson first went down on the trampoline and we decided that he broke his arm, we were in the mode of 'let's get him in the car and get to the hospital quick'. Then on the way, I was so worried about what he would think of us now. I was worried that he would lose some trust in us and blame us for this accident, causing the attachment to regress.

He was clearly in pain, weeping hard. When I picked him up to put him in the car he gave me a confused look and the question on his face was, 'why is this happening to me?' We reassured him all the way to the ER that we were going to take care of him and everything would be OK. We tried to be strong for him.

When we arrived at the hospital, we were still in that mode of 'get him in quick'. Then I felt it, I was losing strength and the pain a mother feels for her hurting child kicked in. I asked Steve if he would take him in while I parked the car because I was concerned that it would be too much for me. Looking back, this was my first indication that my attachment to him was real.

We could hear him screaming from the waiting room - the screams were louder and more intense than I have ever heard him scream. His screams pierced the very heart of my soul. A woman came in with very severe stomach pains and when they gave her a barf bag, I felt like asking for one myself. This was my second clue that my attachment to him has become real.

If I would hear about a child in the community breaking his arm, I would be unmoved by this but still feel bad for the boy and his parents. If a child in our neighborhood were to break their arm, again, I would feel bad for this child and their parents but a little more touched by it because I know the child. If one of my nephew's were to break their arm, I would feel bad again and even more touched because I'm their aunt and I should feel more pain for them.

The pain I felt when I heard Samson's screams was the pain a mother would feel watching their child go through something like this. It was real. He wasn't someone else's child. He was my child. Other people were in the waiting room too. They heard my son's screams but it didn't move their emotions like it did for Avery and I.

When the nurse came out to ask me to take over for my husband, this was my first clue that Steve felt the pain of a parent. I had to pull myself together. I had to be strong for my son and my husband and pretend I could handle this.

We've struggled with attachment over the months. We often times found ourselves not knowing how we were going to survive the next tantrum. We were becoming increasingly irritated by Samson wanting complete control over everything. We wondered if he will ever relax and trust us more.

Well, in a weird way, his broken arm was a gift to us because not only were our eyes open to how much we love him as his parents but also how much he really has grown to trust us. Now that he has a broken arm, there are fewer things that he can do on his own. He can still do most things but it's been pure joy to watch him rely on us more. This experience could very likely be the best thing that has ever happen to our attachment.

This time I caught myself pretending to be strong for my son and my husband, to not be moved. Throughout the months of watching our attachment to each other grow, I did a lot of pretending the other way.

God caught Steve and I in our weakness and through our weakness, he opened our eyes to something very beautiful happening within our relationship with Samson. I have never seen a more beautiful picture of God's redemption.


Bonnie said...

Awesome! It sounds as if your attachment is taking leaps and bounds foward - running downhill in the sunshine! Oh happy day.

M and M said...

Thank you for such lovely insight.

Kate and Jeff said...

You and Steve continue to be an inspiration to us. So glad that your attachment journey has taken such a strong turn. Sending love.

Cindy said...

Love this. Thanks for sharing. It's amazing sometimes what it takes for God to reveal what is already in our hearts, but we dont see it unless He brings it to light. Tammy, are you on facebook?

Shannon- said...

I'm sitting here sobbing reading this. This is gut wrenching and beautiful.. all at once. (Well isn't just about everything in adoption?)

Thank you Tammy for being so supportive to me through everything! Your words mean more than I can possibly express!