Sometimes on my blog, I struggle with being open. Open, in a real honest way. It’s not that I have trouble being honest, especially when things are good, but I do sometimes have a hard time talking about hard things. And I would certainly never want to paint a negative picture of adoption; we are overjoyed with Mackenzie. It is just always easier to talk about the fun, happy things, and show the fun, happy pictures.
I love our adoption story, and I love to look at our pictures. The ones I post on here are, of course, my favorites.
I love the smiling pictures, and the ones where she is holding our hands, walking between us, and the thoughtful ones where you can see her beautiful eyes.
What the pictures don’t show, though, is the pain and the hurt that is very, very real. They don’t show the confusion and emotional stress that she is enduring. She is old enough to understand that something major is happening, but she doesn’t understand adoption.
When I look back at pictures taken three weeks ago, I see the empty and shut down look in her eyes, and I am sure that even a month from now, pictures that were taken today will look much different than the girl we will know then.
She holds herself together so tightly, and doesn’t cry when she hits her head or smashes her finger. Her coping mechanism is, instead of tears, charm. She is funny, and laughs at everything.
Even when we first got her, she was stoic and closed, quick to turn on the charm. She is so brave and courageous. I don’t think I could go through all the changes she has gone through without being a basket case.
She knows that we are “mama” and “baba,” but she has no idea that we are HER mama and baba. She is letting down her “brave Mackenzie” guard more and more each day, and there are times when we have seen some very sad crying, and she lets us hold her and comfort her.
It is our job to teach her that we will take care of her, and she doesn’t have to be funny or happy all the time. Sometimes this task seems monumental and overwhelming, but I know it will be so worth it when we see her begin to heal and grow.