Nights can still be difficult for Lexi but days have been going really well. Yes food can still be an issue and she is a bit of a control freak - add these to regular toddler challenges and days are tiring but progress continues to be made. Lexi is finally beginning to "play" and can stay focussed for more then a few seconds - this makes my life a wee bit easier.
But even with the progress, sadness and grief still come back from time to time. Today Lexi cried for no apparent reason. I am talking real tears - this was not a tantrum (I know these well). It did not take me long to realize that there was a reason - she is still reminded from time to time that she is living in a new world and missing her old one. Lexi appears to like us all and her love for us is growing every day. She seems settled and quite secure at times - but at other times her panic and some anxiety set it. Today was one of those times. We were coloring and having fun. She stopped, looked up at me and then said "no MaMa" and shook her head. She walked out of the room, sat down and started crying. Like I said, real tears of grief that consumed her for close to 20 minutes. I asked her what was wrong and she said "Lexi sad." She might only be 2.5 years old and not talking much but she is so clever and obviously able to identify her feelings. She did eventually let me come to her and hold her and she melted into my arms while we cried together.
I usually find my heart hurting for Lexi at night because that is when I am reminded of her grief. Days can be long and frustrating at times but we do share many laughs and lovely moments that cause me to at times almost forget her past. I am a bit ashamed to even admit that because the past is so important but I appreciate the fact that I see Lexi as my daughter and not as an orphan that we have taken in. We did not go into this adoption to save a child. We wanted to grow our family and that we have done. In no way do I ever want Lexi's past to be something that defines who she is unless she chooses to think that.
I have promised Lexi that I will always love her and will always be here for her no matter what. There will be good days, hard days and even sad days. I am happy that Lexi let me in today to help her through her sadness - and I am so proud of her for being able to match a new word to her emotion of the moment. This is real progress!