Monday, December 15, 2014

A New Cousin

Last night we went to see my newest niece, Kiara. 
Kiana and Joseph have been doing a lot of "grief work" regarding their lives as baby's before coming into care. Seeing a newborn made those feelings even more real. They realized how tiny and helpless a baby is. A baby is not able to do anything to make it's parents not care for it. That was freeing for them but then they needed to face the fact that their birthparents didn't nurture them and that was hard. I am glad they were able to process it because for so long they blamed themselves and I knew they needed to get beyond that to find healing. 
The weekend has been hard for both of them. Dean and I talked, hugged and reassured until we felt drained ourselves. The film we saw on Saturday evening at The Journey To Bethlehem showed Jesus walking down the street and dirty, beggar children reaching out to touch His hands. I was reminded how Jesus was fully God yet fully man and grew weary just as we do. I cannot imagine the fatigue he must have felt, when reaching out and caring for all those needy people. 
Children with early childhood trauma miss the nurturing so necessary for emotional development, thus we were taught to connect with the baby inside. While working with Kiana I asked her what she thinks Baby Kiana must have felt when she was cold and hungry. She said she was scared and sad. Scared that no one would take care of her and sad because she was afraid no one loved her. I told her that since she didn't have all of her needs met as a baby, when she is faced with similar situations, Baby Kiana begins to cry and we need to meet that baby's needs. She has a fear that people won't/don't like her. I assured her that daddy n I love her. I asked her what she thinks baby Kiana needs and she whispered, "A hug." I held her for awhile and when she jumped off my lap, she went to get her pj's on singing away. 
After that break through we were able to get her to tap. Tapping (tap your knee with one hand and then the other hand, simple EMDR) helps compartmentalize those trauma memories that get "stuck" between the left and right brain. When the child or adult, taps while thinking about their trauma feelings, those memories get put in their correct "file cabinets" and the memory is no longer so troubling. Note: Do not do this with severe trauma. My therapist said in training they were strongly warned against doing this without a professional present, however for "simple trauma" it is perfectly safe and beneficial. After our talk Kiana was willing to tap and get those feelings processed. Before the memories hurt to badly to even think about so they built up until she exploded. We have by no means worked through all the pain but we are thankful for the one layer we were able to peel away.

Joseph was amazed ate how tiny and soft Kiara is. I could see the wheels spinning in his brain. "I was a tiny baby one day. Why are some baby's so loved and cared for when I wasn't?" Joseph didn't have much to say but knowing him it is rolling around in there and will come pouring out sooner or later. He had a tough morning and I highly suspect it had to do with the renewed realization that it wasn't his fault that he isn't living with his birth mom.
Guess what Lia was begging for this morning? A baby! She hasn't a clue how much a baby would upset her little world. 

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