Loving Eliza

I’m sorry for the lack of posting since we came home from the hospital.

Mark’s sister and mother were here for a couple of days, and the kids and I had some catching up to do.

Evangeline is doing really well. She hasn’t had any fevers since we have been home. It is just amazing how well she is doing.

Eliza, on the other hand, has really been difficult to deal with and to understand. It seems like she has gone back to babyhood. She is extremely clingy with me. I cannot turn around in the kitchen without having to give another hug.

She has a sad look on her face all the time. She can’t zip her own sweatshirt. She seems to have unlearned everything I’ve taught her. She won’t use words. She cannot occupy herself for even one minute.

She scratches herself until she bleeds.

She constantly insists on sitting on my lap.

I am trying very hard to give as many hugs as she needs, but it almost feels like the more I give, the more she needs and the more unhappy she is.

She tells me she loves me every thirty seconds. She screams it loud and inappropriately in my face.

She hollers for me constantly, and when I answer, “Yes, Eliza. I’m here. What do you need?” She just puts her hands up to indicate she doesn’t know what she needs.

If I sit down, she stands in front of me facing me and falls on me.

Wherever I am or what ever I am doing, she stands beside me and bumps me or nudges me, sometimes so hard I almost lose my balance.

I know I was away again at the hospital with Evangeline, and I’m sure she missed me. I have tried very hard to pay a lot of attention to Eliza especially because of that very reason. I can rock her. I can take time each day to hold her, but I just can’t logistically do it all day long.

I’m just not sure what to think.

Any ideas?

Blessings!

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8 comments

  1. Gordon Garrett says:

    I would say She has been “Left” by everyone she has ever had contact with all of her life. She was afraid that you would not really care about her and would leave like all the others in her life. How to overcome all these fears in her head ? I am totally lost ! I guess ALL orphans basically have some of these problems / abondonment issues. She still needs our prayers. And she needs God’s Hand to comfort and to take away that Hurt she has down inside. It may take a long time to overcome these issues but I pray for Quick Healing with No Returning Problems. God Be With You.

  2. Claudia Huisman says:

    Hi Diane,

    Happy to hear Evangeline is doing so well! It must be so double, during your stay with her in hospital and the scary times you shared, you really bonded with her. Whilst, on the other hand, Eliza clearly feared that you would be leaving her. So scared to be abandoned, so unsafe… She just cannot dose/handle her affection for you. And this results in the fall back that she is having now. All that you can do, is be there for her.

    Play with her individually for let’s say 15 minutes or half an hour (maybe you can put on a timer and try to explain, when it goes off, she can play with the other kids or do something for herself with you nearby). Also, play with her and the other kids together, demonstrating that you love them all equally.

    I am not sure how far you are with her language-wise, but you could let her know that you hear what she needs, that you see her, acknowledge her and everything she does (positive and negative). And name it. Very literally say: ‘You missed mommy, right? (try to start as many sentences with the word ‘you’). You found it very hard I was away in the hospital and you were afraid that I would not come back. It must have been very difficult for you. I understand that. I love you and no matter where I am, I will always love you. And I come back to you.’

    Keep repeating the latter. Continue to let her know that you see her… I am sure that you are already doing a lot of the above. It takes time. She has demonstrated that she can grow and gain trust and get attached. It will be alright in time…

    Good luck Diane, it must be hard on you too. You just want to do well with them as their mom and make them all feel safe…

    warm regards,
    Claudia

  3. Suzy Gidden says:

    My 14 year old has always done this. She was adopted at 7 months, but has always had an insecure attachment. Our big breakthrough came when I took control of the affection. I offered it when she wasn’t asking for it, even when it meant crawling into her bed at night when she was almost asleep and holding her tight. It was like the cup of love had a hole in it and she was waiting until it felt empty before she asked for affection. If I surprised her with it, it seemed to somehow mend the hole. She needed me to put controls on it when she was being inappropriately clingy, and to offer it on my terms.

  4. Roberta says:

    I’m not sure I have anything ‘new’ to offer, as there isn’t anything that I could do to force Ping or Lukai to change their clinginess to me during different seasons. But I can say that it got better…..

    It was very challenging, my love language is NOT touch, and that is all they wanted. I’m not sure you can logically explain to her anything that will makes sense to her, to cause her to ‘calm’ down.

    I had to stop ‘fighting’ it and sit down, in the midst of doing a million other things, like making supper, and sit on the floor and hold her/him and touch, rub, stroke, caress and basically ‘fill up’ their emotional/physical ‘bank account’ multiple times a day.

    The house feel apart, the other kids were given extra tv/computer time. So that I could do this and they were distracted.

    I had a real hard time with this. But it got better.

    ~Roberta
    Roberta recently posted..Merry Christmas 圣诞快乐My Profile

  5. Heather says:

    It sounds like from the comments that you have some good suggestions on what to do…I think this does sound like a reaction to having you gone …….so happy that Evangeline is doing well and hugs to you and Eliza…..

  6. aunt dot says:

    Hi Diane
    I’ve not been Blessed with children but I can offer a suggestion. Plan to do something together away from home/children. Just the two of you. Take her shopping. Buy her pretty new dress or something she wants but doesn’t have. Something Evangeline doesn’t yet have. Stop at that little eatery that you like thats at one of the Malls and have a hot dog and coke or something like that. This might make her feel special. Then when she gets home she can tell everyone what a great time she and mommy had together and show everyone what mommy bought for her. Evangeline has had all of the attention, and rightly so she has been so sick. Now it’s time for some special attention to Eliza. She wants to know her Mommy loves her enough to do something together, just the two of you.

  7. Kim in Alabama says:

    all of these are great suggestions…the thing that popped in my mind the last night when I first read this was to suggest during some of the holding times to pray over her. Prayer is powerful and eternal and can only do good..praying with you and thankful GOD made YOU her mom.

  8. Rebekah says:

    It sounds like Eliza really missed you and desperately needs to know that you love her. (That’s good, right? She is bonding with you as her mama.) Maybe Eliza perceives that Evangeline received your attention/affection when she was incapacitated and helpless, and now Eliza is reverting to almost a toddler-like stage trying to be helpless and needy to see if she can get your attention/affection too. She has never had anyone who loved her unconditionally and she may be panicking inside because she so desperately needs the reassurance of your love. I cannot imagine this stage will last. I am sure if you keep filling her love tank, she will settle down. When it gets overwhelming, just focus on getting through the next five minutes. And the next. This too shall pass. Hang in there, mama! This might be a big turning point for Eliza as she learns that you WILL come back to her and that your love can be depended upon!

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