Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Still grieving

Tonight I held my little girl as she sobbed about missing China. 

Her transition to life here has been amazingly easy.  She hardly asked about China, and soaked up the attention from relatives.  She thrived on the new environment and abundance of toys.  Things were going so easily, I had assumed we would skip over the grieving phase.

I was surprised then when the past couple weeks she became increasingly concerned about how she can't remember life there.  She frequently asks me questions and gets a sad look on her face when the memories don't come back easily.  A week ago she asked for the first time when we would be headed back.  She was distressed when I explained it would still be a long long time, but quickly went on with her play.

It might have been the vaccines she received today, or the two times in the pool with no quiet time, or any other number of triggers from a long, though happy, day.  But whatever caused it, tonight the floodgates spilled over and she cried in my arms about how desperately she wanted to go back to China.  How do you explain the concept of a "year" to a four year old?  How do you assure her you will go back when you don't even know for sure yourself?

Even though she was already in bed and was supposed to be sleeping, I pulled out my tablet and we looked at pictures of our apartment and people in China.  I had wanted to put together a small photo album of her friends before we left, but in the crush of time it just didn't happen.  It will now move up on the priorities list.

I have such peace that we are where we are supposed to be right now.  It sure can be hard though.