Saturday, December 12, 2015

A Story To Be Told

So here's the long difficult story. I've been compiling this post in my head for quite sometime now. So many of you ask "Why are there so many pictures of Coco?" "Where's Livvy?" "Why doesn't she have her own Instagram page?" I've been a Mom for 19 years now and when I carried that beautiful blond haired little girl over the threshold into her new life I had no idea the heartache in store for us.  Our journey began when we boarded that flight in Kiev Ukraine at 6:00 am on Tuesday.
We didn't land in Sacramento until 10:42 Thursday morning. That's almost 48 hours and Livvy screamed 47 of them. Nothing we did consoled her. She hated the feeling of our arms holding her. She wanted nothing to do with us. She would literally peel our hands from her body. Our saving grace was that we had first class tickets donated to us so we had room to lay a blanket down at our feet and let her mindlessly rock to sooth herself. At sixteen months old she weighed only thirteen pounds and had the muscle tone of a one month old. I was secretly relieved to not hold her because it broke my heart to feel her malnourished  tiny body.  Even more heartbreaking was that she'd rather be on the filthy airplane floor than to be comforted in my arms.
I was sure at the time that this was all simply because her whole world was turned upside down. She was mourning the loss of the only caregivers she had ever known. Orphanage #5 was her home. Her comfort. She was treated well there. I won't go as far as saying she was loved, but she was cared for. I will always be grateful to her nannies for sustaining her life.

 As the hours slowly ticked by in that airplane, I felt helpless. I have comforted 5 babies before Livvy.  Each one had their own very unique personality but I always knew what they needed and I knew at the end of the day everything would be okay. Each night, as I watched their eyes close I marveled in the miracle of motherhood.  It  was different with Livvy and I knew it right from the start.  She never allowed herself to find peace with anyone or anything. The only time she seemed to be "happy" was when she was alone in her crib rhythmically rocking.  To this day she has scars and frequent open wounds on her forehead. These are a result of the never ending battle against those demons that force her to find comfort in banging her head on her crib, the floor or even the concrete on her school playground.  It's devastating.
The months leading up to the glorious day of Livvys freedom were filled with such hope. I could not wait to scoop her up in my arms and rescue her from the place that held her prisoner for almost two years.  For months after we came home, 
there were always the same excuses..... "She is still emotionally recovering from orphanage life." "She has so much lost time to make up for." "She'll turn that corner soon and become more like Chloe."  Don't get me wrong, she has come so far. She's thriving in school, she is slowly learning to communicate, and most importantly she's learning how to be appropriately comforted. When I walk into her room in the morning, I am greeted with the most beautiful smile. When I pick her up she snuggles in and lays her head on my shoulder. It's a brief moment in time but I soak in every second! She's learning to love and be loved and that's a huge milestone for her.

 Livvy has recently been diagnosed with Autism and along with that diagnosis came a few answers but there are still so many questions I have that I'm afraid will remain locked away.  I so desperately want to reach in and pull my beautiful baby girl from that body that holds her captive. She's trapped in there. I see glimpses and although they're fleeting they're all the fuel I need to keep reaching for that miracle.  

We have a very long road ahead with Livvy and I know it will be filled with potholes, fender benders and plenty of road rage but I wouldn't change it for the world. She is perfect and she is mine.

Like I have said 1000 times before, I don't blame Olivia's birth parents for leaving her at that hospital. They gave her life and because of that and the heart wrenching decision they made to walk away from her, my life and our family is complete.

Although I started this post months ago, the urgency to get it done became apparent when I learned of one my favorite adoptive family's plan to add a beautiful baby boy to their magnificent family!
Baby Noah is about 7 months old and because he was born with Down syndrome in a country where most see imperfection as curse, he was abandoned.  He now waits alone in an orphanage crib. He's one lucky little boy though because little does he know he was destined to be a prince in house of 6 gorgeous princesses (7 counting his amazing Momma:) The Cox family was the very first adoptive family that I followed start to finish.  Sweet Mia's face is forever etched into my brain. I watched their Fairytale unfold right in front of my eyes and it was one I will forever hold in my heart.   It's my mission to help the Cox family rescue their Prince.  

Even though it was out of my control, I will always feel tremendous guilt for not getting to Livvy sooner.  With each passing day in that orphanage she slipped farther and farther away.  I will always wonder, what if I just fought a little bit harder?  I'm sure it would have made a huge difference in her quality of life today.  I never want Kecia to have those what ifs.  Noah needs to come home and my Livvy Girl is going be his guide.

Please join me on this mission! Let's get baby Noah home! Here is Kecia's blog:
Kecia is a captivating writer and they are having an awesome Christmas giveaway!  Make sure you go way back and see Mia's story.  You'll never be the same.

Feels good to blog again! Maybe I will dedicate this as Livvy's place to shine... That's what she does best. Shine.