Earning the place of momma in the heart of my babies is a long, hard fought process. I know this in my head. That is why we encourage attachment at all costs. Even after four months home, no one else (except Daddy or her sisters) holds Ellie, feeds her, or cares for her.
I don't leave her in the church nursery, don't go out to dinner, and keep her sleeping next to me until I feel like attachment beginnings are solid. I say beginnings because attachment work never ends with our girls from hard places, but it doesn't have to be so exclusive when they begin to give me the place of momma in their heart. Some of my girls have taken years to be ready to move out of the exclusively momma phase, and others only months, but it is a phase that is so necessary for healthy family relationships so I do it as long as I feel like my little one needs. It can be daunting, and it can a road full of steps forward and steps back, but when the steps begin to be mostly forward oh my heart soars!
Yesterday, I went in to get my Ellie Grace. For so many months, she would push away from my embrace, but yesterday she returned it. She wrapped her little arm around mine and pressed her chubby cheeks into my arm with the biggest smile. Oh my momma heart was full! Each new day, each new shared experience is a step in the right direction. It is a privilege to fight for the heart of my babies, and being their momma is a precious gift that is born out of so much loss and hurt. Rejoicing today that my sweet girl is beginning to be able to return this momma's love, and eating up every single hug and smile she throws my way..today and for a lifetime.