I don’t need a best nine instagram feature to remind me of my top moments. It has been The Year of the Wave. Last year closed with Waverley coming home to us. This year has been about the movement of Wave coming home to us. Not an event but a movement. A year of figuring out that this was going to take years not months or weeks to make right. A year of her not feeling safe in her own room and so moving into Harper’s room. A year of crossing the legal finish line and becoming Wave’s for real parents. A year of helping Wavy feel secure and helping her learn to trust us. A year of her trauma stirring up my PTSD which resulted in lots of counseling for me. Lots of counseling for her. Harper and Everett adjusting to life with a new sibling; not a baby but a little girl with issues. This has been a year of Wave’s laugh coming more easily, her meltdowns becoming smaller, her load getting a little lighter. A year of progress.
This was the year I finally got to hear Waverley call me “Mom” again after four years of silence and then several months of being called Molly.
2015 brought life into the dead or dark memories of my life as Waverley’s mom. Songs that made me cry after we lost her made me smile again. Certain books were safe to read again after being relegated as too hard for me to get through. Memories too painful to rifle through could be explored at my leisure. We crossed over into a place where I am thankful every day that Wave has come home to us, but I am no longer surprised by it. It feels comfortable and normal. It feels right. We have three children and they are all right where they belong —at home with us. It has been a year of celebration.
On the other hand we dealt with and continue to deal with things that stagger me. Waverley in our life makes me miss Matt in a fresh way. How badly I want him to laugh with me at her funny insights and her quirks. How badly I want to rejoice over her presence in our family with him. The damage of three years of mistreatment and then a year of transitions to bring her back to us have left their mark on this little girl. I continue to grieve all that Wave has been through. She battles the ability to trust. She has deep fears. Her thoughts and at time her behaviors reflect what she has been through. That is hard on the rest of us. Overcoming trauma is hard, it takes work, and it is a long term project.
This life is a hard one. And a good one. I’ve learned that lesson a lot of times, and this year I learned it again.
If I had guessed at the end of 2014 where we would be right now I would have guessed further down the road. That’s ok. It just makes our best moments that much better. They are so hard won. Our therapists say there are peaks and valleys as Wave grows and heals. I’m ready for a few more peaks. And I’m trying to adjust my expectations. To keep them reasonable and realistic.
Don't get me wrong. We have lots of happy times together. This morning Jake, Wavy, and Everett got donuts while Harper and I slept in a little. They brought the donuts home to us, and the kids were sitting around eating — talking and laughing in their pajamas. I was drinking coffee on the couch and Jake was telling me about something. The light was streaming in, even brighter than usual as it reflected off the snow. We were so happy in that moment, and it was all I’ve ever wanted. And it happened in 2015.