Since the first night we were with Mia, we noticed a sweet and slightly sad behavior at bedtime. In order to fall asleep she first needs to hug close to her chest a little treasure. Her treasure is always something that has become important, valuable to her on that day.
It can be anything.
The first night it was a container of playdoh.
The second night it was a cup with milk…she never drank the milk she just NEEDED to possess the cup.
It doesn’t seem to matter what the item is, but it is certainly not about softness or cuddly comfort. It’s more about a need to hang on to whatever it is at that moment that is important to her. Her treasure.
Her desperation not to lose each item as she nods off to sleep is palpable.
And it breaks my heart.
So far her treasures have included a box of crackers, a bottle of water, a ziploc bag full of hair bows, a boot, her backpack, a marker, a DVD, her toothbrush.
Last night was our 20th night together. We went about the usual routine, snuggling close in the bed together. That night she had selected a small plastic giraffe. We sang a song, and I ran my fingers through her hair, her body started to relax, and I knew she was close to sleep.
But then she did something she hadn’t done in the previous 19 nights.
She turned to me, called softly, “ma-mee” and handed me the giraffe motioning for me to put it on the nightstand. She then took my arm, wrapped her own arms around it and pulled it close to her chest. I felt her let out a sigh and her body relax against me.
She fell asleep quickly, but I didn’t move for more than an hour. I just wanted to lie there…. enjoy the sweet moment …when my new daughter decided her treasure of the day was her new mommy.
Lori Printy and her husband Dart recently returned from China were they adopted Mia, their 6th child. After nearly 4 years in an orphanage, their sweet daughter is learning to trust in her new-found forever family. Lori blogs about adoption, special needs parenting and orphan advocacy at Five of My Own
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