Hearts Out of Sync

I know many people want to hear about how life has been since we’ve gotten home with our two newly adopted children.  There have been some incredible sweet moments, there have been some really low moments.  Overall it has been hard, not as hard as I thought it could be, but hard is hard and comforting yourself with the knowledge that it could be harder is really not that helpful in the moment.

I spent the first few nights in Angelina’s room on the couch; I wanted to be there if she needed comforting in this new environment.  On the first night she settled into her covers, I turned off the light, the rocking began.

rock rock

rock rock

rock rock

Rhythmic, forceful, insistent.

rock rock

rock rock

rock rock

Now please understand I’d done my homework about institutionalized behaviors, I knew  that children who did not get enough comfort in the early years of life could develop coping behaviors such as rocking themselves to sleep; I knew it was possible and even likely that Angelina would rock and I knew it would be hard to witness – I just didn’t realize it could be this hard.

rock rock

rock rock

rock rock

In the darkness I stared at the ceiling, knowing that I was not in a position to comfort her to sleep, this was how she had fallen asleep for the past 9 years and the act of being adopted was not going to magically change that overnight.

rock rock

rock rock

rock rock

I willed myself to take slow steady breaths, to relax into my sheets, to let the rocking happen for as long as she needed it. For one hour and forty five minutes I listened to the rocking.  As I listened, I became aware of the rhythm of my own heartbeat and the overlapping sounds of Angelina’s rocking.

lub dub rock rock

lub dub rock rock

For a beat or two we would be in sync, but then for many more beats we would not align.

rock rock lub

dub

rock rock lub

dub

rock rock

lub dub

The rocking was as consistent as a heartbeat and, for Angelina, possibly as necessary for her current well being.  I could just as easily tell her heart to stop beating as I could tell her body to stop rocking.  For the next few nights, for one hour and forty five minutes, I’d listen to our syncopation. My heart. Angelina’s rocks.

rock rock

lub dub

rock rock

lub dub

Her rocking is always the same tempo. Is it set to the pace of her own heart? Could this be the beat that surrounded her while she grew in her mother’s womb?  Was I listening to the heart beat from another mother?  Whatever the case, it was not the tempo I use to rock my babies to sleep, it was not the tempo of my heart.

Our hearts are out of sync and that is hard.

So when you wonder how we are doing, I’d like you to know that for now there are good moments within the hard days, moments when our hearts are in sync. I strive to notice those moments; they are dear to me.

 

 

 

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5 comments on “Hearts Out of Sync

  1. Dearest Timm and Hannah, you both-and Angelina and Roman-have been mentioned in our worship services for over a year now. Just this morning, in fact, during the petitions, and once more during that thanksgivings. Jesus told us to pray always and not to give up. So, like that widow constantly importuning the wicked judge, or the matron searching for her coin, or the man pestering his neighbor after bedtime to borrow some bread for his guests, we have brought your needs before our Father who is a righteous judge, who knows where all the coins are hiding, who has an endless supply of bread for those who keep on asking, keep on knocking, keep on seeking.

    Thank you for updating us as you are able. We pray because of our Father’s promises, but knowing how things fare with you all gives us additional motivation and encouragement.

    Fr. Bill, and the parishioners of St. Athanasius Anglican Church,Waxahachie, TX

  2. What a good mama you are, even if she doesn’t understand it fully yet. We are keeping you in our prayers. (and thinking of you every time we pour a cup of tea and use a sugar cube 🙂 )

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