Today is a day of significance for our family... courtesy of adoption... and so today, for a little while... I'm allowing myself to grieve what Reactive Attachment Disorder continues to steal, from our adopted kids, and our family.
It is fast approaching 4 years after our adoptees' RADtypical meltdown and attack against us. This year our "Adoption Day" anniversary had passed more than a month before I realized it had come, and gone. I kind of consider that progress. I kind of am surprised. I had always treasured that date... the date of the beginning of our dreams come true. That date, after RAD attacked, became a source of pain... and this year, it passed without anticipation, or remembrance. It just passed... We were busy, and having fun... and honestly didn't notice. It wasn't an active effort to try and forget the date... I actually intended to honor that date. It simply passed, unnoticed.
Quite a while ago, Hubby and I had a counselor suggest we schedule dates and times to grieve, so our adoption grief could be honored and expressed without robbing us of the pleasures available to us in every day life.
I was very surprised when my first "appointed day" for grieving arrived and I didn't "feel like" mourning... I was having too much fun. Our counselor explained that was the point... "If the day arrives, and you don't feel like grieving, you don't have to..." It seemed like her point was to not let grief steal our days.
Back when "scheduled grief" was prescribed... I giggled (a lot) as I envisioned how I might grieve who our living children had become. I imagined myself dressed in black with a shawl and a hankie... mourning.
The days where overwhelming sadness would flatten me, I'd tell myself, this isn't the day nor time to mourn, but I will, at the appropriate time... then I'd begin imagining what that would look like... and start giggling again.
During my planning grief gigglefests decided I'd someday "light a candle" when the time to grieve arose. I was raised in a denomination where one could put coins in a box and pay to "light a candle" for prayer intentions. I remember my mom tearfully lighting candles for her prayer intentions, as we'd visit older churches that still had the red-glass votives. As I got older, the candles became electric push button and the price to ignite was listed in dollars... I'd always found the concept that a paid candle would pray for me to be a bit weird, but when I envisioned what grief should look like... those candles were part of the picture... even though they make me giggle.
That same year for Christmas I got an OLD brass and red glass votive from a friend who had a knack for finding treasures and glitzing them up to make holiday gifts for friends who are dear to her. Perfect!!! Not perfect for my decorating style... not even my holiday decorating... but perfect as my grief candle. I removed the holiday embellishments and set it up for our kids.
I've placed the candle on my front entry table as a reminder when grief comes, there is a time to grieve, and when the time comes I'll do so... if I feel like it. And I smile.
Today is the anniversary of a day of significance regarding our adoption... a formerly celebratory day, but a day I'd set to grieve if need be. Today grief fits, not for the full day... It's a day my hubby and I have decided to celebrate with or without our beloved adoptees.
... And we WILL celebrate today...