I felt extremely bonded to Little Hart even though we had never met. When I was finally going to meet her I started to get extremely nervous. She was just a toddler, but still I was paralyzed with fear. What if after waiting all this time it was a complete disaster?
Raylan had picked Little Hart up from Greta for the afternoon and they swung by to pick me up for lunch. I hopped in the front seat of the car, turned around to see her snug in the car seat just starring at me. Her expression was like "Who the Hell are you?" I said "Hi sweetie" and grabbed her foot. She quickly yanked it out of my hand and turned her head into the side of her car seat. She wanted nothing to do with this stranger. The pattern on the car seat seemed like a much better than the alternative to looking at ME! In the mirror we could see her eyes trying to make out if I had turned around so she could safely turn her head back. Not the perfectness I envisioned, but not a complete meltdown either. A start.
A few weeks later, Greta went out of town for the weekend and left Jax and Little Hart with us. We set a crib set up in the bedroom. The first night Little Hart let me rock her to sleep and tuck her in the crib. Whew! Things had progressed, she let me hold her and felt safe enough to fall sleep. The next morning, she woke up crying around 7:30. We didn't know it at the time, but Greta was still breastfeeding Little Hart in the morning when she woke up. Unknowingly, I picked her up and brought her back to bed with me and Raylan. Little Hart immediately lifted up my shirt and tried to breast feed. I gently pulled her away and suggested a bottle. Nope wants the breast! How do you tell a 2 year old, well the breast only gives you milk if it belongs to your Mommy. We thought it was hysterical, Little Hart was somewhat irritated.
I was lucky enough to read to and rock Little Hart to sleep every night she spent with us until she turned 4. It came so natural to both of us. I remembered how hard it was when I sent Elle to stay with her Dad at that age and I was always asking, did you read her a story and rock her to sleep? Even though I couldn't do it I wanted her to feel safe at night. When Little Hart came into my life I wanted her to feel safe in Dad's home, our home.
Today is the one year anniversary of Little Hart entering the Children's Hospital for her nine day stay.