LOST

I used to love that show. Except for the first season.

During the first season of LOST, I was in graduate school, and didn’t have time to watch any television. I was so disinterested in the show that my husband would watch it in the same room when I was studying, and it wouldn’t distract me at all.

After I graduated, my husband asked me if I wanted to start watching the show.

“Oh, I could never catch up with the plot line,” I commented. “All I know is that there’s a bunch of people who crash landed on an island, and there’s a smoke monster, and a whole bunch of weird stuff that no one can explain.”

“That’s all anyone knows.”

“Oh. Huh. I guess I’ll watch it then.”

I became hooked, trying to unravel the mysteries of the island that the writers never quite fully explained.  Was it all just a dream? Were they in purgatory? Were the writers just trying to confuse us under the guise that they would explain it all in the last episode, and then got the last laugh? I guess we’ll never really know.

Our current situation with our little girl has me feeling, well, LOST.

Just like LOST, our initial trip to get our children was traumatic. In fact, so much so, that I have PTSD from our time in-country. It was nothing short of horrible. We fell victim to the corruption that is so prevalent in the country, and I have been paying the price in my mind ever since.

A traumatic start to any new relationship makes it difficult to bond. I am exhausted, hypervigilant, angry, and have frequent flashbacks.

I am disappointed in who I am as a mother, but I know that my kids cannot heal emotionally until I do, so I am doing intensive counseling and medication to get back to my “normal” self.

And then we have to find out what our kids’ “normal” is.

I especially feel LOST in this area when it comes to our daughter. The occupational therapist who tested her said that her motor skills are that of a 3-year-old, but much of her failure was on things she simply didn’t try. Does she not try because she isn’t there developmentally, or because she doesn’t want to be told what to do? Is she really developmentally delayed or just dislikes learning? We do know from stories from the orphanage that when the English teacher would come to teach the children, she would run and play rather than learning.

I have no idea whether to treat my daughter like a delayed six-year-old, or a six-year-old who is too interested in playing and doing her own thing to stop and learn. When she smears food on her face or wets her pants, is it an accident, or is it her trying to perpetuate the lie that she is four years old? Is her refusal to speak English more about a possible hearing loss, the results of a threat from her brother, lack of intelligence, or just stubbornness?

It’s very hard to set expectations for a child when you have no idea of their age, or their mental capabilities. And her mental capabilities cannot be tested until she learns English . . . or we find a translator for her African tribal language. (We’ve been entirely unsuccessful so far in this area.)

Until then, we are just LOST.

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