Dolly: Mommy...I mad at mommy.
Me: Are you mad at me?
Dolly: I mad at mommy.
Me: Oh, you're mad at your first mommy aren't you. You're mad that she's far away.
Dolly: I mad at mommy.
Through all of this Dolly was trying to get herself to be mad at me. I don't think she knew why. I don't think she understood the powerful emotions that were almost overwhelming her at the time. I didn't want to give her too many words for what she was feeling. I wanted her to feel like she could tell me herself. It was a very unique exchange.
Then Dolly decided to test me...
Dolly: I want to go to Grandma's. I tell lawyers. I want to go. I no stay here. I mad.
Me: Really. Well, OK. If that's what you want. I want you to be happy Dolly. It's not up to me though. But if you want to tell the lawyer that's what you want, that's just fine. What's in D*** Dolly? Do you know what it's like in D***?
Dolly just stood there. She was still quite upset. She seemed surprised that I would support her decision. Not mad. Maybe even comforted a bit? I hugged her and held her close to me for quite awhile. I empathized with her. I told her that I understood she was mad. That I would be mad too. I told her that I would love her no matter what she wanted to happen.
Then, I had to break things up because I was on my way to the bathroom when this whole exchange began. After that I went in to the kitchen to start dinner.
Dolly all but skipped in to the kitchen and looked up at me and said, "I all better now. I stay here. I tell the lawyers."
I smiled and told Dolly I was happy! She smiled and gave me a ginormous hug.
I was working on dinner when Dolly came back in to the kitchen. This time she was holding one of her baby dolls. Dolly informed me that her baby was very, very sad. She told me that her baby's mommy was gone.
I crouched down and held the doll as Dolly handed it over to me. I told that doll, "Oh baby. You're so sad. You're sad that your first mommy went away. That's so sad baby." Then I looked at Dolly and asked if she was the baby's new mommy. Dolly told me yes. So I asked the doll if she liked her new mommy. Dolly informed me that the doll did like her new mommy very much.
Dolly stood next to me hopping up and down with excitement. She seemed just tickled pink to play out the scenario. In fact, she left the room and came back with a second baby and replayed the script almost word for word. Then Dolly gave me a huge hug and kiss and went off to go play in the other room.
These little moments can be so powerful. I was glad that I was able to see what Dolly needed right then and there. I hope she's able to connect with her new therapist. Not only do I hope that he will advocate for Dude and Dolly and say they are best off staying with us. But I do want him to help Dolly process through some of the sadness of foster care. We'll see what happens. Therapy starts for Dolly tomorrow!!!