When I encounter people these days, I usually am faced with answering a question. Well, if you count, "How's it going?" then there are two questions I am posed with. But we'll skip that one. The question everyone seems to ask is:
We've been on this adoption journey for well over a year, and we've had lots of people who have been involved in and concerned with it. And since we have been largely 'cocooning' with her, not many people have had significant exposure to her and their curiosity naturally comes out. The way I have been answering part of the question - particularly, her relationship to me, her Daddy - is by saying:
It's like her heart is in a giant glacier. And I have a tiny pick axe. And I just need to keep chipping away at the ice. Eventually we'll get there, but it will take some time.
You have to understand, her only exposure to white men in the 16 months of her life before I brought her home as my daughter was with other adoptive dads. This means that every white man she's ever known has shown up, stayed for a couple of hours or days, and then left. Think about that for a minute. She has been abandoned by countless white men. Regardless of your age, that would do a number on your psyche. And it has to hers.
So while I am taking a hit emotionally - I REALLY want her to like me - I have to recognize that I simply need to keep chipping away at her glacier for that to happen. It won't happen overnight. And so I will make funny faces at her. Chip. I will make clicking and popping mouth noises with her. Chip. I will feed her. Chip. I will put her to bed (because she doesn't let Mommy do that, which is another struggle altogether). Chip. I will give her kisses while she is strapped to Mommy's back. Chip. I will build block towers with the hope that she will knock it down. Chip. I will take her for long walks in the stroller (she lets me do that). Chip. And in time, we'll get through that ice and she will let me have her heart.