Tuesday, July 17, 2012

A New Idea

It has been a real busy couple of weeks. Of course 4th of July week was kind of a weird one with the 4th being right in the middle of the week. But then it was off to Portland, Oregon to visit with Barry last week. We all had a great visit with him. He looks good. We hadn't seen him in over a year and it was nice to see him looking good, and of course Shyanne absolutely adores him. That in and of itself is a very interesting thing.

When Shyanne first came to us in December, 2007, Barry was living in Birmingham, Alabama. He lived there until this past December when he moved to Portland, Oregon. During this 4 1/2 years Barry has come home a few times and we have gone to visit him a couple of times. We also saw each other at my father's funeral last February, which was the last time we were together.

So why does Shyanne have such an affinity for her big brother Barry? In her whole life, she has seen him so little. When we visited him in Alabama it was only a few days. When we saw each other at the funeral, it was only a few days. When he came home the two or three times he did, it was only for a week or so. This trip to Portland was fly out on Monday and fly back on Friday.

We were in Portland for 4 days, yet the whole time we were there, Shyanne wanted nothing more than to be with her big brother Barry. She wanted to hold his hand. She wanted to show him how she could swim. She wanted to act like him and be like him. She looked up to him like only a little sister can look up to a big brother. Yet how does that happen when she spends so little time with him and really doesn't know him all that well?

I don't know how you all feel about it, but it is amazing to me!

And of course, when we go to leave, it is a difficult time for Shyanne. Now while it is a long trip from Cape Cod, Massachusetts to Portland, Oregon, Shyanne was great going out there. Coming back was a whole different story. It is just so hard for her to say good-bye. I wonder if we make too much of it sometimes, but it doesn't seem to matter. She just doesn't like to say good-bye when we go to visit.

I always wonder if it has to do with saying good-bye to people who never come back into her life. For a child so young, she has certainly had a number of people say good-bye to her and then never return. Her biological parents are just the start. Her two oldest biological brothers she hasn't seen in over a year and a half and there is no sign of seeing them any time soon. Then there was her Papa (my dad) who passed away last February and she knows he will never be back.

Of course I don't know for sure and Shyanne certainly is not able to put into words why saying good-bye is so difficult for her. When you ask her all you get is "I don't know" or she just hides behind you when it is time to leave.

I know when I was a kid there were certain people I didn't like to say Good-Bye to, but it wasn't universal like it is with Shyanne. I just didn't like the Aunt who would have to pinch my cheek, or the relative that kind of smelled and I would try to hide or keep from saying good-bye to them. But in general, it was not a problem for me. I guess I always knew that they were coming back...eventually. In my mind I never looked at it as good-bye, I more looked at it as a "see you later" type thing.

Maybe if we tried using that with Shyanne it would work. Instead of saying goodbye we could identify the next time we were going to see someone and then change the good-bye to "see you next month" or something like that.

I guess we will have to try that. Any other ideas?



  1. It's funny, my daughter who came to me at only 4 months old, has a really hard time with goodbyes, too.I sometimes wonder if I'm overanalyzing it. It's a tough one.

  2. What about regular skype sessions with loved ones far away? If Shy knew those were scheduled, would it mitigate the feelings surrounding the good-byes?

    I do think it's related, of course, to her experiences with loss. And I would guess that on a subconscious level her strong connection to Barry is also a longing for the connection she has lost (more or less) to her biological siblings.

    But of course it is easy to read into these types of things, isn't it?