Two weeks after bringing Maci home, I called the local swim club, of which we had been on the waiting list since last year, and anxiously asked if we were going to make the cut this year. The reply was not what I was hoping for. We were 127th on the list and they told me there was not much of a chance that we would be doing much dipping in their pool this summer. I hung up the phone a little teary, because I knew what that meant . . . the pool money was going to now be used for some serious therapy. . . .for me! Somehow, three weeks later, we got the call that our name was up. Hallelujah!!!!! I'm pretty sure that nobody else there, has the same deep appreciation that I do for this rented membership and it shows - we are there almost every day. It's almost embarrassing how much we are there.
Personally, I would add a chapter to the popular adoption attachment books, called "The Importance of Pool Memberships," because I have no doubt that it has helped Maci bond to all of us and visa versa. It is a place where she has to trust us when she is in the big pool. It is a place where she has a lot of needs that have to be met by me, like putting on sunscreen, getting floaties on, and peeling off and on wet bathing suits three hundred times a day to go potty. (Sometimes, I wish she would just go in the pool, but I'm pretty sure the nearby swimmers wouldn't appreciate that). And it is a place where when she gets out of the water, she wants to be wrapped in a fluffy towel and snuggled. All of these things have been so good for her bonding to us. But I think what has helped the most with me bonding to her is just watching joy ooze out of her when she is playing at the pool. Not every day has gone swimmingly (no pun intended) and more than once I have had to pick my crying kids up like footballs and escort them to the car, but for the most part, the pool is a happy, smiley place.
Maci was going off the diving board for the first time last night, and seriously . . . every - single - time - everyone in the deep end just laughed. Her eyes would grow huge, her cheeks would be puffed, not to mention her hair would look a little like Michael Jacksons on the album cover BAD, with a few little curls hanging down in front, and her excitement was visible. She made movements like she was going to sky off of the diving board and into the water, but she would really only go up about a quarter of an inch and then drop onto her "keeto" (the only Amharic word she still uses) into the water. Then she would wiggle underwater for as long as possible as if she was swimming and then finally come up for air with the biggest grin on her face. Who wouldn't fall deeply in love with a child so full of joy for the simple things in life, like jumping off the diving board? I know we are!