“Orphan Annie”

I remember vaguely watching the Annie movie when it came out.  I remembered the orphanage lady always drinking ‘bubble bath’ in the tub.  Later on, I realized it was some kind of booze and she was hiding it in the bath bottle.  That always confused me as a kid.  When I tried drinking bubble bath, it didn’t put the same smile on my face as that lady had….no wonder….blech……

Vivian has been experiencing a lot of separation anxiety lately.  It has come as a complete shock.  My very independent, red headed child, is now teary eyed and won’t leave my side.  If she does not hear me moving in the house, I hear her scream “MAMA!!!!!!!!”.  I have made it a habit to tell her where I am going (in the house) and try to make some noise so she knows I did not leave her.  If I step outside to get something out of my car, I have to let her know.  If she hears the door connector beep when I open the door, she comes running into the kitchen scared that I am leaving her.  I have read a little bit about it.  Children around this age (between 6-8) start realizing that life is not permanent and things can happen.  She is starting to realize that some events are out of her control and that something may happen to any one of us.  That, combined with that fact that we are adopting two children who do not have any “parents”, is making her fearful that she may end up without a family.  I think she is having a hard time understanding why Alex and Lillian Meng need a family. Don’t they have a family somewhere?  Why did their parents/mom’s leave them?  Didn’t they love them?  These are all questions she has asked.  I have never hid anything from her, so we have discussed this with her.  I have explained that Alex and Lillian Meng’s mom and maybe their dad too, were not able to care for them, or for their medical need so they brought them to the orphanage for help.  I have also said that maybe their mom was not able to care for them properly, so she thought it best that she bring them to the orphanage.  She asked all of these questions BEFORE showing any anxiety.  Now that she is very anxious, I try not to discuss orphans, orphanages, loss of parents, etc. with her.  In the back of her mind, I think she is very scared that maybe we, at some point, will no longer be able to care for her and then we will have to give her away for some reason that no one controls.  I don’t know how to quell this fear.  I have assured her that I love her very much and that no matter what, I would never give her away.

Tonight, as we were going in to her voice lesson, her teacher asked if I would wait.  I agreed readily.  I don’t care to sit through Vivian’s voice lessons.  I feel the teacher is more effective and Vivian listens better when I am not there.  Vivian would not be parted from me.  She cried and made a scene to where the teacher just let me sit in the corner.  I didn’t know what to do…go….stay….go…stay….  I sat there.  If I so much as twitched, Vivian immediately looked over and looked like she was about to hop up and run towards me.  She expected me to stand up and walk out any minute.  So, I put my purse down…and told her I was not going anywhere.

The teacher gathered her materials and started working with Vivian.  She handed Vivian a piece of paper with the lyrics of a song she wants Vivian to learn.  She pressed the button on the CD player and this song with sad lyrics of longing started to play.  I did not recognize the song.  The teacher pipes up and says: “This song is sung by the Orphan Annie.  Have you ever seen that?  It is about a little girl who was left at the orphanage by her parents.  She is singing a song about what they may have been like”.  Vivian looks over at me in horror….I just place my head in my hands….of all songs to pick tonight….of all things to say…..sigh…this was not going to be an easy conversation going home.

Here are the lyrics:

Maybe far away
Or maybe real nearby
He may be pouring her coffee
She  may be straighting his tie!

Maybe in a house
All hidden by a hill

She’s sitting playing piano,
He’s sitting paying a bill!

they’re young
Betcha they’re smart
Bet they collect things
Like ashtrays, and art!

Betcha they’re good —
(Why shouldn’t they be?)

Their one mistake
Was giving up me!

So maybe now it’s time,

And maybe when I wake
They’ll be there calling me “Baby”…

Betcha he reads
Betcha she sews
Maybe she’s made me
A closet of clothes!

Maybe they’re strict
As straight as a line…

Don’t really care
As long as they’re mine!

So maybe now this
prayer’s  The last one of it’s kind…
Won’t you please come get your “Baby”

When I got home and relayed what happened to Steven, we both shared a morbid chuckle…(ok, it was not funny, but sometimes you have to laugh at the STUPIDITY and randomness of life…)…and we both agreed, geez, of all things to say to her that was the WORST thing that could ever be said during this period of her life.  What are the chances???

I am hoping, praying, waiting for this anxiety to pass as all stages in life seem to.  I hope that by showing her that I love her and by being consistent in my caregiving that it will help her with her fears and doubts.  I am unsure as to what else I need to do.  I can’t take them away.  Only she can work through them.  I don’t want her to feel guilty or ashamed that she is anxious.  I don’t want her to feel bad.  When discussing it, she says that she starts to feel bad, then she gets a lump in her throat and then she just starts to cry.  Awww…my poor baby.  She said that she knows I love her and she knows that I would not leave her, but she tells me “I can’t help being scared”.  So, I will just continue to hold her hand…be the silent presence in the room during voice lessons, reassure her, love her and do the best just to be her mom.

Lord help me.



About perpetualrenovator

Preservationist, lover of all things old, scrapbooker, mom and wife. Questions? Email me at: Awarren1802@gmail dot com
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2 Responses to “Orphan Annie”

  1. Amy Scroggs says:

    Andrea, this is really all you can do… in addition to much prayer. She has valid fears, so definitely don’t invalidate them… But I know you wouldn’t anyway… God will see you all through this, and I’m sure he will even serve a purpose through Vivian’s doubts and fears! Stay focused and positive!!! I love you all.

  2. perpetualrenovator says:

    Thanks Amy, that means a lot to me. We love you all too!

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