This post is all in good fun, so don’t get me wrong. We get it. Johanna’s coat was a present given to her by her foster mother. It’s special to her, as are all three layers of pants and shirts underneath it that haven’t come off yet. It’s all she has from where she lived before coming to us, and she’s trying to hold on. It’s her way of having some control in a world where everything is out of control for her right now, and she wants to remove it on her terms. And that’s fine. It really is. We’re understanding, empathetic, not going to force anything, giving her space and time, allowing her to adjust, etc.
But holy cow WE HATE THIS COAT!!! I can’t tell you how tired of it we are. Like, seriously…she’s had the dang thing on for 96 straight hours. Every single picture we have of her is with the coat on. Every single cute outfit I packed for her is worthless. She sweats like crazy when she has a crying fit and at night, yet she hasn’t had a bath. We haven’t even seen her toes. Every time we hold her or hug her, there’s this huge puffy red thing between us. It’s got this horrendously ugly lace trim on it. The zipper doesn’t stay up very well, and she’s constantly adjusting it and trying to work around the beaded necklaces she also won’t remove. We have no idea how much she actually weighs or what size clothes she wears. I know all of these things don’t really matter, but I’m going to vent anyway!
Her foster mother and our guide have both told her that it’s okay to take off the coat. They’ve told her we have beautiful pajamas and clothes for her to wear. They’ve told her she needs to take a bath. Johanna nods her head and says she’ll do it. She doesn’t. In the spirit of finding the funny in an otherwise exasperating situation, we started coming up with ideas of what we would do to the coat if we had the chance. Here’s our ever-growing list…
- Cut it off her in her sleep.
- Burn it as a sacrificial offering.
- Take it and hide it until she’s 18.
- Turn up the thermostat to 85 degrees and “smoke her out” of it.
- Put it in a shadow box.
- Trick her into walking through the pool sprayer or get Jonas to splash her as he takes a bath to make it too wet to wear.
- Turn it into a lampshade.
- Mail it back to the foster mother.
- Hope she poops her pants and has to change out of her clothes (this was before she finally had her first bowel movement last night!).
- Record a message of Shirley saying “remove the coat” in Mandarin and play it over and over in her sleep.
Obviously we would never do any of these (except maybe the shadow box!), but it’s fun to think of silly ideas instead of getting mad about this stinking coat and the fact that it hasn’t come off yet. You can bet there will be cheers and fireworks when it does happen. Actually, we’re probably going to have to play it cool so she doesn’t freak out and put it back on!