Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Brokenness in Love -- What Noone is Willing to Talk About

Beware.......this post is going to be brutally honest about some of the challenges, hurts, and deep pain that comes with older children adoption.

The other day, Big S and I were talking about 'trust.' I'm realizing every day now that he's home with me during the day as we communicate in English better that there are a lot of nuances in our language that he just doesn't get. Stuff we take for granted because most of us have raised our children since infancy and they have learned common words, phrases and expressions through normal everyday observation. It's really hard trying to describe these things! The last few weeks he's learned more cultural nuances than actual schoolwork, but hey, he's learning and that's all that matters to me.

We've been working on argumentive behavior -- honestly, it just wears me out! From our numerous conversations I'm not sure he even knows he was arguing. Now, I look at him so I have his attention and tell him in a gentle voice, "you are arguing with me?" I usually have to tell him repeatedly (that's when I get really frustrated!). But, I think he's getting it and it's been alot calmer around the house.

He is enjoying the Mommy time when the girls' nap. We either go outside and play, or read on the bed/couch. Today, we read our poetry and Mother Goose Rhymes on the trampoline. All was going well, until he blurted out: "I want to go back to Ethiopia." Hmmm...guess he took me seriously on the "trust" thing. It felt like a punch to the heart, but I knew it wasn't personal and he was trying to express his pain, his brokenness of the loss he doesn't understand. The past few weeks have been filled with "Mommy doesn't like me," "Mommy doesn't love me," followed almost immediately with that sly little smile of his. I know he's testing me, I know he's scared that I too will "give him up." Thankfully, out Social Worker came for one of her regular visits last weekend and talked to us about some things we needed to be on the look-out for. Not sure if this is part of the grief process; I know deep down inside he's still very fearful. Fear can control his behavior but we've done a lot to help him with feeling safe and secure with us. But today, I had to tell him that he couldn't go back to Ethiopia right now, which of course, prompted the "I want to run away" comment. Very hard to step back, breathe, and not take it personal. I know that was a test!

Yet to see the pain, the hurt, and the feeling of loss was so deep on his face today, that it took all I could not to cry. For him, I had to be strong, to be his rock, his security, so he knows ALWAYS that I'm his Mommy, and Daddy is his Daddy and we are a family.

The hardest part is watching the brokenness as he talked about his Ethiopian family and wondering why he had to leave. What do you say? Are there any words that could even begin to comfort??? Although I was right there with him on the trampoline, his pain was something I couldn't take from him....I couldn't protect him, take the hurt away......fix the booboo. And that was hard. He wiggled, squirmed, rolled his way all over the trampoline as he talked, I listened, offered words of encourgement, reassurance of Mommy & Daddy's love is forever. But I knew he has to work through this grief in his own way in order to heal, in order to be whole again. I can only be a bystander. The hardest job as a mother is to see your child in pain knowing nothing you can do will make it better for them.

And then, like a lightbulb, his glum and somber mood changed to happy, playful and comedic. Just like that. He spent the rest of the day just being a boy, but Mommy was worn out by the emotions. Maybe I did take some of the weight off his shoulders, maybe that's why I'm so tired tonight. He's upstairs, fell asleep listening to Wee Sing Nursery Rhymes that he begged me to turn on. In some ways, he wants to "go back" emotionally to a time when he doesn't remember the hurt, the feelings of being abandoned. Maybe listening to Nursery Rhymes is just what he need......transported emotionally back to a time before the hurt that I'll never be able to comprehend.

1 comment:

The Albertsons said...

you are such a good mom because you are willing to go to those hard places with him. willing to listen, willing to take whatever he says to you, willing to take a fall for your kids. just as our God does for us. YOU ARE AWESOME.
i'm coming to visit soon. i'll email. no more dumb illnesses will keep us away :).