Friday, June 5, 2009

I'm in Pain, Help!

#1 pain:

As of last night, my lower back feels like it's gonna give out. I am in pain. Not sure what to do about it other than baby it for a bit. I did not see this coming as I've had no pain and no problems lifting/carrying GG. I think the new "potty technique" (see previous posts) put my back over the edge. Prayers for my back (and ability to carry him) are appreciated.

#2 pain:
This is literally pain. Not "a pain" but "pain." Last night we got a message from the foster family asking to TALK with GG on the PHONE. The translation is, "My meaning is wants to telephone with the summer light, we think of him." I don't know what to do. I'm bidding my time by not immediately responding.

Although talking to them on the phone is good in theory, I have several concerns.

1. Yesterday was the best day he's had so far. He was happy from almost as soon as he woke up (not full out crying on waking), had a wonderful day, and only was upset at bedtime when I insisted on rocking him before bed. This became a necessity only because he was hanging from the bars of my headboard and flipping himself sideways so he could monkey up the bars with his feet. We made the mistake of skipping the normal bath routine and playing too hard right up until bedtime. He was tired but wound. He fought hard against rocking, but eventually settled in and actually looked me right in the eye for a long time as I rocked and sang to him. So I think it turned out to be a good thing.

During the morning I took him with me to our first really "public" place, the annual used curriculum sale. He did great just riding in the Ergo and looking around.

In the morning he asked to see photos on the computer of himself. I showed them to him, including one with his playmate in China. He seemed to enjoy them, but didn't ask specifically to see the foster mom's photos. I didn't and he seemed to have a better day. I know that he needs to continue to process grief but also figured that a day off wasn't bad either.

2. If he talks with them on the phone, we have no way to talk with him about what he's feeling. We also have no way to talk with the foster family. It's only foster family directly communicating with 3-year-old child. No other communication. That seems like it has the potential makings of disaster. I think he would get very upset, which would make them very upset, and we'd just be standing here feeling helpless.

3. While delay seems like a good possibility, it probably won't be long before he doesn't understand them. The more English he gains, the less Chinese he is likely to be able to use. So if we delay for months, he may or may not be able to talk with them.

4. We received the translation of a long message that the foster family sent to me by email when we were still in China. I don't know if I should post it here or not. Need to think about that. But it's a long, very loving post about what a great kid he is and how much they love him. Reading it, I feel like we owe them as much contact as we can give long as it's in GG's best interest.

But bottom line right now is that I'm afraid that this will plunge him into depression, possibly more than he already has. It's really like his entire family has died. Would it help or hurt to get a "call back from the grave?" And what about the fact that we can't communicate with him about the call?


And what would you specifically say to the foster family, either way?


jennifer said...

I have nothing helpful to contribute to your decision making. But it is evident he is quite a well-loved little boy. This is good. I know I've said it before, but it is a privilege to watch and hear your story. You and your family are doing remarkable work. I've got no good ideas. But I'm rooting for you all......

LARA said...

My goodness, what a dilemma. I have no clue what I would do in your shoes. Is there anyway for YOU to communicate somehow through an interpretor to GG's family about how he is doing and what you think/feel is best for him but assuring them of his grief for them and his wellbeing?!? Are there any Chinese speakers who could translate accurately a diplomatic email? You are doing such a phenomenal job; but I think your gut is right. You have to keep him safe and on the right track... ? Wish I could be more helpful. But I will pray for all involved! Bless you in the midst of this.

Ansley said...

I wasn't able to respond when you first posted this, but from what I can see, you are covering all of your bases. I think it really helped AJ to have pics of his foster family around from the beginning. I would try to give him as much contact as he can tolerate, as eventually in theory, it can only help him assimilate all the new changes. In a perfwct world, I'd want a translator there, too.

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