Monday, August 31, 2009

Painful Revelations...w/ update

Before I begin, you need an essential piece of background information. GG, the little guy that you see in the post below, is one of the sweetest, happiest, 3-year-olds that you could ever wish to meet. He looks as he does in the photo below almost all the time...happy more than the average 3-year-old. I can't begin to describe what a treasure he is and how our days are brighter because of him.

For a time, I've wondered if he understands that his life with us is permanent. I can't tell you what clues have made me think otherwise. Maybe it's Momma intuition, maybe it's a look or a word. Whatever the case, I've known that as soon as he has enough language that we need to talk about his life--past, present, future. I've been concerned that he understand that this is his last stop; that just because he left his last home does not mean that he'll be moving on to another.

This afternoon I saw an opportunity. While he snacked in his highchair, I pulled a photo off the fridge that was taken in China before we arrived. I told him how Mommy and Daddy got his picture and had to wait, and wait, and wait, to go to China to get him. I talked about how we loved him so much and were happy to finally get on a plane and bring him home to live with Mommy and Daddy...and how we were so happy that he would stay with us forever. (Yeah, I know the "forever" part puts some people on edge, but, hey, the kid is three and I don't know how else to say it with permanence.)

I finish this little speech, complete with a toy jet to show how we brought him home. Suddenly, his lower lip starts quivering and he refuses to look at me. I frantically think...did I say something wrong, did he misunderstand what I said, does he think he's going back??? So I repeat the story with different words. Now he's ready to cry. When I talk about how he lives with Mommy and Daddy now, he shakes his head and says, "No!" I ask him if he misses NaiNai. He nods, as teary looking as he can be with dry eyes. I ask about Ayi and his niece. He rubs his eyes.

I pick him up and take him back to the bedroom where we can be alone. I tell his story over and over, talking about how he lived with NaiNai when he was a baby but now he lives with Mommy and Daddy. He again shakes his head and says, "No." He is visibly upset but tries to end the conversation with "I happy." (He also says, "Clothes?"...knowing that's a sure distraction!) I talk about how it's okay to be sad...how it's okay to miss NaiNai. He doesn't cry, but rubs his eyes as his chin quivers.

After a time, I ask if he wants to look at photos. He nods. We look at photos of the foster family and our family, talking about who lives in China and who lives here. He takes it all in, quietly, sadly.

We end the session by looking at silly/fun pictures from life here at home. He laughs and laughs, tears unbroken just under the surface.

It's been three months since he left China.

Someone might wonder why I took him through the story. The biggest reason is to communicate that he isn't leaving here for another home, which I've sensed could be a worry for him. Unfortunately, in doing so, I also have to explain that he is staying here and won't be going back to live with his foster family in China.

I don't really know what his feelings mean. He strongly indicated that he didn't want to be here permanently and he wanted to go back there. But if he was there, it might be the same thing in reverse. I don't know. And I don't know that it really matters.

What matters is that under all the happy, he's still hurting.

I ache for my sweet boy.

Update, 2-3 hours later:
When Daddy arrives home, he asks GG what he did today. "Sandbox. Eat." Daddy asks if he watched movies (in Chinese) on the computer. GG nods, then says, "Come, come!" GG runs over to the map, then to the globe, to excitedly show Daddy where Mommy is and where China/GG was. Then, "Wheeee, airplane." No sign of being upset. Interesting.

1 comment:

Chinamama4 said...

Just found your blog through Mary's $75 challenge - I'm doing it, too!
Looking forward to reading about your adoption! We have 3 from China and are waiting for #4. Considering SN as our agency is now receiving lists.

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