I want so badly to say we’ve been home 8 months and that we’ve moved past the rough parts. But frankly that just isn’t true. There are so many times that I equate my child’s behavior to “typical two.” For the most part the behaviors he exhibits are just that, “typical two.” But, there are some behaviors that make me stop.
I work two weeks out of the month. I work from home, but I still work. I sit at my computer a little more than normal and the attention I pay to my child is a little less. By the end of my two weeks he is a child on the edge. He’s cranky, irritable, and generally in need of some extra attention. I make up for those two weeks of the extra attention he craves with two weeks of mommy time. We have a pretty good system worked out.
But this time around there is a monkey wrench thrown into the mix. Daddy’s gone. My husband is my saving grace. He plays with the boy in the evenings so I can get my work done. This week we’ve had no such luxury. It is taking its toll on my boy.
Deep down inside my boy is hurting. I am not so sure of what it is, but it is more than that Daddy just isn’t here. There is a hurt in my child and I can see it. It is a hurt that bubble to the surface every couple of months. A hurt that makes me stop and say, what did they do to you?
I’m not insinuating that the hurt is from the act of being adopted. This hurt is much deeper than that. It comes from two years of institutionalization and having to survive on his own. It comes from the deep down feeling that he had to do everything himself. It comes from a residual fear of trusting us. It is a hurt that I can’t just wish away. I can’t love it away. Oh how badly I want to take this hurt away from my child. I see it in his eyes. He wants it gone too. He looks at me as if to tell me, “mommy make this pain go away.” Oh baby, how I wish I could.
Every few months I have to pull holding time out of my parenting tool box. In our house holding time started as a type of control. The boy had no self-control and would melt down at the smallest thing. He was unable to control emotions in any way. Holding time helped him understand that he could trust us and to ask for help. We use it for similar reasons today. Every so often the boy loses control of his emotions. Holding him and letting him work through his pain helps. He sobs and cries and that hurt little boy shows up in his eyes, but afterward he is a totally different child. He sleeps better, he is happier and he and I get along so much better.
It is the best I can do to help him. I wish so badly that I could take away his pain. I wonder all the time what life truly was like for him. I get angry with myself for not being there for him. Of course that is something I had no control over. I guess that is what makes me a mother.