Wednesday, June 30, 2010
"I love you Mama.""
Xin is our earliest riser. Often he wakes up and crawls in bed with me and Will and gets his "snuggle time". Today he did just that. He was wrapped in my arms and we were doing butterfly kisses, Eskimo kisses and Mommy kisses. Out of the blue, unprovoked, he said, "I love you Mama." Heart stopper. You see this process of adopting an older child has been much different than with Jaida, a 9 month old baby. He has a history, a past, a personality, an opinion. These often get in the way when we don't know exactly what his life was like before us. It makes it hard. He is doing beautifully and we are all finding our new roles but it isn't easy. I often feel guilty for feeling less than "head over heels" in love with him. But he came to us as a person,not a baby. You don't just automatically love a person. Love has to grow. For some reason a baby is much easier. Maybe it is because they are helpless. They are suppose to cry and scream and kick their little feet. A 4 yr old is not suppose to kick their not so little feet at you. This would be a time-out occasion. So adopting an older child you go from being handed your child to becoming the nurturer, disciplinarian, friend, helper, teacher etc in a matter of seconds. You don't get to go through that pure nurturer stage where you just get to love your child. How do you discipline a child you have only known for a few minutes? How do you reassure a child that has been taken from the only world they have ever known that they won't be taken from this new world? How do you build that trust, that love? Especially when you have a language barrier and a lack of knowledge of their history. You do it slowly. Over time. One building block at a time. "I love you Mama." That is a BIG building block. He likes it here? He likes us? I guess time will tell. I have to tell myself daily that it is ok to "grow" this relationship with my new son. I read on someones blog that adopting an older child is like having someone hand you a man and say...."Here is your husband. Now go love him." Yeah ok maybe if he looked like Brad Pitt.....just trying to add a little humor here to this heavy subject. I don't even think Brad Pitt is all that cute anymore. He was at one time, especially in the movie "Legends of the Fall." sigh.....back to reality. God chose me to be Xin's mother. What a privilege. I will show this little boy, one building block at a time, what it means to receive love and to give love. And for now, I will take that sweet "I love you Mama" and hold on to it and let it take our relationship to the next level. I knew God had something for me to learn through this adoption. Little did I know it was how to love. I thought I already knew that. Turns out I guess I didn't know as much as I thought I did.