It's amazing what a new morning brings. Now, several in, I feel more confident, less frazzled, capable.
We dropped Ty and LJ off at preschool today for the first time and introduced Sweet Boy to help him get used to another change. He was petrified. He had a death grip on my leg most of the time. I feel so deeply for him. I keep thinking about what it would be like to pick up Ty or LJ and set them into an entirely new life. Even if it was a great life with a great family, everything would be terrifying. New people, new rules, new expectations.
His "tell" is stuttering. When he's anxious, he has a difficult time talking. I'm thankful for this small sign because it helps me know what he needs. It happens in the conditions you'd imagine - meeting new people, bedtime, talking about his future, etc. But it also happens at very unexpected times. Yesterday, he was crying in bed. He kept yelling, "Mom!" I went running in and asked him if he could tell me what he was feeling. He was so worked up.
"I -- I -- I am sc-sc-sc-aaa-red!" He was wailing.
Ok, buddy, I'm right here. What can I do to help?
His big, sad eyes looked right into mine. "I--I--I w--aaa-n-n-n-t my- my- my..."
I was certain he was going to say mom.
It's been very strange having him call me mom. I introduced myself as Rebekah, but by day two he started using mom. When he says "mom", it's forced, unnatural. I think we both feel like fakes. He doesn't mean it and I dont feel it. But, given the circumstances, we roll with it. "Fake it 'til you make it", right?
He didnt want his mom.
He wanted his stuffed goldfish. It had fallen on the floor.
I breathed easier, grabbed the fish, and snuggled him until he fell asleep.
I don't know if it's the ages or the amont of new children we just brought home, but this transition feel so much less organic.
Little Sis has connected to me right away and given our time together wants me over Ben. She will stare into my eyes for long periods of time and hold my shirt, tightly. As small as she is, I know she feels the change.
Ty is going to be her best friend (he already claims the spot).
It's been really interesting watching all the kids interact. Not surprisingly, Ty has not been phased by the transition. He is very independent and confident. When I'm busy with someone else, he's happy to be at the table building puzzles or Legos. He has a new love for little Legos and building per the directions. I'm amazed at how long he'll sit there and work.
Ty gushes over his little sister and is happy to feed, play with her, and fetch diapers.
LJ is not overly interested in Little Miss, but more than we expected. He and Sweet Boy have really hit it off and he is thriving as a big brother. He takes a lot of pride in telling his new brother the rules and showing him how his toys work.
His insecurity is coming out in his need to be close. Over the last six months, LJ has grown so much and has done a great job of expressing his feelings - "Mama, I'm sad" or " Mama, I need a hug". I am so thankful for this. Like Sweet Boy, it makes it so much easier to hear them ask for what they need.
LJ has asked for a lot of hugs, this week.
This morning, he was up, uncharacteristically, early (6am) and because Little Miss had already been up for her feeding, the four of us snuggled in bed together. It was such a sweet time. LJ loves his daddy more than anything on the planet and it gave him uninterrupted time to lay next to Ben, giggling at the baby.
Overall we've been giving LOTS of grace to all of our kids, as we all work through this, together, and find our places. I wish we could all be settled and feel like family with a snap of the fingers, but I know there is also a sweetness in this time. God gives me new revelations into my kids' hearts, while stretching my own capabilities, yearnings, and dreams. Now that I've mostly had a good night sleep, I can say this is good. Really really good.
I had good alone time with, Sweet Boy, today, while the boys were at school. We were eating lunch and I said, "I like you. It's fun having you, here."
He responded with, "Because, I'm sick."
I couldn't tell if it was a question or a statement. "What do you mean, honey?"
"I live here with you guys, now, in this town, because I'm sick."
My heart dropped. I didn't know what the right thing to say was. "Sweetheart...you're not here because you're sick. Mom C wanted you to have brothers your age to play with. Do you know how much she loves you?"
"You're, here, buddy because we're hoping that you will get to be a part of our family forever. No more moving...would you like that?"
"Do you know blessed you are to have so many mamas that care about you? How many mamas do you have (I was digging a little)?
He thought for a few seconds and held up three fingers. Can you tell me who they are?
He pointed at me for one, then said, "My mom (Foster Mom/Mom C)...and that fat lady that had [sister's name]."
I bit my lip.
"Well that sounds like a lot of love for one special boy! Do you know what Ty calls his Mama that carried him in her belly? His first mama. Because she loved him first. Did you know that you and your baby sister have the same first mama?"
"No. That lady had [sister's name] in her big belly. Not me."
I didn't know where to go from there, so was thankful for his subject change. I guess it shouldn't surprise me that these delicate situations aren't explained well...but how could he not understand that him and his sister have the same mom? What does he think his purpose of visiting her is? I know she's been inconsistent at best, but we will, in time, explain her place in his life.
Right now, the visits have been limited to once per week and, thankfully, I get a phone call first. Birth Mom has to show up an hour before I bring the kids to the agency. I am appreciate of this. Not just for driving time, but for Sweet Boy. She didn't show for this week's visit (that's three in a row). I didn't even have to tell him about it.
We have a pre-trial coming up, here, pretty soon. I'm looking forward to attending, as it should help me put all the pieces together. I am hopeful after our home visit, this week, that we'll be able to petition the courts to adopt this spring.
Until then, we'll just keep taking it one day at a time...