Tuesday, May 27, 2014


So, I decided, last week, to start keeping a food/potty/upset journal for Sweet Boy to see if I could recognize any patterns. We have an appointment with his doctor, later this summer, and I would like to be able to give her a full picture of what we're seeing/experiencing. After a lengthy conversation with his last foster mom and reading through the activities from our week, I am convinced that his tummy troubles are anxiety. Sweet Boy lived with his last foster mom for six months before coming to us three months ago and she said he never experienced ANY of the symptoms I describe.

But...that was during a time in his life when he had only walked through one disruption and the contrast of environments was so, vastly, different. He experienced peace for the first time, since birth, when he came into that home.

In his eyes, the move to our home is (I presume) unexplainable.

Last night, something happened at the dinner table that required Ben to discipline Sweet Boy. Immediately after, he started coughing and told us that he was going to "choke" his new word for throwing up. I told him that he was fine and that he needed to take two big deep breaths instead and showed him how to do it. He didn't throw up.

That night when I was laying in bed with him, I told him that after reading through his journal, daddy and I felt like his tummy aches were because of things that he is feeling in his heart or thinking about in his head. I used the word "anxiety" and explained what it meant. When I mentioned fear, he said, "I'm afraid of things, mom."

"Well, let's talk about that, honey. What are you afraid of?"

"Dragons. I am really afraid of dragons."

I bit back my laughter and talked him through it as if it were a logical fear.

What else, honey. What else are you afraid of?

"Well...I'm also really afraid of crocodiles."

Clearly our conversation was going nowhere, but I persevered, hoping we'd get to something more meaningful. We talked about the power of God and the job of the Holy Spirit. I told him that he never has to be afraid at night (most nights he lays awake for a long time) because his brothers are with him and we're not far away. I ended the conversation with another stab at his fears. "Honey, is there anything else that you're afraid of that you want to talk about?"

He was thoughtful for a really long time. So long, that I would have thought he had fallen asleep if I wasn't staring at his eye balls. He, finally, looked at me and with complete seriousness, said, "Mom, I am REALLY afraid of walking fast backwards."

I couldn't hold my laugh in that time and responded by saying, "Well, buddy, that is really easy to fix. Stop walking backwards!"

"No. No, mom. I'm not afraid to walk backwards SLOW. I'm really good at walking slow. I'm afraid of walking backwards fast."

Oh, goodness.

We're not really getting any closer to solving his tummy troubles, but little rays of personality are starting to shine through the cracks in Sweet Boy's very tall-walled exterior.


  1. Thanks for always being so real, so honest.

  2. I love that you showed him you even listen to the "little" fears. When he knows he can trust you with those, he'll get to the "bigger" ones. Thanks for sharing those moments you share. They are so heart warming! :-)

  3. Sharing your fears is a true sign of trust, take comfort in the fact that he trusts you with his fears even if it is just dragons and walking backwards. He'll get there!

  4. I love preschoolers! They are such a great reminder to focus on reading between the lines. That is a great idea about food/potty/upset journal. I wish I would have thought about that with our last placement.

    In our first placement the oldest was 7 and experienced many outbursts. Whether it was jumping up and down flapping his arms due to excitement or growling and stomping due to frustration he did not have the words to express those feelings. One thing that his counselor told us to do was to carry bubbles with us that way when an extreme emotion over came him and he couldn't find the words to express it he could just blow it away instead of acting out. Once he was clam again we could talk to him and help him explain how he was feeling inside. I was amazed how well it worked.

    I love reading your blog. I am excited to see what God has planned for those sweet little hearts He has chosen you & your husband to tend to. I have no doubt He immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine!

  5. Poor baby. He's probably not able or ready to articulate his fears yet. My mom suffers from anxiety and has since she was a small child. Her fears usually revolve around things she know are irrational, such as tornados when we live in an area where that's not a concern, or planes landing on her house. Her therapist called it transferrance, and maybe that is what Sweet Boy is doing here. Afraid of things that can't really hurt him as a way of avoiding his real fears deep inside. Thanks for keeping us updated, I know I'm not the only one who is invested and praying for your sweet family!

  6. Oh, wow. This post made me laugh because it's so BOY! Your children are blessed to have you.

  7. I love your honesty and most of all how you can always find the positives. I love how you have so much hope. It encourages me but it also concerns me. I adopted a child who I recognized in him very similar things that you write about sweet boy. He came to us right after his 5th birthday with a tall wall up. He is now 10 and in a long term residential treatment facility. He has several diagnosis which include RAD. While we have hope he will come home to us we also know he might not. This has been the hardest, most painful experience for our family. I don't want to see your sweet family in a similar situation one day. I am not saying your sweet boy has RAD but please educate yourself and let your mind lead you and not just your heart. I don't want to discourage you and you likely won't listen to me because I didn't listen to a fellow adoptive mom's concerns when deciding to adopt my son. But I still appreciate her reaching out to me and encouraging me to read about RAD. Although there is no way to prepare yourself or your family for life with a child with attachment issues it is helpful to understand the disorder and know where you can seek outside resources close to you when you need them. Prayers to your family and sweet guy as he continues to transition into your home and family. There is hope and you might be just the right family to give sweet boy what he needs to form meaningful attachments. I pray you are!!!!

  8. Oh boy! He has some personality! Love it!
    Hang in there, you're doing great.
    <3, Mrs. T.

  9. In ways he sounds so much like my Milo....it's amazing to me how different each child is and how differently they all process through their emotions. Anxieties are something we work on over here too and we're going through a phase of being very fearful of similar things that you mentioned. I think you handled it perfectly and knowing that you are there for him makes all the difference. As you know with kiddos....he could blurt out what's going on in his head at the most random of moments when you least expect it and the key could be opening that window of opportunity as you have. ;) Love reading about your family.