Monday, July 26, 2010

Our sweet baby is really struggling right now.

While watching the "Big Bird Goes to China" DVD, Ethan decided to begin round two of questioning about his background. I have to tell you that I am pretty shocked that our happy go lucky little guy is the one that is looking for so much clarification at such a tender age.

I am not going to go into the whole conversation again but it started with some questions about being a baby in China and where he lived. That led us to him asking about the mommy who had him in her tummy. He was really quite probing during this line of questioning and he was very upset with this conversation. He was quite concerned about the fact that there was someone who brought him to the baby house (orphanage) and left him there. I explained it was because he was so ill and that they knew that he needed to make sure that he got the help that he needed and a family that would love him forever. He was really stuck on this and it made him feel so vulnerable. This just broke my heart. He then asked me if we would take him to a baby house and how long he would be with us. I explained that he would NEVER again be in a baby house and that he had a mommy, daddy, sister and brother forever! He wanted to know what would happen when he grew up and I told him that he would be a grown up like mommy and daddy and that he would probably have his own family...wrong answer! He was so upset by the fact that he may not always have us so I told him that he would always be with us as long as that is what HE wanted. He then kept hugging me and saying "I love you...Wo ai ni"...over and over and over. He had been listening to the "Wo ai ni" song in the movie, so I am sure that is why he was using the Chinese phrase for "I love you" during his admonition of love.

We held onto each other for a long time and then he pulled away and finished the movie. I was completely humbled by this little boy who is obviously dealing with some pre-verbal pain that he needs to address in his own way.

Tonight, again he started talking about the same subject at dinner but in much less detail. This discussion passed pretty quickly. It all seems to be just under the surface right now.

Finally, we put the DD to bed and we settled in for the night, once again Ethan came out to speak to us and he was in tears. He was crying about not having dessert tonight which he lost due to not eating his dinner. We spoke about why he did not get dessert and he still seemed very upset. I asked him what was really bothering him. Ethan never comes out like that and he almost always falls asleep within a few minutes of being tucked in. He sobbed that he always wants to live with us and that he really loves me and he is going to marry me. We told him that he was always going to be our son and that we are never going to leave him. He calmed down again. We talked for awhile about things that would lighten his mood and I tucked him back in.

The fact that he was 2 1/2 years old when he was adopted and 6 months old at abandonment certainly factors into the very real pain that he is dealing with. I think he has some vague memories as well as imprinted pain that he cannot really process. Katie may have dealt with a great deal of her pain the first year that she was home during a very tough attachment phase.

For now, we will just take it a day at a time and address the questions as simply and openly as possible. We are also open to asking for professional help if we see that his struggle is greater than we are equipped to handle. We will do whatever it takes to help him along this painful journey.

I know that I am probably rambling on but I wanted to document it quickly. Our day was a bit stressful for some other reasons but I needed to get this on the blog, which is the journal of our journey through this life together as a forever family.


Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

Sending hugs to Ethan...

Tamara said...

My heart breaks to hear how upset he was. It is so hard- and other than love them and answers- I just want to take the pain and proess it for them.
Meison asks- and when we talk she seems to process and move on - she will ask for confirmation- but is happy with the answer.
Gray has not gotten to the processing point yet- but she dissects everything- examines and re-examines everything- so when her questions start it will be harder for her than Meison.

Chinazhoumom said...

I agree - I do the same thing on our blog - that way it helps me with what when on - triggers never know where it will surface...
Hugs to little man!
c & k in FL

Angel said...

Oh Lori, I am in tears. Ethan couldn't be with two more perfect parents. I know you will help him through his questions.


Love Letters To China said...

Hugs to you my friend. I know those are not easy questions to answer. You handled yourself beautifully. Ethan is growing up so quickly. I know my day will come soon enough and I can only hope I find the right words as you do.


Tammie said...

Love & hugs to all of you. I hate that Ethan has to go through this unfortunate process. Thankfully he has a wonderful family to help him through it all.

We5Chois said...

Lori, so sorry Ethan is going through such a tough time. I do hope that the work you do now helps him deal with his future. I am sure the love and care and freedom to feel the way he does now, as a small boy will help him avoid deeper issues as he grows up.

Love you sister, give E a big hug from all of us.

DawnS said...

Lori, I know how hard this is... we are talking about this stuff often here too. Rylee keeps telling me that she wants to marry me so that we can be together forever. I tell her that we will be together always and that if she wants to she can live with us when she gets married - although I am sure by that time she will be more than ready for her own place :) It's hard because Rylee wants facts and I just don't have any. It is hard for her to understand how this family can be forever when her other one wasn't. She always asks me which orphanage lady was her mom. The only thing I know is that I don't have the answers and it hurts my heart not to be able to fix this for her. I had tears in my eyes reading about Ethan. You handled it beautifully.

Lisa said...

Oh Lori, my heart just breaks for you and your two precious little ones. The pain that they have had to endure is really beyond what any child or human should have to experience. I can somewhat relate to what they are experiencing but on a whole different level. I praise you and Marc for how you handle these difficult situations, even when you think you don't know what to say. Hugs to all of you and I just know that Ethan and Katie are truly with the family they were meant to be a part of. Keep up the good work - your love, patience and understanding truly is paying off.