We are their world and they are ours…..
A few months back I wrote about the first time I rocked my son to sleep. He was four and had never let me rock him in the two years we had been home with him. It was a little thing for most moms, but a huge moment for us.
Attachment is an ongoing and changing part of life in the adoption world. Somedays it’s amazing and other days it can be heartbreaking reminder of early childhood trauma that we, as parents, just cannot fix.
It is important during times of change to be mindful of attachment and how it fits into each part of our day.
We recently moved into our new home. A much bigger house to suit a busy boy and his new dog. During the move I was having a typical conversation with my son (honestly, I don’t remember about what) and a friend of ours looked at me and said, “You are his world.”
A seemingly simple comment, but a really that comment is anything but simple.
In the day to day of life with a sensory seeking toddler I have few moments to slow down. But during this move, it was more than crucial we didn’t let stress overwhelm us. My husband and I are used to moving as we are a military family, but our son, was not.
In just two years time he experienced…
the loss of a first family; leaving the orphanage which was the only home he’d known; leaving a culture; moving to a new country; entering into a new family; and having to learn a new culture. That’s an incredible amount of change for such a young person.
His special needs are incredibly minor, but nonetheless we have therapy and social groups to attend weekly. Add in a move and all the stress that comes with it and we could have had a disaster.
But, we didn’t. In fact, quite the opposite. He went house hunting with us so he was a part of the process every step of the way. He is verbal now, so he was able to communicate all his questions and excitement. He was so happy to show everyone his very own room. Side note, he had a room in the old house, but we co-slept so he didn’t really make a connection to that room.
This move brought about such growth in this little guy. His communication exploded because he was so excited and curious. He decided he wanted to sleep on his own like a big boy. In being a big boy now he also decided to take potty training very seriously so he could wear his big boy underwear. He started riding his big bike with training wheels. He was moving more and more toward typical four-year-old milestones.
With all this new independence I was starting to notice he was needing me less and less. But, let me tell you, I was wrong.
He still needed me, just in a different way.
You see, the day to day is where we tend to miss the little moments. The moments, as my friend pointed out, where we are their world. We are their world because our worlds revolve around one another in the most amazing way.
The day to day moments are the ones worth stopping for: when he sits on the couch and silently snuggles up and holds my hand; when he asks me to feed him; when he wants me to read him a book; when he holds my face and says I love you mommy; when he asks why a million times a day.
These moments are the world to him and to me. These moments are the moments where he needs me as much as I need him.
As hectic as special needs and adoption parenting is, these little reminders each day of how we fit into each other’s worlds give me pause. The parent-child relationship ebbs and flows over the years. As much as I want him to stay little, I am excited to see what the future will hold for this little guy. I just hope this mama’s heart can handle the growing independence.
– guest post by Dana