Sunday, August 21, 2011

Real Moms, Popped Balloons, and Loss

(If you're visiting from ICLW, welcome! Here's a little background about me.)

It's been an emotional week. We celebrated our son's 7th birthday with a cute Angry Birds themed party (since all three of us are big fans of the game.)

Until now, I would have said that our son, adopted at 13mos. from Russia, seemed well-adjusted and secure in our family, even though I know he's too young yet to process the loss he’s experienced as a child placed for adoption. I’ve noticed that he’s very attached to items, from his own toys to miscellaneous items like paperclips he finds at school. More recently, when a “special balloon” (that he only had for a few minutes) popped, it brought him to tears for a good 30 minutes. He asked to speak to me alone, expressing that he didn’t know whether to “forget about the special balloon or not.” A few days prior on his birthday, he told us that he’d like our family to return to Russia when he gets older to meet his “real mom” (his words; After all, I wasn't prepared to hear the "R" word so soon.) Whether there’s an actual connection or not, I couldn’t help but link the “special balloon” to his birth mom, explaining that someone or something can always be special to us even if we aren’t with them anymore. When he “adopted” a new special balloon, he invited me to talk to it. I told it how happy we are that it’s in our family and that I thought he would like it here – my mind again returning to his adoption and how happy we are to have him as our son. When the second balloon popped, we were both crying. All I could do was tell him I was sorry it happened and that he was hurt.

I’m seeing for the first time how “adoption and loss” may be affecting our son. It’s unchartered territory for us. But as author Margot Starbuck (an adoptee and adoptive mom) shared in my book, "We fail our children when we don't make room for them to acknowledge and grieve about what they lost prior to being enfolded into their forever family." I can only ask God for wisdom while gathering information from experts and other families to support him (and us) the best I can.


Chrissie said...

This is my first month of joining int he fun of ICLW, my husband and I are just starting out on our own adoption journey and it is such a blessing to read other stories from strong women who have walked this path before me. I love the theme you chose for your son's birthday! I wish him, and you much happines sin the year(s) ahead! I look forward to following your story.
Chrissie x


Hi Chrissie, It's great to meet you. This is my 3rd time doing ICLW. I think you'll really enjoy it. Blessings and prayers for your adoption journey. I look forward to following your story, too.

Krissi said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. Happy birthday to your son. And congratulations on your book! That is exciting! I am going to add your book to my shelfari and I would like to e-mail you a few questions if you don't mind. Happy ICLW! (#52)

MoonNStarMommy said...

I think you handled it VERY well!!! HAPPY 7th Birthday to him!! And we love Angry Birds also! LOL...

I remember when I was little (4-5) .. and I realized my Dad wasn't around... I started to bug my mom for a sibling... asking questions about my "Dad" .. and asking if I was "Adopted" ... I was sure my mom was lying to me when she told me no .. LOL... so my mom got in touch with my Dad and I met him at the age of 5 .. but I will always remember how I kept accusing my mom of lying to me.

I'm sorry he used the "Real" word with you though, I know that had to hurt :( But he's trying to process things with a limited vocabulary and trying to find the *right* words is hard.

Happy ICLW from #86 :D

Kristin said...

It must be hard to see him struggling with all those thoughts and emotions. Hoping both you and your son find the strength and peace of mind to deal with it together.

ICLW #19

Sarah said...

What a beautiful way to explain that hard subject in a way he could understand. He is so lucky to have a caring "real mom" like you.

BleedingTulip said...

Thank you for visiting my blog :) I read your intro and watched the video (random: loved all the sheepies!!!! I have a stuffed lamb from my childhood, and so I love lambs in nurseries lol) I'm sorry you guys are coming to a place of change. Have you found Rain's blog? she is currently doing a multiple-part-post-series on various views on adoption and maybe there will be some comfort in that? It is great that he does feel comfortable talking to you about his feelings and hopes, so give yourself a break and know you have a great relationship right now! When the time is right, I am sure that a trip to Russia would be a wonderful thing for all of you. Looking forward to reading more :)

~Jess said...

I have no experience with this, but I think you handled it well *hugs*

Happy 7th birthday to your little boy!

Life in the White House

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