Today ended on a most wonderful note, probably because I took some time to really evaluate how I had been parenting Rhome and saw a lot of things I needed to change.
Although we’ve been to so many seminars, read so many books and watched so many DVDs about adoption parenting as soon as Rhome got placed in our home the temptation to “reform” him snuck up to the top of our priority list. JD and I like to get things done, and do them well – and do them thoroughly. We were excited about raising godly children with manners, discipline and patience. And while those things are good, I think I’ve learned today that at least for now, we needed to shelve the expectations for a while. The last few days of our being with him were turning out to be very tiring ones, and we were wondering what we were doing wrong. The question of “Is this normal toddler behavior?” was at the forefront of our evaluations of his every action. I talked to my case worker this morning and she set me straight.
Today we looked to let Rhome see us as less of a parent, and more of a friend. I know that might sound offensive or startling or the beginning of a bad rabbit trail to a lot of people, even myself, but I don’t know of a better way to say it – maybe you can help me? But we realized that right now, our job is not to turn him into a model citizen and family member. Our job, is to let him know that we are not going to hurt him and that our house is a safe place for him to be, permanently. And that means evaluating every request he gives through that lens of… “How can I best show him that I’m trustworthy and safe?” I found out that means holding him for way longer than I’d ever want to hold any 30lb baby and my lower back is definitely suffering. But it’s worth it, because it’s alleviating his. It’s sometimes easy for me to forget that my child is suffering, he seems so easy-going. It also means sharing some food off my plate, to let him know that I’m not withholding good things from him. Of course when he asks for his third and fourth and fifth bite, I need to let him know that Mama needs nourishment too! But after he’s been reassured that he’s safe, he takes my “no” gently and is much more compliant. It’s amazing, because I feel like in creating this environment of safety for him, we are unlocking the personality that’s inside of him – and it’s so beautiful! He’s such a sweet and funny boy, I still can’t get over the fact that he’s mine. Well, almost… We still have yet to have our court date to finalize everything. But in the meantime, we’re back to having a blast, and I’m back to feeling in control and having energy when the day is over and I know he’s sleeping peacefully and not fearfully.
You might be laughing at me because, I’ve only had him for three days!!! But to me, a day is like an eternity and I evaluate everything with more weight than it’s probably due. I guess there’s a little toddler in me too. 🙂
Our sweet neighbors across the street got Rhome this amazing tricycle! It’s got parent handle bars so we can push and steer
which is a good thing, because his feet can’t reach the pedals all the way. He LOVES it!
We have a shortage of toys around the house so I bought him some cars to play with. They are the kind you pull back a little and let them go.
He didn’t quite get the concept but had fun doing it this way: