Monday, February 8, 2010

How many days is forever?

It's been a few tough days for our little man Joshua. We spent about an hour at bedtime last night listening to him tell us stories of Ethiopia and Tigist and the orphanage, he asked lots of questions and we answered lots of questions. We spent lots of this time speaking TRUTH to him as his fantasies about Tigist and Ethiopia have become much more elaborate over time. There were also many "WHY" questions that we just can't answer. At one point last night, I was trying to explain to him that he was going to live with Mommy and Daddy in America and be in our family forever. I knew he didn't really understand when he asked, "How many days is forever?"

Forever is a very hard concept to explain to a 4 year old child that has not had a life experience of stability and who is also just learning English! We finally said goodnight to him and really did feel like we had made some progress explaining things to him but we recognize that we still have a long way to go before he understands PERMANENCE. Today was even more evidence of that!

Joshua had an appointment to see the doctor. Going to any type of health clinic is one thing that just sends him into anxiety mode. I'm really not sure why, but I believe that he must be scared that after he goes to the doctor, we are going to leave him. He cried and begged to not go. I spent lots of time loving on him and explaining that we were going to see the doctor, we were NOT going to get any shots, and then we were going to come right home! He was still terrified. He cried lots. This has happened almost every time I have taken him to a clinic. Of course, I tried to re-assure him that it was all going to be okay but he is just so scared! I feel so bad for him and my heart hurts knowing that he still isn't sure that he's really going to stay here. FOREVER.

We made it home from the doctor after stopping for a little soda treat for both of us, and all was well.....for about an hour. Then there was a very small, very minor sibling issue over a toy that mushroomed into a full blown meltdown for Joshua. The meltdown was absolutely not about the toy. It was just too much emotional turmoil for him to handle without letting it all out! Did I say that it is super hard to see him hurt like that?!? I sat in the recliner with him for about an hour and a half, just exactly where we have sat through many meltdowns before, and I just held him tight as he cried and cried. After awhile I began to sing that little song to him from my all time favorite children's book....
I love you forever,
I like you for always,
as long as I'm living,
my baby you'll be.

He's such a sweetheart and such a blessing. We made it through the rest of the afternoon without any more tears but we are both just exhausted! Thankfully, he fell asleep very early tonight and I'm on my way now!!

Please pray for Joshua Nahome if you think of it. I am specifically praying that God will just just heal and replace all of his insecurities, pain, fear, and anxiety and fill his heart and mind with love and a peace that passes all understanding!


1 comment:

Suzanne said...

Hi Amy,
As a psychologist I use a circle to explain "forever" to children. I trace a circle on a piece of paper and then I say to the child "Using your finger trace around the circle and tell me where it ends." When they can't find the end, say, "No matter how many times you go around, it doesn't end. You could keep going around and around and never stop. There is no end. It goes around "forever."

Some "forever families" like to give their adopted children a circle on a necklace or a chain to remind them of their forever family.

With love and hope for all children to have forever families.