Monday, August 20, 2012

The Transition and One Boy's Ways

So I will start by saying we are beyond blessed with having so many close Uganda Adoptive Families in our community. We are also beyond blessed that our little boy has other littles nearby who even grew up in the same orphanage. We are beyond blessed that such wonderful people are a part of our little boy's story.

Tonight we met up with some of the families at Siesta Beach to greet the Social Worker who runs the foster home our son was in when we had he removed from the orphanage while he waited for us. She is a wonderful Ugandan woman who is full of joy and the LORD. A few people asked how the transition has gone for us and I was able to honestly say like a dream.

Then something occurred tonight to remind me that everything in Josiah's mind is not the safe wonderful world that we try to make for him. Things have happened in the past that will likely forever be a part of who he is. It wasn't a big deal, and that is kind of the point. While some children react in fear or from trauma by acting out, temper tatrums, screaming, fighting, obvious reactions... some children, like our precious treasure, get quiet.

Perhaps I over-analyzed or misread, but I would like to think I know my son enough now to see a glimpse of what is behind those big brown eyes. The beautiful, wonderful, sweet woman, who I wrote much about in my journal after I met and absolutely adored her.... gave my son and big smile and a big hug and squealed his name.. and he froze.. he reached for me... not only did he seem not to know her but he seemed scared. I was thinking he was just overwhelmed by all the people and joy in this place... but then later before we left I wanted to get a photo of him with our sweet friend from Uganda... when she lifted him into her loving arms he started whining. When I looked at his face I saw his eyes were brimming with tears. This is a boy who will love any one we encourage him to and though he may be shy at first has yet to be fearful of strangers. And aside from silly little toddler things this is the first time I saw that look in his eyes, and the tears like that. So, what I gather from all of this is that he may have worried she was coming to take him. Again - maybe over analyzing, but I have spent maybe a few hours away from this boy at most over the past 100 and some days, and this was unlike him.
But really regardless of if he was really reacting for this reason it made me sit and contemplate and pray over his heart. It is easy to see the holes in a heart of a child that screams and fights and wears you down. But so often I see this boy full of joy and forget that not everything has been fairy tales and ice cream in his life.

Some of my friends have kids that act out in loud ways. Defiant sneaky ways. Argumentative ways. Temper tatrums. Etc. But when our boy is overwhelmed by lots of people or new things he gets quiet. When he is scared he gets quiet. He sits quietly and seems to zone out. While this may be an "easier to handle" reaction for us (thank the LORD) we must not forget his heart and that there are broken pieces in it waiting for the LORD to heal up. While it seems he trusts me entirely, does he really? Does he wonder if he will one day be left again? Does he recognize permanency?

When we got home and we were bathing the beach off of him I asked him "Josiah, were you scared of C?" He said "Scared". I said "Baby did you think she might take you from us?" and he kind of looked at me with his serious eyes. I spent the next 10 minutes or so reiterating how we would never leave him or let anyone take him from us. That I would be his mommy forever, daddy would be his daddy forever and ever until he was old and had grandbabies and even great grandbabies." etc  etc. And he said "OK mommy." Whether he grasped any of it or not I can only repeat and repeat and constantly remind him that he is loved and we will never leave him nor forsake him, and of course show him.

So - just wanted to document this while I was thinking about it. But if it helps anyone else... to know... to remember... about our littles and the various reactions they may have. So pray for me that I might fill his mommy needs in a way that only the LORD can lead me to, and for my baby and his heart for the pieces that have broken off to be grown new.


  1. "Does he recognize permanency?" I ask myself this all the time, and I'm not sure we'll ever know the answer.

  2. Think about it, people who are hurt in relationships take their whole lives to heal. He will likely have abandonment fears well into his adult relationships and marriage. I see from your blog he's been home a very short time, his healing hasn't even begun, in my estimation. If you see your boy go into a fearful state with strangers, then don't let them hold him. Protect his heart, I see you are fierce from reading your posts, so be fierce for him. Shelter him a little more. Two cents from a reader.

  3. Oh I agree and that is why when I saw he was scared I took him back. Though this was not a stranger it was the woman who he lived with for a few months this year in Uganda and he just adored her and her mother.

    I barely let our family hold him let alone a stranger lol - but certainly the woman who put him into our arms earlier this year could hold him if he let her.

    And of course while we are aware that there are a number of issues that could result from his history we are praying against all of them and believing that the LORD can heal him of any hurts. My believe my son is fully capable of having healthy relationships and certainly marriage when he gets older, especially if the LORD is at the center of it.


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