In January, two little boys walked off an airplane in the snowy midwest and walked right into my life. Granted, they'd been in my life for several months by that time, but just about 2 months ago was the first time they were physically here...really and truly mine.
Z and I tried to prepare ourselves for what life would be like once these two boys were here...and we thought we were prepared for hell. I mean, in all likelihood these two boys were going to be a bit stressed and freaked out (as would the new mom and dad). In all honesty, we've been pleasantly surprised and blessed. Things we thought would be a major hassle were not (riding in car seats, getting along with the dogs and cats, MAJOR tantrums, discipline problems, etc.). I am amazed every single day when I look at these two boys and realize how much they have gone through in their short lives and how resilient they are. They are bright and funny and quirky. They are smart and outgoing and mischievous. They are warm and cuddly and loving.
I really and truly am counting our blessings....they have been showered on us for sure.
The first few weeks that the boys were here, they were definitely on "overload". Everything was new and everything new was exciting. But I've noticed in the past couple of weeks especially that the new-ness and excitement is wearing off. They are both realizing that this is IT. THIS is where their forever family is...THIS is their new life. It comes as no surprise that there might be a bit of grieving that will come along with this realization. This is especially true for little Peanut. In some ways, he must miss his old life...his friends...the "pink house". He misses omotua (ground nut soup - which I HAVE to learn to make) and getting away with stuff because he's "cute". He is struggling to learn that not every adult is a potential mom or dad...and that living with this mom and dad means that he has to adhere to some basic rules. Its a bummer, I know. And it is HARD when you are 4 years old and there's suddenly a big white woman telling you what to do...and you're supposed to listen it, too ('cause she's your mom).
When I watch this amazing little boy, I am so filled with love for him. I know he's been through a lot...and I know that some of his behavior is just his way of working all this change out in his head. But at the same time, it is so hard to watch this little boy walk up to complete strangers in the waiting room at the clinic and act as though he'd be just as happy with them as he is with me. And its hard to watch him reach out and grab the hand of an adult that I (only seconds before) introduced him to and announce "I want to go with you" and proceed to stroll away down the hall. And its hard for me to hear him say that he wants to go live in the "pink house" after he's had a particularly rough day.
I have to honestly admit that it hurts...and sometimes it hurts a lot.
I know that he likes it here. I know that he likes his room and his toys and his daddy and our van and the pets. I even know that most of the time he likes me....but there are days when I definitely feel as though I'm replaceable; like he's got other options waiting in the wings in case this mom doesn't work out. And those are the days that I know I need to keep him a little closer, hug him a little tighter and whisper "I love you" a little more often.