We took the plunge and told Jellybean and Peanut that their little brother is at "The Pink House". Our boys have always referred to the care center in Ghana as "The Pink House"...though we don't really know why they call it that. They just do. Over the past year, we've been talking about how all of their friends from The Pink House have now come to live in America with their new families. We've looked at photos of their friends on their families' blogs and looked at maps to show them where in America they all live. They love that their friends now live "here" and they always laugh when they see photos of them doing funny things or when they see photos of them with their new brothers & sisters or pets. What I didn't know was that all these conversations had lead Peanut to believe that no one lived at The Pink House anymore. So when I told him that (hmm...what did we decide his nickname was going to be on here - Twinkie) Twinkie was at The Pink House, he got a very worried look on his face.
"Who will take care of him?"
"Who will he play with?"
"Who will make him breakfast?"
I had to explain to him that the aunties who took care of him would also take care of Twinkie. And that there were other kids who came to The Pink House after they left who Twinkie can play with. There are lots of people at The Pink House who will love Twinkie and will take care of Twinkie. And...I explained to Peanut that the same clothes that he used to wear were now being worn by Twinkie and other kids at The Pink House. We even have some photographic evidence to prove it.
He seemed relieved by this news....but his worry for his little brother has continued.
We've also told the boys that we are going to TRY to bring Twinkie home so he can live with us and be a member of our family. This news was received with great excitement. There was a big discussion about where he would sleep, what clothes he would wear, what toys he could play with, and what color his toothbrush should be. Of course...we then also had to explain that this process was going to take a LONG time. And that they didn't need to worry about any of those details yet. We'll get it all figured out long before Twinkie comes to live with us.
Its all pretty complicated for a 5 year old to understand. Peanut regularly wakes up these days telling me he "have a dream" about The Pink House and about Twinkie. Yesterday, he said he "have a bad dream about The Pink House"...because Twinkie was there and when he woke up, he missed him.
These next few months are going to feel like FOREVER to little Peanut.