Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Week of Reflecting (and more diapers)

Another Etienne moment: Last Friday when I went to work, E cried. Really hard. This is a "first" for us because until that day, it didn't matter if I stayed or went. I was, of course, was saying prayers of thanksgiving that all my efforts had worked. Another sign of bonding. He even had to call me at work to talk to me. We woke up Saturday morning, after the tears on Friday, to find E covered in his own poo-all over his hair, arms and bedding. Since than, he's gone back to wearing diapers and is having so many more issues with discipline, sleeping, etc. It doesn't take an adoption expert to notice the corelation between him and I bonding and regression of behaviors. Ggggrrrr....
Initially, Ryan and I were on the fence about how to respond to this. He knows pooping his pants, and especially playing with it, is very wrong. It is important for him to learn to cope with things that upset him and this is not coping or tolerable. He'd been potty trained for a long time too! However, all these facts considered, we came to the agreement that this all seems to be a result of him becoming bonded with his mama. And our big, almost 4 year old never had a mommy before me. Because of that, I have got to give him some grace with this. Our solution right now is to try to ignore it because disciplining, in his eyes, is just another way to get attention. SO....we are putting Etienne in a diaper as disgusting and frustrating as it is for me. It may not be the "right" solution according to the experts, but this is the plan for now.
We've stetched out out Gotcha Day to many days with many loved ones of sorts. For our Missional Community (small group) I made Rwandan Chicken and White Beans. With our Omaha family, we had ice cream and cookies another night. The boys also hung the Rwandan flag on the door for the week. As they get older, I hope we can look at our pictures together but right now its too soon, too fresh.


  1. We're seeing the same thing around here friend - increased attachment to me interspersed with clinging to others while glaring at me, or hitting me in the face. yea.

  2. I love that you correlated the two issues and planned accordingly. My 4.5 year old is still pooping her pants too - it's entirely disgusting but it's all about survival at this point. We're also in diapers over here in CA. I love the pictures....can't wait to 'meet' you all in person. Love you!

  3. Kara, I think about you and little E often. I pray for you all knowing the challenges of helping an adopted child feel safe and loved. Obviously, I don't know you well enough to be handing out advice, but this has been on my heart for many months to share with you. You mentioned a long time ago wanting E to forget about the orphanage. I get that because just visiting HOH left a scar on my own heart. It has taken me a long time to process what I saw and accept that our son lived there for 19 months. But, I think E needs to talk about it, the good and the bad. When I went through a difficult season of life a few years back, and told no one my sorrow, the pain grew worse not better. Psalm 39:2 talks about this: "But when I was silent & still, not even saying anything good, my anguish increased." I finally talked about my sorrows and the healing began. Perhaps this is what Etienne needs also? Please give some thought to letting E express his memories of HOH and help him correct the misconceptions he is sure to have about himself and his time there. He may be carrying a lot of needless guilt and shame thinking he caused the abandonment.

    For Kieran's one year home anniversary, I made a photo album of our trip to Rwanda and an album of all the special events (& people he met) since he'd been home with us the last year. Both albums have led to great discussions and helped us introduce the concept of adoption and how K became a member of our family. He loves to look at the pictures and often asks one of us to tell him the stories that go with the pictures. I can tell that he feels both loved and accepted as he sees his family all welcoming him home.
    He still struggles with feeling safe and we do our best to comfort him. Strangers approaching us in public is especially unsettling for him. Even after a year and a half, almost, I think he's still learning to trust us. Lately we've been teaching him how to tell the hour on the digital clock. This has led to an increase of his trust in us. He sees that we do things at the time we promised, ie: breakfast at 8, Daddy home from work at 3, etc... If you haven't tried that, it may help your boys. Also, they can feel a sense of control because they know what's going to happen at 12, or 2, whatever your daily routine is.
    Parenting is hard, and parenting an adopted child has it's unique challenges. I think you guys are doing a wonderful job - Hang in there!