HUGE. Etienne and Zeke encountered an acquaintance and he told her that he was 5 now. She said "Wow, can I have a hug?" He glanced back at Ryan and I, than said "No, thank you," and walked away. Zeke yelled "Nope!" and ran. HUGE. Sure, it probably hurt that woman but I was too thrilled with the "No," that I really wasn't thinking about anyone's feelings but my sons.
We have been working toward that answer for 2 years. You wouldn't expect Blake to hug a random, well intended, middle-aged woman because she asked. So don't expect my Rwandan babies to either. It is HUGE that a child with beginnings in an institution differentiate affection from loved ones vs strangers. HUGE.