This morning I was reminded of this. The entourage was eating breakfast as a crew and Etienne was just picking on Zeke. Mean hearted stuff over and over again. I had moved him from the table to sit alone with his sister because Molly is fabulous. As Etienne attempted again to jeer at Zeke from across the kitchen, Molly told him, "Etienne, stop. You need to be a nice brother." Etienne replied,
"Because if I am not nice, Mama and Daddy will send me back to Rwanda?"If that doesn't stop you mid sentence, I don't know what will. I plopped down on the floor next to his chair and grabbed his face. I told him again and again the same thing I tell him every night.
"I love you no matter what. Even if you are mean or hurt me or hurt someone else, it doesn't change that I am your Mama forever. You can't be taken from us. You belong to me forever. I love you no matter what."I didn't cry than because that sort of sent our morning down the drain. Big sister needed reassured. There were longer than normal Monday morning prayers. This talk was not supposed to cross his mind until until he's older. I really don't think Etienne is manipulative enough to have said that statement for the dramatic effect. It was in his head. The fear of being taken away from us was in his head. In his core, my son believes that his behavior (or lack thereof) will equate love. Ouch.
This is why adoption has shook my faith in my God. Holy cow, to be loved unconditionally and to know and to feel that you are worth it, no matter what, is more bigger than we can wrap our brains around. A parent's love. A father's perfect love. So I am climbing off my pantry floor and wiping my tears.. Big sigh. Bigger prayers of gratitude that I know I am loved like this. And pulling on my bootstraps to prove my love to E all over again.