The first day is always kind of hard. It is very hard for our newest son. He is trying to maintain his best behavior. We can see the waves of scared,sad and just plain overwhelmed wash over him . We can also see him gather himself up and move past it. It’s ok to be scared,we tell him. It is ok to be sad. It is ok to not want to be here. I think it is the finality that sets in. This is his last stop. In a few months there will be no more social workers. There will be no more CPS. We are it. He may grow up and leave us . We will not leave him.
The finality of adoption also removes any fantasy of his birth mom coming for him. That is a hard thing. What others do not understand is that even while a child hates and fears their birth parents, they also love them. What the child wants is for birth mom to want him enough to clean up her act and care about him. It is funny that the abandonment by a birth father isn’t as acutely felt. It is the mother’s abandonment that is the most painful. The abandonment is more painful than the abuse.
Some children do not recover from their past. Some children are broken beyond the ability of love and commitment to repair. These are the children who want nothing but to destroy. Their anger is their life and it takes more than a family and some therapy to fix them. We had a child like that in our home last year. It was not just heart rending. It was terrifying. We disrupted placement.
Our newest son is not broken. He has seen and endured horrible things. He has had four siblings that he raised adopted before him. He wasn’t wanted by their parents. He knows that. He is wanted here. I think he knows that as well. He is a remarkable child.
Eventually the good will wear off. Eventually the anger will come out. We know that. We also know that deep within his wounded soul is a child who longs to be loved. We cannot make up for all the hurt. We can love him. We do love him. He is our son. He too has a family. He is no longer alone.
That takes some getting used to.