Thursday, January 28, 2010
How we're doing
Charlie is asleep on the bed next to me. He's starting to get attached to the blue lion that we brought him, and seems to take comfort from it when he wakes up. It's been five days of knowing him, and we are still overwhelmed with thankfulness.
Sorry I stink at updating this....I have been reminded that there are people waiting for an update! (I'm sorry, Adrianne's friend!) Well, here's an attempt at it.
As a mother, I am at a loss as to how to parent a boy I just met whose situation requires that I don't jump into my default motherhood tasks - cry it out, independence, boundaries, etc. (Who am I kidding? I don't have many boundaries other than when it's naptime, you need to stay in your freaking room please.) However, I am secretly loving living life on the other side of the great Mommy-hood divide: attachment parenting. I am loving holding him all the time, picking him up when he cries, and accessorizing all of my outfits with the Ergo Baby Carrier. I don't know what the heck I'm going to do when I get home and need to adjust back into life with a schedule, but for now, this feels really great.
I am also overwhelmed with learning and experiencing so much of the heavy reality that has brought Charlie to us. I have been awash in Rwandese history (see, all this time, I've been saying "Rwandan"), and that is tough stuff. Today was spent at the genocide memorial, which is a beautiful tribute to the lives lost during one of the most horrific 100 days on this planet. All I could think about was the fact that Charlie's birth mom lived through this (I assume. I don't actually know anything).
We have learned a bit more about how Rwandese orphans can get put up for adoption, which makes his being part of our family seem all the more miraculous. There is only one orphanage in Rwanda that puts the work into getting their kids adopted, and Charlie was brought to it. In Rwanda, it is illegal to abandon a child, and children can only be adopted if there are no relatives found. It is sad to me that he will probably never know his specific family, but I hope to always help him know and love Rwanda and the Sisters who cared for him.
Yesterday, we went to visit Home of Hope and say goodbye to his caretakers and friends. It was a blur of activity, but I got to see his crib, and see the faces of those still waiting for families.
Charlie is doing fantastic. In the five days we have known him, he has grown to recognize us and get comfortable with his. Yesterday we had a major victory when a friend picked him up and he started screaming. When I went to get him, he settled down right away. Score 1 for progress in attachment.
To us, he already looks like he's put on a bit of weight, and we're working on building strength in his legs and trunk. He started waking up in the night to eat, which I think is a great thing (though not fun for sleepy mommy) because it shows me his appetite is growing.
He babbles and giggles, and says Dada all day long. Right, I know he's too young to talk, and if he could, he wouldn't magically speak English just because some Americans picked him up. We're still taking it as a sign that he loves us.
We are an Indiwandan family. (Kirsten, is there a cuter way to say that?) And we are loving it.