At the Heart of Him
Matthew is feeling alot better, but we experienced some backsliding while he was sick. It’s not anything worth going into in great detail here–-we are just having some “Who’s the Boss” moments around our house. Whereas, before he got sick, we were beginning to settle into some really nice “yes ma’am” times.
It’s frustrating, for certain, and when we experience turns of events like this, I always find myself searching for the reason. What happened? Did I drop the ball? Miss a red flag? Fail to meet some crucial need?
My mind goes first to adoption. Loss. Abandonment.
I know that adoption itself does not define Matthew. That every single aspect of his personality is not completely due to the circumstances he has lived through. But it seems like it would be reckless not to take it into account.
Sometimes I feel like a doctor examining a patient. My patient has diabetes. It is controlled but it is chronic. When that patient presents with any other symptom, I treat it, but I always have to investigate if the diabetes is causing it or if it stands alone.
Sometimes I never know why or what causes these setbacks. I just have to treat the symptom, re-establish our roles, stick with our consistent boundaries, and try to patiently await our return to the promised land of “yes ma’am”.
The key is to remind myself that while I do have to thoughtfully consider his past at all times, I also have to remember that he’s a 3 year old, a stubborn 3 year old with a strong personality who is working to make his mark in our family and in this world. I will never know why he does everything he does, just like I will never know the exact reason Isaac acts the way he acts.
So like any good doctor, I find myself again assessing him, and wondering what I can do to make it all better. I wade through his past and our relationship searching for answers, but at the same time, I have to remember that sometimes a diabetic just gets a cold.
Elizabeth is a happily married mama to 2 preschool-aged boys. She and her husband have a 4-year old bio son, Isaac, and her younger son (3.5 year old, Matthew) joined their family as a toddler through international adoption from South Korea’s waiting child program. Being only 6 months apart in age, the boys are virtual twins but couldn’t be more different. They have been a family of four for just over a year. Feel free to visit their family blog, Everyday the Wonderful Happens, where Elizabeth blogs about the boys, their antics, her son’s special needs, her beliefs, adoption, and pretty much anything else that tickles her fancy.