Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Learning How To Cry & Trust

Dima has been home with us for over two years now.  Emotionally, mentally, and physically he has come a long way.  Sometimes we forget that we adopted him as it feels as though he has been with us forever.  But then we have moments like at 3:00 this morning that are a glaring reminders that he has not been with us forever and he still is learning what it means to be part of a family.

Most children who have spent any length of time in an orphanage, particularly in an Eastern European country where there is just not enough nannies to go around, have learned that crying gets them nowhere.  I've heard horror stories (even from within Dima's former orphanage) of parents walking into a room full of babies laying in cribs and there is not a noise.  Can you image?  When Dima first came home he had to learn how to cry.  Literally.  If he fell and got hurt and wouldn't cry and just soothe himself.  I'll never forget the first time I heard Dima really cry, tears and all.  I had taken him to the Dollar Tree to pick out some coloring books and it had turned dark while we were in the store.  Since Dima had not been outside much when it was dark he was petrified of being outside at night.  As we exited the store he flipped out in the parking lot, screaming and yelling, "I'm afraid!  I'm afraid!" in Russian.  Once I got him into the car and buckled in and was driving home I heard the most odd sound coming from my backseat.  It sounded as though a newborn baby was in my car, wailing and crying.  It was heartbreaking to hear and made for a long ride home.  Not because I was annoyed by Dima's emotional reaction, rather, I had to sit there and reflect on the years that Dima did not have someone to care enough to answer his cries.  Suffice to say upon our return home I promptly took him to the rocking chair and just rocked him and loved on him until he calmed down.  He had to learn and know without a doubt that he had someone to answer his cries.

As the two years passed his cries are just now beginning to sound like that of a little boy not a baby or toddler.  But last night something happened to remind me just how much farther we have to go in Dima's healing.  For the past few weeks Dima has not been sleeping well.  He will wander around the house looking for something to do (or get into) while he thinks we are all asleep.  Little does he know that the moment his feet his the carpet I am wide awake.  Both Eric and I have had to redirect him back to his bed multiple times a night.  To say that we are exhausted is an understatement!  After having to redirect Dima to bed twice last night I was awakened once again at 3:30 to Dima just crying out.  He wasn't really crying, just calling out like a toddler who cannot yet verbalize his needs.  I jumped up and ran into his and Sammy's room to see what was wrong.  When I inquired as to what was going on Dima said that his leg hurt.  It was quite possible that he was having growing pains so I got him out of bed and took him into the living room.  Dima was still whimpering a little so we sat down on the sofa together.  He kind of crawled into my lap so I repositioned him so I was holding him like I would a baby.  We sat there for awhile and I loved on him, reassured him that he was safe.  I assured him that if he woke up in the middle of the night he didn't need to just lay there moaning, he could call me (or daddy) by name and I would come to him.  Immediately.  That is what mommies and daddies do.  Finally after what seemed like an eternity his eyelids began to get heavy and it was time to put him back to bed.

It took me quite some time to fall back to sleep.  All I could think about was how Dima didn't know to call for me.  Was that my fault?  Does he not trust me completely?  Or is he still just learning and working things out in his mind?  My mind then wandered to Yun.  Will she trust us?  How much "damage" has been done to her over the past 11 years?  All I could do was pray and give it all to God.  Sleep eventually came.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

We experienced very similar stories with our adopted son from Russia. He was 5 when adopted. He also did not know how to cry. He has probably only cried a handful of times to this day, that I know of. Things are better now and he trusts us...just not very trustful of others and of situations that seem scary to him.Thanks for sharing.