I have to say, Kaison’s transition into our family has been nothing short of miraculous. We’ve been home almost two months now, and it’s as if he’s always been home.
It’s true that for the first two weeks of our union, he wasn’t crazy about me, but his love language has always been touch. Which is interesting because our boy is extremely independent! We don’t use the word “can’t” when it comes to Kaison. I’ve seen him do some extraordinary things. Things that would be extraordinary even if he didn’t have spina bifida and could walk!
Our son is mischevious, inquisitive, playful, busy, loving and an absolute joy. He has a smile that lights up the room. I attribute his demeanor to the love he received in the foster center in China from birth to adoption. He was loved. He was cherished. He was prayed for.
And because he was loved, there is grief. He has lost his first…and second family. Maybe it’s partly because Kaison is our 13th child or because he isn’t our first to experience tremendous loss, but I recognized his grief manifest itself in ways that I might not have otherwise.
In China, Kaison was happiest in Daddy’s arms. All day and night. I gave him space. As a mama, I wanted to scoop him up and snuggle with him, but I knew he was having a difficult time adjusting and found comfort in his daddy, so I settled for changing his diapers, dressing, bathing and feeding him.
Once we arrived home, and Daddy returned to work, I made my move. Not in-your-face kind of move, but watching for opportunities to comfort. Since Kaison wasn’t attached to me yet, we’d instructed the kids that they weren’t to pick him up, give him food or console him as long as I was present. And trust me, I made sure I was present.
Kaison took to crawling around the house right away, but as soon as he spotted Daisy, our Great Pyrenese, outside, he lost his nerve and began screaming. That was it! Mama to the rescue! I scooped him up and whispered in his ear, “It’s okay, Mama’s here.” What happened next was incredible. My son went from screaming in fear to a cry of grief. I can’t explain the difference, but it was obvious to me. The screaming stopped and the sobbing began. Deep sorrowful sobs. I held him tightly, and he clung to my neck.
This happened several times the first two days. And subtely it seemed that my boy would almost find things to cry about so that I would quickly scoop him up in the comfort of my arms. By the third day, through patience and consistency, Kaison decided Mama could be trusted and even loved. He hasn’t let go since! He still loves his daddy and his siblings, but Mama is the one for him.
Kaison has a magical smile, but it is important to know that when a child comes from brokenness and loss, there is so much more beyond the smile.