Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Every day...a learning experience
Most new adoptive parents are ill-prepared for life at home with their new child. While you are in country with your child you really don't get a good sense of what life will be like once you get home. These first few weeks are tough. He is getting to know us and we are getting to know him. Boundaries are set, language barriers are always tough, the new routine is an adjustment and adding to an established family is interesting. Adopting a 6 year old who has lived his whole life in an orphanage comes with many risks. The bonding that should take place naturally takes a little more time. I really believe that Brodie still has in his mind that this is not his permanent home. He is staying with us for a while, but eventually we will drop him in a new home. That is what orphans come to expect. Their whole life someone has taken care of them, maybe even showed them love and then they leave. They are not conditioned to bond with anyone because everyone who has ever loved them or shown them attention has eventually left them. I believe that Brodie wonders when that day will come with us. I cannot speak to him logically and help him understand the concept of a forever home. Adopted orphans also have a tough time understanding love. He has never known real love. His parent's abandoned him before he could understand the love of parents. His Nanny's at the orphanage cared for him, but they were paid to do that. The concept of someone loving him just because they choose to love him is totally unbelievable to him. We can tell him a thousand times a day that we love him and we can even show him that he is fully loved and fully accepted, but only time, persistence, and consistent compassion will teach him true love. Everyone says, "He is so friendly, he goes to everyone." But, that is not a good thing. It is critical that he bonds with us first and even has some fear of others. We don't want him to be unfriendly to others, but it is critical that he bonds with us first. He will still run to the first person that holds out a sucker, and that is not good. With all of this being said, things are going well, but it is a learning experience every day. Brodie has never been a part of a family. He has never known the dynamics of family life; being a brother, a son, a grandson. He doesn't understand the precious thing that we have given him. But, we are OK with that. In due time, he will understand, we will gel into a family and he will blossom as a Blackwell. Our church family continues to be so great to us. Tonight he got a left handed baseball glove, an English language learning CD and DVD series, a coloring book and some pictures. Valley Creek Baptist Church is truly an amazing place filled with amazing people. I cannot begin to tell you how blessed this family feels to call that church "home" and those people "family." Please pray that Brodie will come to understand the concept of love and that the bonding will continue and improve.