Here's the honest truth, adoption is an amazing blessing. For us and for Chengbin. It's also a long process of adjustment. For us and Chengbin.
In the first few weeks and months we saw many orphanage behaviors and coping mechanisms. Each one was heartbreaking, but thankfully, passed quickly as we taught him new ways to control his emotions. Aside from his issue with crying rather than asking for help, we don't see many of them anymore....
So on Sunday as we were getting ready for church, he told me he couldn't find his tie. I told him that I would help him look for it after I got ready, but of course, he was already a teary eyed mess as he gave me his little shrug that means "Why aren't you helping me now?". I reassured him that I would help him as soon as I was ready for church and that he was welcome to go look for it some more while I got ready. (You see, we are trying really hard to help him learn to work out minor issues on his own rather than feeding into the drama and tears.)
Well, I got done, opened the door to my bathroom and there he was... Still standing there waiting for me, tears in his eyes. I got down on his level and once again went through the list of things to cry about and determined that not finding a tie isn't really on the list... I told him I was ready to help find it now that I was ready for church and then we went to his room. I pulled up a stool and began to search the top of his closet, figuring I had thrown it up there at some point when I found it on the floor in the living room or bathroom or who-knows-where.
Then I heard "Ouch! Ouch!"
I looked down to find him performing another one of his orphanage behaviors. Hurting himself. He was twisting his pinky as far around as he could with the other hand, seriously trying to hurt himself.
Of course, I stopped what I was doing, got down on his level and told him to stop hurting himself. And then, he took it to the next level.
He threw himself back onto the floor, eyes backward, like he was going to pass out.
So what's a mom to do? What would you do? I chose to NOT feed into his drama. I sat him in time out chair to calm down. It took him a while, but once he was calm we had a conversation that went like this...
Me: Chengbin, you don't have to hurt yourself anymore or throw yourself onto the floor to get someone's attention. We love you. Mommy loves you. Daddy loves you. Sissy loves you. You have a family now. So you can stop doing the things you did in the orphanage. You don't need those anymore. Don't hurt yourself. Mommy and Daddy and Sissy will always be there for you and we will help you. Sometimes you have to wait a few minutes, but we WILL ALWAYS help you. Do you understand?
CB: nods his head
Me: You have a new life with us. We all love you. It's time to stop doing the things you did in Longgang to survive and act the way Jesus wants you to act. Jesus doesn't want you to hurt yourself or to throw yourself on the ground to get attention.
Me: We love you buddy. Please stop doing things like that. Why don't we smile and go "shake"???
And then Mercy Me's song came on (his favorite song), but suddenly it had all new meaning!!
I just can't believe
where my life was at
all that I know is my heart was broke
and I don't ever wanna go back
Ain't no explanation
How I saw the light
He found me and set me free
And it brought me back to life
Blame it on the transformation
Changed down to the core
His love is real
And I can't sit still
Cuz my name's not shamed no more
Great God Almighty, gonna change this
Great God Almighty, He gonna change me
You gotta shake, shake, shake
Like you're changed, changed, changed
Brand new looks so good on you
So shake like you've been changed
Thank God for the blessing of Chengbin and the blessing Chengbin received of a family!!
Adoption is truly redemption.
Thanks for stopping by,