What if, a year ago, Kristopher was sent to a foreign country. He couldn't speak the language or understand anything anyone said. He was unable to move, unable to talk even in English. He was at the mercy of strangers, living in their home, and being called their son. How might he feel about that?
Tonight's been a rough night for Wesley. I can tell he misses "normal." He was in a decent orphanage where the caretakers took care of the kids' basic needs. I don't think he had much teaching/interaction on that level but I do think he was held on one caretaker's lap a lot of the time. He loves to be held.
Tonight each time I try to leave his room he starts crying. Unless I'm touching him and talking to him, he's upset. I'll leave, give it 5 min, then go back in to reassure him that I'm here, he's ok, and remind him (in Russian) that it's time for sleeping. He calms immediately (so I know he's not genuinely scared) and then when I try to leave a few minutes later the cycle continues.
We have no idea how much Wesley understands of what's going on. We don't know what his "cognitive function" is, but though we are making things 'simple' since he's transitioning languages and environments, we are pretty sure that he's understanding a LOT of what's happening.
But he has no movement. And he has no language. And he's never been expected to express himself or his needs or wants or desires in any way (because he was in an orphanage and on a routine and whatever happens, happens en masse).
So now we have a 5, almost 6 yr old little boy who is communicating the only way he knows how... by crying his little heart out and fighting sleep.
My heart just breaks for him. Having spent almost 8 weeks in Ukraine, I understand how frustrating it is for people to talk to you-- willing you to understand-- and having NO CLUE what's being said. He's lost everything he knew. And right now, he's missing the orphanage.
In his eyes, we took him away from everything he liked and knew. He had no idea that in a few short months he'd be leaving it anyway... being transferred to the worst institution that I know of in Ukraine. He has no idea that this really WILL be a better place than where he was headed as an orphan. He has no idea that we're permanent and we love him and we want what's best for HIM.
Right now he just knows that he's not in his crib lined up against the wall with a grandmotherly lady holding him on her lap all day and the same Borscht and porridge to eat every day. He misses 'normal.'
Aleksa hasn't gone through this yet, though I expect she still may. We've been home one week tonight, and that's usually enough "vacation" for anyone before they begin to realize that this IS the new normal.
I came out here to take a break. To think through and adjust my attitude. He's crying, he's fighting me, he's being mad and mean... and my response still needs to say "I love you, you're safe, and it's ok to be sad." It's sometimes hard to do that when there's a little person that appears to be doing something *just* to frustrate you... though I know that's absolutely not the truth. Michael's with Kristopher at the church for a bit still, and I'm headed back in to little Mister. I hope he gets to sleep nice and peacefully after he decides it's ok to fall asleep tonight...