“Mom, do you want hear dream I had last night?”
This is the first time Honeybee had mentioned having a dream, so I was definitely interested.
“I go Ethiopia and go my orphanage. I see my friends and we play and play. I see people I know and say hello. Then night comes and I have no clothes (to sleep in), so my friends give me clothes to sleep and I sleep with them.”
I wondered if she was dreaming that she no longer lived here but had returned to her life in Ethiopia, so I asked, “Were Mommy and Daddy in your dream?”
“Yes! You give me phone and tell me call you when I ready to come home.”
This is both fascinating and wonderful! She is growing to feel that we are her family and this is her “real home” which is a change from how she felt a few months ago.
Five minutes later Dimples came to report that she also had a dream about Ethiopia last night. She told me that our “whole family” went to Ethiopia to see her family, which includes her uncle, aunt, two cousins, and her older sister. We went to their house and then we all went inside to eat injera. After we ate, her entire family came back to our house in America to live.
Dimples has some grieving yet to do. Recently she was crying and having a hard time, when out of the blue, or more accurately, out of the depths of her heart, she cried, “Where’s Fikirte?” I told her that Fikirte (Dimples’ teenage sister) was in Ethiopia and she began to sob. She has been separated from Fikirte since February of 2006, but still her heart longs for her sister. I told her that I knew she missed Fikirte, but that Fikirte couldn’t take care of her, to which she replied, “Samuel can take care of me and Fikirte is older than Samuel.” So I explained that when their mother died Fikirte was only a girl and she was too young to take care of her then. I also made a silent vow to email a friend in Ethiopia and ask him to check on Fikirte.
We have long way to go on grief and healing, but we are working on it and trying to embrace the process even when it is very hard.
I finished reading Beyond Consequences, Logic and Control during a ninety minute session in the rocking chair with Dimples. I learned some things that are useful, but I found myself wanting more specific advice for my child. It is not a perfect book, but it comes from a perspective that I can embrace. I believe in addressing the heart of the child, not only the behavior. I also appreciate the approach of relating to the child’s fear rather than their need for control (which the authors feel stems from fear).
Today I signed up for Heather Forbes’ (one of the authors) Daily Reflections, and this is what I received in my email today:
|In order for children to open up to their past trauma memories, the parent has to be willing to be a ‘parental sponge’–acknowledging, absorbing, and experiencing every feeling, every tear, and every fear associated with the trauma. Now that is connection!|
When I look at Dimples, I try to see her through eyes of love, the way Jesus sees me. I am a broken and challenging child of God whose behavior is far from perfect. I also always try to remember that she has experienced trauma unlike anything I have ever known. From the death of her parents, to hunger, sickness, fear, and more. I cannot expect her to suddenly and spontaneously recover. It is going to take time and more love than I may think I have, but the good news is that God promises to provide me with everything I need for the work that He gives me. Russ and I are not in this alone.
I have pulled Attaching in Adoption off the shelf, one of the first books I read when we began the adoption process, and I’m going to start in on it again today.
Thank you for stopping by and sharing this journey with me.
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