Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Classic Post-Adoption Grief

I don't write about Million's "stuff" here.
But I thought something that happened this morning would be enlightening to those of you who aren't "in the know."

Can you understand that Million lost his entire birth family without knowing how that occurred?
I think that's highly probable.
Can you also understand that he moved from his first orphanage to our agency's transition home, thereby losing all contact with any "family" he may have formed then?
And then Michael and I swooped in and lovingly snatched him away from the nannies he'd been living with for 10 months, another loss for him.
He lost his language.
He lost his country.
He lost the typical sights, smells, and tastes of Ethiopia.
And moved to Minnesota, the land of farming, fishing, sledding, and eating hot-dishes.

He got adjusted to life.
Then we added a brother.
And took away his dog.
Then we announced our move.
And things started disappearing out of the house.
Things like dining room tables and his bed.
And we started going to a different church.

Then today....at Target...the cashier that he normally talks with was not there.

Complete break down.
You must understand, this is not toddler breakdown.
This is like, "my delightful Pakistani friend has died or moved away and I will never see her again" breakdown.

I understand the reasons behind his grief.  And I know how to calm the mini-storms....but the underlying grief beast that crops its head at any occasion is scary because it's so unpredictable.

I don't write this to ask for pity.  I write this to ask for compassion.  You probably know someone with a child with special needs or a child who has past trauma.  Show them more understanding than you feel is reasonable.  Show them more compassion.  Use humor to lighten circumstances.  Show them you're not scared of their child or their child's innate needs.  Be understanding if they snip at you while dealing with immediate needs.  Come back to them with forgiveness and mercy to cover over every little snippy remark.  Above all, slather on love.  Cover them with grace.

Because we need it. 

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