Monday, January 25, 2010

Do You Know We Love You?

George has a tendency to act out in a negative way when he is jealous. This is not unlike all children, it is just unusual to see in a 6 year old.

This weekend, I was holding Lincoln. I forget why, I think because it was close to bedtime and he was tired. Lincoln was laying his head on my shoulder, completely relaxed and content. George was very jealous of this moment, so he got a toy that Lincoln had given Isabel (a girl chipmunk from McDonald's) and ran to Lincoln announcing, "Isabel didn't like this. She gave it to me."

Lincoln was crushed and started to cry. I looked at George and asked, "Is that true?"

I knew right away by the look on his face that he was, indeed, lying. Isabel had not given that toy to George. George simply wanted to hurt Lincoln because Lincoln was being held by Momma.

Joe and I immediately addressed this. We both knew what was going on, and without a word spoken between the two of us, we knew we need to get to the core of the issue. So we talked to him. Not with yelling or accusatory words about lying. Instead we simply asked him, "Do you know that Mommy and Daddy love you."

He reverted to his Ethiopian habit and simply raised his eyebrows (which means yes).

Joe then asked, "But, do you think we love Lincoln more than you?"

George's face broke apart and he threw his hands up over this eyes and nodded his head strongly. Yes. He thought we loved Lincoln more.

Oh, how this broke our hearts! We quickly lifted George onto the kitchen counter and looked straight into his eyes and told him over and over again how much we love him. We told him that he is our son....forever....and that we love all five of our children deeply and completely.

I know this is so hard for George to believe. He has been through the ultimate betrayal and abandonment, just two years ago this month! I am sure his Africa Mommy told him many times how much she loved him, yet she still made a choice to send him away. I know it will take years and years of telling George he is secure in our family before that sinks deep.

His love and security in our family has grown immensely in the last eight months. We have the gift of communication now, so we can talk to him about our feelings for him. But, more important to him is our actions. He needs to fee loved through our actions.

So, that night, we watched a family movie. I sat close to George and as he snuggled in, I could feel his body relax. He fell asleep and I carried him to bed at the end of the movie. Sure enough, the first thing our of his mouth on Saturday morning was, "Momma carried Georgie to bed! Momma loves Georgie."

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