Friday, January 28, 2011
George is having a really, really tough week. Three days (out of four so far), I have received word from school that he has threatened to hit, actually hit, been disobedient and than actually called his beloved teacher stupid in front of the whole class. At home, he is angry at everyone, telling us that we should find another boy to love, and even said horrible things about wanting to hurt himself.
All of these things have caught us off guard.
But, instead of being angry at him, we are heart broken.
This time of year coincides with his abandonment. It was only three years ago that him Africa mommy put a clean denim suit on George and made a long walk to the Soddo Orphanage. It was only three years ago that the woman who had nurtured him, loved him, fed him, sang to him, caressed his face walked away....forever...never to return. It was only three years ago that George suddenly found himself living with a dozen other boys in a cramped room lined with bunk beds where he was fed 2 times a day. Only three years ago.
Last year at this time, George was sad. He cried a lot.
This year, he is angry. And I believe he is testing us. He is asking, "Do you REALLY mean it when you say you will love me forever? How about if I do this? Are you still going to keep me?" And when we talk to him about his behavior, he is quick this week to say, "You need to go have a new boy, not me, right?"
I can't even begin to imagine the heartbreak he is reliving.
He has become very close to his teacher this year. And she is getting the same testing. It's not fun. But she told me today that she sees it as a privilege to be part of his life this tough year.
George has not been happy. When we were in the car the other day, just the two of us, he suddenly said, "I can't remember what my Africa daddy looks like." Then he cried. "Life is hard here," he said between sobs.
We can easily fall into the thought that life is so much better here in America that we can't ponder how a little boy from Ethiopia would not fall on his knees in gratitude for being adopted into this country. I am here to tell you that is not always the case!
Life was hard in Ethiopia - that is without a doubt true - but there was a simplicity that I actually envy now. Such a simple life. Life in our culture is very complicated. We are stimulated beyond what our minds can take most days. There are subtle nuances that only we understand. And then, we push our children to learn more, achieve more, keep doing more and more. George came from a place where a child played and ran and skipped and then fell asleep, sometimes, under the stars. What a difference!
I talked to George's teacher today and I cried when I thought of how hard life is for him this year. I couldn't fight back the emotion of empathy that was surging out of my heart. As I turned to say goodbye to George this morning, as he stood in the hallway of his school, I opened my arms to hug him. He smiled and gave a heavy sigh - a good sigh - like the kind that says, "She really is there for me. She really does still love me."
And I do...
Posted by Traci Weldie at 7:06 AM