Friday, February 13, 2009

Who needs Halloween?

The boys made out like bandits today at their Valentine's Day parties. Quite the haul for two small boys who aren't allowed much sugar. I'm sure Mark and I can help ease the burden, don't you think? ;) I'm so, so happy they got to participate in this. I have lots of fun memories of Valentine's Day parties in school, but we don't really celebrate at home.

Dima has had a fantastic week. He kept all 3 of his apples (they lose them for behavior problems) every day this week! As a result he got a special prize and got to go into another classroom to visit some pet gerbils, which he loves. No fever problems today. I'm pretty sure it was dehydration, and I've been making sure he has plenty of water available today.


There is one aspect of being an adoptive parent that absolutely breaks my heart, and I think about it nearly every night before going to bed. When our boys were little and they would wake up in the middle of the night scared or sick, if they cried out no one came to their rescue. If fact, there's a good chance they were punished. As a result, they have not ever called out to us in the night. One night several months ago Zhenya had a nightmare and woke up screaming and crying. Not once did he call out for mama or papa. This is so, so sad to me as it speaks to so much of what was missing in their early lives.

Last night, Dima got up to go to the bathroom about midnight. He gets up and goes right back to bed without a problem. But tonight at dinner, he was asking me about our bedroom door being open, and I told him that I leave it open a little bit so I can hear him and Zhenya. This sparked a discussion at dinner about how if they wake up scared or sick and call out to me, that I will come to them. And Zhenya brought up how when he woke up crying from "the dream he didn't like" :) :) that papa came in and picked him up. While I don't want to start an every night sort of thing, my heart would really rejoice to hear them call out for us in the night when they need some comforting.


Anonymous said...

Why don't you just go to them at night when you hear them needing you? Since action speaks louder than words, you'll teach them it's okay for them to call out to you by being there for them. Eventually they'll "get" it, and start calling out for Mom and Dad, right?

Courtney said...

Obviously, we have gone in to them--when we hear them. But based on their past, their safety strategy is to stay as quiet as possible so it is very rare to hear anything. Usually, if I hear anything after I know they've gone to sleep I will get up and stand at their door to listen. All of the times I have peeked in they have been sleeping soundly and were just making noise in their sleep. When they actually wake up, they try to stay as quiet as possible.

Thuy said...

Courtney, thanks for sharing this post. It gives me such a vivid picture of your experience as their mom. They are so blessed to have you and Mark!

(Oh, and would you believe that our little 4-legged princess attacked someone else who came over to feed her?! She clawed him on 2 fingers and he had to find our band-aids. :( I was mortified to learn this. Grey is a terrible, mean kitty (whom we happen to love very much). Next time, we will leave out a spray bottle, and that will make her disappear!)

Debbie said...

I wouldn't even think they wouldn't call out to you...but it sure makes sense. Elaine knew we were right there and would call for us, but then, she didn't enter the system until she was about 8 or so. I'm sure the boys will get it; just the talk about it I'm sure has comforted their hearts.

Diana said...

My youngest still wakes up and rocks on all 4's in his bed and makes very loud fire engine noises that are frequently accompanied by screeaming or crying. I'm guessing this is the only way he could get attention from a big person in his orphanage...if even then. It was more likely a way to soothe himself and quiet the chaos going on in his little mind. It is so heartbreaking and is obviously a deeply embedded subconscious behavior

To my great delight, however, he has finally started calling out for Mama when he does this. Yeah! We're seeing some big amounts of healing going on with him!

Tami said...

Our kids still don't call out for us, but will occasionally come into our room if they have a nightmare. I'm glad they're comfortable with even just that little bit.
Last week when Maddie got sick in the middle of the night it was Anya who came and got us. Maddie didn't make a sound.
Its sad that 10, 7 and 1 year after leaving the orphanage, in many ways the orphanage still hasn't left them.

Jill said...

It's hard for me to realize that when they cry at night that I should go to them - having had a bio child first, it's been so much on my mind to help her become independent. My first instinct with the twins is similar - I need to have the proper perspective with them. Thanks for sharing!