Today was another "hurdle" in the older child adoption ride.
Tariku is starting to remember Ethiopia. On one hand I think it's great; I've been looking forward to this. But what we adoptive parents (myself included) don't tell people is that we're often hoping for the good memories. "Oh I was playing with my mom and dad and laughing, etc, etc".
The reality is there was a lot of loss, devastation and hardship that led to Tariku becoming part of our family. Naturally he remembers everything. There's been some good, there's been some bad. Today he told a bit of his history that I knew because it was in his referral information but he had never told me. I had been able to read it and, of course, be saddened by it but was able to kind of push it away.
Today it became very real that my 3-year-old son has been through things I hope I never have to. That his reality is so different than mine ever has been. That he is a bigger fighter and a braver person than I could hope to be. I am so honored to have him for my son yet I would do anything to make him forget that.
I know that sounds awful as that is part of his history but my goodness, he seems too young, to joyful to have to bear that weight on his shoulders. How I wish I could lift it off and put it on mine. I hope maybe that's what he was trying to do by sharing it with me. I hope he was trying to say, "Mommy will you take care of this too?" I wish I could communicate to him that I would do anything to make him never feel that again.
The perks of older child adoption are so numerous and I truly believe this is still one of them. Because of course he remembers some ugly but he remembers some rather beautiful moments too and I can't wait to remind him of them as he gets older. But I'm his mom, do we ever want them to feel an ounce of pain?
I love you dearest Tariku and will forever envy your optimism and beautiful, joyous personality.