We've been home for a day now. Simon really likes playing with his big brothers and sisters. He has his own entourage at his beck and call. I had to seek him out a few times so he knew I was still here. Not that he cared but it's necessary for his adjustment. I laid on the floor by him while he played with the trains and he laid down on me. I was shocked!! It lasted about 15 seconds and abruptly ended. I would love to say that he wants to accept me and love me but that's not where he is at yet. He is still angry at me because I am trying to replace his nannies at the orphanage.
Simon spent the day wandering the house and discovering new things. He played trains quite a bit of the time and played outside. He is going to love the bikes. He was intrigued by the trampoline but didn't last too long. Niya was on the tramp with him and noticed that after just a couple of minutes he was breathing hard and climbed down. He is fairly good at slowing down when needed but not quite as in tune with his body as Gideon was. Simon is very active. He is always moving and talking. I know some of that is the anxiety he feels but I also think that is partly his personality. I expect he will begin to feel peaceful in the next couple of months. We were in the car going to get ice cream to celebrate Malia's 9th birthday. Simon was between Casey and Creed. If you know anything about Casey and Creed you probably know they both love to talk. Casey asked me if Simon always talked like this and then followed the question up with who was the first to talk a lot. My answer.... Creed then Casey. They both talk about the same amount. Both the boys then started calling themselves the Three Amigos. Simon does talk a lot just like them.
We were getting ready to take Malia out to dinner for her birthday so I asked everyone to clean up their toys. Simon didn't like the idea of cleaning so he walked away. I brought him back in the room and he refused to pick up the toys. That is not an option in my house, especially at that age. I held Simon's hand in mine and picked up the toys with him. He cried the whole time and when we were done I held him in the chair. He sat there crying and angry. He started saying something in Chinese and Scott translated. I had been wondering what he has been saying while he was crying. I thought he was most likely saying things like, "I want to go back" "I miss my home" and things like that. Nope, not even close. You want to know what an angry 4 year old that has just been taken from all he knows says to you? Here goes;
"I hate you! I want to go back to China!"
"I don't want you! I have two Mama's!"
These things were not said in a way that elicits sympathy. Oh no, he was mad, mad, mad!! See, I told you all he didn't like me. I just wonder what Bria was thinking. She Hated me. Not fun things to hear when you are thoroughly exhausted, sleep deprived, and running on emotional empty.
He didn't break me but it's not a pleasant thing to feel. Honestly, as mothers we put in the bulk of the effort to adopt. We get to wade through the paperwork. We do the hard part of sifting through child after child and saying no until you find the one that feels right. We put our heart and soul into loving these children while we wait, mostly, impatiently. It doesn't help matters that I have already struggled allowing myself to open my heart to Simon for fear of losing him like we did Gideon and Joel. To hear those words hurt. The part that hurt the most was watching Hyrum. Hyrum adores his mother!! I saw the look in his eyes. The hurt of someone rejecting all that he held dear. He just couldn't understand how Simon could hate his mother. Hyrum never went through that. I got to explain to him why Simon struggled and in that explanation it brought me back to a place of strength and understanding. Soon Hyrum was back to hugging me tightly with excitement and saying "I"m so excited to have a new brother. I like Simon."
The first few months in adoption are the hardest. Trying to find the new norm. Helping everyone adjust to their new places in the family and most importantly helping an abandoned child learn they are lovable and deserve that love. Helping understand what it's like to live in a family and how to get along with others. We have an extremely bight child on our hands which also means some real work to be done by Simon and us as parents.
Simon is incredibly smart. I really can't believe it. He is constantly surprising us with what he can do and how quickly he learns. He can already count in English up to 5 and recognizes many of the numbers. He can count at least up to 20 in Chinese. We don't know how high he can go because we are limited in our knowledge of counting. He recognizes some of the letters of the alphabet and spontaneously points them out. This all comes from a couple of trial apps on the iPad that he has played. Tonight when we sang Happy Birthday to Malia he sang every word in English. We don't know if it's because they sang it at the orphanage or because he heard another family sing it to their son while at ice cream. Either way, he is good. He didn't even have an accent. Hopefully his ability to reason sets in quickly when it comes to bonding and obedience or I get to learn patience and charity while walking through the fire.
It's been almost a week since this post was written. Stay tuned for the miracles. They are truly great.