We have been having a week of regression with Eli.
Darn it. Darn it to heck. And back.
Just when you think things are moving along and everything is peachy keen and you let your guard down...I am reminded that there is no learning curve for adoption parenting. Heck, there is no such thing as a learning curve for any kind of parenting!
And my favorite (strong sarcastic tone) reminder of all times: I cannot control my children.
Much as I might trick myself into thinking this for 1/2 a millisecond.
He was all but 90% potty trained. Now we are having accidents.
He was becoming braver about trying new physical things. Testing his limits. Going down slides and jumping on trampolines like a conqueror. Now he is timid and unsure again.
He was affectionate and always underneath my feet. Now he prefers to play alone.
He was happily initiating play with Ezra. Now he is frequently whining if Ezra even throws a glance in his direction.
It doesn't matter that every single adoption and attachment book and expert warned that this thing called attachment is a roller coaster ride...and three steps forward is almost always followed by four steps back. It still confuses. It still frustrates. And it still hurts.
I don't know what is causing this.
I can't think of any change, break from routine, or new environment that is triggering this.
And, most frustrating...I can't control him and I can't make him trust me. I can't make him believe that I am not ever going to leave him or abandon him. I can't get into his psyche and pound my love into him.
I can only be here for him. Starting over from what feels like 6 months ago.
I can step back and use the word of God to fight against the frustration and anger that rises up in me. And I can also master the art of hiding in my closet and breathing slowly for 60 seconds until my anger has past!
I can offer an unconditional love that is fueled by the example Christ has loved me with. Fleshed out daily in patient words and extra reassurance of his important position in our family.
I don't love him for who he will be someday.
I love him now.
Potty accidents and timid ways.
I love him because he is my son.
And I am trusting that we will work through whatever emotional need he is dealing with and we will all come out of this 5 steps ahead at the end.