Last week I came home from my women's bible study group and knew AJ would be awake. The sitter left and I gave AJ his soft tissue massage and put him to bed. A few minutes later, I heard him crying. The kind of crying that tears your Mommy heart out. The cry that comes with sad face, pouty lip, and no sound for at least a few seconds. It is very rare for AJ to be this upset.
I turned on the light in the bathroom, which is next to his room, and went in to comfort him. I sat down next to him and rubbed his back. He calmed enough to lay down and have the covers tucked on all sides of his little body. I laid down next to him and rubbed his back. Suddenly, he cocked his head up to the side and was staring at the bathroom light through the air vent in the wall that is between the two rooms. A look of sheer terror came over his face and he started to panic and...cry. I quickly turned the light off and laid back down with him.
When we first met our little dude he was in a "bedroom" just off the baby play area in the orphanage. The room was very dim, with a very modern wood-blade fan turning slowly and the light on ultra-dim. There were bassinets lined up on all four walls.
My Mommy gut tells me that my little boy remembers. That he remembers laying in his bassinet for who knows how long waiting for someone to come and pick him up. I do my best not to think about his rough start at the orphanage, but his reaction to being in his room in darkness and seeing a soft light above him freaks him out. On another occasion we were laying on his floor with his body pillow and he looked out at the hall light-same face of sheer terror and panic. He scrambled into my lap and I rocked him. That was my first thought that he remembers.
From the very beginning I said no to the idea of putting a fan in his room. Don't get me wrong, the boy loves fans, but I could not put him in a situation that replicated his orphanage life. Even something as little as a fan triggered that desire in me. I fed him every bottle until he could hold the bottle on his own, because I know he was bottle-propped. How long did he lay there and wait? While we often mention that he couldn't, see, hear, or use his eyes together before we brought him home, he did see. This boy's visual memory is incredible.
I continued rubbing his back while he fought his tiredness. He held my right hand, I rubbed his back with my left hand. He fell asleep holding my hand and breathing peacefully. I'm forever grateful that I am able to be there for my sweet boy. While he has bonded to us amazingly well, sometimes I just think he still needs to know we're here. There was a time where he would not allow us to comfort him, so I'm thankful for this tender moment with my little man. I'm thankful he's HERE. And I'm thankful that even if he can't say Mama, he knows who his Mama is and has found my purpose in his life.