Every day the wonderful happens…

and I'm here to blog about it.

He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not June 22, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Elizabeth @ 10:09 PM

Yeonju finally made it here around lunchtime today!! I had both boys with me when we met her at the airport and everyone was so excited. She spotted us first and was in tears immediately when she saw Matthew. He knew her at once and was thrilled. He immediately reached for her hand and walked her all the way to our car.

We had some lunch at home and then it was naptime. Matthew informed me immediately that he wanted Nuna to read him his book. They had a nice time reading and snuggling…..and then everybody took a nap.

Can I just tell you that my heart sings seeing them together. The joy on his face of seeing someone familiar, someone that he has missed, someone that looks like him! The tears on her face as she sees how much he has grown, the way she strokes his hair. It is priceless.

Yeonju was able to rest for a few hours, but I know she wants to get on “our time” as soon as possible so she was up again to eat dinner with us. After dinner the boys played for awhile. So far, it seems that if Yeonju is in the room, Matthew insists that she be right next to him. Which is fine, and even to be expected. What makes my adoptive mama antenna really perk up though is that he seems to feel that it has to be either her or me…..no, that isn’t really it. It seems like he feels that loving me in her presence is disloyal to her.

I looked on patiently as he insisted he wanted Nuna (only Nuna!!) at naptime and playtime, but at bathtime when he pushed me away and said Nuna do it, I held my ground and said I would be giving him his bath. I didn’t mind that he wanted her to read him his books at bedtime until I went in to tell him that he had read enough books and was up an hour later than he should have been, and he pushed me away and screamed for her. And every time I told him I loved him, he refused to answer. It was then that I felt things trending in a direction that I didn’t feel comfortable with.

So I stayed to tuck him in while she kissed him and slipped out. Even though he didn’t really want that. But right when she stepped out of the room, he was okay with me again. And even though he went to bed calmly and quietly, I went BACK in 20 minutes later because I felt like we both needed some quiet cuddle time together. That, and I wasn’t going to go to sleep without telling him I loved him and hearing it in return. And yes, I did hear it. But of course, only when we were alone.

I will say that when she is not around (for instance after he got up from his nap today and she was still sleeping) he seems just as content and attached to me as always. He sat next to me on the couch and wrapped my arm around him. But when she appears, I am so OVER. And I really don’t say any of this to be petty. I love that his heart is big enough to love all of us…..and no, he doesn’t even have to love me the most.

I just want and need him to know that it is safe to love all of us at the same time–that there is no need to choose.

Certainly Yeonju isn’t doing anything wrong. She is not being pushy or trying to create a wedge between us. Not at all. We are both trying to make him happy by giving him what he wants, and I understand that this is a fun, vacation-y type time, where things are a little different and some rules get bent. But I can’t let that be to the detriment of our bond. Because in 10 days, she will be leaving, and we desperately don’t want to be back at square one with him.

Some might say that I need to chill out and let it be. But those people didn’t walk through the attachment fire that we have walked through for the past 7 months. We don’t want to go back–it’s not an option.

So what to do? I don’t want to be the party pooper who is inserting myself in a love triangle where I am unwanted (by Matthew) and ruining all of the good times. But I don’t want to let him call all of the shots, if that leads to him trying to alienate me. Am I overreacting? Do I just need to shut up, drink a glass of wine and go to bed?

For now I will stick with shutting up and going to bed….

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6 Responses to “He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not”

  1. JoJo Says:

    Yay…she made it!I think you are smart to be aware of his reaction to her and you. Maybe you could set the rules with him this morning? Like..Nuna will read you stories, but mommy will put you to bed, so it's not (or less of) a battle when it comes up.

  2. Chaukie Says:

    I'm so sorry that I don't have any advice for you. It is most definitely a different situation than I have dealt with and wouldn't know what to do. I do, however, hope that you are able to have an enjoyable 10 day visit. What a unique and amazing experience!

  3. chris Says:

    You are very intuitive and have good instincts. You always choose the loving response. So how can you go wrong. I was thinking he MIGHT be so happy because this is HIS world. So far he has had to come into YOUR world. But this is HIS friend…he wants her all to himself–doesnt want to share (like Isaac wanting HIS train cars–I NEED him). It is not about you in any way–it is about him reveling in a world that is his. As you say, time will show him they can co-exist. DO have that glass of wine!!

  4. Christy Says:

    Glad she made it. It's good that you're aware. The book I'm reading right now (Parenting Your Internationally Adopted Child) would tell you to acknowledge his struggle out loud to him (in terms he can understand). Just thought I'd share, not sure it would help but there you have it.I know my son went through something similar but not at all the same as this when he was younger (not adopted). He struggled with my husband and I at one point (only show love to one of us at a time and he'd trade weeks which parent he liked – this was soon after DH returned from Iraq). He also did this with the 2 sets of grandparents at one point (he could only show love to one set at a time and we went on vacation with both sets when we discovered this…). He was about the same age as Matthew, maybe a tiny bit younger but developmentally I think it makes sense. I know that doesn't change all that he's been through and all that you're aware of but I thought it might help to share that. Good luck! Sending up a prayer.

  5. Mom to 3 C's Says:

    Hmmm, it is tough when worlds collide, and that is what this is for Matthew… his old world and new world have come together and he doesn't quite know how to handle it. It sounds like you are doing the right thing… allowing her some time alone with him and still reserving some things for just you and Matthew. I would keep that up, allowing him some choices, but don't let him rule the roost. And, he doesn't understand the length of her stay (and 10 days is a long time to a 3 y.o.). I would expect some grieving and regression when she leaves, but I don't think you'll be back to square one. You have a created a good bond over the past months… it will withstand the test.Enjoy this time… I wish we could have this connection with dd's foster family but the language barrier prevents it…gina

  6. I just read this post today. I haven't read the other comments b/c I'm just too tired. So hopefully I'm not restating too much.I say go with your mama gut. 7 months is a short time in the scheme of attachment, esp if you've had struggles. We had attachment issues with Olive, and it took me A YEAR AND A HALF before I was comfortable with other people doing things with her that I normally do. And still today, nearly two years later, I still get upset when I see her getting too close to someone else. We APs work unbelievably hard to get our children to love, trust, and attach to us, and it's PAINFUL to think about that hard work slipping away. I always err on the side of too attachment-y because relaxing more seems easier than tightening the reins after the fact.Be strong, mama šŸ™‚


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