Last night, Juan said to me “I wonder what T thinks about being here?” I was pretty quick to answer that T is probably happy and that he knows that someone is taking good care of him.
Thinking back on last night, I realize now that my answer came pretty quickly and maybe, in part, from a place of defensiveness. I say “maybe” because, from what I’ve observed of T since he arrived, he does seem happy. When we wake him in the morning, he greets us with a big smile. If he’s not hungry, tired, or wet, he’s 13 pounds of gurgly, happy chatter. He observes us, the dogs, and his surroundings with what appears to be wide-eyed amazement. T seems very happy. He must sense that he is getting lots of love and attention. He’s got two grown men practically falling over themselves the moment his upper lip curls in preparation for his “I Want Something!” cry. (We are working on the falling-over-ourselves thing).
But I do wonder if my quick answer also made it easier for me to not think about the flipside to his arrival in our lives. Everything is different for him – the smells, the sounds, the bed he sleeps in, the faces that greet him in the morning, the dogs, the clothes. Even the food is different. And of course, and probably most important, his mother is not with him.
I have no idea how much any of this impacts him right now. T’s background suggests that he’s probably more than happy to have someone showering him with love and attention, but neither of those things necessarily make up for the feelings of disorientation, confusion, and loss he may be dealing with in his own baby-like way. Keeping in mind the complexity of this situation will be good for us – Juan, me and T – regardless of the length of his stay.