I had a long call with someone last night who is struggling with attachment issues with their child. It brought up such sharp, clear memories of the emotions that accompanied Joshie's first months home, the fears and the turmoil, the internal conflict. This is sharply contrasted with our experiences in bringing Kenny home, and today was one of the good days, the kind of day that drives home the fact that taking a risk now and then is good for the soul.
First off, I was stopped by his teacher after Cub Scouts and we had a short conversation in which she relayed that Kenny has "turned the corner" in many ways, and he is doing so well in all his classes, behaving appropriately, being very kind to others, and listening in class the way he should. His beaming face said it all as he stood nearby listening in. We walked away and he said "See mom? I told you I be good boy!!". Both Dominick and I are inordinately proud of him, for working so hard at everything and making all the adjustments that we asked of him. We know it is not easy, and we still have many minor things to work on, but this was a big milestone for him.
Later on, we sat around the TV watching a show I had never seen before on NBC named "Clash of the Choirs" in which choirs led by music celebrity directors compete for a large donation to a specific charity. We really enjoyed this show, and at one point Kenny snuggled in next to me on the couch warming ourselves under a blanket (It's Colorado folks, we are always under a blanket...either a down blanket or a snow blanket!). One of the choirs sang a song "I'll Stand By You" that many of you that are roughly...ahem...my age...might remember being recorded by The Pretenders. So here we are, this little 9 year old boy and I, barely 6 months into being mother and son together, and he looks up at me in all seriousness and quietly says "Hey cool mom! I stand by you. I like that. We family, I stand by you forever."
Loyalty & Love.
The abstract concepts of loyalty and togetherness and family are things that many adults in this world seem not to understand. Or if they understand it, they can not act on it. Here is this little boy, institutionalized his entire life with no real reason at all to even have a basic understanding of these things. They were not modeled for him, they were not experienced by him, they were not part of his daily life. How did the seeds get planted? Where did it come from?
"I stand by you forever". Daily, I am humbled.
It was Kenny who reminded us (as if I needed reminding) that tonight was a night for special prayer. So off went the lights, out came the candle, and by it's flickering light we all held hands as each one asked for God's guidance and blessing.
Regardless of the outcome, Kenny put it beautifully.
"I stand by you forever".