This is the very first image I have impressed on my mind of you, little boy. Isn’t your grandma beautiful? The first thing you wanted to do on “gotcha day” was wear her sunglasses and be held by anyone who would hold you. You are five years old, but you surely don’t act like it. We are five months into our family and you are still the one most in need of attention…the one most in need of structure…the one most in need of rocking and touching and a firm hand. You very well may be the closest thing to a baby that I ever get to mother. If you are to be the youngest of our little band–you definitely fit the profile.
I am not sure what things were done to you as a baby. I am not sure where all of the many scars you have came from. And that breaks my heart. Sometimes, I will sit and trace over your skin and just wonder!!! I know that you were taken from your birth-mother when you were three days old. I know that unlike the other children you have no memories other than those from Club Michin. I know that you have never been parented for any amount of time, outside of the orphanage. I know that you built a little make believe world for yourself in the orphanage. You lived inside of that world to protect yourself, and to hope for the future. Your psychologist said that when you found out about Adam and me, you were so excited to have a daddy come and rescue you from the “castle.” No wonder you are absolutely obsessed with the doll houses and fairytale items we have.
Juan Pablo, my love grows for you every day. You are one of the sweetest, cutest, most loving children I have ever known. You want to act like a big boy. You want to help me and follow me–even to the bathroom (yes, that is where I draw the line). Just recently, you have started to write your alphabet letters without me asking you to. You have almost all of your sounds down. Now you are working on writing–and I must say that your writing is very good. You are anxious to start school next year. But for now, you are super content hanging out with me while everyone else is at school. In fact, you get a little jealous if any of the other kids are home. It is really funny!
In the spirit of full disclosure, I must be honest with you. I promised to always be honest through this experience. There were many days during our time in Bogota that I wanted to hide myself away and never come out because of your behavior. There were many times when I felt like it would never get better. There are still days now that I call your daddy to cry on his shoulder at work because I feel so badly for the anger you feel toward your former situation. He has even had to come home early two or three times since we came home from Colombia. I am glad that we have started to see Miss Amy (your psychologist). She is wonderful. Hopefully, she will help us help you to work out your anger. I am anxious to have you see her more regularly. You love her–she gives you candy and she speaks Spanish. 🙂
When we first received you, your tantrums were every day–sometimes twice a day. They eventually slowed to every other day or so. Now, although there is no stopping the the rage when it starts, we are going 10 days to two weeks between episodes. That is an amazing improvement in just a few months. The most positive part to your improved behavior is that we can talk you down more often. We are working on the difference between how babies act and how big boys act. That has really helped. So has tightening up your structure. The other kids do not need it as much as you–but it benefits all of you, for sure.
I love you, little boy. Your dad and I still feel it a privilege to parent you and your siblings. We know that our family is blessed because of our decision to bring you home. And there has never ever been a moment that I wanted to send you back. I think your future is bright. We have a lot of work to do–but it will pay off in the end. You are, and always will be, completely worth it. Your smile lights up our home. Your cuteness lights up our day. Your spirit lights up our lives.