April 11, 2012
"Mr. Caterpillar": The Saga
© Photographer: Mkoudis | Agency: Dreamstime.com
It's amazing how every day "life" shares wisdom, if I am just open to listen.
One of my favorite times of the day is when I get to pick my son up from school. We are so blessed that he attends what I consider the BEST preschool in our hometown. Truly. He loves it, is growing and developing, feels loved, and shines the biggest smile both when he walks in the classroom each morning, and when I pick him up in the afternoon. I so wish he could get his college degree from this school! lol
Anyway, this afternoon, after my brief bask in feeling his little arms around my neck in our "pick me up from school hug", my son eagerly lifted his index finger to my face, proudly displaying a smiley face that had been carefully drawn with a marker. "Look Mommy", he excitedly said. "Mr. Caterpillar!" I drew my head back to focus on this tiny miracle of a finger he was so proud of, brought it to my lips, and gently kissed the smiling "caterpillar", which matched the smile on both our faces. What a joy he is.
We hurriedly made it down the hall and to the bathroom for our traditional "potty" stop before heading home. And that's where this tragedy began. In the stress of trying to hurry through the routine and make sure our hands were washed, I failed to take the time to really listen. You see, being premature, my son struggles with communication. He tries so hard, and is doing an amazing job. But it takes extra patience to encourage his voice, his words, for him to get his complete thought out, instead of being overcome with frustration and emotion in trying. Any time we are pressed for time or feeling the least bit stressed, it complicates this for him. That alone motivates me to grow as a person and parent. I take nothing for granted. Nothing. Because he was so small.
But in trying to get out of the bathroom quick, to let the next person in, I hurriedly "helped" him wash his hands and couldn't understand why he was so frantically protesting. "It's just dirt and we have to wash it off," I impatiently exclaimed, as Mr. Caterpillar's eyes and mouth (too tiny and unrecognizable to even jog my memory of the loving moment of our introduction just moments ago in the classroom) disappeared down the drain. Finally able to spit it out, "But Mommy, his eyes!", it was too late. "Mr. Caterpillar" was gone. In the minutes that ensued of anger and rebuke, I knew my son's heart was broken.
I so pray he will learn to more easily cry when he is hurt or disappointed. For his own sake. It hurts (understatement) to imagine what he must have endured those months in the NICU, along with the pain of being separated from his Mother. Jesus, fill him with Your "intensive care" to completely heal his heart and emotions, I pray.
After profusely apologizing, we finally made it out to the car. I rejoiced inside to see Andrew's sweet smile erupt as we artfully re-discovered "Mr. Caterpillar", his beloved friend. Not only did we draw "Mr. Caterpillar", but Mr. Caterpillar's Mommy & Daddy! What a love-fest as they all hugged and kissed in sweet reunion. MMMAUH!
This not so insignificant incident reminded me in so many ways of adoption.
Adoptee's very identities are legally washed down the drain, through "sealed records", yet how many times are they dismissed in the struggle to communicate, when this is such a primal (even preverbal) part of their experience?
Why aren't they heard when protesting "sealed records", or the unethical practice of "adoption" in today's society, which essentially equates to selling humans and sealing their identities from them? The outrageous financial transactions, unethical practices & laws surrounding adoption (fees, marketing and "incentives", and "sealed records") are screaming this truth, if only someone will listen. Thank God for the six US states who have listened (even The Child Welfare League of America supports adoptee access legislation) and passed laws restoring the civil right of adult adoptees to obtain their original birth certificate.
Is it too hard to hear because we are trying to accomplish a different agenda?
Even "Mr. Caterpillar" needed a little help to find himself out of the drain. Maybe now he can become a butterfly!
"A little child shall lead them."
Thank you, God, for such great teachers! Help us all learn to listen, I pray.