Thursday, March 29, 2012

Bonding in Congo

Bonding with my son.

Luke and I co-slept the entire time we were in Congo. I LOVED it! Once we started bonding, he would wake me up sometimes by rubbing my face or patting my arm or rub my back. This is what I would do to him if he wasn't awake for the 7am breakfast call. He would reach out in the night just to touch me or hold my hand. It was very sweet and touched my heart in a mighty way. It's amazing really. The feelings of love that sweep through you at different times as you bond with your child. Sometimes, late at night, I would look at him and think, "wow, he's mine. I'm so not worthy but thank you God." He's an amazing little boy that was meant to be a Solberg. He had such a rough start and was moved around too many times. It affected him. So much trauma in his short life. I cried when I thought about it then, I cry when I think about it now. He did not smile, make eye contact, barely cried for almost a week and a half. He was a limp noodle in my arms. It was the strangest thing. I really had to hold onto him. As time went on, I continued to try and make eye contact and when I did, I made sure I was the first to look away. That way he could feel free to stare at me, to get used to me without direct eye contact. I constantly touched him though, stroked his face, kissed him, rubbed his back, whispered to him telling him I loved him. His first sound was the moaning/groaning while eating. It was funny, cute and so very sad for me. Then I would catch him staring at me from across the room and when I would look at him and connect he would stop what he was doing and come to me. The bond was forming-between a mother and her son. The feelings were overwhelming at times for me. His eyes spoke to my heart in a way that words could never do. His eyes spoke of pain, heartbreak, fear and a distrust that at times seemed insurmountable. I wanted to climb inside and piece his little heart back together.

His little body was filled with parasites. He could never get full. There is no telling how long he had them. But he had a tummy full and the more I thought about it the angrier I became. He could have eventually died from this. He had been in foster care for 6 months. He should have had the medicine long before I got there. I never dealt with parasites before, much less these monsters. While the sight of them freaked me out, knowing his precious little body was filled with these, broke my heart for what he had to feel like. We live in a country where we don't have to worry with this, but this is life in Congo.

Each day brought us closer together as mother and son. My heart felt like it was wrapping around his. Every day I prayed for him to feel safe. This little boy and I were learning about each other. He was learning my voice, I was learning his cry. He was learning my scent, I was learning his. He was learning my touch, I was learning his personality. He was learning trust and I was learning his heart. We were learning to love as a mother and son, together.

When he first smiled at me, I felt the breath escape from my lungs. I fought hard and prayed hard for that smile. For me, the first smile represented a change towards trust, letting go of fear. From the first smile came his first sounds. Then came the laughter. There are no words to describe my feelings when that happened. Praising God with tears in my eyes and a heart overflowing with joy. I was overwhelmed with so much emotion. To see the smile and hear the laughter and for both to reach his eyes; his eyes-the window to his heart and soul. Finally. Laughter reached his heart. And stirred my soul as I fell completely in love with my little boy.

I'm so thankful, words can't desribe, that God put adoption back on my heart and pressed me until I could not ignore Him anymore. I simply cannot imagine my life without him. I love this boy more than words can say. He captured my heart half-way around the world and I am still overwhelmed that God chose me to be his "mama".

I am so lucky.

I am so very blessed.


Liz said...

Lauree, did I miss pictures of the day you came home with Luke either here or on FB? Those first few moments you walked into the airport---reuniting w/ the family, etc?

Megan said...

So beautiful!

Sue Larsen said...

Lauree... this is quite the tear jerker. You are the most beautiful writer, Lauree.. The 'bonding process' is definitely an amazing thing with these children. They are so slow to "trust" anyone, which is so sad. I remember it taking Erik a few months to stop being a "limp noodle" and show eye contact.. Yes, you are VERY lucky to be the mama to this wonderful little boy!