The first news I need to share is that Samson starts school on ... Tuesday! Yes - that's right! He is going to preschool. I registered him for school way back in the Spring but he was put on a waiting list because of his age, even though he did make the age cut off. This was a very sore subject for me because I believe we were treated unfairly but those details will probably not make it any further than an UNpublished post. But believe me when I say that I suffered a lot of agony over this whole preschool ordeal.
Anyway, he was on a waiting list and just last week, 1 month after school started, the teacher calls and says that a child dropped out of preschool and Samson is next in line. If we wanted to send him, he could start next week.
After much prayer and discussion, we decided to enroll him.
I promise a blog post on Tuesday with pictures. As excited I am for him and as much as I think he needs this, I can't believe that I will be sending my youngest off to preschool - my last first day of preschool =(
Since the girls started school this fall, Samson and I have had a lot of bonding time together. We go for bike rides, walks, jump on the trampoline, play at the park, play t-ball. During these special times together, he has opened up to me more and more. He asks to look at his special photo album more often and now that he can speak better English, he has many more questions about his past.
It's interesting to watch him piece it all together from the questions that he asks. He has been asking a lot about death. He has been asking some very simple but intelligent questions for his age about economics, like "Why don't we just give poor people money mommy?" He is so smart!
One assumption that he is having a hard time letting go of is the idea that all children come from the care center in Ethiopia. We talk about the care center a lot. He looks at his pictures from his social report of himself and all his care center friends. I have had many conversations with him and told him that he came from his Ethiopian mommy's tummy his sisters came from my tummy.
I can see the confusion and pain in his eyes when he hears about how his story is different. There is no question that some of the truth about his story hurts him.
He continues to ask to see Avery's pictures from when "she was in the care center". He has even searched through her room looking for her photo album. He also thinks that Avery came out of his Ethiopian mommy's tummy. One day he insisted on being the one who came out of my tummy.
We have so much more to share with him about his story - some even harder stuff that we will share when he is older. I have read other's stories about sharing the hard stuff with their adopted child but now that I am sharing with my own son, I have a really difficult time knowing how to word things the way he would understand it at his age. It's like peeling one layer of the onion back at a time, crying more and more each layer.
A few weeks ago, the girls came across their baby pictures. Again, he is so smart because he asked for his baby pictures. I showed him his referral pictures and tried to explain to him that that is how old he was when he joined our family. He still said, "That is not a baby mommy." "Where are my baby pictures?"
We embrace his rich birth culture, his skin tone and differences positively. But he doesn't like being the different family member. So, we work hard at pointing out similarities, such as you look just like your father when you wear your shirt tucked in with your belt or you have the same colored eyes as Olivia and Lauren.
He knows he has different colored skin than us but right now this difference doesn't seem to bother him. I tell him that I am going to nibble on some milk chocolate ears and he tells me that he is going to nibble on some white chocolate ears and we each pretend to munch on each other's ears.
The other day, just out of the blue, he was admiring his legs and said, "Mommy! T____'s legs look like mine!" He was proud of that! T____ is one of his care center friends who we have visited a couple times since we have been home.
But in public places, I have seen other kids stop and stare at him. Some day he will notice this too.
Speaking of public places, isn't it amazing what questions acquaintances or strangers will ask in front of your kids?
Yesterday at a football games, I had a woman tap me on the shoulder, pointed right down at Samson and asked, "Where did you get him?"
On another subject, Lauren and I leave for Haiti in less than 2 weeks. I will post more details about our trip soon but what I have just learned is that part of our trip includes serving in an orphanage. Kind of dangerous, huh?!