Because the tiny toddler is sometimes so hard to put down at night, once he is happy and quiet in his room we all take great pains to not disturb him. Even if I am the one to complete his night time routine and he is sleepy eyed and calm when I turn out his light and leave his room, he will wake up and start screaming for me if he hears me upstairs. To prevent this I sometimes read books to the big five year old downstairs, and then have Daddy run him up to bed, nice and quiet like. And everyone is happy. And everyone gets enough sleep. Well, almost everyone is happy. Sometimes the big five year old would prefer to play his DS than read books with Mommy. But DS time is saved for long car trips and waiting rooms, so books won again last night.
Last night I sent the big five year old up to his room to get a few books. He brought down one of my favorite books- the story of his adoption from China. I made this book for him the summer he came home, and even four years later he still loves to read it. And I love the conversations this book starts for me and my little man.
Every time we read this book we talk about adoption, on his terms. For a long time we just looked at the pictures, and then we added in the basic story. And now we have grown to answering thoughtful questions, like why did we wait to paint his room blue? Didn't we know we were having a boy all along? My sweet husband explained the reason why more girls than boys come home from China. He talked about how we almost decorated the room for a girl and at the last minute something stopped us. Some little voice in my husband's head whispered to him to wait, and so we did. We talked about the day we got "the call"- a Tuesday. Suddenly, we had a boy!
After the boy/girl discussion last night we turned the page and saw the picture of Daddy pacing the floors of the Adoption Registry Center, waiting for our little boy to arrive. "You were late", we explained, "Because your van had a flat tire." Whenever my sweet husband and I picture this moment we see a scene from the book "Shaoey and Dot", where the little baby is sitting on the nanny's lap in the back of a van, drinking from a bottle and all bundled up. (Even though it was May and oh.my.god. hot in Guangzhou I still picture that at that moment he is all bundled up. )
So that is what we picture. Last night we got a glimpse into what the big five year old pictures when he thinks of that moment in the van, sitting by the side of the road, waiting for the driver to change the tire. "Mommy, I wish I had my DS with me that day in the van, then I could have been playing it while we waited!" We have come so far in making sure he understands his story, but obviously we still have a ways to go!