I was passing through the office at work and saw a photo album lying open. The picture was of 2 child-size tables, with 3-4 kids around each one. Each child had just underwear on, a couple had kerchiefs on their heads. I stopped, paused for just a few seconds and said, “that looks just like a baby home in Russia.”
The secretaries looked at me, surprised. In fact, it WAS a baby home in Russia. Turns out a student who was adopted from there had gone back recently and was sharing her photos with the ladies. It sure made me think. We want to take Roman back - we WILL take Roman back – but I wonder how the experience will be. I have lots and lots of questions.
I flipped through the album, both wanting to study each picture and yet already familiar with each one. The crumbled building of the baby home. The yellowish paint color. The playroom. Looking at one photo of the staircase, I swear I could smell the cabbage. This student had a lot of pictures I had been afraid to take, as well. The nannies in the baby home. The soldiers at the road checkpoints. All fixed firmly in my mind but nothing I can share with anyone but Doug.
This occurs at a time where Roman is struggling with his adoption story. Our main concern/complaint from early on with him is that he could never be alone. From the first week we had him home, until even tonight, the boy is overly clingy. As I’ve mentioned earlier, we are taking him to an adoption therapist. Our first concern was attachment –the laundry list of symptoms for RAD were like a list of Roman’s behavior issues. After a 3-hour session with Doug and I, the therapist’s recommendation was more likely “insecure attachment.” He is attached to us on a basic level, but he’s very anxious & needy.
We decided to keep attending sessions with her. She has seen Roman twice now, and it’s been eye-opening to say the least. Roman flat out does not want to talk about his life in Russia before we came to adopt him. It’s not a “no thanks” kind of thing – it’s an angry, run-away kind of feeling. At the same time, however, he has a deep desire to know things. He’s most interested in his Russian name, his birthmother’s name, and any daily details we have about his life in Russia. For the first time he verbalized he understood we were here in the US while he was in Russia (he asked what we were doing while he was in the baby home waiting for us).
Tonight Roman referred to his adoption as his birthmother “getting rid of me.” So we clearly have a long way to go. Already though, we are noticing a slight calming of his behavior on a day-to-day level. Bedtime has become generally easier. So we will continue therapy for awhile and see if we can’t get this little guy to accept his background.