Tuesday, January 10, 2012

I Wonder

Coltrane is an affectionate kid. He is always ready with a hug and a slobber, er, kiss. More though, he needs affection given to him. CJ will always sleep better if he is being cuddled. He falls asleep more quickly in someone's arms. If he wants to watch a movie, it is not a time for me to get things done while he is occupied. It is lap time, so he can bury his head if he gets a little scared or point out his favorite parts.
Leila is not quite like this. She is a quick love. A little kiss here, a touchdown in the lap there. There is more independence in her. It lies in her fearlessness. She fears nothing, including being alone.
Now, I know this is mostly due to their natures. It is who they are. Some times though, I do wonder, if some of the difference lies in adoption.
Often adopted kids, no matter how much they are loved and love their families, have to go through a process of acceptance. Again it doesn't matter if their birth parents absolutely made the right decision not to parent. It doesn't matter if it was the hardest thing CJ's birth mom ever did to place him in my arms and our care. She still did it. He may have to spend time accepting that she chose not to parent. It was a choice. It was the right choice, but none the less, there can be pain in that.
And I do wonder at what age a child can be aware of that. Could it really be the moment when the only other person he has known, handed him to someone else? Could there be an instinctive remembrance of different? Does the journey toward acceptance start at the moment his mother made that choice? Could there be something in his brain that makes him more affectionate as a way to start on that path even before he understands why?
I know that he knows he is loved. There is no question that he loves us. But perhaps he doesn't take it for granted like his sister does. Perhaps, the showing and the being shown extra love is part of his adoption story.
Probably not. It's probably just his nature, but that doesn't stop me from wondering.


The Benners (mostly Nikki) said...

I'd also be curious as to whether it's a girl v. boy thing, because Jackson definitely sleeps better (scratch that - ONLY sleeps) when someone is either in his room or cuddling him. It may also be an older v. younger sibling too - my mom says that my sister needed super-cuddles, but I was much more independent... Logic would suggest that CJ was way too young to have any idea of being given to you. But there are so many things that can't be explained by logic, and there is so much that we intuit instead of observe...

jbrinke said...

I think it also has to do with older v younger siblings. I've seen a couple sets of siblings where the younger is more full of adventure - and wants to be into new things - of course support will always be there.

But kids are smart - and pick up on everything.

Katherine said...

OH WOW. What a moving post. I would have guessed almost the opposite with the two children. That is really interesting. I've got three kids - none of them are adopted - one was a snuggle puppy as a child - the next son was the lap touchdown, the third a girl who is independent - sometimes snuggly for long amounts of time and the *off* to do her own thing. I wonder if it is all a difference in kids, or if adoption had to do with it. I love your post!