Nothing in the grand scheme of things. 168 hours. 10,080 minutes. Right? A flash in the pan. Chump change. Unless you're waiting for one of THE most significant pieces of paper you will ever receive. In which case, one week, seven days, can seem like an ETERNITY. It has been one measly week since we got an update on our sweet, beautiful baby boy. At that time, we received four pictures and answers to our five questions. One would imagine that that would satisfy a person for more than seven days. It doesn't. And, when you consider it has actually been nearly three months, 83 days to be exact, since we first saw him (that's about 1,992 hours or 119,520 minutes), it was really just a tease.
The only thing(s) that is / are keeping me centered are my loving, patient husband and sweet, gentle, funny and fun son. That, and I keep reminding myself that His timing is perfect, and we will travel when we are supposed to. I also need to remember that these are our last few months as a family of three. Aiden is really just coming into his own. His language and comprehension are starting to develop. His general understand of "things" is improving. He is actually, after almost a year and a half, settled in, comfortable, confident. I need to appreciate that (as I am just beginning to understand) and enjoy us as we are. When we are a family of four, that will be just as it is supposed to be. But for the time being, I want...no need...to just sit back and revel in our family as it is now.
During this time before we make our trip to China to bring home our second son, I am looking back at our first few weeks and months home with Aiden. Because of this reflection, I pray that with Ethan I am more patient and aware of the real and profound trauma he will have experienced. I thought I was with Aiden. I wasn't. I really did not appreciate the shock, stress, and pain he experienced. To be fair, I think I tried. But really, until very recently (thanks to much more reading and close observation and reflection), I don't think I grasped the scope of his required adjustment. I think I, and honestly everybody around me, assumed a week or two, heck, maybe a few months, and he should be fine. I cannot say how often I heard the phrase, "Aw. Kids are resilient. Aren't they amazing." Yes, they are. But they are people with emotions, memories, fears..... Even though I tried to put myself in his shoes, I think I wanted him to be fine. Sometimes I get the feeling that many of the people around me, try as I might to explain, still don't want to hear it. Maybe it is just beyond comprehension. Maybe it is because he was "only 27 months old," or "only 22 months old." They think I'm overstating the situation. I can't blame them. If I was in their place, I would, in all probablility, be thinking and feeling the same way. Maybe, to a certain extent, I did. I pray Aiden didn't pay too high a price for this...well...flippant attitude. It's not that I was abusive or uncaring. It's not that I didn't try to understand or was unfeeling. I just. Didn't. "Get it." I had tried to prepare. I just wasn't. Who knows? I still may not be prepared. How can somebody really prepare to help a person who has been so traumatized? I can only pray and love and pray some more.
Sadly, the reality is, I can't go back and change my expectations for Aiden. I can only go forward from here. And, have I said this before, pray I do better. Hopefully God grants me the wisdom, patience, and heart to do the right thing by that sweet little boy who will one day be, without any real forewarning for him, dropped into this imperfect but loving family several months from now. But, in the meantime, I plan to enjoy the now with this beautifully flawed family of mine!