Samuel Jerome and Richnightder

Samuel Jerome and Richnightder
Our boys in Haiti

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Young brains and hearts with penetrating questions

Blogging sometimes causes me to stop and think before I write. I don't often stop and think before I speak, so anytime I pause to collect my thoughts before allowing the words to flow out of my mouth or fingers is a good thing. I am typically a very open person. What you see is what you get. I try to not put on pretenses and just be me.

I have, however debated whether or not to blog about my son's comment he made last night at dinner. Once you put something out into the blogosphere it becomes public, very public and since it involves my kid, I had to think about whether or not to share it. I am seeking I guess good natured ideas regarding his comment and the BEST way to address it. My fear is that I am sharing his thoughts in a public forum. In other words, I am sharing his story of his young life without his permission.

So having said all that, let me recap his life story thus far to encompass all of his 7 years on this earth. Richnigthder was born to a remarkable couple in Haiti named Camesuze and Jean. They were very poor and struggled to feed themselves and their oldest child, our son. They chose to give him life (food, health care, education, etc.) by surrendering him to the orphanage which then matched him with us. He was only 3 1/2 years old when that happened and he vividly remembers the trip to the orphanage and the moment they walked away without him. He speaks wonderfully about them and their love for him was evident when they said goodbye to him with us present. Sometime after they placed him in the orphanage, they had another child, a little girl named Sylove.

Richnigthder has gotten to meet Sylove several times when his parents made the LONG trip to visit him at the orphanage. We have never seen her, but from what Richnigthder says, we guess her to be about 2 to 2 1/2 years old now. Several months ago I asked him if he wanted his sister to come and live with him here with us and he said no, since he didn't want her to have to live at the orphanage. That sounded reasonable to me, since no matter how good an orphanage is, it is never, ever a replacement for a loving family.

We were eating dinner at the Cracker Barrel last night when I asked him again, since he has seen the destruction caused by the earthquake in Haiti, if he would like Sylove to be with us. His answer brought Marc and I each to a state of spleechlessness. He told us he would like Sylove to visit us here, but that she has to go back to Camesuze and Jean since they want to 'keep' her. OMG, I had the biggest lump in my throat and heart.

Does Richnightder perceive that his birth parents chose to "give" him away and yet "keep" his little sister?? How do we explain to him that Camesuze and Jean love(d) him so much that they had to choose adoption as the only way to ensure his survival? How do we explain that they couldn't feed him, yet they appear to be able to feed Sylove, at least for the time being. I feel in my soul, that at some point, if they have survived the earthquake, they will have to surrender Sylove too to an orphanage. Will this mitigate Richnightder's obvious questions and angst? All I know right now, is that since the earthquake, the Laurie household has had to face many, many difficult questions, mostly posed by a young boy, relatively new to this earth, yet seeming to possess an old soul. He makes my brain have to stretch to think of different perceptions and to imagine walking in his shoes.

All of my kids are adopted, yet he is the one that makes us think and question and search and ponder whether we are doing and saying the right things to make his life the best it can be. Why can't this kid raising gig be easy, just one day? Time to get these kids into the bath and then to bed and a lovely cocktail for me!! 'Night! Oh, and I am open to suggestions.


Kristi said...

Wow that's pretty deep. I want to ask do you think he meant those words exactly or do you think he meant something different by saying "keep" -- knowing him he probably chose his words carefully and meant each word as it is presented. But how do you explain to just a little kid that they wanted to "keep" him too it's just that... --- wow. Heavy stuff.

Tifanni said...

Wow-that is a tough one. Since it seems that many Haitian parents can care for their child while they are still nursing it, that might be one thing to mention to Richnightder. Good luck

laromana said...

What I'm going to say is going to sound way out on left field for 21st century but here it goes. In families like his in Haiti as well as in the Dominican Republic which I'm from the male member is the most important member. A male child gets priority and that is what his parents did they gave him up to a wonderful family that could bring him up with so much more than they could, but most important a chance to a good education and a way out of Haiti. That is the reason they did it. My father is British my mother is Dominican I went to school in the United States but when it came time for me to say I want to go to college that was denied because what they had was going to go to give my brother a college education in the States. I'm 62 years old and that is still a rule of thumb in this part of the world. The boys are given the chance to get a better life they are the most important assets these families have. They gave him up due to love and I imagine that if they have survied the quake they most probable will be giving up the girl so that she can survive. This rule is what we call machismo.

Sarah & Crew said...

Whew. I would have no idea what to say. I would be tempted to ask him maybe why he thinks they want to keep her, so I could try and get inside his little head. I'm wondering if he's thinking that his parents were so sad when they left him, maybe they don't want to have to leave her too? But I really don't know what exactly I would say.

Your little one there is a very deep thinker.

Me said...

Wow-this gave me a knot in my stomach. Wish I had an answer for you. Makes me wonder if my kids think the same thing as their parents have a younger child that wasn't placed for adoption. We never really know what they're thinking and you're right, this parenting thing is soooo hard.