Y'all know that Jerome, otherwise known affectionately as number 4, is the happiest soul on the face of the Earth. He defies all the educated statistics that dictate he should be burdened with a ton of attachment issues, PTSD, and other negative behavior due to his abandonment in an orphanage in Port-au-Prince sometime during his first year of life. By all rights, he should be one messed up little dude!
Before he came home to us, we talked to professionals, read everything we could get our hands on and gleened what we could from the internet regarding RAD and related attachment issues. We prepared for the worst case scenario with him. We visited our boys twice in Haiti at the orphanage before we brought them home and saw him as a sweet, engaging child who did not like to follow rules. He would laugh when we told him to stop touching the computer or to put the candy away. Even though he was called La Petite Bandit, he exemplified a joy of life that was unmistakable.
When he came home what we saw was a remarkably different boy. He was compliant, joyful, willing to please and appropriately shy of strangers. Yes, he remains friendlier than most kids his age, but he has definetely learned social parameter and skills that work in our society, not in an orphanage. We always wondered if his happiness was just the 'honeymoon' phase of adaptation or if this was his true personality. Well, we feel confident that since he has been home now for 19 months, this is indeed his true nature.
The best way to describe Jerome is to say he is a happy soul. How he survived the severe illness he was afflicted with at his first orphanage, in addition to the lack of nurturing care and adequate nutrition, leads me to believe this kid does indeed have some specific purpose to serve in this life. God gave my son a joyful soul, a kind and loving heart, and the ability to be loved after such such tragedy is evidence of his Maker's handiwork.
Now, Jerome also has a way with words that makes me laugh. These are some things that I heard Jerome singing/talking about this week:
The other morning I heard him singing with the radio in the bathroom...which is a habit of his, to take the radio into the bathroom....singing at the top of his lungs; I love my life, I love my life, I love my life! Guess he was reveling in the freedom of being able to go potty alone!
Yesterday he was pretending the swiffer mop handle was a microphone and he was dancing around the kitchen watching his reflection in the oven door singing; I love my life, I love everything I have, I love my family.....even Madison! HAHAHAHAHA I particularly like that one!
Today driving home from the grocery store I was listening to Broadminded on Sirius/XM. They were playing a "Name that scream" game in which people could call in to identify famous screams from such movies as the Shining, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, etc. From the back seat I hear Jerome ask Richnigthder, "Why's that broad screaming?" Oopsie! Seems he's heard how the ladies on the channel refer to themselves. Gulp!
Another thing that makes me scratch my head besides cheap shampoo is seeing how heavy my boys' Haitian accent still is. Last week we visited the Watkins and Dorcheus families in Montana and I was really suprised to see how slight their little boys' accents were. I'm wondering if it's possible because their boys are 2 and 3 years younger than my boys? I don't know? All I know is that I understand Jerome's slower acquisition of language due to his horrible start in life, but Richnigthder is one smart cookie. He speaks well, but man does he have a heavy accent. So what's the deal?
And speaking of funny kids, the Watkins kids are freaking hilarious. Peterson who has a known appreciation of a woman's body copped a little feel on me and then had me busting a gut laughing at his "How would you like a little hot love?" comment. Best thing about the Watkins kids is that they have no idea they are so damn funny. We had a lovely mix of kids and they all got along! Now I just have to keep the pressure on them to join our adventure at Haiti camp next July in Minnesota AND to get Kristi to commit to joining me on the mom's get-away in Orlando in March.
Friends are family you choose along the way and we have been blessed by many great friends met thru the adoption world!