Monday, September 13, 2010

Matthew's Response to Losing our Referral

Another question we've had numerous times in the past few days is how Matthew took the news.

Telling Matthew the news was one of the hardest parts of the whole last few weeks.  He was so excited that he was going to have siblings...especially a brother!  He was desperate to share his bedroom with his brother, and felt quite comfortable relegating a little sister to her own bedroom.  Bunk beds were being planned and space divisions were underway (in Matthew's mind).  He was thinking about which toys he was going to give to them, and helped me sort through several bags of little girl clothing that a friend had given me upon hearing of our referral...he even had opinions about girls' fashion.

I broke the news to him the day before making our decision official, though he likely sensed something was up from all of the lengthy, closed-door phonecalls I'd been having, and from the red-rimmed eyes that I tried for two weeks to hide from him.  He and I were making pancakes at the kitchen island on the morning that I broke the news, and the moment seemed right.  I told him the basics of what had happened and that it looked like his brother and sister would not be joining our family after all.  He was shocked.  Utterly shocked.  I've never seen that look on his face before.  His lower lip quivered.  Then, almost immediately, he asked if could go and tell Frodo (the cat), whom he'd spied lying under the dining room table.  Off he went, and I followed him quietly, eavesdropping on their one-sided conversation.  Matthew lay down on his stomach under the table and told Frodo in a very small, sad voice, that "our brother and sister won't be coming home after all," and said that he knew she'd be very sad about that, but that one of them was very sick and needed to go to a home where appropriate care could be given (I'm changing a few words to protect his sibling's privacy).  I could hear that he was crying.

When he came back to see me in the kitchen, I asked what he was thinking about, and how he felt about the situation.  His response was:  "that's ok, I guess.  I mean, I'm really sad, but I guess it'll be ok." He was very subdued, and readily accepted a long, head-on-the-shoulder hug from me.  He then asked if we could wait for another brother and sister for him.  I said that yes, we would go on waiting, but that we needed to prepare for the possibility that it might not be another brother and sister - it could just as easily  be two brothers, or two sisters.  He immediately said, and I do mean with no hesitation at all, "well, I've had a sister now, so I'd better start praying for two brothers, cause I really want brothers, and I want someone to sleep in my room!"  There you go...ultimately, he simply wants a companion in his room at night.

At any rate, he did as well as could be expected, given the news.  He's been a bit more fragile than usual over the past few days, and I attribute at least some of his outbursts to the news, but who can blame him?  Poor little tike has had all too much experience on this adoption roller coaster.  It will be so nice, eventually, maybe, some day, to get him off of it for good.


  1. I am sure that, like you and Geoff, Matthew will have a lot of emotions to work through in the coming weeks, but I have no doubt that he will be able to talk about his feelings and feel completely loved and secure, given the strength of your love for him and your willingness to allow him to open up to you.

  2. Ruth,

    My heart is absolutely aching for you all. I don't even know what to say, other than that you've been in my thoughts so much lately, and that I'm so sorry. I'm praying that Matthew gets his hoped for room-mate sooner than later.

  3. Poor guy...

    But I have a feeling he, like most kids, will be more resilient to the change than the adults :-S

    Ruth - Off topic, but...
    Would you please consider posting this video to your blog, to solicit sponsor for Vulnerable Children Society, Faya Orphanage's new partner organization?

    Really appreciate it!!!

  4. HI Ruth

    I loved this post only because I thought of Matthew often in this so I am so grateful ( as always ) for all you do share.

    I am sure it was so hard to hear the words come out of your mouth. I cant wait till you are all together and no more worries about his heart and the heartbreak he lives along side with you.

    I was glad to see you updated on yahoo , which I am sure was also very hard to type ( and delete and re type ) I was thinking the same knowing you would also have to update the side of the blog.

    Still sending lots of love your way and standing by if you ever need an ear.

    lots of love

  5. Oh sweet Matthew and his big, big heart. How tough this must be for him.

    I can relate to his talking to the cat, but whereas I used to think my cat was my only confidante, he has you and the wonderful flow of communication, love and security that you have built up with him.

    Hugs to you all.