Friday, November 27, 2009


On Friday, October 9, 2009, we forgot about all professional and academic matters and used some Union Bank coupons to spend a wonderful day at Legoland, right before Thomas' corrective surgery, which would take place the following Tuesday, October 13.

I could not believe my eyes when seeing Thomas and Nicholas enjoy all the rides, try roller coasters for the first time with no fear, and excitedly want to go on the same coaster over and over again. Thomas kept on insisting that he was brave--and he was so very proud of himself! It seems impossible that he is the same Thomas who used to cry at the drop of a pin, who was scared of vacuum cleaners, hand dryers, and coil wires. For several months after their homecoming, he would still get startled with the slightest noise, and on a rainy autumn evening would say that the grey clouds above were out to get him.

As for Nicholas, the transformation had been even more dramatic. It was hard to believe that he was the same boy who on the day when I had first met him and Thomas in Haiti, would very soon go back to his toys as if lacking in any interest about the events and about his surroundings. As guilty as this thought makes me feel, it was hard to believe that he was the same boy I had wished I did not need to take home. I'm sure that many adoptive parents will identify with such feelings of initial reluctance, but still every time he does something cute I can't avoid the remorse of thinking how disappointed I felt when I first saw him that day, knowing he would be my son forever. His look seemed to be lost in space somewhere, and he did not appear to care much about what was going on around him, in a kind of attitude that erroneously conveyed the impression of autistic traits. Yes, I did want children facing some physical challenges--but no, I was not prepared for a child with autism. I do apologize if this statement eventually touches upon anyone's family circumstances. The problem would not have been the autism, but just I, as I was not ready for it. In any event, at that point it had been Catherine, my daughter, who by e-mail had reminded me that "he is now your son and our brother, and together we'll make everything work out fine." She had added that she loved all the children at the S.T.A.R. Program, where she was then finishing her last internship and where she's working now, and that Nicholas would be "our very own shining STAR". Well, thanks mainly to her and to the twins (I was too busy preparing the move), in less than one week at home those autistic-like behavioral components were gone forever, never to be seen again. That absent, blank look got very soon replaced by eyes that are so very expressive as to easily convey the words that, due to his c.p., his tongue has a hard time trying to articulate. He pays attention to everything, wants to know everything, and wants to be in everything--sometimes too much maybe.

They both feel safe, secure, wanted, important, loved. They are totally bonded into our family with no "buts" of any kind. They trust us. And that takes me to Thomas' surgery, which would take place on 10/13/09, a few days after Legoland. I still don't know why I agreed to such corrective surgery on his right foot, though. Despite his hemiplegia diagnosis, before surgery he could already walk, and could already run as fast as the wind. It was a triple C osteotomy, to correct the shape of his right foot and stretch a little the muscles of his right leg. Even after waking up in pain, with a huge cast, and unable to walk, Thomas did not care about anything else other than being with us. Despite the pain medication, he would not fall asleep on the hospital bed, but on the recliner at the side of it, next to one of us.

Now the big cast is gone, and was replaced by a much smaller one, with which he is walking around again, and which, in turn, will be removed on Monday, December 7--the day before the twins' 13th birthday, which is on the day of the Immaculate Conception, Dec. 8. The really moving issue is that Gerard and Warren consider being able to see Thomas again going back and forth without any cast to be the best birthday present they can ever have!

Quick General Update: Are we actively involved in adopting again? Definitely yes!!! Yet, before posting more, I'd rather wait--at least until things are a little more advanced. I'd like to clarify that, even though I'm widowed, when talking about adoption I always use the plural due to how totally, completely, entirely, absolutely, and inconditionally my mom and my three older children were and are in the processes.

Are we moving out of state? (That's what I was saying in my Aug.'08 entries). No--at least, not for now.

God bless everyone!!!

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