Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Orphan Behavior

I keep forgetting.

It daily slips my mind.
When I look at them
I don't see it.

I keep forgetting.

I'm thinkin that's good.
I don't watch them bound down the stairs each morning and think to myself,
"Look! My two little former orphans! How cute!"

The fact escapes me

If I hadn't picked them up myself I wouldn't believe that they have only been here for four months.
Not at'all.

So yes,
I keep forgetting.

Until things like this happen.

We are moving to wherever the AF sends us.
Like soon-soon.

I asked them to pack up their legos so that we could take them to the hotel
and they instead managed to unearth all sorts of treasures that they had hidden away.

Orphan behaviors.
Front and center.

They hoard.
They don't steal.
They don't hide food
but the things they manage to pillage
amaze me. 
It fascinates me really.
what they deem important or worthy of keeping.
Course it wasn't until this afternoon that I realized
it's all important apparently.

Take this for instance

that's a "baseball".
A baseball made of one sheet of crumpled up printer paper covered in packing tape.
That was their "China baseball."
Furthermore, it's wrapped in a clear cellophane wrapper they pillaged from somewhere in the house.
This is special to them.

Then there's the random strands of Easter grass.

Broken bouncy ball.

Sheet of paper that they practiced their multiplication tables on 2 months ago.

Broken pencil.

All of it.

Go ahead.
Let your heart break.
I'll wait.

So when I sat down with them and gently told them that we should take a look and see if anything in there could be trash here was the result

It's all still there.
NONE of this is trash to them.
Not the remaining plastic part of a ring pop
not the 3 month old happy meal toy
not the broken plastic mini frisbee
No.Thing. is trash.

Then there's this.
This is what it looks like under their pillows.


So here we are
very close to a move
and my very typically organized self
is taking a deep breath.
The baseball wrapped in trash will move with us
as will the plastic ring pop piece
all of it.
It will come.

But more importantly

And though for now they view their trinkets as special
soon enough
they truly and fully will grasp how very special they are.

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal but store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven. Matthew 6:19-20.


  1. I love this verse and how it can pertain to adoption. There are so many things we could store up, hoard, stock-pile, etc..or we could give to others until we have nothing left to give...making eternal differences.

  2. Hugs! I'm praying for your move. Hope the boys transition well.

  3. I have 2 children that do that. I've slowly learned to come to terms with it and it bothers me less and less. It used to frustrate me until I really considered it all.

  4. They are such precious boys. I'm going to miss your whole famjam so much. Has the USAF not informed you it's all a mistake, as I've requested numerous times?

  5. The only thing I could think was "What a great mom for letting all that special stuff move with them!" Way to go, girl!! :)

  6. I agree with Tonya... so very, very good of you to understand how important these "things" are to them right now. They are learning every day to trust you more, and that's a beautiful thing! Look on the bright side... at least their "treasures" are small. :)

  7. Ugh, moving.
    Yes our 10 y.o. has pillows and treasures like that. It finally got better when we hit the 7 month mark. He was even heard saying "I got too much stuff" And he is finally throwing some things away.

  8. we have the same thing here with our two treasures. they still (home 4 yrs and 2 yrs) have a small problem with washing clothes and stuffed animals...they need reassurance that they will come back and they can have them again. Sweet babies...can't wait til they know how special they really are too

  9. I LOVE this post. Precious! Praying for you tonight as you prepare to move! Press on!

  10. Such wisdom!
    Praying for your move.
    Love & Blessings from Hong Kong,

  11. How awesome that you understand and accept them for where they are. I'm praying for their little hearts during this move. It must be very scary for them. There's an AF base just a couple of hours from us!! Maybe?

  12. We have very different lives, backgrounds, belief systems, but can I just say, I love you. It is so wonderful to read how well you "get" what your new little boys need. In the midst of a move it wold be so easy to just trash the stuff, tell them they do not need it etc... But you get it. The stuff is coming. Once day they will not need it all but for now they do.

    Best wishes,