Our oldest son from Ethiopia is pretty good at articulating his feelings to us. It took me a little time to notice the pattern, but after a family vacation or fun-filled family day or even a small moment of joy, he will say, "I feel like I'm dreaming..." It reminds me that he is still processing this 'new life' as a member of our family in America.
The greatest conversations with my children do not occur when they are planned out and prompted - they come sitting on the back deck on a sunny Michigan afternoon after lunch at the picnic table...
Muaz: "Mom, sometimes when I am playing in the yard with everyone, I feel like I am dreaming".
Me: "Why do you feel like that?"
Muaz: "I don't know, I feel like I might wake up and be in Ethiopia again."
Me: "Is it a good feeling to be here?"
Muaz: "Yes, I just sometimes feel like I am dreaming".
Me: "Do you ever wish you were still there?"
Muaz: "Sometimes - but only for Mama Medina and Meme, but I would miss you guys."
Me: (Misty eyed) "I'm so glad you are here, but I am sad you had to leave them, too."
Our son has been home for 2 years and experienced the joy of clean water, food in abundance, the love & of a mom & dad and the gift of time together, the bond of siblings, his own bed to sleep in at night, clothes and shoes of his own that fit (& he picked them out), a safe place to worship & grow in knowledge and love of the Lord, the joy of organized sports, safety & shelter. None of these items were available to him in Ethiopia and yet his heart continues to yearn for the one thing he left behind of value - his mother & sister, whom he loves. We cannot remove the hurt of being separated from them with our love, or the things or opportunities we provide him and my soul aches from a depth that I cannot describe for the way he wrestles with that. The very thing that allows him to love me as his mommy had to be taken from him to get here. After 2 years, it would be easy at times to just keep on moving forward, but I am reminded that in the depths of his soul, a grief that should not be ignored continues to dwell in his precious heart. He needs to be reminded that it is good to love Mama Medina and that we want to share his grief as much as we do his joy. It is an amazing priviledge to witness the work of God through adoption and the redemptive power of Jesus that dwells in the hearts of His once-fatherless & now found children.