Kai has been a part of our family and in our home since August of 2007, which means 10 months. He hasn’t asked for his socks or for that matter his shoes while sleeping in a long time. When we first got Kai in
So, it surprised me, the other day, when he wanted his socks. I wondered if the next step would be his shoes. While shoes and clothes remain important to Kai, he hasn’t requested them for sleeping in months. In my mind, as all mothers do, I question myself. Does that mean he is regressing? Or is he feeling a bit insecure today? Or is he just cold and feels like socks on this particular nap and now has the English speaking skills to ask for them? I don’t know that answer.
What I do know is that there are days that I am wracked with uncertainty and guilt in regards to my parenting ability with Kai. We adopted Kai at an older age in terms of adoption. He was 2 and a half, the likely hood of a child getting adopted either internationally or domestically after the age of 2 drops significantly. As a result, there just doesn’t seem to be much information about toddler adoption available. The few books out there, I have read already. Yet, like so many things in life, there is no formula for parenting children adopted as toddlers, especially from another country, it all comes down to your personal child and his or her personality and background. Would a Chinese mother parent him better than I can? Do I expect too much of Kai? He did spend the first 2 and a half years of his life in an orphanage. Am I being developmentally appropriate in my parenting approaches? There is no magical dinger to mark my parenting decisions. No alarm sounds when I make mistakes. A cheesy game show host does not inform me, “Oh, Kate, I am sorry, but the correct answer was, “Bend down at this level and speak gently, NOT sigh in exasperation and then demand he listen to you and when he refuses send him to time out.”
So, I put the socks on Kai’s thick, muscular feet. His feet are smooth, warm and clean, just like the rest of his body, anything but frail. I give the pad of his foot a little tickle with my finger and he smiles his killer 1,000 watt smile, revealing his deep dimples. I give him a kiss “night-night”, and he’s off to sleep. As I walk out of his room, I try to silence the endless questions in my mind. I turn in the door way and look at his little curled up body one more time. Already asleep, he is stunningly beautiful. I love him fiercely and have already learned so much from him. I decide to take it one moment at a time. This moment he is sleeping. Socks on or not, he is my son, that is the moment, and that is enough.