Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Glimpses of the past
Colin had the joy of dental work today. This has been an area of concern since we first met him. You see, it is quite common for children from other countries to have less than stellar dental hygiene. We were well prepared for this when we met him in Ch*na.
All in all, I was pleased that he did as well as he did on his first dental visit. If you missed that post, you can read up on it here.
Today, we took him in to get 2 cavities filled. (or so we thought). I tried to prepare him for what that would involve. He was also scheduled for sealants and an orthodontic consult. Once the dentist examined him, she quickly decided not to fill both cavities in the same day so that she would not put him through too much all at once.
He was a real trooper. Of course, he is 14 and not about to show fear unless absolutely necessary, but a mama knows. I made sure he had his laughing gas to help ease the tension. His cavity was in a difficult spot to reach, so they really put him through the ringer to get the job done!
After all that, it was time to go in for an orthodontics consult. That was a no brainer. So, we quickly signed away our
lives finances and proceeded with spacers and molds and lots of Xrays.
The dentist recommended that I stay with him and keep a close eye on him this evening, so I stayed home from Orchestra practice and hung out with my favorite teenager.
Once the novicaine wore off, we had a nice conversation. It was nice to chat with him and see him so relaxed and willing to talk.
Those less familiar with international adoption of older children might be surprised that this is such a big deal, but when you bring a child into your home who has a past that you were not a part of, there are so many things about them that you don't know. I think every adoptive parent has experienced a time when they wish their child could answer all their questions about their childhood and the caregivers, friends and teachers from their past. Often, those holes of information are never filled.
But, every once in awhile, a crack appears in the armor of an older child. Tonight was one of those nights. We have had moments like this before, but each time we get to be alone and talk, I learn a little more about my son and the experiences that have shaped his personality.
I have often remarked to friends about how surprised and grateful I am that our son has grown up to be such a fine young man, despite his difficult beginnings. I am so grateful to God for protecting my son from becoming angry or bitter. He could have easily become scared and untrusting, but he is anything but. I am certain apart from God's grace, I would not have faired as well.
It opened the window for me to tell him that he had a family now and that he could always count on us to protect and care for him. I acknowledged that the adults in his past didn't always protect him and care for him the way that he deserved, but that God has always loved him and that his Father and I would never leave him. I could see in his eyes that he understood and that he believed me.
I am very grateful for that cavity and for the chance to spend some quality time with Colin tonight. I am grateful to the Lord for allowing me to parent this wondferful child. Our lives are better because of it.