I honestly think that I would have been overjoyed by anything Little Chick said this week. We’re conscious that his speech is delayed, and that the new, unfamiliar circumstances will limit his speech further, so any utterances are gratefully scooped up. But the fact his most common word this week has been ‘wow!’ has utterly melted my heart. He seems genuinely excited by and in awe of everything we say, do, and show him.
Partly, we know this is compliance. Unknown adults may not be safe and while we are quick to call ourselves mummy, and already – albeit tentatively – see ourselves as a family we are very much unknown adults to him. The drawn-out preparation time between matching panel and introductions was frustrating (to put it mildly), but it gave his foster carer more time to sow the seed of his new family and his new home. Ultimately this prolonged approach has benefited Little Chick and, I believe, laid a solid foundation for us to build a better attachment more quickly.
Every time he exclaims ‘wow!’ I feel a little burst of joy, a reminder that we can offer him opportunities, love, and so much more. Equally though, it hits me that he has experienced so much loss in his little lifetime. Each time he wonders at something new I worry that we have overloaded him with too much. We are acknowledging his recent and more distant past, but also want to show him a glimpse of his future, of his life with us. I am not sure we will or can get this balance right, but I suppose as long as we continue to be mindful of it we have a better chance.
For now, I will try not to dwell too much on loss, on negativity. Instead, I will remember that everything he does and says wows me. I am so in awe of this little boy and already my heart bursts for him.