I missed out on a lot of my kids lives. They didn't come to me until preschool to school aged. I don't know all that happened in that time. Some memories come out now and then. A meal. A person. A place. Sometimes they are nice memories. More often they are not. The first time one of our newly arrived kids spilled their milk the terror on their face was evidence of their past. The way they quickly tried to smooth it over with I love you Papa! and I sowwy Papa! again and again shows the fear they must have felt. The relief was almost palpable when the only thing that happened was a towel was provided and we cleaned it up and more milk was poured and the meal went on. Last night after several years home, someone spilled the marbles from a game. We (oldest bio child and I) laughed and joked about losing your marbles. We suggested he just pick them up. but he was frozen. The tears were coming. They wouldn't stop. The past was coming spilling out. The fear was visible on his face. His hands clenched and wringing. I told him I wasn't mad, I told him if they had gone under appliances we could move them and find the missing marbles. He was having none of it. He was stuck in his past. He was waiting for something that wasn't going to come. I hugged him and got very close asking why he was crying, assuring I was not at all mad that he dropped the marbles. He said in his orphanage they beat him with a stick when he dropped things. I hugged him, he sobbed, I sobbed. I told him how horrible that was and how wrong they were. I told him how I would never ever do that. I told him I was so sorry that he had endured that. He told me that if they didn't have a stick they would get one from a tree. He also remembered a time when he wasn't in line properly, they wanted a straight line, and he was the wanderer. He got whacked then too. I love this boy so much. I love his squishy belly. I love his big ole head. I love how he tries to help. my heart hurts that he was hurting. I cant fix it. I cant undo it. I can only carry through on my promise to love him and raise him without hurting him. He can count on that. I would give him anything. I would jump in front of a bus for him. That's the kind of love I have for him. He is mine. I think you could say we are pretty well attached. I hope he will learn that the world is not all bad. that there is good in the world. That not everyone will hurt you.