Tuesday, February 9, 2010

More than Words

I love words. I am a writer. I am a talker. I love the written word, and I consider conversation to be the heart of all relationships. So how am I doing with a child who doesn't know more than ten English words? How am I communicating with a boy who speaks two languages, neither a language in which I understand a word?

Watching him for ten days in his country of origin, I already know that he too loves words. He doesn't know a stranger and will talk to himself if no one is around. To those who know me well, that may sound vaguely familiar. He will talk to babies, peers, and adults. He will talk to people in a shop or sitting near him on the plane. I witnessed a twenty minute conversation between him and another little girl that did not have one second of pause time. Just word after word after word. I think they must have breathed while the other was talking.

Somehow, we manage to communicate. He came to me on our second day together with a question. I didn't understand the words and there were no accompanying hand gestures to give me a clue. With an inspiration like something from the Holy Spirit, I asked, "You need toilet paper?" He nodded, "Yes." Don't ask me?

Sometimes it is hard. When we descended in the plane and I saw the tears rolling down his face from the pressure on his ears, I couldn't tell him to hang on, it won't last much longer. I just put my arm around him and held his hand.

I started this post with an idea of something along the lines of the title "More than words." A love story of a mom and her child where all that needs to be said is said wordlessly. But I am afraid that simply isn't true. Much of what we communicate is in our tone and our body language. I will grant you that. I can make him feel safe and loved with out words. He can show me what he needs.

But I am a talker and he is too. Until we can communicate with a common language, we won't really really know one another. We both have so much to say. There are just too many words we need. We both love words, and I think he would agree they are irreplaceable.

He knows I am Mom and I know his basic needs. I know when he is happy and he knows he can trust me. That is a great start, but there is just so much more to say.

Does this bother me? Not in the least. I know that in the near future, we will have some good heart to hearts. I know he will learn quickly. I know that conversation will be at the heart of our relationship.

And most importantly, I know that we have a life time ahead of us. Our story has begun and soon we will both tell it. It will begin once upon a time and it will end happily ever after.


  1. Great Start to your ever ending. I cant wait to see how he transitions. I am so happy and thankful you are home safe and sound and can start loving each other.

    Thank you for the pictures. They are beautiful.

  2. Oh that was amazing!! I am so thankful you are home and able to love on your son!!

    I am looking forward to many more posts about your family bonding together!

  3. That was beautifully written! Congrats on your wonderful new son...I can still see his perfect smile and am so glad he is home!!!

  4. Welcome home, Simon! Congratulations to all the family. I'm so happy for you all.