I know his cries and whines...or so I thought.
We have been home for almost 3 years. He was a baby when they placed him in my arms, barely 18 lbs, just having celebrated his 1st birthday. I learned the cry for tired, for hungry, for wet. I learned his cry for just wanting attention (think tantrum) and his cry for hurt. And I thought I had learned his cry for sadness.
That is until the last couple of days. A new cry has appeared, a cry that pierces my heart, it starts almost as a scream and then shakes his whole body. Tears stream down his face and when he finally consents to being in my arms his body is rigid. Once I am holding him the crying calms slowly and then he lays still against my shoulder, no sound, just slowly relaxing for 5 or more minutes. During this time he will not make eye contact, in fact he won't even lift his head off my shoulder. Eventually he shifts to sitting sideways against me, resting his head against my chest so he can hear my heartbeat.
I can only describe this as grief. Why now and where it comes from I do not know. But I do know that despite what "people" want to say adopting a baby does not mean that the transition will be easy. It does not mean they don't remember, his body remembers. His body grieves the loss of something. And at this age when independence and control are battling in his life this grief strikes hard and fast.
Lately he has been talking about babies a lot. He has been asking to be a big brother, for me to have a baby in my tummy. I don't know where that comes from either. I wonder if the two are connected. I will never know.
For now all I can do is hold him, let him cry it out and reassure him that he is home forever.