We have a son, brought to us not by genetics but rather by adoption. A sweet little Russian boy, at age 7, when we first met him and his sister. His sister’s story is not for me to tell I think. So, let me just say that she was also adopted, she was loved, she chose to leave, and had chosen to not remain in contact with her biological half-brother. End of that story.
This is about my sweet Vita. He is now 15 (soon to be 16!) and is experiencing sadness and trauma and depression stemming from a time before we knew him. A time when, in the orphanage, a half-gypsy/half-Russian child was considered an outrage. His earliest recall of a “nickname”, said in English, was “ni@@er”. He told me that he was one, in his still broken English, and filled with shame that we had adopted him without knowing this “truth” about him. My outraged denials did not, I think, have any impact on changing his self-image. Apparently darker skin is not something prized in that part of the world and he paid the price by not only physical abuse, but verbal torment which his sister could not completely shield him from.
Abuse and hunger were part of his early years, not only from within the orphanage but from our understanding also from his biological mother during the brief time she had custody of him. So, when I say that he has both a driven need for love and family and an inability to respond to love in a healthy manner, please know that is not an exaggeration. I love him ferociously and fiercely. I love him even with the certainty that if say, tomorrow, we were to get a knock on the door and found some manner of official who would demand “Vita, come with us you are going to a new family” that he would pick up his few prized possessions and leave without a backward glance towards us.
You see for him, nothing is forever. Nothing is certain. Not even the love of a mother brought to him by God.
My poor sweet Vita.