Hugs

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Foster Care / In Transition

I don’t always want them, but they’re there now. We’ve lived together for a little over a month now, and somewhere along the way (I’d know for sure if I’d been blogging regularly as I’d planned), he started hugging me. It was pretty clear this did not happen in his last foster home. During his Christmas visit with his bio mom, his social worker noted he was being more affectionate with her than she’d ever seen. She attributed it to the abundance of gifts (a 3DS AND accessories to go with an iPod Touch, which hasn’t come in yet). I think it might be more that he’s feeling more free to give affection. The first thing he does every morning is find me for a hug. It’s the last thing he does at night. He hugs me before the bus rounds the corner and he goes off to school. He hugs me when he gets off the bus. He lies against my arm on the couch.

There are times, to be honest, when it feels like too much. When I feel fake and false and like I want to pull away. But I don’t, not only to avoid hurting him, but to help me. Because he seems to be attaching just fine. It’s clearly still the honeymoon period, and he’s still mostly acting on his best behavior (I haven’t really had to enforce any limits or discipline yet at all), but he’s getting more comfortable, and I can just tell he’s attaching, even beyond the hugs. But it’s slower for me. He doesn’t smell like my kid, for one thing.

Is that weird? I have this thing about smell–I even broke up with a guy because I just wasn’t attracted to his scent. Not that he smelled bad, but I never wanted to bury my nose in his neck and inhale, you know? And at 11, E is already bumping up the macho factor with “manly” smelling stuff. I had tried to curb it a little when we bought body wash, but his therapist gave him an Axe gift set for Christmas, so what could I do? I mean, it’s better than B.O., sure, but it’s not at all pleasant for me, and doesn’t make me want to bury my nose in his hair or neck when I hug him.

This post has turned into much more than I expected, probably because I haven’t been writing and have a million things on my mind. But it’s late, and I need to turn in. Tomorrow he’s meeting my best friend, her husband, and their two boys, who are 6 and 3. He had a blast with my brother-in-law this week, so I think he’ll enjoy doing “boy” stuff with them.

The Author

I'm a pastor. I believe in radical love and ridiculous grace. I love to sing and sew, and have a shop on Etsy. I'm trying to make my ecological footprint smaller. I have chickens who provide endless entertainment. Oh, and I'm a formerly single mom by choice, son E (born 6/00, placed 11/23/11, adoption finalized 11/21/14) and now making a life with The Dude and his two kids, Girl-E (12/02) and C (9/04). Baby Bumpy due to arrive around 5/25/15! This blog chronicles my thoughts on faith, family, and the wild adventure we call Life!

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