Friday, June 1, 2012

The mouse becomes the shark!

We called him mouse, almost from the very first day he joined our family. Such a tiny little guy, only 13 pounds at the age of four! He was instantly accepted and loved by our family and friends.

Nearly two years later, he's less of a mouse! More of a shark at 34 pounds and 37 inches tall. He would need to grow five inches and gain three pounds to scrape the bottom of the growth chart.

Theo is dealing with the consequences of the neglect and abuse he suffered during his first four years. We are all dealing. Even thought he is happy and healthy, this dealing overshadows his gains. Obsessions with water and food dominate his waking hours.

We must not leave any plates unattended. The refrigerator water dispenser must always be locked. The bathroom door is always closed. Cups must not be placed close to the edge of the counter top. You see there is a shark in the house and he wanders around looking for opportunities to feed his obsessions. Hyper-alert. Constantly circling.

Even so, I could not imagine being more emotionally attached to Theodore. He's no more mine than if I had given birth to him myself. I love the way he grabs handfuls of grass and tosses it up in the air. I love the way he hugs me tight. I giggle when he does pull-ups on the edge of the counter. I love the way he trusts me and tolerates long periods of unbroken, loving, eye contact. He's FUN!

I grieve for what has been stolen from him. But I have hope for his future and I'm so pleased that I get to guide him there as his mom. Tomorrow is his 6th birthday. I'll be thinking of his biological mother tomorrow as I work on his smash cake. Yeah, Theo gets a smash cake. Thinking of it just makes me smile!


Anonymous said...

"The bathroom door is always closed." Yikes!

Also, could his obsession with food/water be related to the fact that he needs growth hormone injections? In other words, could he have an insufficient amount of the hormone that regulates hunger cues?

Jill said...

Happy birthday 6th Theo! Have fun smashin' that cake! :-)

eliz said...

He reminds me of our Pauly! :o) He wasn't that small when he came home. But he's filled out and strong!! And the mental challenges are hard for him, he retreats to the orphanage things that comfort him. And yet he too is great fun even with those challenges!