As adoptive parents sometimes when we see a glimmer of progress it is often combined with a feeling of sadness. It is an odd feeling to be sad when you should be happy. The reason for this is often the signs of progress are things which other children never have to face, things which never even cross their minds as being an issue, yet can be absolutely massive steps forward for our children. This could be something as simple as reacting in a shy way to a stranger where they would normally go up and give them a huge hug.
My son hurts. He tries so hard to follow the rules, to do the right thing. He doesn’t always get it right. He used to spread his hurt to others. Backwards headbutts, hitting, kicking, biting, hurting. Now he tries to stop himself; it’s a visible struggle. When he does wrong, especially when it’s accidental, his instant reaction is to lash out. He’s learning to contain it, to control it, but his anger, his shame has nowhere to go. He screams, he cries, he thumps his hands up and down, until he contains them in his mouth. He doesn’t hit, he