A few thoughts about this little man....
I found myself calling him "Sweetness". That's his new nickname from Momma. He's just a tender, snuggly, gentle little boy and he needs lots of love.
Nathan just turned two in August. The only time we've been to Haiti and he's felt well was the very first trip when he was 5 months old.
He's been sick every other time. That means he looks like this most of the time:
He did a lot of screaming this trip. He really just wanted Momma to hold him. And if you could please stand up and rock me while you do that. If I was sitting, he wasn't happy. I can't really blame him. He apparently hasn't felt well for most of his young life.
We did get him on an antibiotic again while we were there and by the end of the week he was playing around a bit
He really liked his Grandma
Once he realized that we'd brought more than one pair of shoes for HIM, he liked to carry a different pair to Grandma so she'd pick him up and change his shoes for him.
And then 10 minutes later, he'd take the other pair to her and want her to change them again. He was so excited to a) have multiple pairs of shoes, and b) to have adults that would do whatever he wanted or needed. I can't even imagine.
He does have a beautiful smile when he's feeling well. Unfortunately we don't see it much because it takes a few days for the antibiotics to kick in and get him feeling better and by then it's usually time for us to go.
Momma and Nathan slept in one bed and Papa and Jessica slept in the other bed. The first few nights, I'd lay down with him on my chest and rock him until he fell asleep. By the end of the week he could fall asleep without me holding him, but he still wanted - no NEEDED to be held. I think we all need that, right?
The last couple of nights he'd push me back so he could crawl onto my chest and he'd snuggle there and then he'd climb on and off and flip and turn and toss while he tried to get all the wiggles out and fall asleep.
I noticed no matter what position he ended up in, he'd have at least one foot or a hand still touching me.
There we'd be, lying in the dark with Papa and Jess already fast asleep on the other bed and Mr. Nathan trying to get comfy enough to sleep and wiggling and crawling around while he tried to unwind.
That's when the game would start.
In the darkness, I'd hear Sweetness say, "Mama?"
And I'd reply, "Yes, Baby?"
And he'd sigh, "Mmmmm...."
And then 10 seconds later, I'd hear, 'Mama?"
We must have played that game 80 gajillion times those last two days.
I think it's part of Sweetness working out that Mama is really THERE and she's there for HIM.
One morning, I woke up as the morning light was coming through our window and I looked over at Sweetness, expecting to see him soundly sleeping.
Instead I found myself gazing into his beautiful chocolate eyes.
He'd been watching me sleep.
Another time, when I laid down with him to get him to take a nap, I closed my eyes (attempting to show him that we were going to sleep now") and a few moments later I felt Sweetness's tiny little boy fingers lightly skimming my eyelashes and then down my cheek, stroking my face.
I think it's as amazing for him to have a Momma as it is for me to have a son.
And then we had to leave him. And next time we'll have to start over again, helping him feel better and rebuilding trust.
Someday, you'll know Momma and Papa aren't going to leave you, Sweetness.
Someday, you'll realize that we've finally figured out that everything thus far in our lives has been leading up to finding you and your sister.
Someday, I'll be able to rock you to sleep in your very own room in your very own bed and you'll have your very own closet with all your very own shoes in it.
And someday, when you wake up scared in the night and call, "Mama??" I'll come running down the hall to sweep you up and hug you and say, "Yes, Baby, Mama's here."
We love you, Little Man... Mama's Sweetness. Come home soon.