Tonight I am feeling blessed. One of the scars institutionalized children can have is being "stiff." Physically stiff. This took me by surprise when I started packing Isaiah around in Africa. Honestly, I could not figure out why he was not fitting on my hip - this hip is use to having a chunky money on it all the time (aka Lily :)) - so why was this awkward and not working? - I could not figure it out.
Sadly I realized, and was educated by a friend, that this was lack of love and physical touch - he did not know how. Think about how we hold our babies, wash our babies - touch, kiss, carry - all of this he missed out on. Sure, there are volunteers that love on them as best they can but that can not be compared to the love of a parent.ever!
So I immediately bought a big bottle of lotion and started giving him massages, looong massages - every night. This is something I did with all my babies but by 2 it was hit and miss. With him it was obvious to me that this needed to be every night.
When I first started, he would giggle like crazy. His whole body was ticklish - he could hardly stand it (in a good way) he would laugh the whole time. Where as it was cute to see him laugh, it also broke my heart because I realized his skin was so sensitive to touch. Slowly he would begin to relax - sllllooowly.
This has been improving as he learns to trust and receive love. Tonight was a sweet victory I am savoring as I write this.
He crawled up in my lap tonight and just melted to by body. It felt so natural and comfortable - I was a happy Mama. :) We stayed like that for a good hour and I know it was a beautiful moment. Healing is happening - his little walls are melting.