This morning was hellish.
Cava did not want to go to school and kept telling me that he didn't have school today.
When it came time to leave, he came hobbling up and telling me that his leg hurt. Now he had been running wild throughout the house all morning so I knew better. "Show me where it hurts, Cava." He pulled up his pants' leg and showed me a small bruise he had gotten last week playing on the playground at school. "You're going to school," I informed him and he stomped off behind Benjamin to the car.
We dropped Benjamin off at his school first and then proceeded to go the Cava's. No sooner had we come in sight of the school when he unbuckled his seat-belt (something we are constantly having to get on him about doing while the car's in motion) and proceeded to kick and hit anything he could. I pulled into the parking lot, got my Camry into a spot, and got out of the car, went around to the other side and opened the rear passenger's side door. As soon as I did, Cava flinched back as if expecting to be hit, so I reassured him that I wasn't going to just as I always do. As soothingly as possible, I tried to calm him down, but he just screamed and kicked and hit, all the while telling me he was not going to school.
I spent 10 - 15 minutes trying to clam his fears and his anger, but to little avail. Getting him to simply crying, I carried him, his backpack, and his lunchbox across the parking lot and into the school's lobby. It was there that he decided to unleash it all. A friend of ours, Rose, came over and tried to talk to him and then his teacher came out and spoke to him. Somewhere in the midst of this, Cava scratched my right cheek so hard that he drew blood and left two long scratch marks. The only thing that got his anger to subside was his teacher asking him if he wanted to play on a computer. He nodded and, as he started to walk off with her, she said, "Say good-bye to your papa." Silence. "Tell him you love him." With his head down, not looking at me, he said, "No love Papa." With those words, he walked off to class with her.
I was left sitting there: crushed and embarrassed.
By the time I got back outside, two of the teachers who help get kids safely out of the cars began to talk to me, asking me how Benjamin (who'd gone to this elementary school) was doing, and told me that they were praying for us. We definitely need them.
I got in my car and drove to work. The drive in to Charlotte was one full of tears and prayers. I tried to think about what my Dad had told me the day before, "God's hand has been all over this adoption from the beginning and He will get you guys through this." And He will. But right now it's hard to see that.
Cava needs and wants love. We want to love him. It's going to take our continual reassurance of our love and, even more, God's love to change this little boy who has spent 8 years feeling hurt, rejected, and unloved.
As I'm driving in, Mercy Me's new song "You Are I Am" came on and the lyrics really spoke to me, especially in this difficult place where everything seems to be in turmoil. Hopefully it speaks to others out there with whatever you are going through.
We have made an appointment for our family to go see a children's counselor who speaks Russian this coming Saturday. Please continue to be in prayer for us as we help our son adjust.