I have been aware that TM's English language skills have been improving recently. He has been functionally able to speak English since he had been home three months, but I have been aware that deeper language skills have been missing. As he learns to read he has become aware of word differences that he was unaware of before, plus his listening comprehension has also improved significantly and he has been enjoying read-aloud chapter books and recorded stories more than in the past. I also believe that with these new language skills is coming an ability to put his feelings into words...something he has been unable to do before.
This evening was a tough one. It was the first time that he was able to really articulate his grief at losing his foster family and leaving Vietnam. Of course it wasn't so simple as that. It was a long road of unexplainable behavior throughout the day which also involved a use of language we had not seen before. But, in the end, it was grief and fear. Grief at losing such important things and people and fear that it would happen again. I should have seen this coming. For the past several days, he had been mentioning to me that he has had more than one mother in his life. Perhaps if I had initiated some conversations, I could have at least derailed the behavior leading up to the melt-down. But I know that nothing I do can take away the grief; all I can do is walk through it with him. I know it is better that he begins to talk about this pain that he carries around. I did worry before that he had feelings he didn't know what to do with because he couldn't name them. All too often those feelings would emerge as rage, understandably so, but difficult to deal with none the less.
I am once again angry at what this small boy has had to live through at such a young age. I hate to see him hurting and I wish I could snap my fingers and make it all better.