Wednesday, February 24, 2010

black and white Wednesday ~ Will and me



the long road




These two were taken almost exactly a month ago of my 4 year son Will.

I processed each one a little differently.
Both images have kind of a vintage look, the bottom one warmer and almost sepia toned. I love how his sweater looks converted to black and white.

And I also want to write a few words about our little boy.




When I look at these pictures there are times that I almost can't believe he's ours and is here with us. After the eternal wait, the idea that your child is a 'real person' and not just a dream that you've hoped and prayed for so many years. If you've read my blog for a while you know that Will's transition to our family was a difficult one, he was not a happy camper for a long time. In China he attached first to Dan and would have nothing to do with me, in fact he'd scream if I got anywhere near him. Will's attachment to me has taken quite a while, and it's just recently that I feel he's completely turned the corner. I understand the psychology of it all very well. By age 2.5 (the age when he was placed with us in China), he had attached to and loved a few other women caregivers or mommies in his group foster home. I understood his resistance to reach out to me because it's hard to love when you aren't sure if this 'new' mom (me) may leave you.



He can be a bit stubborn, and a strong willed little boy by nature which are admirable traits because they helped him survive in China. They are part of who he is and I love that about him. But what Will got with me as his mommy was someone who was just as stubborn and persistent in my love, patience and dedication to him. I hoped with time and trust he would attach to me. And he has. We have both worked hard to get here and he's a brave little boy to take a chance with me as his mommy. For me, that a child can heal and love again is probably the greatest miracle of adoption.


Let me just say I read many adoption blogs and I think sometimes people are reluctant to talk about the times that are a little harder or maybe difficult with their children. I'm not really sure why that is, because I strongly believe we're all here to help and support each other. After the placement of your child(and I'm speaking about infants too), please don't expect so much from them at first. Every child grieves differently. Keep in mind this little person has a history, experiences and a life before you. They have lost so much and yet they have gained so much. It takes time, and attachment is a lifelong task. As my friend Lori says, "the gains are hard fought for." Yes they are hard fought for and worth it...every single step.




35 kind words:

Colleen said...

Gail these pictures are so beautiful and I am so happy you wrote about attachment...it's a long road at times but so worth it : ) You wrote beautifully on this subject...

Don and Lisa Osborn said...

Gail~Your pictures usually bring tears to my eyes but this post is so raw and real and authentic that it brought me to tears. Sometimes if an outsider looked at all the adoption blogs out there, it'd be easy to think it is all "wine and roses." Thank you for not whitewashing the challenges of adoption.

I am so sorry things were so rough for a while but I love how you described your fierce, stubborn love for Will. If we all loved more fiercely and were as committed to people like you are to Will (and Grace), the world would be a better place.

Thank you for such a touching and honest post with such beautiful pictures of your little fighter!

Blessings~
Lisa

Jboo said...

Gail-- what beautiful photos of your little guy. His determination and sweetness shine through. You're so right, it can be a long journey and hard at times, but so very worth it. Hope you have a great Wednesday!

Janet

Amy said...

I love the serious look on his face in the first shot - so contemplative.

Marla said...

Gorgeous Gail! The pictures and the words. Thank you for sharing sweet Will with us. :)

Courtney said...

I love both of the photos. He is such a handsome young man.

AFWIFE-MOMMY-photographer said...

the precious child shown in these pics is something to smile about. wonderful :)
http://photos-by-ria.blogspot.com/

Angie said...

What a handsome guy! Great pics, Gail.
Thanks for sharing your adoption journey...all aspects of it...with those of us waiting. Your experience will certainly help me...hopefully soon! :)

A little piece of 7th heaven said...

Gail..those pictures of Will are so beautiful. You write so elegantly and poignantly about your love for Will and your journey. Thanks for sharing and am even more glad Will has turned that corner.
LOVE..is grand!

Love Letters To China said...

Gail your pictures of Will are amazing. He is such a beautiful little boy. It is so wonderful to hear the truth about attachment and adjusting. Thank you for sharing your experience.

Michelle said...

Beautiful post, Gail. Thanks for your honesty on this subject. I'm sure you will have blessed others by your words. And great pictures of your precious son.

Life with JJ, Starr and Spice said...

I love how open you are...you are the real deal!

It is also pretty amazing that we again have the similarity of our third child being a 2 1/2 year old boy who attached to daddy first. Patience, love and hard work pay off in the end though, as the bonds grow and deepen.

All of this is truly not for the faint of heart. Thankfully we hae the hearts of Lionesses!

Truly love you SFAM...

Sarah @ When two becomes three... said...

Gosh Gail - another beautiful post full of gorgeous images and warm inspiring words. I am not in the adoption community but am in the surrogacy community as my daughter was born through gestational surrogacy. A different journey but still one full of emotion so I can identify.

Wanda said...

(Preach it sister!) Beautiful post about the reality of adoption. I've been meaning to "spill" it now for awhile. That post to come. Cause it's not all rosy. But as you and Colleen said...definately worth it.

Beautiful pictures - yes, it really brings out the texture in his sweater and captures Will's sweet spirit.

Happy Wednesday to you!

Becky said...

Beautiful pictures of your sweet Will. What a great post on attachment. I am so glad you hung in there with your precious son.

Dita said...

Gail this is one of the most beautiful posts I've ever read. The images of William are stunning...he is a little boy already...not a toddler anymore.

How amazing the journey has been for all of you and it makes my heart so happy to imagine the future that lies ahead for all of you.

Happy Wednesday!

xoxoxo
Dita

Kim said...

What great pictures. I also scanned through and must of missed you last week. I love the one of your daughter on the train tracks. it reminds me of being at my grandparents whos yard was next to the tracks we would play on as a kid.

The Sanders Family said...

These photos are awesome and so is the story that accompanies them. I can't even imagine the struggle you had as you tried to get his heart open to yours. I'm sure it was painful at times. How rewarding to finally have him in your arms and to be in his heart! Thanks so much for sharing :)

Laurie said...

Beautiful pictures (man, he's cute!), and of course I loved what you wrote too- the adjustment can be tough, that's for sure!

redmaryjanes said...

Amazing photos and amazing words.

Life with Kaishon said...

Your son is beautiful Gail. I love what you wrote. The pictures are amazing. So sweet.

jenbusymom said...

What a touching post, you've all been through a lot and worked hard to come this far!

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

BEAUTIFUL!! I love these photos of Will.....the vintage feel takes me back to another time. He is such a handsome and special little boy:)

Your story is so inspiring....you have come so far with him in such a short period of time. I know there are many people in the adoption world that experienced or are experiencing what you have. I admire you for sharing your journey and talking about some of the more difficult things. This post is definitely one of my favs that you have ever written:)

xoxo,

Lisa

Katy said...

Amazing pictures! I loved the edited antique look and the color. Your son is so handsome and cute :)

Briana's Mom said...

What a beautiful post about your handsome boy.

Learning to love and trust one another definitely takes time. I definitely know it took some time when Briana first came home. And after 2 years, Bri still has some fear (I just did a post on it).

I love these pictures - they are beautiful.

Freckles & Dimples Photography said...

Beautiful words to go along with your beautiful pictures. The music threw me over the edge though, I got teary-eyed!! thanks for sharing.

Christine said...

The photos are absolutely stunning and the thoughts you've shared are amazingly beautiful. We were very lucky in the attachment department, but we are amazed how much better it's gotten now that he's been with us longer than he's been with anyone else. It's such a hard road at times. Thank you so much for sharing!

Casey said...

A beautiful post!! When Will is older, he will cherish those words. Amazing photos too :)

Jodee Leader said...

Cute pictures of your handsome little man! You are soooo blessed to be his mama!

Kayce said...

Beautiful pictures Gail. Thank you for saying it's okay to write about the hard stuff. While I know it's okay, it's hard to write about sometimes. You are a treasure and so is that boy of yours!!

Shawna&Co. said...

Oh Gail! I am sitting here crying. Of course Will is beautiful so his pictures are bound to be also but it's your love shining through in this post that talked to my heart.

How lucky you are to have him. And how lucky he is to have you for his mom!

Donna said...

I love everything about these photos. His beautiful face, that sweater... all perfect for black and white. And your words touched me too. I couldn't agree more!

Donna
Our Blog: Double Happiness!

Ellie said...

Gorgeous photos of your gorgeous boy! What a face - you can see the stubbornness in there but the sweetness shines brighter! Thanks for sharing about attachment - we've definitely worked through this (and continue to) with our two heaven sent blessings :)

Shelly and Family said...

Oh what amazing photos! And your words...your words truly hit a spot with me.

Thank You for sharing & Hope you are having a great weekend!!!!

Detra said...

Gail, I have so much enjoyed viewing your blog periodically throughout our adoption process. It was blogs like yours that inspired us to apply for a waiting child. We are waiting for our travel approval and travel date and can not wait to go and pick up our precious little girl. Thank you for your honesty and encouragement. I will not lie, I'm a little anxious about adopting an older child, however, I know that our Lord is faithful and it's ladies like you that give us hope! Thank you! Your children are beautiful and the talent the Lord has given you with your photography is a true blessing!

 
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