Baby boy #4:
Daxx was sitting in a car seat. He was 8 months old and crying uncontrollably. I had walked outside to get him when I saw his foster mother drive up in her van. I opened the back door and all I could hear was crying. I unlatched him and held him to my breast. He was the saddest child I had ever seen. He didn't stop crying. I could feel his fear deep in my soul. I nearly cried myself. It was a feeling like I've never had. I was shaken a little by the feeling that overwhelmed me. I immediately took him and held him up in front of me, face to face. At no time would he allow our eyes to lock. He refused to make contact. It was as if his entire consciousness was protected by a force that could not be broken. He was his rock and nobody could get in.
I felt his pain and couldn't escape it. The foster mom was talking but I only half listened to her rambling as I experienced this moment in time. I knew, somehow that I was in the midst of a memory. We walked into the house. I again tried to make eye contact with Daxx. His eyes refused to be caught. They mysteriously averted mine without even seeming to move. Deep brown almost black abyss, polar opposites rolling up and around as I tried to magnetise his gaze. It would be nearly a year before I would break into his soul. Many months before he would let anyone in to share his love and emotions. He would bond when he knew how, on his own terms and with those he KNEW would not hurt him.
One day after he had learned to walk I walked into his room to greet him in the morning. I began changing his diaper. I looked at his face as I always did trying to catch his eye. As I began to put his clothing on him I noticed that he was looking at me. I smiled and looked at his face. I then slowly looked him in the eye. He didn't move them. They fixed onto mine. I was so happy. I tried not to smile too much but I knew this was the first of many moments he would allow me to share with him. I knew I was now "mommy." He smiled and we gazed, unmoving for what felt like an eternity. I didn't want to be the first to blink or to move. H smiled and finally blinked. I hugged him and laughed and talked and he laughed and from that day forward eye contact became a daily must. Then came hugs and finally at 3 years old he hugged me. He kissed me goodnight and hugged me. That was a major milestone. Until then I had to catch him and kiss him and give him a hug. He refused to hug and kiss anybody at all. His affection was elusive though his love was ever present.
Daxx was a mystery. I believe he was protecting himself. Somewhere in his soul he knew what he had been exposed to and saw too many people being hurt and hurting. Somehow he created space for himself to be safe and it took time and love to expand that space to include our family.
Daxx means "lover of water" If there was ever a child that fit that name it's Daxx. He is always turning on faucets, turning on the hose outside, playing in the toilet, climbing into the fridge to pull out the water jug tab. He is fascinated with water. I'm so glad we saved that name for him.
Robert is his middle name. He was named after Brian's favorite Uncle.
DAXX – LOVE OF WATER
ROBERT – BRIGHT FAME
I can't wait to see how bright you shine baby boy.