So much more than a nickname

For the purpose of this post, let’s pretend Sprout’s name is Steven.  It’s not actually anything like Steven, but the name works well for this story…

When we first got the match, we were told that his name was Steven, but he liked to go by Steve.  So that’s what we called him the first few weeks until he was comfortable enough to be vocal and he told us he only wanted to be called Steven and he doesn’t like Steve.   Up until days ago this was his motto and he would quickly correct anyone who called him Steve.  It didn’t bother us in the slightest – if he wants to be called Steven, or Rhinosaurus, that’s fine by us.

Well, the tides must have shifted because on a random drive home from school, Sprout (Steven?) announced that “its okay if you call me Steve.  You can call me Steve and Stevie.” 

That’s big.  Stevie is a nickname reserved only for bio mom.  And the gift that this little boy just bestowed upon me swallowed my heart.  I had to pull the car over and look into his face.

“I realize how special that name is sweetie.  Thank you for trusting me with it.”

” I love you Mommy.”

“I love you too.”

“But I still miss her.”

“Of course you do baby.  I hold her in my heart too.”

I want to be elated by this gift, but there is no denying the sadness it accompanies.  The strange push and pull of two different worlds Sprout is forced to split himself between is wearing on him. 

Its maddening that he has a pain I can not fix.  A pain that my love will occasionally worsen.  It’s so hard to know what to say when there is no right thing to say.

For now I won’t be using the nickname – his mom needs no replacing and lines don’t need to be blurred any more than they already are, but I took his gift and tucked it close to my heart.

5 Comments to “So much more than a nickname”

  1. It’s heartbreaking that two children must suffer so much, but I have to say I am so glad you and sprout are out there. You could be writing our story most days. Thank you for sharing your heart.

    Also, I once had a placement who came to me named (let’s suppose) Estavan Michales, but then I find out he’s really Shaquil Lopez, but then I find out his family calls him Nation(?), seriously, that last one was real. We called him Estavan. Period.

    Also, Cordelia’s real name is is mispelled on her birth certificate, so it’s not even close to what we’ve been calling her. I guess that’s what happens when mom’s on crack.

    Simeon’s middle name has unnecessary silent letters. Bizarre.

    Needless to say, we have a lot of fun with names around here.

  2. So sweet. He is one self aware little guy..which is both a blessing and a curse.

  3. Aw, that is both wonderful and ache-inducing. What a beautiful soul your Sprout has.

  4. That was a wonderful gift he gave you. That says so much about what is going on in his mind and heart. It seems as though he knows where home really is. It’s so sad that our kids, the older ones anyway, have to bear the burden of conflciting love for very different parents.

  5. Those little gifts… sigh

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