I briefly told you about HB’s love for Adele’s music in Letter to Our Adopted Son. But now that he’s been home for ten months and his love for Adele has only grown, I felt it warranted its own post.
Ten months ago, our son was living in a Chinese orphanage. He’s lived there for all three and a half years of his life. It’s no wonder that he was scared and afraid when he first met us in China. And when he started crying, the only thing that could calm him was Adele’s songs, in particular Hello. Her music was literally the only thing that would make him stop crying.
Within a month of coming home, our son changed from a frightened, silent little boy with no expression in his eyes into a laughing, loving little boy. The transformation was amazing.
When we compared the photo of him taken on the day we met to one taken six months later, he didn’t look like the same boy. And now, ten months after we met, he’s blossomed even more. He’s grown six inches and is catching up to his peers. He’s such a happy, friendly boy that people ask us all the time if he’s always like this.
We had prepared ourselves for the possible issues of adopting a three-and-a-half-year old: trouble attaching, effects of institutional life, grief and loss of birth parents, nightmares, eating problems, acting out. But HB broke all expectations. He attached and bonded with both of us right away, he’s smart and learning new things every day, he eats everything we give him and loves vegetables and fruit (we tried to give him French fries, McDonald’s and cookies – he took a bite and pushed it away and asked for an orange instead), he sleeps ten to eleven hours a night and wakes up laughing every day (my alarm clock – the sound of his laughter).
So what does any of this have to do with Adele?
On the rare occasions when he cries (like waking up in a dark car and not knowing where he is), Adele is still the only thing that will calm him. I have learned to keep an Adele playlist on my phone and as soon as he hears the opening notes to Hello, he immediately stops crying and grabs my phone to stare at Adele.
His smile when he hears her voice is priceless. His entire face lights up, and he says, “Dele?”
He recognizes her voice on the radio, no matter what song it is. I’m amazed at his ability to pick out her voice. Even when I’m not sure it’s an Adele song, he knows and shouts out, “‘Dele! More, more ‘Dele!”
But his first love was and still is Hello (I’m not sure what that means since the song is about a woman trying to reach out to an old love who’s obviously moved on – hmm…can a four-year old understand about heartbreak? Yes, apparently). And he loves it even more if I sing along. Adele, forgive me because I cannot sing and have done grave injustices to your song (why does it have to have such high notes?). But regardless of my screeching, HB loves it.
He takes my phone from me and has somehow figured out to how to bring up Adele’s image. Then he stares at her with all his concentration as he listens to her voice.
And then he brings the phone close to his face,
and he kisses her image.
Adele, you’ll probably never read this and never know the profound effect you have on this amazing little boy, but I thank you all the same. You are our savior in tough times and you make him so happy. His fascination with your voice and your image is so touching to see. The power of music really has the ability to heal the soul.
We’re so proud of the person HB is becoming. I truly believe we were meant to be together and he was brought into our lives for a reason. This may not be how all families are formed, but this is how our family was formed. And when people tell us how lucky he is to have found us, we smile.
And we say, “No, we’re the lucky ones.”