The album of Mihiret's photos is nowhere to be found.
I noticed a couple of days ago that it was missing from the end table where it had been for several weeks. I wanted to show it to Erica, and after doing a rather complete search for it throughout the house, I asked Yikealo about it. The "conversation" went like this:
Me: "Yikealo, Mihiret photo? Where is it?''
Yikealo: "Mihiret, no." (shakes his head and waves his arm around) "No. No. Mihiret, America."
Okay, what does that mean? He says "America" whenever we drive past a beautiful landscape. He says "America" whenever we talk about Gwen's house or Susan's house. (They both have huge lawns with great views of the countryside.) Is he saying that Mihiret doesn't belong in America, or is he saying that she's in America? Did he hide the album somewhere because he thinks of it as private, or did he throw it away? It's fine if he did - it's his - but I'd like to know. Does he think of that part of his life as something that is over, or is he just trying to keep her separated from us in some way? It's not like we can really ask him how he's feeling - we can't communicate that well yet. I just know that two weeks ago he looked at it every day and showed it to everyone who came by our house. In fact, the last time that I remember seeing it was when he showed it to Stacy, our social-worker, while she was here for our first post-adoption report last week.
I let it go for a couple of days, and then this afternoon I broached the subject again, "Yikealo, Mihiret photo?"
He said, "This one, Mama," and walked over to the little album of us and our house. He started to look through it, naming the various pictures: "Mama's house", "Yikealo's alga", "shower" etc. He looked at me and said, "Mihiret all gone. No. This one." Then he ran off to play again.
I would so love to get into that little head of his to find out what he's thinking.