One of my orphan boys, Bernadin, has been acting oddly with me for the past few months. Every time I visit HFC for a few days, he initially seems very glad to see me again, but then he will ignore me for 2 or 3 days for no apparent reason. Suddenly, he'll snap out of it and become Bernadin, the goofy, loving, talkative teen that won my heart 2 years ago, but the next day, he may become Oscar the Grouch again.
It's confusing and very discouraging. You pour love and attention into someone, and they respond by avoiding you and refusing to talk to you for 80% of the time that you are staying with them. I would go through possible explanations in my mind: "He's upset with me for something I said or did. He's just being a moody teenager. He's testing me to see how far he can push me away and still have me love him. He's finally realized that I'm not nearly as cool as he always thought I was." Or the kicker: "He's an abandoned child who has been hurt his whole life. Maybe he cannot love consistently."
Yesterday, Bernadin was being Bernadin, so I sat him down and asked him. He shook his head seriously and said, "You know why." I offered a few of my explanations but he waved them away. Finally, he said very quietly, "My adoption is going to be finished and I'm going to leave. I don't want to keep loving you because I don't think I can handle being that sad when I leave you."