Tuesday, June 19, 2012

One Week Home

Today marks one week since we flew home with our new son.  Feels like it was yesterday!  I'm still struggling to feel like I have my feet under me.  I think a combination of jet-lag, rough nights and severe summer allergies keep me in a bit of a fog and I can't get my energy levels back up.  Maybe it's just the adrenaline is gone, but I'm way more exhausted here than I ever was in Thailand! The meals being provided are a saving grace. I'm pretty freaked about when Trent goes back to work on Thursday, but overall I do think things are going really well. 
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I'm sure every adopted toddler's switch to sleeping at home is different.  The last week's sleeping has been interesting as it has morphed.  The first several nights he went to sleep with no problem, then we spent some time with the big kids before they went to bed, then we dealt with lots of waking/crying in the night from Asher.  Those waking/crying times continued to come earlier in the night.  Then last night, he had only been in bed for about 5 minutes before he started to cry. Hard. This is still pretty heart-breaking. Trent was at a baseball game with Carson, so I was SO glad my sis-in-law had come over, b/c I needed her to stay with Sydney while I was with Asher for about an hour.  BUT the good news is, he tired himself out (and, on suggestion, there was some melatonin in his nightly bottle) and then once he crashed, slept for a solid 10 hours, so that part was lovely!  We're continuing to just play it by ear and see what he needs as far as comforting and sleeping.  He's going to stay in the crib in our room for now.
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It's interesting to me that I had given so much thought and prayer into the emotionally intense grieving time in Thailand, that I honestly hadn't given a lot of brain time to pondering this in-between time at home.  After the deep sadness is gone, as the jetlag fades, but before our souls are truly bonded as son/parent and brother/sibling.  Also--it's one thing to say it, but another thing to live the truth that attachment is very much a 2-way street.  I was so worried about HIS attachment to US, that I hadn't thought about OUR attachment to HIM.  I'm not indicating that anything is wrong, or that we don't love him madly, it's just that we just met him!  We don't know each other well yet. He's been in our home barely seven days!  To be perfectly honest, sometimes it feels like we are caring for someone else's child and they'll be by to pick him up soon.  I'm sure he feels the same way about us.  "Is this trip over yet?!"  But then we have special moments where we truly feel the longing and the waiting that has come to fruition in this child, and his mere presence makes us feel so complete. He IS our son, and we never have to wait for him again!  We are all making great strides towards attachment; we are pouring on the physical affection and he is learning to reciprocate, even if that is just a mimicking act right now, not one that is initiated by him.  I don't know if I ever clarified, but somewhere around those 3 long time-killing days in Thailand, Asher started to prefer Mommy.  I think it had to do with the fact that Daddy was having to be the disciplinarian a bit more.  He still is fond of Trent, but especially at night he wants me there.  Not necessarily holding him, but THERE.  He'll also walk up and wrap his hands around our legs, and often during the day comes and holds his arms up for me to hold him, and I sneak in some hugs and kisses.  He also kisses us all on the cheek now.  Each day, sometimes each hour, we see and feel that bond growing closer.
 We're also continuing to stay at home as much as possible.  We've run a few little errands, but basically just getting him used to these walls, these four faces and this new routine.  Our family members have patiently waited their turns to spend an hour or two with Asher, and after a short period of shy-ness, he usually interacts very nicely with any of them.  I haven't been great at getting pictures of everyone...sorry!  Here's grandma Mimi reading him a story.
 It's been great to come home during summer.  We had several very nice days to play outside in the yard, and all water-based activities have been a huge hit with this guy.  I'm sure the super cool big bro and big sis also help.
 You'll probably have to click on this one, b/c it's my fave.








 I'm LOVING this orange shirt on him!  And it seems we've waited a lifetime to see him on our backyard slide!

 Haha!  This one cracks me up!
 Good ol' slip & slide!  Too bad the kids don't like to run and slide themselves.  They want Daddy to propel them.






 We also went on our first bike ride as a family of 5.  Asher is not a fan of the helmet (but it's a big deal in this family, so he's gonna have to deal), or the straps, but once we started going, he was pretty stoked.
 Helping Aunt Becky with the water table.
 I know this is kind of random, but this is Kaitlyn looking out the window in sydney's room to where all the cousins were playing int he back.  Love her!

 Special swing just for him.  Another big hit!



I hope that helps feed the photo-cravings of all you friends and family who are anxiously waiting your turn to meet our little guy in person.  :)

12 comments:

Becky said...

I LOVE seeing him with Carson and Sydney. You can see in their eyes that they are bonding. C and S seem to be pretty smitten with their little bro. Makes my heart smile. :)

{Jess} said...

I just love seeing the three kiddos together now! Thank you for posting all these pics. :) We're still praying for the whole family and this huge time of transition!

Lisa P said...

I loved the paragraph about your attachment to him. I'm sure that after all the time waiting and longing, those thoughts must seem very strange--but also very normal. Love your journey of faith, and that you'll be teaching him to journey in faith too.

Nina said...

Each picture brings another big smile! Love them all !!!

Steph said...

Seeing the kids enjoying those outdoor activities make my heart happy! :) I LOVE that Asher does the slip n slide! Great pics!

Angie said...

Love those pics! Fun times! Summer's the best.
I can relate to your feelings regarding our own attatchment, as parents. It's not that we don't, of course, love our little ones like crazy-cakes, but it is a strange spot to be in, when you are still getting to know eachother. I have found that the awkward sense of "I'm just babysitting" has diminished drastically for us (and for Lydia too) the more that Lydia has grown to understand and speak English. There's just something about being able to understand eachother's spoken words that goes a long way in translating the unspoken. Sorry, I know that sounds cheesy, like an amature poet at a coffee house open mic night. :)

Jessica Phetvorasack said...

Attachment is a two way street. As an adult I thought I could 'make myself attach'. But it doesn't work that way. It goes at its own natural pace. I second Angie's comment. The language thing is huge... even for a preverbal kid. Once Tiger started understanding what we were saying he relaxed a lot! Love all your pix. You guys look like you're having fun!

Bridget said...

I am sure you know this, but at least one of our sons did not grieve at all while we were in Thailand. He was having way too much fun there - going to the pool every day, going on Tuk-tuk rides, playing with the funny door men, etc. When we finally got home, he realized he wasn't going back to his foster family. Every thing was different - family, food, smells, how people looked etc. So while one of our sons did heavy grieving in Thailand, the other didn't even start until we got home. That may be the case with Asher. My guy was pissed off for about 3 months. Hang in there.

lifeaccordingtothechristians said...

Awesome, love it!!! His openness to giving and receiving affection and gravitating toward mom all so soon are SUCH GREAT signs! I think you guys will do amazing in the attachment area. I know you waited sooooooo long for him, but, attachment experts say it's best not to move kids between 10 and 17 months because it's such a crucial time for them with their primary care giver, and that totally effects the way they bond later on. I think God was setting you guys up for success! Our girls came home at 12 months, needless to say there was screaming all day long for a very, very long time after, they started settling in around 5-6 months in. I think you guys will have it WAY smoother :) You can do it!!!! Love you guys!

By the way, I totally get the tired thing even though I didn't deal with jet lag. It seriously took me months before my body caught up to the new demands, I was SO exhausted every evening, so I hear ya!

Rocky n Laura said...

I love seeing the pictures of the kids playing together. It just makes my heart happy. His smile in the sprinkler...priceless. Thank you for being as transparent as you are with how things are going. It is evident that love and bonding are occuring and that it is not always an easy process. I am trying to mentally prepare myself and our family, as much as possible, and your family's journey is shedding so much light for us. I keep praying Numbers 6:24-26 for all my adoptive family friends including you guys...The Lord Bless Thee...:)

Emily said...

What a smile on him! He's so cute!

B.A. said...

Love it! You're all doing great! I'm guessing that 6 months from now, you won't be able to imagine your lives without each other :)