Monday, June 8, 2009

More Updates...

Let’s see…now where were we?

And why haven’t I written in 3 days?

Oh, yeah…I’m too busy to sit at the computer but a tad bored, all at the same time.

I’ll try to sum up the last several days…

We seem to alternate “really good mood” days with “not such a good mood” days. The bad days (hate to even call them bad, cause they’re not THAT bad), don’t necessarily look like grieving, although I’m sure that’s the root cause. On the bad days he just suffers from occasional temper tantrums (that are actually quite tame, though I’m not telling him that!), impatience, total reluctance to be away from me for a sec, etc. The reluctance to be away from me means that Dh can often not take him, even to play, (unless Dh is really sneaky about convincing him) and he cannot go to sleep (nap or night) without me in the bed. As I start to recover from jetlag, I’m getting a bit tired of keeping the schedule of a 3-year-old, but I know this too, shall pass.

Karen K. brought over a meal Friday in the midst of one of the only “holdings” we’ve had. He’d had been fussy much of the afternoon, so I sat down and just held him. He did not want to be held. But I just hung in there, stroking his face, singing songs, and looking in his eyes. By the time we were done (which resulted in him crying the most he'd cried in days), he was in a MUCH better place. Immediately after, I hand fed him dinner, which also seemed to work well in the moment. (This usually does not work with him as he very much wants to be an independent 3yo and feed himself!)

On Saturday, I took him along to a curriculum sale. The place was packed, but no one was paying any attention to him in particular, so he was fine; he only seems threatened if people approach him directly. He took it in stride until he simply got tired of being carried. By then I was ready to go anyway. Saturday afternoon, Teddi and her girls (born in China) came over and he had a delightful time playing. He’s done exceptionally well with all the kids we’ve introduced him to, but I thought he really adapted quickly to Teddi’s girls, perhaps because they look like the kids he is used to playing with. Saturday night, everyone in the family left for various events except GG and me. I lay down with him until he fell asleep and was actually able to get up a bit later. I’d do this more often (just to get something done for a change!) but it often takes him 45 minutes to fall asleep…and by that time, I’m asleep as well, so it’s usually not worth the bother.

Sunday, everyone went to church except us. He’s simply not ready for a big, yet intimate "where we know everyone", crowd. Thankfully, my sister took the morning off from church to keep us company. We chatted while he played around us. In the afternoon, Dh tried to nap with him but GG would NOT have it. So I napped AGAIN. At least I can’t complain too much about lacking sleep!

One thing that seems to have helped his sleep a bit is our new acquisition of a crib. Thanks, Craigslist! We put the crib against our bed with one side off as we did with LilDude when he co-slept. It’s nice because GG now has his own space yet can easily roll over and touch me whenever he wants; it’s basically like we expanded our bed temporarily. I wasn’t sure how he’d react to it, but he grinned as soon as he saw it and seemed happy to have his own space. He is still kicking the bars, but at least now it’s the bars of HIS bed and not the bars of MINE.

Monday (today) we again had a quiet morning at home. At this point it seems helpful to keep his world as small as we can. We stay home most mornings, occasionally going for a jog with the jogger, and nap in the afternoon, playing with LilDude after kindergarten/naptime.

LilDude’s adjustment to being a big brother is not going all that swimmingly. I think his comment to Nana was something along the lines of “sending him back.” I look forward to the day when we’re all a little more settled.

Tonight I lay down with GG for bedtime, as usual. I was serenaded by a very long, very loud, either story or song (have no idea which!) in Chinese. This was accompanied by 360s in bed as well as crib bar climbing, etc. It didn’t seem to work to close my eyes alongside him, so I finally got up to read/type on the floor. As long as he stays in bed, I’m letting him sing as loud as he wants. (Like I could stop him!) I think his whiny behavior today was largely due to tiredness, but he seems to have gained a second (third?) wind. As I type he’s laying there saying “Patty Cake, Patty Cake” and clapping. His English is coming along quickly! ;) He knows how to say quite a few words in English but can understand even more. At meals he’ll hand sign and say “all done” and “more.” He can say “doggie” and “kitty.” And calls the dog, “Sarah,” by her name. I’ve learned Chinese for “go potty,” well enough that it isn’t an issue anymore. He tries to say “please” but usually uses Chinese for “thank you.”

Almost no one commented on my dilemma about talking to the foster family. (You guys are all a LOT of help!) I put in a call to our child psychologist and our SW. The one thing they were in agreement about was that if we do a call, we need to have a translator present. Our psychologist made it quite clear that it’s very important and needs to be done ASAP. She equated it to him feeling completely abandoned if we don’t and said that since we couldn’t make a transition through multiple visitations (think domestic adoption) that we needed to do this. So I’ve asked the foster family to try to get Skype (it’s free but they’ll have to come up with a computer with a microphone) and I’m arranging for a translator. I’m afraid I may go broke with all the translating. The previous written piece I had translated was $72. I can’t afford to do that very often. But there’s no way around it if we Skype. Short of learning Chinese. Anyone know a fast course in Mandarin/Cantonese/village dialect? Our guide in China said that even she had a difficult time understanding the foster mom at times. But we may end up only talking with the family member I’ve been emailing who is probably a little easier to understand. Should be interesting.

GG continues to ask to see photos of the foster family; he knows he can easily ask when I’m at the computer as I have photos on my desktop of them. He used to cry when he looked at them. Then he no longer cried but looked really sad. Now I’d characterize it more as “wistful.” On Friday morning, I asked him if he wanted to make “Nie Nie” (grandma, the foster mom) pictures. He vehemently nodded yes. He’d draw a picture. In some pictures he'd ask me to write "Nie Nie." I asked him if he wanted a few more phrases. He wanted "ni hao" (hi), but interestingly enough, he did not want "I love you." Not sure how to interpret that. When he finished a picture, I'd take a photo of it and we’d email it to his auntie in China. He seemed to “get” the idea that the pictures were being sent to China. At least he acted like he did. He enjoyed pushing “send” and counting down as the data was sent.

In some of the photos I had him hold his drawing. I think he looks sorta sad. But when the auntie got the photos she responded with “haha” (don’t know if it correctly translated, but it appeared that she was amused) and a comment about how he doesn’t like this type of activity. (making pictures) I found that odd as ever since we got him, one of his favorite activities seems to be sitting down with paper and a bunch of crayons or colored pencils. But it may be that he never had the opportunity to use so many different colored writing instruments before? I don’t know.

We did learn that he knows how to do somersaults. Very well! Although he initially seemed to have no interest in books (which makes sense as he probably had none and pictures/content certainly wouldn’t look familiar in ours) that is quickly changing. He’s learned to appreciate Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed and will also sit through Brown Bear, Brown Bear. A friend pointed out that by three, most kids are interested in stories, not just pictures. But since he cannot understand the stories, the baby board books (with good pictures!) that we’re showing him may just not be all that interesting.

Well, it’s 9pm and he’s still not settled in bed after an hour of me sitting here. He’s about to get very unhappy as this means that it’s soon going to be Daddy’s turn to come lay down with him. Wish us luck. :)

P.S. I went to post this and listened as Daddy got in bed with GG. GG cried "Momma" about twice, then immediately got quiet and, I assume, went to sleep. Yea, Daddy!

P.P.S. My back seems to be fine. Thank you for your prayers! (And thanks, Shirley, for being concerned about my well being!!) :)

P.P.P.S. I haven't said this nearly enough... GG is naturally a HAPPY, HILARIOUS kid. He LOVES to laugh. He LOVES to make us laugh. He does eye tricks and "monster hands" (which is obviously something he's done before) all in the hopes of creating an audience, which he always does. He is a giggly, super cute, loving ball of sweetness. Seriously could not have dreamed up a nicer little personality!


LARA said...

Hey! I commented on the foster family letter! ;) Love your updates and think of you and check your blog often!

richmomma said...

LOL. You're right! I need more friends like you...with opinions! ;)

Sherri said...

Sorry I didn't comment. I had no idea how to advise you, so I prayed for God to give you His perfect wisdom.

How is your back?

richmomma said...

Prayers are on a higher status than opinions. ;) So thank you!

And my back is fine, too! So if you prayed for that, it worked!

Now I need prayers for LilDude's transition. He is not liking the whole big brother thing.

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