My Haitian lad has NO interest in television. Unless he's strapped in his carseat and has nothing else to do but look at the tv, he won't pay it a moment of attention. Which kind of undermines my "get out of jail free" card when it comes to moments to load the dishwasher, switch the laundry or even sit for a moment.
This child LOVES, LOVES, LOVES to play outside. I give God a HUGE praise for His perfect timing, because I cannot imagine how entirely difficult it would be to have brought him home in the middle of winter. His first day here, we were outside at 8 am, came in for a noon lunch, took a nap, and went back outside for the remainder of the day (with a short dinner break.) He loves scooters, the kiddie Jeep, tricycles, big wheels, the playground, our tree swings, soccer, dodgeball. He is not too fond of the sprinkler or Slip-n-Slide, which surprised all of us, but that's okay. I think it the weather was too cool (only upper 70's) for him to even want to attempt that.
We were prepared to bring home a 4 year old child with a 24-36 month skill set. Not the case with this child. We are amazed at how agile, adept and skilled he is physically. He can do simpler puzzles, trace his hand, drive the jeep (including stopping on a dime), and build things out of Legos. Of course, I feel great Mama pride over all of this.
No matter how much you think you can imagine it when you read about it on other blogs, ghiardia (spelling) or intestinal parasite poop is beyond disgusting. Jen, you have my heartfelt sympathy and HUGE admiration and respect because I cannot imagine what it's like to find that in a diaper. It's bad enough have to wipe and flush.
Also, if you utter the phases "He just had the measles after a major measles outbreak at his orphanage" and "I think he has scalp ringworm"to the pediatrician receptionist, she will rearrange the doctor's entire day to get you in. Quickly.
The different language factor is tough. Way tougher than I thought. As a parent, it is horribly frustrating to not be able to communicate all I want to with him. Yesterday, I asked him, "How are you?" and he went into a 3 minute answer. I caught "mwihn" (meaning "I") I think my lack of response broke his heart. And I can only imagine how frustrating it is for Miles. At night he talks aloud for 30 minutes before going to sleep, probably just to hear his own language without English being thrown at him with abandon.
Hattie and Paloma seem to be fine with the language barrier. It is devastating Atticus. He goes into long explanations of a toy or food or gameplan for playtime. Of course, Miles has no idea what he is saying. So Atticus walks around with the Kreyol book all day, creating his own sentences and questions by piece-mealing together catch-phrases. Which is pretty damn impressive, in my opinion, but of course, we don't understand the response.
We are exhausted. Bringing home a new child through adoption is EVERY bit as tiring as bringing home a newborn, if not moreso. Instead, I'm running after an adorable little boy to whom everything is new and wondrous and exciting and he wants to explore it all. Which is an amazing gift to watch. An amazing, exhausting gift.
The week before Miles came home was an adrenaline-packed week. From preparations to travel to the end of his first day home, our adrenaline was sky high. We went to sleep and crashed. I woke up his second morning home feeling like I had been out on a month-long bender.
Fortunately, after having 3 babies, I realize that this is just a phase and this too shall pass. Admittedly, for a Type-A control lover like myself, this requires a lot of mental readjusting on my part. But, I'll get there.
We knew and prepared for the fact that an adopted child will grieve when they come home. Preparing and then watching are two entirely different things. I don't think you can ever prepare for the absolute heartache of having to watch/help a child grieve. I'm sure I'll have more to write on this topic at a later point in time, but for now, we are knee-deep in this process and my heart is reeling from it.
So all these discoveries have led us to some realizations:
We need to purchase an English-Kreyol dictionary and learn way more Kreyol when Keenan comes home.
I need more silverware. Especially those shorter tined forks which carry less of the poke-your-eye-out risk.
We have had no crying tantrums or fits as of yet. I believe this still puts us in the "Honeymooning" category. I'm hoping we can stay here through his doctor appointment this morning.
We need to start shopping more at Sam's Club.
Friends who send beautiful "It's a Boy!" bouquets and friends who deliver delicious, wonderful already-made dinners are the best friends anyone could ask for. THANK YOU oodles to all of our dear friends who have celebrated with us by being so incredibly kind and thoughtful.