First days home

So far my experience with adoption is not much different from having a new baby.  The jet lag is like that post-birth exhaustion.  The children are all completely enthralled with the new guy only instead of arguing over who gets to hold the baby they argue over whose turn it is to play with Leo.  There’s well visits and insurance paperwork.  With a toddler, there’s no doubting whether or not those smiles are real or gas, though!

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Leo continues to adjust well.  I don’t think we could ask for an easier transition.  Sure, there are times where he is clingy and fussy.  He still cries himself to sleep at night and before naps although Matt or I make sure he knows that he’s not alone.  But for the most part he is a very happy and easy going little guy.  He loves his siblings.  Every morning when he sees them he gets this look like “Hey, you guys are still here!!” and runs over to give them a hug.  He’s very affectionate and gives us all lots of hugs and kisses.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA He still likes Mary Evelyn best, and he can sometimes be jealous of Vincent.  If Leo is in my lap and Vincent comes over, then Leo will push him away.

He is still a picky eater.  Our rice cooker has been working overtime, and he still likes oatmeal.  We try him on new foods when he is happy, but when he’s tired or hungry then we give him his favorites.  Sometimes we are surprised at what he will or will not eat.  He keeps spitting out grapes, but tonight he ate a large bowl of chili and cornbread that a friend brought over for us (thanks, Jennifer!).

He has slept through the night every night that we’ve had him.  His naps haven’t been as long since we’ve been home as they were in China, but since he’s still sleeping eleven hours at night, I’m not complaining at all.  We’ve been fortunate that no one has had their days and nights reversed since we returned home, but I think most of us have a sort of cloudy-headed feeling for jet lag.  Poor Mary Evelyn got sick after we landed and she’s the only one who has had to jump right back into school.  I’m not starting homeschool for Max and Gregory until Matt goes back to work next week.

Leo’s orphanage gave us a disc of digital photos from his time there, and a few with his foster family.  It was great to have some photos of his first two years, but also bittersweet since we missed that time with him.  It was also amusing to look though them because in the updates we received, orphanage always stated that his favorite toy was any kind of ball.  I think he’s playing with some type of ball in a third of all the photos!

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I think the last thing people have asked me about is the language issue.  He can tell pretty easily when it’s time to eat, sleep, or get his diaper changed.  He makes babbling sounds a lot, but since baby-talk Chinese sounds like babbling to us, I’m not sure how large his Chinese vocabulary is.  He will frequently point at things and say “there” in Chinese (nar).  He also says “wa wa” when Mary Evelyn shows him a baby doll, and that is Chinese for baby.  He says Mama, which is the same in both languages.  His first official work in English was a very clear “mine” when Max tried to take a book away from him. Most children his age pick up a new language and lose their first language in a matter of weeks and he seems to be heading along that progression.

We had doctor’s appointments early this week, our first post-placement social worker’s visit today, and we don’t have specialist’s visits scheduled until October.  We’re just trying to give Leo time to settle in, and we’re looking forward to celebrating his 2nd birthday as a family on Friday.  We’re also enjoying the great non-sweltering weather!

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