Six months already! That time when you feel simultaneously that it seems like yesterday he joined the family and that he’s been here forever. It’s been a really hard six months, but when I sit down to write a post like this, it makes it easy to see how far we’ve come. First, he’s a great sleeper. He sleeps about 11 hours a night plus 1.5-2 hour nap. We recently transitioned him to a toddler bed in a room with Leo and Vincent. He loves sleeping with his older brothers and we’ve had no problems with him getting out of bed.
Also, he continues to be a good eater. While he sometimes will start a power struggle over food, he generally isn’t picky about what food he eats. He has grown about 2 inches in height, but surprisingly only gained about a pound in weight. I mentioned last time that August stopped walking after his growth spurt. He has figured out how to walk again without using the walker. He only uses the walker now to get into trouble. We still have no surgeries scheduled. We will travel in August to consult with a well known specialist in the field while our home hospital is formulating their own treatment plan. Everyone agrees that he will need hip surgery first. I am dreading putting this kid in a spica cast! He is so active, I know that will be a really miserable time for us all. But we want to give him a stable hip while working for as normal a gait as possible for the future. Because he is walking well right now, we can take the time to carefully consider our options.
At three months home, August still had a few lingering Chinese words but now he uses English all the time. He has stayed at the repetition phase of language acquisition for quite a while, repeating anything someone says to him. We are all amused that he says “chicken” instead of seven.” When he counts, it sounds like “1, 2, 3, 4, 9, 8, chicken.” We can’t bear to correct him because it’s so cute! He also speaks in short phrases. However, within the past week or two he has begun to bump up to four word sentences rather than only sticking a few phrases together. Here are some of the things he has said recently:
“Because dat mine, I play dat.”
“JieJie hit my cup. My water gone!”
“Look Mama, big truck over there!”
“Rain outside–all wet!”
August’s extreme separation anxiety has subsided. We did have some regression when I left for a weekend trip, but that did not last too long after I returned. August is loving the summer activities. He is not a fan of longer van trips, but after visiting grandparents on two trips, and another day trip to a city about 3 hours away, he is dealing with the van better. He loves any playground, the zoo, splash pads, parades, and especially vehicles. He yells “Big trucks!” at parades or when we pass construction sites. Even parking lots will bring on a “Mama yook! Cars!” I took the kids to a Touch-A-Truck event at a local museum and he was over the moon excited. We recently celebrated his half birthday and a 20 pack of matchbox cars was his favorite gift. He likes to keep a car in hand at all times, preferably a few in each pocket, too. I once emptied seven cars out of his pockets at bedtime!
We are slow and steady on the behavioral issues. He is getting more patient and instigates fewer power struggles. He still has meltdowns daily, but they are far fewer than when he first came home. We are continuing to work on transition issues. Usually if I say it’s time for a diaper change he will yell “No diaper change!” at me. If I say “It’s time for a diaper change. Which car do you want to choose to take upstairs with you?” he will usually still yell no at me, but sometimes he will choose a car instead. Because our state offers funding for adoption related counseling, we are looking into that as a way to help him feel more secure with us and learn more positive ways of coping with his big emotions. Many of the behaviors we are dealing with are very common for a 2 or 3 year old, but I think they are magnified by being adopted and moving to another country in the middle of a trying age. Despite all the ups and downs, we still feel lucky to have this spunky little guy in our family!