We've been home an entire week. Can you believe it? I sure can't, but the calendar doesn't lie, so I'm going with it.
I think we're pretty much over the jet lag by now. David slept through the night Thursday and Friday night, so I think he's over it, too. Naps are non-existent. Even though I take him into his room, close the door, close the shades and lie down on his bed with him, he keeps popping up to play. I think just being in his new room is exciting for him, and he runs around exploring his toys and books and clothes and bed and rug and...
Speaking of running, David does! And just like my friends who have experience with toddler boys warned me, he's into everything! He pulls open drawers and doors, throws things into the clothes dryer while I'm doing laundry, dumps out bins of toys all around him, and finds great joy in all of it! We need to keep the bathroom doors closed because he delights in watching the water flush down the toilet, and I don't want my car keys or cell phone or anything else to go down with it!
David and his sisters are really enjoying each other. The girls play so nicely and patiently with him. The other morning, he got up after Hannah and Rachel had left for school and he was looking for them. He stood at the bottom of the stairs and looked up and called to them - "Yo! Yo!"
He's an affectionate boy - he gives us kisses when we kiss him. Yesterday, I was holding him and we were face-to-face. He spontaneously puckered up and gave me a smooch. Melted this Mama's heart! He's always throwing his arms up and saying, "Mama!" and giving me a big hug when I reach down for him!
There are still tough moments. Sometimes David just cries and wails and is inconsolable. He goes from pushing me away to desperately grabbing onto me. Yesterday, I went into the garage and he thought I was leaving - he came completely unglued. It will be a long time before he can totally trust his family - we will be patient. As a result, tomorrow he will attend his first knitting group evening. Abbie is jealous.
Actually, Abbie has had some tough moments herself, being displaced as the "baby" in the family. She and I remind each other constantly that she is my "baby girl" - that seems to help. In the mean time, she is very helpful with David - fetching diapers, serving him food (though I do any actual feeding), playing with him, distracting him when he gets ornery. They have their mornings together while the big girls are in school, and it has been good for their bonding.
As for food, well, our boy is an eating machine! He will eat any food we put in front of him, and won't stop as long as there's something on his plate. We have to decide for him when he's done, otherwise he'd eat all day! I hope the "pickies" never set in with him! I love giving him something he really likes - he lets out a happy, contented, "Aaaahhhh!" with a big smile!
David's talking quite a bit, too! He mimics many English words, including "night-night", and the ever-lovely, "NO!" I taught him to say "hello" on his toy phone - it comes out "yeh-yoooooo!" Too cute! He also talks quite a bit in ways we simply can't understand. I think of how much we understood of our girls' speech at his age, and I'm certain he's speaking toddler Mandarin. I sure wish I could understand him. He does say "xie" (shoes) and "wah-wah" (doll). At least I could catch that much! He also walks around saying, "Yi, er!" (one, two) over and over again as he marches around. I continue to use as many Mandarin words as I know with him - he seems to respond to me better when I do.
We have our daily (sometimes hourly) toddler frustrations. David is trying to communicate something and, try as we might, we just can't figure it out. He hasn't taken to sign language - he seems to prefer saying the actual words (particularly "more"). He also gets angry when we tell him "no" to anything - a cookie, glass dishes, dangerous objects. He just throws himself face down on the floor and yells and carries on. We're learning to ignore it.
But he is also just so full of joy. He usually wakes up in the morning and toddles into the kitchen in his cute jammies, a huge, sweet smile on his face. He laughs easily, and dances with glee when especially happy (gotta try and capture that on video!). David is loving life and all the exciting discoveries that go along with his new home and family!
We saw the pediatrician on Thursday. Just a physical. The doctor and I discussed what he will need regarding blood work and "other" samples, immunizations (he's missing a few critical ones), and other testing. Once that's all done, we will proceed with planning and preparing for his lip surgery.
I also placed a call to Child and Family Connections. We will schedule a full developmental assessment, with emphasis on Speech. Depending on how he does, we will determine if he needs to start services before or after his surgery.
So there you have it - a recap of our first full week together. Life as a family of six is beautiful - we are so blessed. Sometimes I look at David, and I think back to where we were in our wait last summer, and I am just amazed at the miracle of it all. He is perfect for our family, and definitely well worth the 3 1/2-year wait!