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Monday, April 24, 2017

How's he doing? (16 days home)


I had a big ol' post typed up. Murphy's law dictated that it disappear, so you now get the Reader's Digest condensed version. I'm not sure anyone even remembers those, but I remember my grandmother, Mimi, having lots of them on her bookshelves, and I was pretty fascinated by the fact that one could read a whole book in a condensed version. 
How's he doing? is the question we're getting mostly these days, and long story short, Ru is doing wonderfully! But his whole life has been so recently turned upside down so great is relative to the upheaval he has gone through when his world changed in the blink of an eye exactly 4 weeks ago. Like the first day he came to us, Ru is a giggly, smiley, fun and happy-go-lucky guy. He is eager to learn, and show off what he does know. He is still very eager to be in a family, this crazy family, but we are still learning about each other. Things change day by day, as as I told our social worker, sometimes even hour by hour.

Specifically if you want me to tell you what it's like around here in our day-to-day reality, I'd tell you that Ru is very very very much like a 4 year old inside a 7-year-old's body, and a naughty one at that! Most of the time he's giddy and full of life, but he simultaneously tests every boundary and crosses every line. His favorite word is no. He likes to literally point out other people's faults and laugh at them. He tries to get the upper hand in most every situation. He wants what he wants when he wants it and isn't afraid to let the fury of hell rain down when he doesn't get it. The car, the house, my shins and my ego have all taken a several hits.

On the attachment front he's doing fabulously. Ru has selected me as his special person, and I'm the one he looks for to soothe his boo boos and for extra hugs and kisses. But affection is definitely something he is learning. Hugging Ru is a bit like hugging a stiff board, and when he comes in for a hug it's similar to being head butted by yak. With time we know he'll soon start including Papa and Livy into the inner circle of his heart and eventually our whole crazy family. Until then they are all a little relieved to avoid some of the bruising. Literally. He also shies away from strangers which is another great sign of his attachement.

We're using time-in's when we need to, but we are (were?) also having some pretty big ugly tantrums when we were out and about. I'm not one to go many places with a newly adopted child. I think sticking close to home is best when you first get home. So by out and about I mean in the car driving the other kids to and from school and going to the doctor's office. Even with the minimal outings, there are things at every turn, like a picture of a thirst buster on the window of the Circle K to to not be buckled in a booster seat, that Ru wants immediately and cannot have. One thing that has really helped us is using a sticker chart. Like I said, it's like an unruly 4 year old so we went back to some of our toddler strategies. Now when we leave the house he gets a good-boy sticker. The sticker is a tangible thing that I can tap and say you're being such a good boy! when we are out to remind him of the upcoming reward. If he has been a good boy while we were out, the sticker is added to the chart when we get home. He's only lost his sticker 1 time. And for every 3 stickers he collects he gets the reward of his favorite thing in the whole wide world, a piece of candy.

Medically, we have had our first pediatrician check up, and it confirms that Ru is a little guy, but not as little as our other 3 Asian cuties. Currently he falls inbetween Jude and Mimi for both weight and height. We are scheduling a specialist to look into the on-going care of his special needs, which for right now is a non issue, which is a huge blessing.

Ru is a wonderful helper and really does crave attention which we are more than happy to give him. He's making huge huge progress on all fronts. He eats and sleeps like a champ and gets along well with all the younger children which is another blessing. To be honest, he's bored here at home with only me here. Unlike the the first 7 years of his life, he's missing school and being in the midst of the group of boys who were his orphanage family 24/7. He lives life to the fullest, and thank you God, I really think he's just one of those people who is genuinely happy in their soul! He's helping me learn how to be a better mama and a better me.
He has embraced his family forever.
And we have embraced him!

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