Thursday, February 28, 2013

Joshua - Three Months Home

Another month has come and gone, and our son from Bulgaria has been in home in our family for three months.

His transformation continues to surprise and delight us.  He remains friendly to others but listens more to us.  He no longer blindly goes off with strangers. Instead, he will try to greet them but will listen when I tell him to stay close to me.  His demeanor continues to be that of a happy child.

Verbally, he has begun to make "m" sounds with assistance and can say "Ma-ma".  He is also trying to say "more".  He fully uses the sign for "more" but we are working on his verbal ability.

Physically, he continues to gain weight but is still very short.  He has gained some height though and can fit into size 2T pants with the cuffs sometimes rolled up.  In shirts, he is sneaking into 3T!  He can descend the stairs ALMOST by himself and is working on climbing them without help.  He has a long way to go in this area.  He still enjoys rough housing and is starting to work on running through the house.

Behaviorally, the repetitive throwing has all but stopped!  Instead, he throws only when I am not looking, because he knows it will garner him a trip into the "time-in" chair.  He is friendly, cuddly, and anxious to interact.  Though he does not speak, he tries to hand toys to others and will "hum" an answer to a question. Everyone who meets him is struck by how pleasant and loving he is.

He is learning to feed himself with a spoon quite well, though he's often too messy!  We believe he's left-handed, which should be interesting!

He has been such a wonderful addition to our family, but the road ahead is still long.  Neurologically, he will be monitored.  Developmentally, his delays exceed common institutional delays by a wide margin, even in an orphanage like the one he was in.  The reason for this is still unclear.

In terms of his vision, we must take a "wait and see" approach as he becomes more accustomed to English and can help us know what sort of correction he needs.  We are grateful that he can see and grateful that he will receive the care he needs to have the best vision possible!

There were a lot of unknowns with Joshua.  This is the case in almost any adoption, certainly an international one.  The story of this child's life is still unwritten and unknown.  Cognitive delays, intellectual disabilities...these are real possibilities for him.  We knew this, of course, and love him no matter what.  

We talked as a family, as Joshua was grafted in, about at what point he felt like "ours".  We loved him the moment we met him, certainly.  But when would we feel as though he had always been a part of our family?  At what point would we stop feeling like we were babysitting this fabulous child and instead feel like he was always just....ours?

At this point, three months home, I can confidently say that we do.  Although there are times when we look at him and cannot believe he's here - cannot believe that we were chosen to parent him - most times, we just look at him and struggle to recall a time when he wasn't with us.  

Whether he is happy...


or mischievous...

The one constant is that he is ours - our son!  Unique in every way...uniquely OURS.

To all who helped us bring him home, thank you.  You have redeemed a life from a dark place; a life whose light can radiate. Please pray for the children who remain in The Bad Place and countless others Bad Places whose lights have yet to shine.