Monday, March 19, 2012

Finally Home!

Two little boys have waited five and a half years 
for this moment:
Micah was discharged from the hospital and we are finally home!  NG tube is out and he is eating on his own and gaining weight!  Up from 20 pounds to 22 already!  We have enjoyed two lovely quiet days of not having to go anywhere and just being together, and it has been so sweet.  I am so in love with my newest little boys.  A very happy, calm, peaceful weekend!  

Gideon is as sweet as pie, so eager to please and always covering my face with kisses.  A handful?  Yes.  But so far, never intentionally trying to cause trouble.  He just can't help himself.  He has to touch everything, fiddle with everything, get into everything.  He is my little Curious George.  He never MEANS to be naughty . . . He absolutely cannot resist getting into the dog's water.  He cannot resist throwing toys into the toilet, and splashing in the toilet, and turning on the bathroom sink faucets full blast every time I turn my back.  (This is the same boy who is petrified of taking a bath and screams when a raindrop touches his face . . . go figure!)  But every single time I see him heading toward trouble and I call out, "Gideon, come here!"  he never fails to turn around and run right over to me, a huge grin on his face.  

So far not a speck of defiance.  No power struggles.  No intentional pushing of Mommy's buttons.  Can't promise if that will last, but loving my compliant boy for now!  (I would not be shocked at all if he did those things . . . I was expecting those things . . . just saying that I am loving that we are having so much peace!)  Also so happy to say, not a hint of aggression at all to date.  This boy is a little lamb.  Gideon beats up on himself, but I've never seen any urge to lash out at others.  No sneakiness, either.  A very transparent little kiddo.  (If you know our story about our previous foster children, you will know what an answer to prayer this is!)

He can't be left alone for a moment.  He tried to pull the TV set onto himself and push a metal prong into an electrical outlet today, touch a hot burner and open a second story window, all while I was right there and able to jump in and save him from himself, but I know that I cannot leave him for a second at this point.  We are running around trying to Gideon-proof the house as fast as he can point out our oversights.  We are just trying to stay a step ahead of him, but it feels more like we are always two steps behind! 

Gideon is very much like a one-year-old, full of curiosity but no common sense.  My big kids don't quite know what to make of him.  He is cute and sweet.  Generous and compliant.  Never means any harm.  On the other hand, he is clumsy, and forever tripping over their legs, using their shirts to pull himself back up, and accidentally falling on them.  He wanders into their rooms and helps himself to whatever stuff they forgot to put away.  He doesn't yet understand how to play with them.  He's more at the parallel play stage (remember, one-year-old!)  They try to get him to follow the rules of a game, and he just wants to grab the pieces and chew on them.  And they are not fond of his screaming fits!  But this is the brother they have been waiting for all these months, and even though he is not the five-year-old brother they were expecting, they are happy he is here, and glad to welcome him into the family.  
Gideon has trouble sitting up unassisted.  Even though his
upper body strength is impressive, his CP seems to affect
his trunk a bit, as well as his legs and feet.  This is about
the best sitting I have seen him do so far.

Gideon seems to really like his new bedroom!

My big kids adore Micah.  He is easy to adore!  He smiles and giggles and doesn't really ask for much or get into their things.  What's not to love?  (Of course, I have high hopes that Micah will not always settle for laying on the floor doing nothing, but by the time he starts getting into their stuff, the kids will hopefully be so smitten that they will forgive him!)  He is almost six years old, but very much still like a baby in his wants, needs, and abilities.  Except that babies generally can't get enough cuddles, and Micah is still working up his tolerance to cuddles.  And babies are usually much more demanding.  Micah would just lay on the floor all day and never ask for more than a few sippy cups of Pediasure, I think, if I didn't keep pushing him to open up to us more.

I was worried about how Micah would adjust to coming home.  He seemed so comfortable in his little crib in the hospital.  It probably felt pretty familiar to him.  Crib, long hallways with rows of doors, revolving crew of caretakers . . . except that these people gave him yummy vanilla-flavored food every three hours and doted on him and put cream on his flaky, vitamin-deficient skin and did PT and OT with him every day.  Anyway, I am happy to say that he has transitioned quite calmly to his new home.  Left the hospital room without a peep (in a stroller!   Without screaming in terror!)  Rode the two hours home in his carseat with just a few squawks of protest.  Tucked right into his new big-boy bed (actually a twin-size mattress on the floor, to protect him from falling) with a huge grin, and went right to sleep.  

He's been calm ever since!  Eating all the Pediasure I offer him (refusing everything else so far).  The only things that have been upsetting him are getting his teeth brushed, taking baths, going anywhere, cuddles that last longer than he is ready for, new people walking into our house, and me trying to coax spoonfuls of real food into his mouth.  Okay, so that's still quite a list to work on, but we are working on these things.  We have nothing but time to work on them.  He is here to stay.  Our bio kids have had to say goodbye to so many foster kids that they are still wanting reassurance that these brothers are here to stay.  

So at the beginning of this adoption, I remember that Derek and I decided we wanted to adopt older kids.  Five or older, for sure.  We have done plenty of babies and toddlers, and we really wanted older kids.  So I think that God is laughing with us right now as we find ourselves the thrilled parents of a baby and a toddler.  What we had planned?  Not quite.  What we were expecting?  I must say, not so much.  We were thinking five year olds.   Learning their ABCs, playing Candy Land, building a treehouse with Daddy five-year-olds.  And God surprised us with something a bit different.  Not bad.  Not at all.  Just different.  But the sibling rivalry and disruption of birth order and the twinning concerns are non-concerns at this point.  That is a huge blessing.  The fact that they are so young developmentally is making it so much easier for the big kids to accept them.  We are hopeful that the boys will make great gains as time goes on.  We are excited to see what time will bring for these beautiful boys.  And we are so thrilled to finally have them home, and to FINALLY have our family together!


Christine said...

I have been waiting for this update! So excited the whole family is together! How awesome that there is no need for feeding tubes. Praise God! Please update when you can-- I just love reading about your family!

Nealy said...

I love the way you write! You're so descriptive and thorough. Rejoicing with you to have your whole family home and together and (what sounds like) adjusting so well. You and your husband are following God's calling so beautifully and all these children are the winners. God bless you, bless you, bless you!

Jolene said...

I have been following every word of your blog since you left Ukraine, and I am so thrilled with how the boys are doing and with how all of you are adjusting to them! I admire you, friend!