We have been HOME for less than 4 days. This is not a long time in the world of adoption adjustment. Nor would it be considered a long time when bring home a new child, under any circumstance!
But we are grateful that our time home has been full of many more RAINBOWS 🌈 than RAINSTORMS! Let me share.
Danika is in love with her brother. She smiles st him, snuggles him, laughs at him and asks lots and lots of questions about him. She wants to be near him often. When I picked her up from school yesterday, she ran to me and looked at me like I was a bit of an alien when I told her I was alone, August was at home with Dad!
Callum, we were less sure about. We know Callum has been our baby for nearly 4 years. We have worked very hard persistently at preparing him slowly yet surely for what was to happen. Bringing a child home through adoption does not come with a simple explanation. (Nor does bringing home a birth child, actually!) But we talked and talked and talked. We looked at pictures and videos. We read stories. And we spoke in China via video 2 times a day.
Callum is smitten! He has been so interested and intrigued by our new little man. He genuinely runs up to him for snuggles, asks about him (“Where is baby August?”), and even shared toys with him. He rubs his back and plays with him (he particularly loves to build a tower and watch August knock it down!). This is all interspersed with Callum being a typical kid and running off to play something else. We are thrilled that he showed so much love and interest.
And, as we already knew, Anastasia adores August. She has been an amazing help, in China and here at home. She has been in touch through video and text with Saide as well! I love to see her Chinese character texting. She is helping teach her English as well
We are well aware that our three older kiddos, particularly Callum, will go through many phases of this new change. We expect (and have seen) crying and tantrums (although, it feels just like a typical day in the Fitz household 😂). We are working hard and consiously to pay special attention to our three oldest and offer them lots of patience, love and snuggles (when allowed) as we maneuver the many needs of August.
August has been so very content since coming to reside at his new home. He is aware and looks at everything. His enourmous black eyes take it all in. He has found his voice, a relief from the first day’s of silent staring, yet uses it mostly for a call for food (which is A LOT!), when overtired or lonely. And if we are unsure of his fussiness, food will solve the problem 99.9% of the time.
He loves to be outside (phew, because the FITZ family spends a LOT of time there!). He does not like grass. He has settled into his minivan restraint with just pathetic whines now and has learned to fall asleep in the infamous car seat a few times already.
As you know, he loves FOOD! I mean he really loves to eat. We just shared a bowl of morning Cheerios (yes, we are up early). We are still working of finding the best bottle and nipple for his cleft palate (it is a fine line between painfully slow and difficult for him and pouring into his mouth and sending tons of air in the process). We have new bottles to try on the way (thank you AMAZON PRIME). Yet he is a champ with what we are using and takes his milk in stride most times.
We have had some visitors, never more than a few at a time. And he just looks, listens and takes it in. Our house can get chaotic and loud (think CHINA transformer we bought Cal before we realized how LOUD it was). This doesn’t seem to phase him in the least.
As far as development, the strides we see daily are beyond rewarding to us. We were once told that bringing home an adopted child can mimic bringing home a newborn. They will regress to many newborn like states and then very quickly move through all the stages. August was much younger then many children adopted internationally. And much about him was NOT like a newborn. Yet, so many things certainly were. Watching him fly through these phases in warp speed gives MAMA a feeling difficult to put into words. Proud and emotional. Sad that ten months were lost. Rewarded and anxious for more!
August is sitting up for longer and longer before toppling flat on his face! He is now bearing weight on his legs (when I make him, not of his own will…YET). He no longer gets mad, mad, MAD at me when I sit him versus let him lie on the floor. He does still get mad when I make him work in other ways (like tummy time, up on knees, standing!). He began rolling to get what he wants, moving all around and I imagine it will be moments before he is all over the room. He feeds himself (big surprise) large items and mysteriously loses tiny items in his fist making him very mad!
August is making sounds (this will be a struggle because of his cleft) and will imitate simple noises. He tries to clap his hands. He reaches for EVERYTHING.
He had his first pedi appointment and it went well…even better than expected. He is gaining weight, his rash is getting better (slowly as it takes a long while to completely disappear). He began his vaccine catch-up. And our pedi felt his development would catch up quickly, seeing, at this time, nothing to make her think otherwise. We will begin to get services in place to support his development and medical needs and take it one day at a time.
Just last night, August seemed to begin to realize that Massachusetts time is opposite of China! For a few nights, he certainly resembled a newborn. Up every two hours. He was famished (as he thought it was lunch and dinner time) and ready to play. Add this to the BEAST called jet lag and I was a zombie for a few days. Just like any other new mother! Last night he slept for 7.5 hours STRAIGHT, a much welcome feat. I am up early with him (I love early mornings so after 7+ hours of sleep I am not complaining). And I imagine that it will still take time for his (and ours) body to completely readjust. For now I am enjoying the quiet (while Mike sleeps since work is back in his life today). I am drinking a tasty (American) coffee in my Kunming Starbucks mug reminiscing of our once in a lifetime experience across the globe.
The future is uncertain. RAINSTORMS are inevitable. We have a large family and chaos, detours and messes will happen. But for now I relish in the RAINBOW that is our life together. As a family of 6. Today I take it all in and create new memories that will last forever. Coffee in hand!