November is National Adoption Awareness.
November 9th is World Adoption Day.
And November marks 6 months of being a family of 6! Yes, it was 6 months ago on May 8th, that August joined us. To mark this milestone, I knew a blog update was due.
I can say with all of my heart that having August with us, in our home and as a part of our family, is perfect. Though 6 months has flown right by, I truly feel as though August has always been a part of us.
I picked him up the other day, not an easy feat, mind you, for he weighs quite a bit. And as he smiled at me with his big black eyes I found myself in awe. It happens here and there. I was in awe at how easy loving him was. I went to China 6 months ago (today to be exact) and was more excited and more scared than ever. I anticipated that I would have to build a relationship with a boy, a stranger. I was educated on this. I read about this. I was expecting this and I was ok with this. After all, how could I fall immediately in love with a child I had never even met?
But I did. I cannot explain it in words. But I immediately fell in love with a boy who suddenly was placed in my arms in a rundown room 6000 miles across the sea.
Yes, we had a relationship to build. I had to fall into the role of his mother and him of my son. But we did that, too. We did that with time but with ease. August settled into our family. Love was quick. Our family was perfect for us!
Don’t let me fool you. The past 6 months have been full of bliss in many, many ways. And the past 6 months have been hard in many ways, too. We are a family of 6! We are busy, busy, busy. I have a teenage daughter. The kids fight. August isn’t the most stellar sleeper I have ever met (though not terrible, in the grand scheme of it all). I spend more time in my car than one could imagine. Oh, and August pretty much hates the big white bus everyone calls my car. Yep, screams at least 75% of the time since May 20th on our way home from Bradley Airport.
I work most weekends and do schoolwork every other day as I bust out the next year of school and gain clinical hours I need to sit for my exam (and finally get back into REALLY working). I barely see my parents or in-laws or even Mike for that matter. We are just busier than we have ever, ever been.
And I know with certainty, I will look back on these days and miss them dearly. Well, I possibly I won’t miss loads of assignments and working for no pay! But I will miss the busy, frantic and amazing years of my children’s youth.
But, I am not the only one who is busy these days. August MinXian has been a busy, busy bee as well! Now, I know you are waiting for an update. The reason you come to this blog, after all is to hear about August!
Well, he will not let you down this November.
August doesn’t look like the same kiddo we met 6 months ago. Sure, his hair has grown, his skin is clear and his eyes are full of mischief. But most noticeable is the whopping SEVEN pounds he has gained in that time.
He came to us very underweight. He was so thin and fragile. He had never eaten solid food and was not well hydrated. But he discovered food immediately. And he eats very well. He has FILLED out just fine, Mr. August. He is round and chunky and outgrowing clothes like nobody’s business. He is healthy!
Speaking of health, August had his 15 month checkup last month. The pediatrician was absolutely thrilled with his changes. She offered us no concerns about his development, progress, weight or health. This was really wonderful to hear.
August is not yet walking, but he is not far off. He is crawling and pulling to stand. He cruises along furniture. He climbs stairs and creeps back down. Imagine trying to write a paper for school while removing a toddler from a flight of stairs after every third word. I am not exaggerating. Maybe going back to school seems so difficult, not just because because of my advanced age, but because of a certain toddler, too!
August’s surgery this past summer healed perfectly. We will continue to have follow-ups in Boston for his palate. And we will now monitor his language development. We return to Boston soon for more testing. We expect his language to be delayed. But we are amazed everyday when he communicates with us in many ways. He signs to us when he wants to eat (well, of course he does, he LOVES food, remember?). He signs other words as well including “more”, “airplane”, “I love you” (this one is my favorite!), “bath”, and “all done”. And he is very vocal, especially to Callum, which I imagine may be not-so-nice words telling him to “LEAVE ME ALONE” and “GET OFF OF ME”!
August is growing fast. August is developing fast. And most importantly, August has found comfort in his family, in his people, fast. He knows we are HIS. He knows I am “mama” and he knows “daddy”. He gets exited to see his sisters and brother.
August is one of the best snugglers I have met. He loves to snuggle and he gives the BEST hugs and kisses (real hugs and kisses, I stress) to us all!
Our family, with August in it, is perfect. It is our normal. It is full of love and happiness (and tantrums…and tears…and whining).
But I cannot and will not forget the other life August MinXian lived. A life so very different than the one he lives today. He will likely not ever remember those ten months. Though rare, August joined his forever family sooner than most. And, I am certain that helped make our attachment and transition easier than most as well.
He will only remember through words and photos. And he will only remember what we have and know. And we don’t know very much of our little man’s first 10 months. So we will teach him about China. We will celebrate his culture. We will teach him that he has birth parents and that he came to us in a way different than his siblings, yet just as miraculous. We will teach him acceptance and forgiveness. And we will support his curiosities about his beginning.
The universe is an amazing thing. It brought us to August, it brought August to us.
“Adopting one child won’t change the world. But for this child, the world will change.”
This is the quote at the top of my blog page. I put it there before August was even born. I look back, 6 months after he became a Forever Fitzgerald. And the truth is strong. August’s world has changed remarkably.
And so hasn’t ours. Adoption has changed our world in miraculous ways!