Sunday, September 20, 2015

Two-Month Anniversary: Gotcha Day

I finally uploaded this video and I'm amazed at the changes in Will since we first met him on July 20. In a lot of ways he was more like a 9-month old baby on that day and even that first week, instead of a 25-month old little boy. I can see his detachment and discomfort (not surprising considering he was just passed off to strangers), the way he's leaning away and even his legs are not engaged in being held. Now when we hold him we note his "tree frog" grip. Even his toes grip us tight, and his arms rest on our necks as he is happily packed here and there, asking us what everything is called. In the video he only makes eye-contact a few times. But I also see glimpses of the toddler just waiting for a chance to be heard, listened to, taught. I see a brave little boy who is choosing to observe and wait and see what exactly is happening before he allows fear to take over his emotions. It did, eventually, and what a road we've had facing those fears. But he didn't let it keep him from coming to us, and that was brave.

I simply handed him a toy car, and he was willing to come right to me. And when it was time to leave that chaotic room and see what was outside, he was willing to come with us again. He's an explorer. An observer. A question-asker. A risk-taker. Thank goodness.

I prefer watching this video without the sound. The sounds of that room and China still make me a little nuts. But I'm in total caregiver mode asking those questions. That's pretty much all the info we got. But Brandon, Will, and I had each other and we did what we could with experience and what we'd studied, and focused on what worked and what didn't. He's a different little boy now. Not totally, but it's like he'd been bucked off-track the first two years and now he's returned to becoming himself. He's finally turning over his "inner parent" to us, and trusting us to do that job for him, and to do it better. That alone has eliminated half the battles, and he's having a childhood. He plays, he laughs, he pushes boundaries and his body, and if he gets frustrated or hurt, he turns it over to us. Mama will help. Dada will make it better. Will will be okay. Will isn't alone anymore. Will has Mama, Dada, Meh-en, Eckob, Dog, and Beh. He looks at family pictures and knows Chessa, M't, A-Car, Bampa, Bamba, and Sheh. He hears Brodie barking at the front door and goes running to see who's there, and squeals in utter, really LOUD delight when it's Dada or Eckob or anyone from his little tribe. That's right, now we have the dog barking AND the baby screaming at the front door when somebody comes. WELCOME. We are so excited to have you WAIT WHERE ARE YOU GOING? WE'RE CUUUUUTE.

 He is a sweet little man. I recently read on an adoption blog, addressing the traumatic state of your adoption those first days, that "the child you get in China is not your child." It's true. They find themselves later. They just need to be given that chance.

I wanted to take some new video to post with the Gotcha Day video, so yesterday I took the camera outside. He got pretty quiet for the camera, but we had fun exploring, This is a pretty typical day out back with Willster. (Please ignore the space of dirt where the pool used to be. We're getting sod put down soon! I hope...)

What we're seeing:

GROWTH: Will has grown from being in the less-than-3% in weight and height, to 6% in weight and 12% in height. Everything is looking good in his development. We are humbled and grateful. He loves to move that little body. If his bathtime play is any indication, he should be a little swimmer next summer.

SLEEP: He's taking his bottle again. 6oz of warm whole milk (with a scoop of formula added until the container is empty) for nap and bedtime. He's doing great with sleep. He rarely wakes up at night, now. HOORAY.

REGULATION: Today was Will's first full day of church. All three hours. His behavior is very typically toddler, and that's great. He likes nursery and interacts pretty nicely with the kids. He offers them cars and gives them back things they've dropped. Today he pushed a wooden ring back and forth across the table with a little girl. I'm happy to see he gets along well with others his age. He had moments of potential meltdown, but there was always some distraction and he pushed through it okay. We kept bear handy just in case, and used it a few times, but overall, he seems to really like it in there. HOORAY. It definitely helps that my new church job is nursery assistant. Perfect!

Last week we took Will to Sacrament meeting and then a little preview of nursery.
He seemed to accept it as just part of what we do. Because we're a family.
Also, couldn't you just squish him?
COMMUNICATION: Will is pretending to talk on his toy phone. He says, "Haloo." Then nods his head like he's listening. Then he says some gibberish, then hands the phone off to someone else to say "Haloo." He started this after talking to my mom and then Chelsea on the phone. It's adorable. New words: tah...tah...tah (hot; this is whispered), tee (eat), Bampa/Bamba (Grampa and Gramma), Sheh (Shelli), gwink-oo (thank you), quock (clock), sit (kiss), nigh (good night), lebelblelblelbel (Llama Llama), MEEEEEYA...MEEEEEEYA (Come here! It's usually yelled from somewhere I am not. I noticed I say it a lot in the videos, ha).

Happy Anniversary, Will. It has all been totally worth it.

1 comment:

Erin said...

I love reading your adventures with Will. You are An incredible woman. I'm so grateful to know you. You make me want to do better and try harder in that good happy way.