Friday, April 25, 2014

Update from Home!

"My family is all things unconventional. But it is real. Real because God has knit our hearts together in a way that only He can and real because no matter what anyone says or thinks, I am their Mommy, and they are mine."
 (Kisses From Katie pg.179)

I started a post a week ago.

Worked on it a bit each day.

And tonight I went to add photos and it was gone.

Nothing annoys me more than spending all that time typing to have it LOST. Ok there are many things that annoy me more, but that is frustrating!

So here we go again. And actually, maybe it is for the best. I am in a better place than a week ago.

That first week is HARD. 

REALLY hard when you have 2 new kids who are jet lagged.

And 5 who are not. (Malaine did awesome and got right back to schedule)

 Mercie fights sleep with all she has.

Why do 2 year olds hate sleep so much?

To get her to sleep it is like wrestling a cat. You might win, but you will come out bleeding.

Or missing a clump of hair. Or you will have been hit, pinched, bit, kicked, probably all of the above.

My 22 pound almost 3 year old is STRONG and mighty. She has learned to survive well these past 2 1/2 years.

BUT it is getting better. Baby steps each day. She DOES nap this week. (after the wrestling match) And she is sleeping all night IN MY BED.

I am not sleeping all that great because she is either on top of me, kicking me, well, you can imagine. BUT at this point I am just thankful she is sleeping!

And she is SMILING. IF she sleeps, she is happy. I have finally moved up the ladder and I am at a close tie with Malaine. Unfortunately Mark has moved down and so we are working on that. It is hard on him, but he is trying and we all know she will adore her daddy soon.

Mercie is a wild woman. Why does this shock me? For some STRANGE reason I just thought child #7 would be easy.

I should just stop thinking.

You don’t dare take your eyes off of her.

Running across the table? Check.
Diving off the couch? Check
Throwing herself down the steps. Check.
Dumping out every thing, CHECK.
Pulling the dogs tail CHECK.
Into EVERYTHING, Check, check CHECK. 

I am feeling my age with this adoption. 

The only quiet moments I get are when she is eating or in the bath. And the bath is not necessarily quiet. Because she is a FISH. She goes under, she rolls, she dives, she is CRAZY.

And we wouldn't have it any other way. Well, maybe a LITTLE calmer might be nice! :-) 

We went to the doctor the first week home and she is very underweight but I am not to worried because my girl can EAT. They said at the orphanage she was picky but I am going to guess that is because she was tired of mush. She eats everything. She is not a food hoarder by any means. (we had that in the past) she just eats really well and eats whatever we give her.

She is smart and catching up so quickly. She gives kisses, she says bye, she understands important things like “where is your hairbow” and "bathtime!" She doesn’t say anything really understandable (though I am almost certain I hear Mama!) but she jabbers and I wish I could catch it on video because it is the cutest! 

Syler is really doing amazing. I read stories of older child adoption and he is honestly making it look easy. We have our moments, and when we do, I get frustrated. BUT really he is a sweet boy and so laid back.

If I had to describe him to you, if you know my children, I would say he is very similar to Sage.

Today we were doing school and I had him practicing his name. Which he can already spell. I tried to get him to write his Chinese name under it. He said no, SYLER.

Mark tried tonight something with his chinese name and he shook his head no and said SYLER.

This makes me happy and sad all at once.

Syler is finding his place in this family. He loves being a brother and a son. He really seems to LOVE having a family.

He knows he is now Syler Laxton.

But it makes me a bit sad that he seems to be DONE with life before us. And I know this is normal and expected, but for some reason it still makes me a little sad.

We are going to be doing school at home till the fall and then he will probably go with the girls.

He is catching on so fast to language.

Language is one of those things you just can’t comprehend. Everyone told us how fast it happens.

But when you meet it seems overwhelming. And especially when you have the first “melt down” and you feel so helpless.

So thankful for friends who have traveled this road and who have been so good to encourage us through this.

Because it DOES happen fast. Or for this age, for him, it has.

He understands:

Night night
Let’s go
Buckle up
Wait & Later (though he HATES these words!)
All our names
Dogs/Cat and their names
Brush teeth
Take a shower/bath

And the list goes on.

He SAYS with out prompting:
All our names including his
Some of his letters
Numbers 1-10 (can put in order)
Many colors
Mama, Syler outside?
Come on
Pixie drop it!
Fei Fei no!
Brush teeth

Food wise he is doing well. We had a few moments over food, but with ME sleeping and a bit of patience we have come along. I fix the kids plates (because if he can CHOOSE, he won’t choose much!). He knows he needs to TRY a bite of everything. He is not a huge fan of pasta, potatoes, veggies or cheese. BUT even there I have been shocked at the things he has started to eat. Last night he ate mashed potatoes! He has had a salad (no dressing) and meatloaf with cheese. I didn’t even have to encourage him, he just ate!

In China you might remember he ate SOOOO much. But that has not been an issue at all here. Of course we don’t have a buffet, but I am thankful food hoarding has not been an issue for either of them.

**Seriously have to do a HUGE shout out here while talking about food. We have had meals delivered to us EVERY day of the week since coming home, with another week to go! My "village" is THE BEST and I am SOOO thankful!! It has been such a tremendous blessing for us! ****

Doctor gave him a good report besides teeth. We have some big dental bills in our future. He is in pain and we will see a pediatric dentist in 2 weeks. He is on an antibiotic right now so we hope we can make it till the appointment.

There are moments that are hard. Typically with me, never his daddy. (which is the same for ALL my kids, so perfect for dad!) He still has his pout down and can glare at me like nobody’s business. Many of these times are simply communication and I am praying the Lord would give ME more patience during these times.

And when you adopt TWO at one time, it is CONSTANT work. So much to teach and guide and train and on top of it all trying to bond well. When they are both asleep you sit and wonder, WHAT HAVE WE DONE?? 
Ok, just sometimes I think that. Most nights I am to tired to think period and just happy if I remember to brush my teeth before falling into bed.  

But really,  there are times I wonder, are they HAPPY to be home? Do they miss that old life? I am certain when I tell Syler no or remind him of the rules he probably DOES miss his life of doing what he wants all the time! And Mercie still gets so sad at times. 

But then I see Syler sit down to eat and wait for me, his hands folded in prayer. Or I hear him call out Mama. Mercie runs into my arms and snuggles in, and I am reminded of what we have done. We have followed God's plan for our family. 

We have brought our children home. 

  "I have to feed her, clothe her, care for her, and love her unconditionally as I tell her that I love her. Once she can understand and see my love, I can begin to tell her about a savior who loves her even more. That is the truth for these children- that they are loved, that they are valuable, that they will not be left as orphans, but that they have a plan and a hope for the future. What a beautiful truth." (Kisses From Katie pg.90)

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