Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A Little Adoption Update


I had hoped by now to have made rounds and introduced all our faithful prayer partners to this little cutie.  I pray will be able to do that soon!  In the meantime, here is a quick update on what this little champion has accomplished in the past 6 months.

Christian came home barely fitting into size 2T clothes.  He's gained almost ten pounds and grown almost 2 inches...he's squarely into size 3T now.

Christian came home understanding zero english.  He now understands almost everything we say.  He speaks in sentences.  He is still mastering the language and makes mistakes with words, similar to the way we do when learning language and I find it kind of cute.  He often switches the words "color" and "water" and he confuses the words"green" and "nine".  He has always communicated very well with motions and emotions;), but now words are getting his point across very clearly.

He is definitely a kid brother.  He loves to bug his older siblings purposefully and giggle when they get annoyed.  He loves to blame EVERYTHING on Phin.  When mom finds evidence of mischief, almost every time we can count on a quick, "PHIN, DID IT!" from Christian.

When ever we ask, "Who wants..." he proudly proclaims, "ME!"  We have great fun with this, of course.  We love to stick in yucky things and watch him say, "ME!" followed in two seconds (when his brain catches up with his mouth) by a "NO, not me!"

We have begun typical toddler food battles.  He seems to have decided there are so many food options here that he will now be picky.  He loves to refuse meals and then ask for snacks the moment he gets out of his booster chair....his meal plates are on the table most of the day as we direct him back to his breakfast/lunch, etc. to finish before he can have any snacks.  Like many toddlers, he would live off juice if we let him.

He is VERY smart and will try to use whining or tantrums to get his way.  It works very well with new people and he's quick to use his crocodile tears.  He also seems to know if he pretends not to understand most adults will believe he doesn't and let him have his way.  Unfortunately for him, he's number 4....and we live with him and know perfectly well he understands exactly what is going on;)

He is strong and physically right on track or even a bit ahead.  This is good, but also probably is rooted in him being forced to figure out how to do things for himself if they needed done.  It leads to independence beyond what is normal for a three year old, so we often "force" him to let us take care of him...reminding him he doesn't have to do that himself.  This is a delicate balance for us and one we aren't always great at.  Independence is important but so is learning that we are here to be mommy and daddy.

His emotional state is maturing every day.  Our psychologist estimates he had emotional needs on par with a 6 month old when he came home.  I'd say we are probably well over a year emotionally at this point;)  We DO however have period of regression whenever anything in our schedule changes.  This is by far the hardest aspect because it is one people unfamiliar with adoption do not understand.  It is deeply connected to his need for attachment.  He does not have reactive attachment disorder.  He is attached to Marc and I and clearly understand we are mommy and daddy but he does have attachment issues.  He is quick to want peoples love and attention.  He will quickly cling to someone other than us who doesn't have rules or boundaries.  People think it's friendly.  Underlying this is the fact that he's actually TESTING us.   Will we still be there if he pushes us away.  Managing OTHERS in this is harder than managing him.    We had Marc's parents here last week and of course grandparents bring gifts and much leniency.  For him, this meant a lot of insecurity all week.  He was picking battles with me ALL day...testing to see what limits were still there.   Anything I asked of him, he'd refuse to do unless he did it slightly different.  To Marc's parents, it looked like he just didn't understand what I said, but I knew he was just trying to figure out anew who was in charge. He didn't eat or sleep normally all week.  He was whiny and such.  The kind of carefree joyful boy we have become accustomed to was smiling, but clearly not carefree and lacked his usual spunk. He liked them visiting but even now that they left we've had three CLINGY days and poor sleep.  He has asked every night where they are, etc.  These kinds of things we still are figuring out how to navigate.  I think time is the only answer and he is getting back on track with extra hugs and with mommy and papa reverting to some extra reassurances like staying with him until he falls asleep.  His abandonment complex is easily triggered (their visit was only 5 days).  We want him to love them and love being with him, but to somehow reassure him they visit and leave and visit again and WE STAY FOREVER.  Routing and normalcy are still so vital for him.  We are constantly learning what the boundaries are on this.  He has a great sense of adventure and loves trying new things and being in new places, but simultaneously it triggers insecurity because of his history.  Please continue to pray that God heals his precious heart.

Overall, we settle into life more and more every day.  It's been a long winter and we are so happy for spring and out door play!  God is so good.  We are blessed beyond measure by this little guy and it's already impossible to thing of life without him!!!


  1. Love hearing all about the little man we prayed for so long; the little guy that captured and captivated all our hearts. My heart rejoices in all the ways he's growing and thriving at home with his forever family. So wish we had the pleasure of being a part of your everyday lives. We love and miss you dearly! xo

  2. HI Kim! I've seen your family's page before but this was SO helpful to me - just wanted to say thank you and please keep blogging like this - it is not only helpful for other friends and family to see exactly what you're going through and WHY you're going through it the way that you are - but it is helpful for families like my family, who are also going through an adoption - to know what to expect when they come home. We are still stuck in IBESR, almost 5 months now, thankfully under new law, but still - we were supposed to have our referral in November '13, then December, then "any day now!" has dragged on for a long long prayer has been that God allows me to continue to find joy and hope daily, even if it is not in the moments or the ways that I WANT to find joy & hope :) That I not become apathetic to the glimmers of Himself that He plants in my way during this wait.
    Anyways - I encourage you to keep writing like this - families like ours need it desperately! So many blogs just STOP right when they get their tickets home - and we are left saying "BUT WHAT HAPPENS AFTER THAT??" :) There's only so much webinars & dvds can teach you...much of it comes from watching others go through it! Blessings to you & your new family addition! ~ Laura

    1. Thanks, Laura! Praying for you right now! The wait is HARD! Hugs from Chicago!!!

  3. Thanks for the update! Miss you guys!