Four weeks ago today, at just about this time, Joseph walked into our hotel room and all of our lives changed. We have all experienced joy, grief, confusion, happiness, exhaustion, culture shock, major change, and growth. Every day we are learning how to relate to one another in this new dynamic. Every day we are getting closer to finding our new normal.
It took 10 nights for all of us to get our bodies adjusted to this time zone. We are finally sleeping through the night with no more 2:00am breakfasts. It is amazing how much brighter your outlook can be when you have gotten a full nights rest. Joseph is doing quite well. He and Josh are testing and strengthening their relationship daily. Josh is learning to let go of many of the toys that used to be only his, and allow his brother to claim them for his own. Christmas morning will be interesting. It will either help as each chld will be given a few more things that they can have sole ownership of, or it will cause more problems as they will be receiving different items and will only want what the other one has. It will be a wonderful day either way because Joseph is here to celebrate with us.
Since arriving home just 12 days ago Jospeh has expereinced many firsts. (At least as far as we know.) Eating Chick-Fil-A, eating Mexican food, going to the dentist, going to church, riding in a car seat, and decorating a Christmas tree. He has helped in the kitchen some and it seems as though that is not new to him. He kneeded the bisciut dough like a pro and he does a good job with stirring. He did get a hair cut last week, and enjoyed every minute of it. Three days later he would still laugh and touch his hair every time he looked in the mirror. I am happy to report that Joseph’s favorite TV shows are Blue’s Clues and Thomas the Tank Engine. He also enjoys Barney and Bob the Builder. It is nice to see him enjoy simple age appropriate shows. He loves the few simple Christmas decorations we have put up. Each time a new one is added, his response is “Wow!”. He is adding new English words to his vocabulary on a regular basis. He asks for water, and to “eat food”. He now says potty, and he likes to say “oh you got me” when we catch his hands or feet, while playing on the bed.
He is showing signs of attachement to us. They are slow and small, but they are steady. He showed some signs of grieving tonight that we have not seen since leaving China. We know that he needs to grieve as part of his healing and bonding process. We love this little guy and are blessed to have been chosen to be his family. There has been such a change in the past 4 weeks, I am excited to see what the next 4 weeks will bring.
We will post more pictures and videos after Christmas.
We arrived in Atlanta shortly after 6am this morning and had a bite to eat and Grandma picked us up with Julie’s Uncle Jim and Aunt Rosie who had been visiting Grandma.
The flights had more turbulence than any we have ever been on and which was not what we would have chosen but all in all a good trip.
We have been struggling since getting home to figrure out how to handle the massive amount of jet lag we are all feeling. Since Joseph Shuhuai cannot be trusted to be alone at any time we had to take shifts catching some sleep while the other watched him and then swap for 45 minutes and so forth. As I write this we are getting ready to give him a bath and hopefully get him to fall to sleep without much incident so Julie and I can get some sleep.
We have much more work to do in the house to block him from areas and protect him from things that could harm him and will need to start working on that tomorrow. I wish there was something like a forcefield because that would be a lot easier but I’ll have to get more creative.
All our bags are packed and we are just hanging out in the hotel room until our ride comes to take us to the airport at 6:00. We hope to post again when we arrive in LA.
Here are some pics and video from our last full day here.
Shuhuai is daily showing more signs of settling in with us. He is more willing to hold Jason’s hand (not mine yet) while we are out, and he is less frequently trying to engage strangers we pass on the street. We have had 3 days with no tantrums. Oh, he still does not like to be told “no”, and he expects his every demand to be met, but he is learning how to handle disappointment without throwing an all out tantrum. He is currently a Baba’s boy. They have a few little games that they play together. Whispering nonsense words into each others ears, making faces at each other, blowing kisses and throwing them across the room, and wrestling with each other. He will choose me over Jason, only after Jason has put him in time out, or told him no. If you have not already done so, be sure to go to the previous post and click the links for the pictures and videos from the past few days. There is a very sweet picture of Joseph giving Jason a kiss.
We are all enjoying our time with the other families in our group. Josh has made friend’s with a 6 yr old girl who is also from China, here with her family to adopt a sibling. Joseph has also been playing with and talking to the others in our group. It seems to have helped him to see other Chinese children interacting with their adoptive families. We have learned that one of the families from our group will be on our return flight home.
We will go to the US consulate later today to take an oath, promising to treat Joseph as our child and to do him no harm. After that, our group will be going on a dinner cruise down the Pearl River. We have decided that Jason and Josh will go on the cruise and have some special time together. Shuhuai will spend the evening with Mama in the hotel room coloring and playing with playdoh.
In other news, Josh lost a tooth last night. It has been loose for weeks, and very loose since before we left. The one next to it could come out anytime as well. We will post more pics and videos later to show you our incredible hotel room, the river cruise, and toothless Josh.