Protected: Trip to the Doctor November 30, 2009
Here To Stay November 29, 2009
I think reality is starting to set in for Matthew. I think it is hitting him that he is here to stay and that he will not be going back to his old life. Today when he woke up from his nap, I was showing him some of the Christmas decorations I put up. I showed him the Christmas tree music box that his foster family sent home with him (they have one at their house and it was his favorite decoration–how nice was that of them?). I played the music for him and at first he was so happy and excited. As he had me do that over and over, his excitement turned to quiet and sadness. For a good time after that, he wanted me to hold him continuously and he cried off and on. I knew it must be homesickness. I was trying to prepare dinner and get ready for church, so I put him on my back in the Ergo carrier. That cheered him up pretty quickly, and he seemed to snap out of it. I think it helped that he was watching me prepare bulgogi!!
We also had kimchi and rice with dinner and he CHOWED DOWN. He was so excited he was wiggling all around in his seat. He ate 2 servings of kimchi. However, he is still ignoring his rice. It makes me wonder–could I be able to prepare delicious bulgogi, but somehow be screwing up a pot of rice?
In other news, I think it helped that I changed to lighter sheets on our bed. Last night was better. Still some crying in his sleep but no night terrors. We took him to church tonight for the first time and brought him into the sanctuary with us. He really liked the music and was very well behaved. But about halfway through the sermon, he started to sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” in Korean while he played with my earrings.
Help me out with this quandary: I have a lot of pictures/videos and mementos of his time in Korea with his foster family. A part of me wants to pull everything out and share it with him, but another part of me worries that I will open up a floodgate of grief. It is very important to me that he retain the good memories of that time in his life, and I know if I put it off for too long, he will not remember. Any advice from other adoptive parents out there would be appreciated. The best thing I can figure is that I could wait until one day when he and I are alone for a few hours and pull out some pictures of him as a baby in Korea. Pictures just of him. I could see how he takes that and slowly introduce pictures of him with the foster familly. I think I know it is the right thing to do, but grief is scary for me. Knowing there is nothing you can do to take it away–it’s a very powerless feeling. But a part of me knows we have to face it….sooner than later.
Dreading the Nights November 28, 2009
That about sums it up. Daytime around here is pretty good…other than the fact that Jason and I are so tired. The boys are doing better together every day. We are all starting to understand each other just a little bit better. But the nights….oh dear. Honestly, as the sun starts setting, I get a pit of dread in my stomach.
First let me say that Matthew, Isaac and I have all been sick, and you know none of us feels great by bedtime. Isaac has had the worst of it–culminating with throwing up this morning. Yuck–please pray that begins and ends with him. And let me also say that bedtime itself is not hard at all. It is deceptively easy. Matthew for the most part can put himself down if he has a bottle. Which is something we would like to discontinue, but things are just too raw right now for everyone, and we are all clinging to any comfort we can. We have also gotten a music player so he can listen to his music as he falls asleep. We lay with him for awhile, but it seems us being there just keeps him awake.
So we get the boys to bed and end up on the couch and that is when the sick feeling begins for me. Because it is just a matter of time before the first night terror, sleep crying, or whatever you want to call it. It usually happens within 30 minutes of me deciding to go to sleep. So right when I lay down and begin to drift off….the screaming begins. Usually Matthew does not wake at all during this, but last night he did and he seemed to be terrified of our bed. We have chocolate brown sheets and we know he doesn’t like anything dark (I changed them to white sheets today hoping that might help). If I even tried to lay him down with us, he would flip out. So he and I ended up in the twin bed in his room (that’s comfortable!!) with the usual sporadic thrashing/crying on and off throughout the night. I was then awakened at 5 AM by Isaac who called out, “I need my mommy” and proceeded to tell me he had a boo boo in his tummy, and you can guess how things went from there. Also with Isaac being sick, I have been going back and forth between rooms comforting children and generally getting worn out. It’s not that Jason won’t help, but Isaac will only have me in the middle of the night, and Matthew is on the floor by my side of the bed, so it just works out like that.
It makes you wonder how Matthew can be so happy during the day. It is really amazing the way that our minds process things.
In other news, our Thanksgiving was great. I hosted it, but only prepared macaroni and cheese and mandu. We had to add some Korean flair to our dinner!! Thanksgiving night we got a big surprise as my sister came into town and at the last minute brought her boyfriend….and his 3 children….and they all stayed with us. As it turns out, Matthew is so happy when there are a lot of kids around. He was seriously in heaven playing with everyone, as was Isaac. So that was a nice distraction for everyone.
Matthew is starting to repeat more and more of what we say. He now uses the word “ball” about half the time and the Korean word the other half. He says “here we go” a lot. He repeats “bye bye”, “uh oh”, “car” and many, many other words. He is wanting to try more and more foods, and strangely enough he is starting to turn down a lot of the foods we were told were his favorites in Korea. He doesn’t seem to want rice anymore, although when he got here, he would eat it with breakfast, lunch and dinner. He is also turning his nose up at apples. He did however enjoy the mandu I made for Thanksgiving. I am planning to make bulgogi tomorrow and I think he will really like that. He would survive only on yogurt drinks if we let him.
Today I put up a small Christmas tree for the boys and let them help decorate it. When I turned on the lights, Matthew started singing Happy Birthday in Korean, then he tried to blow out all the lights. It was pretty cute.
Monday is his appointment at the International Adoption Clinic. I am interested to hear what they think about his progress in general and about his bonding. Monday, Jason has a presentation to give for a class he’s taking. I am so ready for that to be over (and I know he is too!) because he is having to put a lot of time into preparation for that.
I hope this post wasn’t too gloomy. Tonight when I was getting pajamas on the boys….Matthew was laying in the floor while I put his pants on and Isaac and our dog, Sebby were running in circles around him while he screamed in glee….those times make me see what our “new normal” will be like when everybody settles in. Those moments make these hard nights worth it.
Protected: Thankful November 25, 2009
Hit or Miss November 24, 2009
We have had a couple of rough nights with Matthew. I think part of it is that he has a cold–we all do. I decided to take Matthew to the doctor today just to make sure he was really okay and he got a clean bill of health. 2 nights ago, he thrashed around crying in his sleep on and off from 12:30-3:30 AM. Then he just woke up completely ready to face the day. No crying, he just thought it was morning.
Then last night he had what can only be called a night terror at about 9:30 PM. (I spoke to our International Adoption Clinic about this. It is very normal for children who have just gone through such a change). It took quite a while to calm him down. The rest of the night was fairly uneventful–just a bit of whining in his sleep and one crying fit.
I think I did discover that he seems to be afraid of the brown pillows that we put around his crib mattress to keep him from falling off. I also think he is not that fond of the crib mattress. Since he was used to sleeping on the floor in Korea, we have laid a blanket on the floor for him and nixed the brown pillows. So tonight, I took him in and gave him his bottle. He also had his favorite ball in his hand and he was so happy, rolling around in the floor. I walked around the room for a few minutes putting things away, and he barely noticed me. So I kissed him and told him goodnight and left the room. No crying!
I kept peeking in at him, and he was having a grand old time rolling all around in the floor. At one point he even slowly crept out of the room, and when he saw me, he squealed and ran back in. I decided to lay down with him for a while and he stroked my face so sweetly. As he got sleepy, I left the room, and he put himself to sleep so peacefully. Since then he has had one minor crying episode. I really hope tonight is a good night for everyone!
I can’t believe Thanksgiving is coming up in just 2 days. We are hosting it at our house, but most everyone else is doing the cooking. Being out of town for a week and then holing up in our house has made me feel like I am missing out on all of the holiday feelings. But I am ready to get going for Christmas. I bought enough little ornaments to do a special Korean Christmas tree, and I can’t wait to get that up. I wonder if Matthew will pull off all the ornaments and make a big mess? I can’t wait to see!!!
On a Lighter Note November 23, 2009
Isaac has said some things the past few days that are cracking me up. We were leaving Publix the other night and we would say a word and he would say the opposite. We were surprised how he seemed to get the concept entirely and always came back with the right answer….most of the time. It went something like this:
I say up, you say: DOWN
I say right, you say: LEFT
I say happy, you say: SAD
I say night time, you say: another long pause, then, “Time to get up!”
I say nice, you say: (he pondered this for a moment, then said), “Go sit in the corner!”
Tonight I was cleaning out his backpack from school and found a card. It was a congratulations card for our adoption and was signed by all of the staff at the school. It was so sweet and unexpected, I burst into tears! I called Isaac over to tell him who the card was from. I was going to name all of the teachers he knew. I said, “guess who sent this card? Miss Donna, Miss Whitney,” and he immediately cut me off and said, “and Jesus!” and walked away.