Hey guys! Been a while. Sorry about that. I’ve been busy learning to be a mom of 3, learning to parent an adoptee, and soaking up holiday fun with my family! But here I am. Back at it. So let me give you the cheat sheet version of how life is now that Mav is home with us.
Custody went very smoothly for us. It was honestly such a huge relief that he didn’t react with a lot of tears or anger towards us. We never want to discourage grieving, but we also don’t want to see him in pain either. I really attribute how well it went to how amazing his foster parents are. They did such a great job preparing him for what was to come to the best of their ability. It was an interesting day of emotions for sure. We were elated to finally be seeing him come home to us, but at the same time we were so sad for his foster parents and for him in that they were all having to say their goodbyes. We are so blessed that we have maintained contact with them and that they are able to see how well he is doing. The rest of the time in Korea went pretty smoothly. He’s an excellent sleeper and while in country he also ate very well. We flew home a few days later and by a pure miracle from heaven, we had ZERO tears on any of our 3 flights that totaled 15 hours in the air! Praise God.
Here’s where the real fun started! Let me be very clear: I love my child. But let me also be clear in this: adoption is HARD. The first week home we were in straight up survival mode. He was on hunger strike and when he did eat, he only wanted rice or plain Cheerios. We also had to figure out sleep and jet lag. AND we had 2 kiddos who were so excited for a brother and yet he had no clue how to even be a sibling. It was hard. And there were many days where I questioned if we made the right choice. Slowly but surely, he began opening up to different foods which was incredibly encouraging. He also transitioned to our time zone within a week which was a huge blessing, because we needed sleep to handle the other stuff. Month 1 was just a blur and if I’m honest, I’m glad we’re past it.
Month 2 began to bring some new normalcy. Although he’s a 2 year old and definitely likes to push boundaries, he began to understand a lot of the English commands we were giving which was incredibly helpful. He also began going to the gym for childcare and to his class at church. He really enjoys that social time and we really like having some routine and little breaks for “me” time. I believe that is sooo important while transitioning a child home. You need time to breathe and regroup. In this month, we also began to see a lot more affection and trust with his siblings and our puppy. These were both very good signs! He is definitely a boy who thrives off of routine, boundaries, and familiarity. We try to give this to him as much as we possibly can.
I call month 3 The Rain. It’s not storming anymore. I don’t feel I’m in the midst of a tornado. But we’re not quite in sunshine yet either. It’s drizzling. Our bond with Mav is very strong at this point. He trusts us, he knows we are his safe place, he loves and cares for his siblings. We went to Disney and he did very well the whole time. He did great during Christmas time, despite a complete lack of routine. At this point, our biggest challenges really are speech and some mild aggression. We’ve contacted Early Intervention services in our state and are getting him enrolled in that for his speech which I think will help dramatically. At this point, he has 1-2 English words that he uses randomly. We had hoped for more, but we feel this might be how his grieving is manifesting itself the most. Some days it can be very taxing, but we are trying to remain patient and understanding with him. The aggression we feel to be somewhat speech related (hitting when he wants a toy because he can’t say what he’s wanting) and also 2 year old boy related as well. He is rough and tough for sure and we’re trying our best to harness that in positive outlets for him. For the most part we have seen the aggression decrease a lot as we know his triggers and behaviors to look for. I feel that as he begins to learn communication that we will see this problem resolve itself completely. He truly is a sweet little nugget. He is very affectionate with us giving hugs and kisses. He loves to be anywhere Momma is and I affectionately refer to him as my “little shadow”. He loves to dance and clap. Any time his siblings do something, he tries his best to copy. The things he learns daily are just amazing.
All in all, our 3 months home have been some of the hardest, but happiest times of our lives. The lows have been low, but the triumphs feel SO good too. We are falling more in love with him each day. Every hard moment is worth it. Every tear is worth it. Because that’s my son. That’s my baby boy. I would move heaven and earth for him in a heartbeat. I can’t wait to see what the next 3 months brings us. ❤️❤️❤️