Join Angela, Axel, Abel and Asher as they welcome their new sibling home.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Little Boy Blue

Like many adoptive parents, I have no idea what size clothes Little Boy Blue wears. But I have an advantage, I got to meet Axel a few months ago.

The problem is I wasn't there to be his mother, I was just there as a representative of an adoption organization to see how he was doing, get the scoop on him. Our host spoke so highly of the kids we were on our way to see, and I was excited! On the very long drive (Approximately 3 hours) to the city where he's located, Shelley and our host discussed many different children. This one who was 4, and That one who was 7, another 10, and another 6. It's a remote possibility that I dozed off a time or two along the way, and by the time we got there really had no idea which kid we were visiting.

When we arrived at the foster home and started walking up the drive, around the front of a car came this toe-headed little boy.

"Wow, he's tall for four." I said to Shelley.

"Four? He's almost TEN!" Shelley said.

"Oh, well never mind then, cuz he's SMALL for ten!" And he was. I would put him at the size of an average American 5 or 6 year old at the most. I tried to think of Angela, who has always been on the small end of the DS growth spectrum, and how small she was at 10. Axel was smaller.

We were invited into the home, where we made our way to their living area. Axel was a little shy at first. He'd never seen two people like us before, speaking a language he couldn't understand. We didn't know exactly what the other adults told him, since Shelley and I didn't speak the language.

Somehow I had managed to leave my camera back at our apartment, and was so upset with myself, but Shelley had her point and shoot. She carried it in a little pink purse, and Axel had fun with that little purse, putting pennies in and out of it.

We were told Axel doesn't talk, so we started using some signs (I'm a sign language interpreter). We taught him the sign for camera, which he had fun with, and he would initiate the sign whenever he wanted us to take a picture so he could look at himself on the back of the camera! It was clear to us, the way he sucked up whatever signs or gestures we used, that Axel was craving communication, and nobody had ever given him a way to express himself.

Axel's foster mother also told us that he loves music, and likes to dance. Suddenly someone turned on the radio, and the music overtook him. Here he is dancing. I wish I had a video. (I also wish I knew what size pants those are! That was 6 months ago and I bet they're too short now.)

Axel is also a jokester! He really had a fun time teasing us, and getting us to play certain games with him, or getting us to go back to games we thought we were done playing. 

This is Axel's sneaky look! He was going to get something off the shelf that belonged to his foster mother, and he was checking to see if the adults (as in the people who spoke the right language!)  were looking away yet. LOL

 Axel is currently non-verbal. He imitated very few vowel sounds while we were there, but he clearly understood everything that was said to him in his language, and was able to follow their directions. What we don't know is why he's not talking. Clearly he WANTS to communicate, is desperate for it, in fact. It could be that he's never been expected to talk, and that everyone has always spoken for him. Or, maybe there is a structural problem, like a submucus cleft palate, (sneaky things that they are, but shouldn't cause that much of a problem.) or a neurological issue like verbal apraxia, all of which are things common among children who have Down syndrome. I can't wait to get him in my care, spend some time with him, and get a real feel for what's going on.

Tonight I was in Target, when I found myself in the boy's clothing section. I realized we need clothes for  Little Boy Blue, who will be home so soon. It's been a long time since I pulled boy clothes off the racks. Well, ok not THAT long, since it's Angela's favorite department because there are lots of stripes to be found! But my BOYS are all grown now. As Angela orbited around the department, I stood various sizes of pants on the floor, trying to remember just how big Axel was. I think he's a 6-8, and will bring a couple pairs of both sizes along.  I looked at the shirts and was torn between small or medium.

And then there is the "busy bag" we need to bring along for him, which is a whole different post entirely!

1 comment:

  1. He is way too cute. I'm feeling a little envious right now!! I can't wait for you to get him home either. And, I will be visiting him!

    We are thinking that Ricky has apraxia....bummer.