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

Friday, April 12, 2013

Some more about B

Last night I slept the entire night. (with the help of a little pill. ;-) I slept from 11:00 - 9:00. Lucky for Dean, he was awake for the day at 3:00 a.m.  We met B and came home to take a much-needed nap before we met friends for dinner. It was only about an hour long nap and we both slept hard.

When we came home from dinner Dean fell asleep on the couch for an hour while we waited to Skype with the kids. I was really tempted to sleep but knew I'd have a problem if I did so I chatted with friends instead. Just before we skyped with the kids I took my little helper pill again.

The helper is not helping.

I dozed off for about 20 minutes and am now wide awake! Fortunately we don't have much going on tomorrow, and won't go visit B until the afternoon so I'll have time to nap if needed.

So...on to information about B. Just some observations we made during our first visit.

Size: He is wearing size 5 clothes, but will very quickly be into 6's. He is about the same size as Asher, but a bit more solid. He is underweight, so I expect he will shoot up very quickly!

I was able to ask about his eating (and hopefully tomorrow we will get to watch him with our own eyes.) He is fed only pureed foods and does not chew.


We will be able to teach him to chew, I have no doubt, as his oral motor skills are significantly more developed than Asher's were when we adopted him, but it's going to be work. I'm ready for it, I was just hoping it wouldn't be one of his issues. I suspect there is also a behavior component involved, because when he doesn't want to do something...yeah...he's not gonna do it!

We were told he had an ASD (that's an atrial-septal defect of the heart for those who are unfamiliar. It is a very common heart defect among kids with DS) but that it resolved on it's own. Angela had the same defect and hers was self-resolved as well. He does have a problem with the mitral valve which we'll be checking out as soon as we get home. He has some chronic respiratory problems, ear infections with fluid, etc. that are also common to our kids. He seems to hear but, as with all my kids, he'll have an ABR (hearing test) done at the same time he gets his teeth cleaned and examined.  ;-)

We were told prior to adoption that he was "half" potty trained. We assumed this meant trained during the day, but not at night. Ummm no. He is in diapers full-time. Again, I think this comes down to exposure, and we'll be working on potty training right away. He is a very smart little boy and we are going to pray he takes to this new skill quickly. We shall see!

Have I mentioned he is like Stretch Armstrong morphed with the Incredible Hulk? Tomorrow Dean and I will go through the apartment we're in and move all breakable objects to safer locations: very high or behind locked doors.

I don't really know what his true activity level is like because he was very overstimulated by this visit. Keep in mind it was us along with about 10 other people who were observing the visit, not to mention we were people coming in talking crazy talk (English, which obviously he doesn't understand) and yet we were gesturing to him. That is a lot to take in for one little boy over the course of an hour! If you ever wonder what a foreign adopted orphan feels like with the language change, to to Netflix and watch a foreign film without captions, and you'll have a good general idea. He did eventually have a seat by the wall, and it was clear he was tired from the visit, and done with the crazy talk people. Our visits from now on will be three hours long. We will be praying for nice weather so we can get him outside to move, run and play!

We were told he is able to dress and undress himself. When our visit was done I helped him put on his high-top shoe. They had a zipper from the arch to the top of the shoe, with a TINY zipper tab. The caregiver told me he was able to do it himself. He did his "but I don't wanna" look at he and I told him "Your turn" and pointed to the shoe. He put it on without any trouble at all, and zipped that tiny zipper. As little as it was I'm curious to find out if he is able to do buttons and snaps!

I was chatting with someone earlier tonight, and she asked if he felt like he was "mine". Neither Axel nor Asher felt like they were "mine" the first time I met them. With Axel it took a few months of us being together before I could say he felt like my son. With Asher, who was much more dependent upon us for every need (more like a 6 month old baby) our bond formed much more quickly. Within a matter of weeks he felt like he belonged to me. Thankfully both Dean and I have parented kids who are not biologically ours, and we know it feels different. Meeting B today felt like meeting the new kid who moved in across the street. He is new to us, but we know we'll be seeing him every day. It will take us time to learn what makes him tick, how he learns, what motivates him, his likes and dislikes. As we learn these things, he will be learning about us, how to read our body language, what these new words  mean, as well as these new expectations that will be put upon him. Since he is able to turn tears on/off quite quickly, I expect we'll be seeing a lot of them over the next week. Our biggest concern at the moment is addressing immediate behavioral issues that will make traveling home difficult. Like I said in above, he is a very smart little boy and he'll catch on quickly.

And here is a bit of brutal honesty:

Please pray for little B's heart and soul. In a matter of days we will take him from the very place he has lived his entire life. Adoption involves trauma. Lots of trauma. Even children who are saved from the most extreme circumstances suffer trauma when removed from that place. From everything they know. From an environment in which they are familiar with the routine and people. And, lets face it, there are some children who never do well with that change.  International adoption is not for the faint of heart. Don't assume that you will love your new child the moment they're placed in your arms, and don't assume that child will love you. I know, from going through this with Axel the first few weeks, that B is probably going to hate us at first. We're going to have to change 10 years of learned behavior and it's not going to be a pleasant experience for any of us. But the rewards. Oh the rewards!!! To be able to watch this little boy grow and learn. To watch him SOAR, all because God found him a family before it was too late.


  1. sniffle sniffle. love your blog, and ur family.

  2. Leah
    I'm praying for your safe return and that B bonds with you and Dean and his new sister and brothers!
    You understand it will get worse before better!
    I know you can cope with the worse cos better will be around the corner.
    Stay strong my LinMac from Downsyn!