Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I can't hear you, la la la...

I was passing through the office at work and saw a photo album lying open. The picture was of 2 child-size tables, with 3-4 kids around each one. Each child had just underwear on, a couple had kerchiefs on their heads. I stopped, paused for just a few seconds and said, “that looks just like a baby home in Russia.”

The secretaries looked at me, surprised. In fact, it WAS a baby home in Russia. Turns out a student who was adopted from there had gone back recently and was sharing her photos with the ladies. It sure made me think. We want to take Roman back - we WILL take Roman back – but I wonder how the experience will be. I have lots and lots of questions.

I flipped through the album, both wanting to study each picture and yet already familiar with each one. The crumbled building of the baby home. The yellowish paint color. The playroom. Looking at one photo of the staircase, I swear I could smell the cabbage. This student had a lot of pictures I had been afraid to take, as well. The nannies in the baby home. The soldiers at the road checkpoints. All fixed firmly in my mind but nothing I can share with anyone but Doug.

This occurs at a time where Roman is struggling with his adoption story. Our main concern/complaint from early on with him is that he could never be alone. From the first week we had him home, until even tonight, the boy is overly clingy. As I’ve mentioned earlier, we are taking him to an adoption therapist. Our first concern was attachment –the laundry list of symptoms for RAD were like a list of Roman’s behavior issues. After a 3-hour session with Doug and I, the therapist’s recommendation was more likely “insecure attachment.” He is attached to us on a basic level, but he’s very anxious & needy.

We decided to keep attending sessions with her. She has seen Roman twice now, and it’s been eye-opening to say the least. Roman flat out does not want to talk about his life in Russia before we came to adopt him. It’s not a “no thanks” kind of thing – it’s an angry, run-away kind of feeling. At the same time, however, he has a deep desire to know things. He’s most interested in his Russian name, his birthmother’s name, and any daily details we have about his life in Russia. For the first time he verbalized he understood we were here in the US while he was in Russia (he asked what we were doing while he was in the baby home waiting for us).

Tonight Roman referred to his adoption as his birthmother “getting rid of me.” So we clearly have a long way to go. Already though, we are noticing a slight calming of his behavior on a day-to-day level. Bedtime has become generally easier. So we will continue therapy for awhile and see if we can’t get this little guy to accept his background.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Trying to catch a cloud & pin it down

Taking a posed picture with a 20-month old? Refer to title above!

Eventually, however, I was slightly successful. The boys in their "fall" jammies since today really felt like the first day of Autumn (rainy, in the upper 50s...). Roman in long sleeves, cozy fleece bathrobe, and Charlie in a bunny-suit. He was really pleased with it, kept showing us his feet and saying "sock."

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

True brothers

The boys were fooling around last week - I had put Charlie in his crib to calm down, and Roman decided he'd try to cheer him up. By the end they were wrestling, climbing on top of each other, and laughing like fools. True brothers.

Friday, September 18, 2009

a rough week for the boys

It's a good thing you can't see this picture too close - it would gross you out. Charlie went tumbling on concrete at daycare on Wednesday, landing on his upper lip. Only. Seriously, the boy is getting clumsier and clumsier. He walked into a wall at McDonald's tonight. Really!

(this picture was taken Friday morning, 2 days after the fact)

Anyway, this particular trauma caused Doug to be called because of all the bleeding, and he took C to the dentist to check his teeth. Sure enough, left incisor was "wiggly." Nothing we can do but watch the color and return in 8 weeks for another x-ray. Charlie, meanwhile, cracks & bleeds a little at night and gets pus-y during the day. It's really quite icky. In completely unrelated news, he has begun the fun age of hitting. He's also begun the fun age of spending lots of time in his crib during his temper tantrums.

Roman has not been immune this week either. For him, of course, it's behavior. Got an email from his teacher early in the week because Roman had a very rough day at school, had time on the wall at recess even. He was better the rest of the week, thank goodness. But now we've arrived at the weekend, and hopefully lots of sleep and bumming around are on the schedule. Get these boys slowed down a bit!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Charlie with a word, or two or three...

It's apparent now that Charlie knows more words than he actually lets us hear. He picks and chooses. Often he prefers to grunt (a second-child habit, I'm sure). Many times it takes us awhile to understand his version of a word, too. In the video below you will clearly hear him say "wet" but when I ask him about outside, the high pitched "die" sound you hear is actually him saying "outside" in a very excited tone. And then, he just looks cute at the end.

I post this because today he let fly with 3 words we didn't know he knew - baby, hug, and pink. This follows the last few days, where we have heard guy, purple, and finally the long-awaited word NO as a response. Amazing. Clearly he's going to be the strong, mostly-silent type.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Tired of talking. Some pictures.

Boys watching tv and having a snack. Too adorable.

No training wheels! This just happened last weekend.

First day of school for both of us!

What has become the traditional picture-taking spot. First day of the first grade!

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Winding down & gearing up

Back to work, at least the first week, is all about catching up with coworkers about their summer, flashing pictures of our kids, and just enjoying the fellowship.

(me & coworkers at a Coney Island for lunch!)

But all too soon Tuesday will come, and with it… the students. Roman also returns to school Tuesday and I am sad that I will miss the walk & dropoff. Thankfully I have an awesome husband who took the day off work so he could be there to take the pictures. We finally got the letter in the mail & learned that his teacher is the one that had been recommended to us by his kindergarten teacher. Loving but firm – what Ro needs. However, his best friend is also in his class so BF’s mom made sure to tell the office to warn the teacher! I agree, I’m not sure what kind of year that’s going to be.

Otherwise our wind-down from summer has been a little hectic. Because I had schedule handout and meetings, Roman was bounced around to grandparents, our neighbor, and a babysitter. Charlie was in daycare all day and has adjusted well, except for bringing home a cold to myself & probably my mom as well.

Labor Day weekend is finding us doing some labor, but not too much. Finishing some projects, taking a deep breath before we all dive headlong back into a busy schedule. Our fall schedule will include homework every night for Roman, more papers to grade for me, karate for Roman and Doug, and we have engaged the services of a post-adoption counselor to work with Roman and will meet with her once a week for a month, and then see after that. I obviously will enlarge on that at a later date – we met with her for about 3 hours and she made a lot of connections between his current behavior and his 9 months in Russia that made a lot of sense to us.

Oh, lastly want to give a shout-out to Coldwater Creek, where I found my perfect pair of jeans after searching 5 stores & trying on more pairs than I could count (at least 7 at Coldwater Creek alone!). I was so happy I practically danced out of the fitting room. Second only to the feeling I felt when I knew Doug was “the one,” I adore these jeans.