Friday, April 24, 2009

An Update:

Asa has been home for seven weeks. His adjustment really has been miraculous.

  • Language: His English is fantastic, but we're still keeping some of his Kreyòl words (even though he knows their English counterparts) simply because they are cute, and even the other kids enjoy saying them. There were a few Kreyòl words and phrases that he was still using consistently, and we weren't quite sure what they meant, but our friends from Haiti helped us out and now we know! I know that so many children adopted from other countries actually end up rejecting their native language, but we really do hope to keep him connected with the Haitian-American community here so he might retain some of it. For the most part, we all understand each other and here are a few of the cutest phrases with which Asa has surprised us...
"Papa bear shoe, bank you!"
He was telling me that daddy put the shoe on his bear and he told daddy 'thank you.'

"Henry! Chicken! Eat it!!"
Henry got a toy chick that was in Asa's Easter basket and had run off with it in his mouth. Asa was alerting us to the situation.

Also, we had run out of toilet paper in a bathroom and Asa wanted to know where we could get some more. I said, "Come on, I'll show you." He responded, "Show ME!" Awesome pronoun use, buddy!!
  • Behavior: For the most part, Asa is a sweet and compliant little guy. He loves to learn and he wants to be good. He responds so well to praise for good behavior and we've found that positive encouragement goes a long way. He does need to be supervised 100% of his waking hours, though. If he gets away for even a minute or two, we've found pencil drawings on the wall, handfuls of Q-tips flushed down the toilet and purse contents dumped. Occasionally, there will be some defiance that seems quite intentional - especially when he doesn't feel he's getting attention when he wants it (i.e. when we're all busy getting ready for church or if I'm on the phone). Some days he's extra clingy and just wants to be held for hours - if it seems like a genuine need to be reassured of our love and that we are his permanent family, we meet that need.
  • Sleep: Hahaha. No comment. Actually, for transparency's sake and because I think this might be helpful for other adoptive parents, I'll share. We have yet to get into a consistent sleep mode despite our very consistent routine and bed time. He only woke once last night which was heavenly but the previous two weeks were a bit rough. He was waking 3-4 times a night. I try not to get too worked up about it and I know it's simply a phase (just like when the other three seemed to want to nurse all night long as babies). It'll pass.
  • Attachment: Asa is clearly very attached to all of us. We do have to be careful about close contact with others because he has tried to reach out and hug anyone who shows interest in him. It's so difficult to tell people that we can't allow hugs or kisses yet because his primary bond to his parents must be secure before he branches out to other relationships. Without a lengthy explanation, it might come across to them as if we are being paranoid or overly protective but, after all the research and recommendations from our social workers, we know that we have to continue to stay the course and be very intentional about this. Asa does know what people make up our family and even seems to understand extended family like aunts, uncles and grandparents.
And it's true... just like the pain of childbirth is forgotten (even 31 hours of unmedicated labor!) the pain of a two year adoption process is quickly fading. I remember the emotions but can't feel them any more. Asa's here and we feel nothing but blessed! Look at this adorable little guy...

5 of your thoughts:

Amanda said...

Yay! He's SUCH a cutie pie! I'm so glad that the wait has become a memory for you!

The Bergstedt's said...

Thank you for sharing. We are encouraged and happy for you. Wishing we knew some Kreyol speakers. Enjoy your boy!

Greg's Wife said...

Oh I can't WAIT to drop the pain of waiting like a hot potato! I seriously can't imagine not having pain after 6+ years. It is all I know. Wow, what a thought!

Thanks for the honesty regarding sleep. Please let us know if you learn anything special that leads to improvement in that area.

I started reading "The Connected Child" this week. I'm enjoying it! Thanks for the recommendation!

Cheryl said...

Thank you for your blog and honesty. I have been waiting 2 years for my daughter in Haiti and we are still in IBESR! I look forward to not feeling the pain of the unknown wait. Thank you for your encouragment.

Anonymous said...

So glad he is doing so well.... and I am SO SO SO glad he is finally home!