Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Wow- in only a few day Noah will have been home ONE MONTH! We can not begin to tell you the difference we see in him, and in us, each day! He is beginning to speak more English words such as water, juice, chicken, ketchup, ice cream, bath, and just today he started saying, "this, this?" I had to laugh as I know he has heard us say that a million times, trying to figure out what he wants :) He seems to be feeling more and more comfortable with our family, and vice versa. We are also beginning to see more of his true personality. He is so silly and can have the funniest expressions sometimes!

Noah is still very reserved around new people and is obviously uncomfortable in new situations. But, that is also improving. He is now at least waving hello and goodbye, and sometimes even says the words.

One thing that seems to be apparent- the "honeymoon" phase between Noah and Caleb is over :) They are full fledged brothers now and fight like they have been together their entire lives! They also have a great time playing together, but anyone with two boys understands what I mean :)

I really can't put into words what the last month has been like: challenging, exhausting, rewarding, overwhelming, amazing, fun. Yes, that seems to describe it. There is no doubt about it- adopting an older child is most definitely challenging, but it is also very rewarding.
We are really looking forward to celebrating Christmas this year. Caleb and Noah were both in the children's Christmas play last Sunday. They were wise men. They did great! I think Caleb is now at an age where he can begin to understand what Christmas is all about. We are not sure what "firsts" Noah may experience this Christmas, but we are just thankful he will be experiencing them with us!

Noah's ultrasound came back normal, and this week he has a very important appointment with the infectious disease doctor at UK. We should know so much more after this appointment.

Well, that's all for now. Praying you all have a very Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Two Weeks Home......

Tomorrow Noah will have been home for two whole weeks! Overall, he is doing really well. Actually, exceptionally well :) I will be honest- the first week was rough, and we were basically in survival mode. We went to bed every night exhausted and sometimes wanting to cry :) But, we hung in there, continued to establish boundaries and rules in our home, and lovingly, yet firmly let Noah know that he would be expected to follow them. It was, and sometimes continues to be a hard balance to find, a balance between grace and structure/obedience. However, when we are tempted to let our frustration control us or to lose our patience, we stop and think about what Noah has endured, just in the short time we have known him. Who knows what he has experienced before then. Our goal is to show him love and to be a source of consistency.

The last couple of days, we have seen smiles most of the time, and he is even beginning to call us "mommy" and "daddy". Just today he also reached for me to carry him and to hold his hand. This is huge, as until today, he had not ever asked for any type of physical interaction with me. I loved it!!!

We have seen progress in Noah's behavior- the "meltdowns" as we have come to call them are for the most part less frequent and don't last near as long as they use to. They mostly occur when we ask Noah to do something he doesn't want to do, like quit playing to eat dinner or go to bed. All very normal. We can still see that Noah is still working through some grief and anger, and most likely will continue to for several months. His whole world has been flipped upside down and we know it will take time for him to see that we are going to be here through thick and thin, loving him and supporting him.

He and Caleb continue to play well together, though they do have their very normal
"brother moments". Just lately, Caleb has especially become somewhat jealous of the attention that Noah is receiving, and quite often I find both boys in my lap holding on for dear life
Today Noah had a visit at the International Adoption Clinic at the University of Kentucky. We were literally there almost five hours! We met with an occupational therapist, physical therapist, medical doctor, and also had lab work done and a chest x-ray. It was a long, but productive day. The occupational therapist was very impressed with the skills that Noah possesses, and she said he is right on track if not beyond where he should be. That is awesome news and we are very blessed. The physical therapist also said that Noah was right on track.

Dr. Taylor (the international adoption specialist) was very pleased overall with Noah's health, though she was concerned about a few things, mainly Noah's distended stomach and lungs, so she ordered a chest x-ray and also an abdominal ultrasound, which Noah will have later in the week. We already heard back from the chest xray and everything is fine. So now we just wait to have the ultrasound done. In the meantime, I will also be sending in poop samples. Yep, I said it. It's not the most glamorous job in the world, but it is part of being a mommy :)