I'm not really sure how to even put this post into words. Today marks two weeks since we've been home with Eli. As I sit here today, I have a very different child than what I had in China, or even first coming home.
Maybe I should have known better. After all, Norah's personality changed dramatically when she finally began to trust us and settle into the new routine. I suspect Eli is doing the same. I think it is interesting to note that no matter how much I read, talked with other adoptive parents, took the required classes....I could have never been prepared for what we faced in China, and I doubt that I would have ever believed the change we'd see this week. Even though we all know that these kids have basically had everything they've ever known ripped from their world...they are stuck with parents who can not understand them, who can not calm them or console them in the way they are used to being calmed...shoved into new environments with new foods, new languages, and new rules. I still would not have been prepared. Sometimes, you just have to live it and muddle through.
Eli's flight or fight response to having a new family coupled with the fact that we knew he was allowed more freedom and less discipline than we are used to created some really tough times while we were over there.
Now two weeks at home, I see my son for the very first time. He's no longer hitting or kicking when he wants to get his way and is instead choosing to use his (many!) new English words with us. He is in big boy underwear full time and has been dry for two days! He is beginning to settle down and play with some toys as well as watch an occasional TV show with his siblings. (Much needed downtime for mom.) He is also blowing us kisses and telling us that he loves us, which is oh-so-sweet. He is eating the foods that the other kids eat and trying lots of new things, always thanking us so sincerely after we fill his bowl or his glass. He wraps his little arm around us at night when we lay down with him to fall asleep.
I am amazed at the change in this child and continue to pray that he feels safe and loved here in this family. What a journey this has been. Amazing.