Sunday, March 30, 2008

Thursday, March 20, 2008

2 months of Ricky!

2 months ago tomorrow, Ricky came into our lives. Here is picure from our first night together.

In the last 2 months, Ricky has gained almost 5 lbs. He knows 6-8 signs to communicate with us. He knows his mommy, daddy, sister and doggy. He loves both sets of grandma's and grandpa's. He definitely knows the word No. He can follow some commands for example the new one - we wipe his nose with a tissue. I can tell him to put it in the garbage and he understands. I can tell him to put some blocks in his tonka truck and he understands. He understands alot of English words. I have not counted - most of the understanding is in context of what we are doing.

We still have night terrors but they are not bad. He wakes up screaming and we can now put him back down and he will typically fall back to sleep. He loves to play with his sister, Emily. Wrestling is a new sport in our house.

Here is some recent photo's of the little man....

Friday, March 14, 2008

Bad Mommy

Sorry I have been really bad about updating everyone. I got really sick when we got home from China. Started out as a stomach virus then moved to a chest cold then I got the flu. A really bad strain of the flu. I had a fever for over 3 weeks. Finally the doc prescribed some strong antibiotics and I think I have kicked it. They think I brought something back from China. What I'm left with is a body that is very sore and I feel like I'm a walking sponge. The doc said it could take 2-4 weeks to get my strength back. Just walking around the supermarket is a strain.

It has been a rough time. Not at all what I have imagined. I guess I built this adoption up to be the greatest thing. Not that Ricky isn't great but there is certain let down when things don't go exactly as planned. During this illness, we lost our dog Shelby. She passed away after being with us for over 13 years. She was my first baby. I miss her very much and still expect her to be next to me. She slept on the side of my bed. We still have Stitch the pug. Stitch has been great with Ricky.

Ricky is doing well. He is very attached to all of us and knows that we are his family. He is smart stubborn little boy. We have been teaching him sign language. He now knows: more, eat, milk, cracker, mama, dada, and baby. We are working on banana, cookie and dog. Not bad considering we only started this about 3 weeks ago. He is understanding converstations in context of things. If we are playing ball, and I can tell him to go get the ball. However, if I say ball without the playing he really doesn't understand it. Cognitively they are telling me he is around 9-12 months old. This is really to be expected so this doesn't shock me.

We have made some improvement in playing. He plays with his Leap Frog activity table and loves the ABC song. He is starting to react to music.

We go for our formal speech and occupational assessment by the state on Tuesday. This will tell us definitely if he qualifies for therapy. There is no doubt on the speech he qualifies.

We also met with the Craniofacial Team at Scottish Rite. We have scheduled Ricky's surgery for April 14th. We are also trying to arrange to get him ear tubes done at the same time. Ricky has some mild hearing loss which is also to be expected with the cleft.

As for me, this adjustment has been rough. Has it gotten better? yes. Do I feel like Ricky is my son and no longer someone I'm just babysitting? yes - most of the time. I really wish that love was instantenous. I felt bad that it wasn't. You know I was "in love" with his picture but I now realize I didn't love him at the time of referral. I have struggled with this fact that love didn't come right away. No one prepares you for this. For some, it comes right away, for others it grows. I guess I'm the growing type. Bill wasn't "in love" with his picture but I really think he had love at first sight.

For the last month I have struggled with my feelings. Why did we do this? How could I have changed our family dynamics? I did this and I don't love Ricky. I felt quite guilty and depressed over this. I'm a mother. A mother loves. Ricky didn't ask for this. He deserves so much better than what I was giving. I thought I was prepared. I read books on attachment and I read blog after blog. What is interesting is no one mentions this but I have been contacted by many who have felt the same way. It is like a silent society that exists. We are too ashamed to admit that we don't love the ones that we adopt right away. Combine this with illness, jet lag and everyday normal life - you can get quite depressed.

I am happy to say that there is a light at the end of this dark tunnel. I can see that I'm growing to love Ricky just as he is growing to love us as his family. He is a very sweet and funny little boy who is my son. I cannot imagine our life without him. Our life certainly isn't easier but it is definitely better because of him.