Sorry for my lack of updates. Truly, we've settled into our new normal fairly well and I'd like to say I have an excuse for my blogging hiatus. But I don't. (Well, besides just being busy in our new "1+1=3" scenario.)
The last few weeks have been so interesting. Up until then, Kamron's mode of operation was consistently stoic. He'd mill about and explore, but overall seemed to be keeping his new life at arm's length. I kind of felt like if he could talk he might say, "Yeah, y'all (yes, he'd have a southern twang...) are real nice and all and I've had some fun times, but I'm ready to go back home now. 'kay?"
Having walked this adoption road before--and in the not-so-distant past at that--I knew this sort of "operating at the periphery" was normal for many kids, Nedy included, and that this too shall pass. On a related note, I am amazed at how much I am able to draw from our experience with Nedy as we navigate these early days with Kamron. With Ned, I was constantly worried about her emotional state of being. (Actually, worried is probably an understatement. Obsessed is more accurate.) I would read and read and then read some more and get progressively more entrenched in all that "could be wrong" with our attachment. If you've ever read anything on attachment, you know how quickly you can assign issues. In doing so, I was hyper-alert at all times, looking for symptoms and signs and generally driving. myself. insane. What did I learn from it? Not to do it again! Really. What I failed to fully understand the first time around is that "instant attachment" is a lie. Many parents claim it on blogs (example: "Day 3. She is attaching perfectly.") but then when you get to know them and talk it out in real life, you find that, more often than not, they were afraid to voice the "real deal" because undoubtedly someone would respond by telling them, "But this is what you wanted." As if the fact that it is HARD makes you want the child less. Goodness. But I digress.
My point is, Kamron's early months of cautious stoicism are normal and--dare I say it--good. He's not seeking to flirt for fear that without it his needs would go unmet. I believe, because of the excellent care he received from his loving foster family, that he expects we will take care of him. I am so thankful for that. He's smartly approaching us with cautiousness because, while I think he knows we will meet his every need, I am pretty sure he's wondering who will pop into his life next to take over that caretaking. Given his early experiences, I'd say cautiousness is a completely fair and appropriate approach.
And now to what makes the past couple weeks interesting. Basically, he's coming out of his shell. He started smiling...a lot. (Oh my gosh, his dimples are just adorable. And he has this way of smiling where the very corners of his mouth turn down to form the cutest smirk.) And he's laughing out loud. (His foster family told us he did this, and now we finally get to hear it!) And he comes over to greet me when I get in from work. And he's hugging back. And occasionally planting an open-mouth, wet-as-heck kiss on my lips. He remains resistant to close eye contact when he's being held, but his eye contact otherwise is steadily improving, so I expect this will come with time, too. Day by day, he's allowing us in more and more. I learned through experience with Nedy that true attachment is a months and years long process, not an event. Having "walked the road" before is allowing me to experience our process with Kamron differently; more patiently...more sanely. ;)
In other news, Kamron began cruising a lot and taking steps a couple weeks ago. He is taking his time, practicing here and there, and as you saw in my video post a couple days ago, recently began wobbly walking distances of 10 steps or more, to which Nedy and I squeal a harmonious chorus of "YAAAAYYYYYY, KAMRON!"
The development of his communication is so fun to watch. He can say Mama, but never on command. I think he's got a bit of a stubborn streak. :) He can say Mao Mao (our cat Hank has been "Mao Mao" since Nedy was little), can "meeeoooow" to the cat, can say dog (gog), cup (guk), coo coo like our clock (goo goo) and a few other one-time mimicries. When I sing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" he moves his hands in the spider motion and even puts his hands over his head for the "out comes the sun" part. He loves singing and songs, especially the ABC song. The letters S ("ssssss") and V ("vvv-vvv-veeee" with a tickle) always make him laugh. When he is done with eating he motions "all done" in sign language and knows the word ("mow") and sign for "more", too.
Last Thursday he had his 12-month well baby check. He is in the 99th percentile for height and weight. He is almost 28 pounds now! He is healthy and on-track developmentally. (Of course, as always happens three days following a trip to the pediatrician's office, he now has a horrible chest cold complete with wheezing and terrible coughing. Our Sunday morning trip to urgent care revealed that dreaded "it's viral, nothing to do but wait it out" diagnosis. Poor baby.)
Nedy is a Rockstar of a big sister. She has so seamlessly adjusted to sharing her world with her brother. And the funny stuff that comes out of her mouth is just icing on the cake. For instance:
Nedy: "Mama, how do babies get out of ladies' tummies?"Does it get any funnier? You should have seen Dan's face behind Nedy as this conversation is happening. It was priceless.
Me: "Through their girl parts. They push the baby out."
Nedy: "I'm confused."
Me: "Well, it's kind of like when you need to make a poop. Your body tells you that it's time and you go to the toilet and push it out. When a lady's body tells her that it's time for the baby to come out, she gets some help from a doctor or some other baby helper and they tell her when to push. And then the baby comes out."
Nedy: "From her girl parts?"
Nedy: (long pause...thinking...) "I'm definitely adopting my kids because sometimes when I push a poop out my butt hurts and babies are bigger than poopers."
So that's it for now. I will try to get some pictures up sometime soon. I need to get back to my weekly blogging. I am hoping by saying that out loud I will actually do it...
Life is good. :)