Well it's been right at two weeks home and of course the question is: How are we managing and how is everyone adjusting?
I find myself answering this question differently depending on the day. Today we had two dentist appointments, an IEP meeting, a full day of homeschooling, and a homeschool Mom's meeting. I'll be honest and admit we've had a few rough days. In general things like seeking out school services and benefits, doctor's appointments, dentist appointments, and the remaining adoption paperwork are keeping me busy and exhausted. There are some pressing medical issues that we are trying to get under control and we are having to work with our insurance company on getting coverage. We have had back-to-school meetings, meet the teacher nights, evaluations and are involved in a school fundraiser. John's work schedule has been demanding. Even without the daily management of seven kids, all of these things are keeping us busy. Four kids are homeschooling. Enough said.
The truth is, Joseph and Zoya both are great kids and we are so happy to have them in our family. They have good attitudes and seem to be adjusting so well! The other kids seem to be happy with the 2 newest little munchkins and in fact Hope was very disappointed that Joseph and Zoya can't go to school with her. After all they are both 5 just like her. I have been thinking that when I do all the care of the little ones by myself, I don't feel I have much time or energy left for the bigger ones. But when everyone pitches in things go so much better and there is more time for fun things. However I don't want to be that parent. The one who puts too much pressure and high expectations on the oldest ones. I don't want them to ever resent all of this which I don't anticipate, but I'm constantly thinking about this and trying to find the right balance and trying to make sure everyone's needs are met.
Joseph: Joseph is just as happy and content as can be. He eats well (Ok a little too well), sleeps well, gives the best hugs and kisses, and is just all around a neat kid. Did I mention though that we spent almost $200 on baby gates to keep him contained and within the first day he had managed to climb over them. John raised the gate up an inch or two, and this just gave him a higher step to step on......And he can still climb over them. Just as we figured out on Day 1 in the orphanage, he is a busy and active boy! He has broken a lamp, a chair, has torn off several wall decorations, and has flooded the bathroom. Twice. How's that for honesty? I think he can be corrected, he seems eager to please and quick to correct, but he is still learning his boundaries and we are still strangers to him and what in the heck are we saying anyway? I am working on a plan to shift some of the kids around to make one of the bedrooms solely a play room. The layout of our house is circular and open, and we just can't think of any other solution for a play room other than losing and using a bedroom. Which means the three boys will have to share but I really don't think any of them mind. Joseph really is a sweet and kind boy, who was blessed with a lot of energy. And for that reason he fits in well in this family, and particularly with his big brothers who play almost daily in the water hose with him. Because that is what he loves best.
Zoya: How many times these last two weeks John and I have said how THANKFUL we are for the gift of Zoya, the bonus child. An unexpected prize. Oh, I am so glad we said YES to Zoya!! Many late nights in Ukraine I feared it might be too much, wondered whether her issues were too complex, if it was a mistake to come home with two. Oh no, there was no mistake! Zoya is without a doubt meant to be here in our family. We are working hard to get her healthy and find ways for her to communicate. I have doctor's orders to allow her to eat and drink all the high calorie foods she wants...chocolate included. Too bad I have to model this behavior for her. :) After all how will she learn? I ordered a communication device that allows her to push a button to express herself. To get started, I programmed it to say "Hi Mommy", "Hi Daddy", "Hi Simeon", etc. She loves this device and goes around the house saying hi to everyone. She also enjoys pushing the button that says "Good job". She is picking up on English and I am beginning to decipher what she is trying to say. She has observed and is copying Ava's sign language, which is a blessing for all of us. She does the sign for and says "I love you", and blows us kisses. How sweet is this girl!! Ok so it actually comes out 'I-uh-oo' but I know EXACTLY what she is saying! We are waiting on a referral to see a cleft palate team. It can be overwhelming to google and research all the 'things' that she must conquer but we are committed to help her, one little thing at a time.
So as you can see overall life is very busy and very grand. We are working to make some improvements on containment and organization and time management but we are very happy with our little family and have no regrets whatsoever. We would do it all over again in a heartbeat.
Except for that blasted adopt-e-sectomy.