Friday, July 26, 2013

One Month Post Placement Visit

In talking with my mom on the phone last week, she mentioned that she was really enjoying reading our blogs about China - that she felt like she was there with us - but that she really wanted to hear more about how Davis was actually doing!

Yesterday was all about how Davis was doing. We had our very first post-placement visit with the social worker, Debra Hewitt, who did our homestudy last year. China requires 6 post placement visits and updates to be filed on a regular basis for the first five years after you have adopted a child (1 month, 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, 3 years and 5 years).

Monday will be five weeks since we first met Davis and today marks 3 weeks of being back in the USA. 
He is doing so incredibly well in terms of his transition and in terms of attachment and bonding. We have been very blessed in that regard. We are so thankful for his foster family in China. They were a tremendous answer to our prayers. We know that their love and care and attention over the last year is one of the reasons that Davis is doing so well with us. They not only helped stabilize his health (he was very emaciated when he went to live with them), but he learned how to be part of a family with his foster parents and foster siblings, and we are reaping the benefits of that. He is healthy and happy and seems at this stage to be very well-adjusted. He loves to give smiles and to laugh. If you were to eavesdrop on our house these days you would hear little feet running on the wood floors and lots of giggling and laughter.

One of the things that you have to be concerned with in adoption, is how your new children relate to your family and to strangers. Davis seems to be very clear that we are his people. He doesn't run indiscriminately up to strangers in crowds, or call strangers Mama and Baba. If we are with him in a crowd, he looks to us to see if other people are ok. 

He eats well. There are a few things he doesn't like, but by and large he will eat pretty much anything. In China, he ate a lot at every meal, snacked in between and often carried around his snack container for a sense of security. That has really tapered off in the last week or so, although we make sure that he knows food (including healthy snacks) is always readily available for him. Some of his favorite foods right now seem to be bananas, carrots, turkey hot dogs, meatballs, cheesesticks and ravioli. Always the drink of choice is water, but we manage some milk in with the morning cereal.

He's a great sleeper. He sleeps from about 9pm until about 7:30am. He takes a daily nap, anywhere from 1 hour to 2 hours. It never takes him more than about 10 minutes to fall asleep when Daryl or I lay down with him. He crosses his ankles and rubs them together, rubs/holds his right ear and sucks his upper lip and he's out. When we were in China he would let us lay down on the bed with him to fall asleep - but you couldn't touch, just be there. Now he snuggles tight as he falls asleep.  If he gets tired while you are out doing something else, he will fall asleep and he can sleep through just about anything. If we are out and about, his ear is also his comfort when he is starting to get a little nervous/upset and he kicks his shoes off too. But those things are showing up less and less. 

His obsession with cars has only increased since coming to a house where two big brother were also obsessed with cars. We have 200+ matchbox cars plus monster trucks and other kinds of vehicles in this house. Cars plus a small Chugggington train set, Little People airplane and truck plus Legos are his go-to toys. 

He's got great fine motor skills and his gross motor skills show improvement every day (he was a four months past his 2nd birthday when he started walking with the foster family). We see more running and jumping and climbing, and just today, walking backwards. He's not quite tall enough yet to reach the pedals on his tricycle, but that's where it is handy to have older brothers. They just push him around on the tricycle in the driveway! He thinks his brothers are pretty silly and lots of fun and he loves to have them chase him around the house or play ball in the yard together. They are also pretty handy to give good speedy rides in the grocery cart or in the stroller through a store.

He's getting more and more comfortable in the house. Yesterday morning he woke up and instead of yelling for one of us to get him from his bed, he got down by himself (it's a twin bed very low to the floor with bedrails) and walked out into the living room and crawled up on the couch. He's also figured out that the "meow meows" love to hide under the bed in our room and he will wiggle on his tummy and hold up the dust ruffle and yell for them to come out. Joe of course is still in hiding while any little person is awake, but Mary frequently comes out on the couch and lets us work with Davis on petting her gently. 

In terms of language, Davis' primary language is Cantonese. We had been told he only was speaking about 15-20 words; he seemed to be speaking 3-4 word sentences in his native language when we picked him up. He also understood and knew some Mandarin. We are working on English with him. Nothing like being immersed in it all the time to pick it up! He is at a great age for this and repeats pretty much everything we say. With regards to language there is receptive and expressive language. Receptive has to do with how much you hear and understand; expressive has to do with how much you can say (or express). Receptive language comes first and he is picking that up very fast. He understands the meaning behind much of what we say and can follow simple directions about getting dressed, picking things up, putting things away. He runs to greet Daryl with a hug and a smile and loud shout of "Baba!" when he comes home and he waves bye-bye and blows kisses in the mornings when his brothers leave for camp. His expressive language is coming along too: Mama, Baba, Wesley, Parker, Grandma, Grandmommy, Granddaddy, Hi, Bye-Bye, Cat, Car, Ball, Banana, Milk, Go, More, I Love you, Bath. But language isn't really a barrier - he's a toddler, and like any toddler he communicates very well by pointing or by dragging people by the hand over to what he wants/needs help with. And of course his brothers have taught him some other things to communicate -  giving high fives and fist bumps! 

So that's a little bit about how he is doing. We think the picture below really sums it all up well. The brothers were hanging out with Daryl watching the Rays game the other night. 

1 comment:

shelly said...

I was thinking the same thing as your mom, but don't know you at all so didn't want to ask. I'm sure going from two big boys back to having a toddler has your heart full, but also your hands!