I think it’s fair to say the adoption agency won’t be asking us to be a panel family. I find myself wondering if they seek out the “best case” familes for that – you know, like in birthing class, when the “coach” (who had never had a baby) had a young woman come in to say “I was in labor for about 4 hours and then the baby just sort of fell out.” Um yeh, and from all of us who had unplanned C-Sections after 24+hours of labor, or other difficulties, how nice for you. So yes, our post home-coming transition has, in many ways, mirrored the messy way my labor with M went down. Nothing as planned. Nothing as anticipated.
Mr. Coffee brought C home about 3 weeks ago, and while he is no longer CLAWING at the tag on his shirts until his neck is bloody, we are still in a difficult transition period (yes, I confirmed his clothes from Korea also had tags).
We are still taking turns, alternating nights sleeping with C and our older son, M (bio, almost 5). We had planned to just have the big Family Bed, but C alternates between “singing” to stay awake and fighting like mad, so he gets one parent/night. I’d like to get him in the crib, so I can face him and bond with him each day without an angry night of tummy-being-kicked.
Although he was 10+months old, he was still getting a once/night feeding from his foster Mom and initially wanted to have a bottle ALL NIGHT when he came home. We are down to one to two bottles per night now and he is no longer waking up screaming, but if the bottle is not RIGHT there RIGHT away whne he wants it, he will ramp up. He seems unable to ramp down.
He won’t go down for naps without movement, and if I dare to try to have him nap in the crib, even if I stay right with him and rub his back or head, he’ll scream until he vomits. Pretty much anything else he’s unhappy with too, same thing – scream until he vomits.
He is VERY bonded to Mr. Coffee, and even if he is playing contently with me or M, as soon as he sees or hears Mr. Coffee, he crawls to him and starts screaming if he doesn’t get picked up QUICKLY. Needless to say, Mr. Coffee is pooped!
M is doing well but is being mean to Daddy who isn’t paying him enough attention [can’t!]- Mr. Coffee is a stay-at-home Dad, so it’s just been them up to now most days.
All this said, when C is happy, he is hilarious. He loves to bang on things, “sing”, and he’ll eat anything (actually, he’s putting EVERYTHING, including rocks in his mouth, but it does carry over to the table where he will try any thing and prefers to feed himself). He is excited by our cats and dog, and while he yanks on them, that’s typical for a kid his age (almost one).
He had an older foster Mom (age 64) and so, very traditional treatment in Korea. The continued night-feedings by foster Mom may also have been simply because he is very strong-willed and it was easier to give him what he wanted (I am 20 years younger than foster Mom and can’t say that I blame her).
The file says he goes to sleep easily in a darkened room, which we have yet to witness, though the file is otherwise accurate (not a picky eater, wakes up happy, likes toys that make noise). He does some head rocking, leg kicking things too while falling asleep. They were a bit scary to us at first, and we’ll be checking with the doc on those. I know those things are common in kids from orphanages but I feel pretty secure that he was RARELY put down in Korea, so it shouldn’t be the same kind of thing (?)
So – anyone out there who had a similar adoption transition? How did it turn out? If you had an older sibling at home, how did he or she hold up? How did you hold up? How did you stay sane, and um, stay married?
And yep, I am open to advice, though we’ve tried damn near everything…