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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Jack Is Officially A Stiff

I'm so sorry for the delay in posting. The last twenty four hours have been a little bit nuts. We do have Jack. He's seen the girls using Facetime. We just got back from our Civil Affairs appointment that officially makes Jack a Stiff!!!

I know you've been waiting so here are some pictures. We packed Jack's backpack up and took it with us. Snacks, cup, some toys.
 We went to the Civil Affairs office with another family. Several other families came in as well. We even met a family who's little girl was coming from New Day. One family came in with their daughter. It was breaking my heart. Her foster mother was with her and she did not want to go. It was so sad. We found out Jack would be one of the last. They were delayed due to fog. It gave us a chance to breathe and take pictures for other families.

We were all chatting. We were amazed by a family adopting their 8th child. The next thing I knew I looked up and Jack was walking in the room.
The orphanage staff were great and obviously cared about Jack. They brought along everything we sent to him. It looked like he might have played with the cars. The clothes and the blankets still had the tags on them.

We signed and put our thumb prints on all kinds of papers. We had a couple of official looking pictures taken and they sent him off with us. I can't even describe the emotions. We have waited for so long and then he's just there.
When we got back to the hotel the boy was in need of a good  bath. He clearly had no idea what a bathtub was. He liked it alot once we got him in. We scrubbed him down. He didn't seem to mind. When we got him he looked like we was wearing all the clothes the orphanage had, like six or seven layers. He looked like he might be chunky when we first say him. He is not. He's tiny. All the pants were split pants. I wasn't sure how he would like underwear. He's done okay. I'm much happier not feeling his bare bum and all his other stuff sitting in my lap all the time. He literally let it all hang out.
We went back out to the market for lunch.  We came home and tried to get him to nap so he would be on his regular schedule. It was difficult. His regular schedule would have included a three hour nap. We think he was just left in a crib for that length of time. He lays down, covers up with his blanket and just lays there. He never stands up or asks to get out until we offer. We've noticed a few self soothing habits. Really it just makes me sad about what his life might have been like.
We had dinner downstairs. The boy can eat. He drank a glass of warm milk so fast it was a little scary. He told the waitress he was hungry. At least that's what she said that he had said. We got him upstairs, cleaned up and in his jams just in time to talk to the girls.
That was the best part of the night. He kept trying to get a little too close to the screen though. A trip to the eye doctor is top on our list when we get home. Right after a trip to the dentist. I'm pretty sure his teeth have never been brushed but they are super white.

I don't want to make this all sunbeams and rainbows. Jack is happy and playful. In a crowd, he wants us most of the time but he would freely go to just about anyone. It's made it a bit easier. Yesterday we had two minor incidents. One potty accident that wasn't a huge deal, just required more time in the bathtub and one super bloody nose that wasn't much fun. We were actually a little concerned about his lack of crying. That came to an abrupt end last night.

It is warm here and smokey and dry. We are in a valley and the smog just sort of seeps in everywhere. My eyes were bothering me so I put on my glasses and pulled my hair back. I was putting things away when Jack suddenly started screaming. We don't have any idea what brought it on. I worried it was my hair and glasses or the fact that I was putting toys away. Ray thought he might have stumped his toe. Either way it is best described as a wailing and gnashing of teeth. He was angry and hurt. Eventually he let us comfort him. It was late. So we loved on him as long as we could the laid him in his crib. He has a nervous laugh when he is scared or uncomfortable. He started doing that laugh. We just cooed and rubbed and left him alone. The schedule said bed at 7:30. We were late laying him down but he didn't go to sleep until 10:30.

Today at the Civil Affairs office he did the same thing. Out of no where he started to scream. The orphanage director told us he was tired. This afternoon, I gave him a weird little crunchy thing that I had been eating. He flipped out again. Each time calming him has been a little faster but he is really really angry when it happens.

Again, trying to be as real as I possibly can... I think I talked about it before, in case you're new, Jack's special need is a developmental delay. We had no idea how bad his delay would be. Honestly, we still aren't sure. He is supposedly three and a half. He acts much more like a young two. He is reserved and doesn't talk to strangers so it's hard to know just how much he's speaking. Occasionally in our room his really starts jabbering but we have no idea what he's saying. He does repeat everything we say like a parrot. We aren't sure yet if he knows what he's saying. Also... he walks! This is a huge blessing since we didn't know that for sure.

Ray did some research. It said that for every three months in an institution a child is delayed one month. This puts Jack at about two and I'd say that's pretty dead on for how he acts. He goes on the potty every time we set him on it. If we miss a cue for time to poop, he goes in his pants. He just did after we laid him down for a nap. He didn't cry or whine. He doesn't sleep on his side, he was rolled over trying not to lay on it when I smelled it. The smell... it can not be described. It is wretched every time he goes.

After all that, I must say there is way more good then bad. We're learning as we go. Never pin his arms. I got him out of the bath and wrapped him up like I wrapped up the girls. He lost his mind. It doesn't help that he isn't sleeping. I'm sure he's exhausted. I'm also learning that sometimes a cold wipe is just enough to make pee shoot up in the air when you change a pull up. I told you I didn't know what I was doing with a boy. Right now, I'm hoping he naps a bit. Then we might take him to the park. Tomorrow we are supposed to see a temple. Pull ups will be in order and I have to find something he will snack on. It's hard to decipher Chinese packaging.

All for now. Tomorrow I'll post the pictures from today. I haven't had a second to download them yet.


Kristie said...

Hi Brandi, I'm glad to see your post, i've been watching for it. He is so cute! Some of the things you described brings back a lot of memories. Jenna was 3 years old, but toddled around more like a 18 month old, and she doesn't like being restrained either.Makes you think. And for the smelly poop, oh I remember that, it must be the foods, spices and oils. It can't be described (ha-ha) i do know it took a solid month for that to get more normal. Take care

Navylangs said...

We've been thinking about you guys non-stop. Thank you for taking the time out to update us. Hugs to you guys all the way from here to there!
Bless Bless, Chan

emily said...

Yay! Love the pics and the update.

Shannon said...

Hanging on your every word......praying you through!!!

Lisa said...

So thankful you are all together. Praying constantly for Jack to adjust well to his amazing new life.

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

I am so happy for you! Through it all, you are going to do so amazing. He is lucky to be blessed with you and Ray as parents!

Anonymous said...

Hi. Your son is adorable. Congrats.
I think he is from the same SWI as our daughter. Was it Changzhi?
Our daughter is also development delayed. She is almost 3 and is more like a 12-15 month old. We have been home since July 2nd. If you have any questions about the SWI feel free to e-mail me.

Anonymous said...

He is just adorable! Congratulations! I can not wait to be there someday! :) Our son is in Taiyuan also and will be 3 when we get him sometime in Dec. Or Jan. I can't wait to follow your journey. I will be frantically looking at all your pictures looking for glimpses of my son. :) if you see any little 2.5 year olds running around with a foster family( like you would be able to tell) snap a pic for me :) congratulations on your adorable son!
Lovebug from RQ :)

Paige Dossett said...

So. in one of my psychology classes we were talking about adopted kids and brain developement… My professor does infant and childhood studies, so she’s been to orphanages all over the world. She said that because there are so few care givers to children, and they leave them in their cribs without much stimulation for so long, the pathways in their brains start to get pruned back. They don’t use them, therefore they are literally sloughed off. Synapses, neurons, all that. Which is sad…. BUT she said, that when they get back into stimulating environments with attentive caregivers that the brain starts to regrow the pathways, all the brain cells that are lost come back, and the children have close to the same brain functioning as children who grew up in attentive families from birth. :) I just thought that was so cool, and comforting.

Sharon Ankerich said...

LOVE every word you wrote!!! Thanks for sharing the happy and the real. Makes my world I'm walking into a little more real. He is just precious and so happy for you all!!! Blessings!

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