So, I really had no intention at all of writing many post-adoption posts after our first year home with Brooks, but everyone who knows our family in real life has been commenting lately on just how much he’s changed and grown over the last few months that I just feel like this is a little bit necessary for documentation purposes!
Before I dive in to where we are today, I want to take a look back at my last post-adoption update which was at one year home…actually, scratch that…it was at 9 months home…because apparently I’m not good at the consistency thing. 😉
At that point, Brooks was 22 pounds, stringing two, sometimes three, words together, had just been weaned off his steroids for asthma, and was about to start preschool for the first time.
Oh, how times have changed.
On January 6, we celebrated 397 days with Brooks in our family. He spent 396 days without one, so as of that day, we could say he had been a beloved son longer than he was in an orphanage. Praise God.
Nowadays, not only has this boy FILLED OUT in a serious way (I’d bet he’s upwards of 25 pounds), but we now have full conversations with him asking questions and speaking in almost sentences that consist of several (up to 8ish) words. He talks like a caveman but for not quite two-and-a-half, we’re pretty dang impressed!
Examples I heard today:
“Me say night-night Carter Kate-Kate.”
“What you doing now Mommy?”
“Me go gym with Carter and Mommy.”
“What happened, Daddy?”
“Me happy when we jump outside. With Carter. And Kate Kate. And Daddy. And Mommy. Everybody jump!”
And my absolute favorite:
“How you doin?”
Yes, he actually says that. I’m raising a future Joey Tribbiani.
Hearing his little thoughts and having little conversations with this guy is such an absolute joy.
Sweet story from today: my kids like to play “Magic Eight Ball,” which basically means they roll an Eight Ball back and forth and sing this song Kate made up until someone ends up with it. That person makes a wish and asks the eight ball for an answer. No lie – every single time it ends up with Brooks making a wish, he wishes for someone in our family. “Me want Mommy. Me want Daddy. Me want Carter and Kate Kate.” It literally makes me want to cry every time. And no matter what that dang eight ball actually says, I tell him he got it. Forever. And every time I tell him that, he says, “Hooray!” and asks for hugs. I mean…I die.
So, let’s chat school since that hasn’t really been talked about in this space yet. I’m going to do another whole post on how we transitioned him into preschool, why we did it when we did, and our experience with that, but today, five months into preschool, this little guy is rockin’ it. He knows his class, he loves his teachers, and he thrives on the routine of it. Tonight, he was listing all of the friends’ names in his class (and some are really difficult to say!), and he was talking about how excited he was to see them tomorrow.
And as backwards as this might sound, I actually think putting him in preschool has strengthened our attachment. Because here’s the thing: a child’s brain learns through repetition. If you’ve ever watched a young child play, they typically repeat patterns over and over and over again. Or they sing the same song over and over and over again. As annoying as that can be to parents, that’s actually doing what they need to do: learning! So, although it might sound odd that dropping him off in a classroom three days a week would strengthen our attachment, he’s finding security in the repetition of drop-off and pick-up. Mom leaves, Mom comes back. Mom leaves, Mom comes back. Mom leaves, Mom comes back. Over and over and over again. We are so proud of how well he’s transitioned.
The last thing that we’ve really seen develop lately is this boy’s incredible sense of compassion. If anyone is laying down, upset, hurt, or crying, this little guy is the FIRST to go pat them on the back, ask them what happened, or tell them that “it’s okay.” He gives lots of hugs, hands out ice packs and bandaids, and loves the mess out of his people. I really don’t know where that came from, but it is my very favorite thing about him right now. He’s a special one.
Okay, that’s it for today. Happy Tuesday, y’all!