Benjamin is doing so much better with the adjustment than we expected. I keep waiting for things to go downhill and right now I don't see that happening. I know it will go in phases and the challenging times are not over but we are extremely encouraged.
That first 1 1/2 weeks were exhausting. There was no honeymoon period. Just picture a child who has not had any boundaries, discipline and love...used to getting people to do or let him do what or go where he wanted (as much as is possible in an orphanage where he was not a 'favorite', and everything was shared), and you will see a child throwing the biggest temper tantrum possible (those are new to me as we nip them in the bud with all our children). Anytime anyone walked by, he would drop his car on the floor so they would pick it up. I learned quickly how to hold him close in order to keep him and myself safe until he calmed down, all the while talking quietly in his ear and telling him that I loved him but that it was not okay to hit (nay hit, nay bite, nice Benjamin, etc).
He tested every direction I gave, thought all correction or directions were funny, tried to open the door and run down the hall at any chance, and generally just was trying to figure out exactly what 'mama's' expectations were and how far he could push them. He seemed to zone out during these rages. Every time we went down to the lobby, I would have the person at the front desk translate a direction to Ben..."Would you please tell him that he has to stay in the stroller during our walk" "Would you please tell him that it is not okay to throw the car, or mama will take it away", etc...
Did I say that first week was exhausting? Oh yes!
Some of what he learned...
- That when mama says no, she means no.
- Baths are great fun, but mama is in charge of turning the water on or you will get burnt if you do it yourself.
- Toys were taken away (put out of reach on top of the wardrobe, lol) after throwing them.
- Owies were kissed when he tried to hurt himself (hitting or banging his head...a habit from years of not getting proper stimulation).
- Belly's will be filled when hungry, and mama will give you more just for asking.
- It is not okay to open the door to leave the room...that is why the chair was put in front of the door.
- Brothers do funny dances and it's fun to join in on them.
- When you wake up in the middle of the night and whisper 'mama', that she will be there to comfort, cuddle with and reassure with a 'mama is right here, buddy'...to help you find your toy car in the dark and spin the wheels on it anytime you put it in her face.
- It is fun to jump on the bed, be tickled and spin around the room with mama.
- Brothers build great toy cars out of legos, if only they would let you have them whenever you demand 'daĭte' (Sounds like 'Die" and translated: Give Me!)
- It is fun to color with big brothers.
- Mama is more stubborn than he is!
- It is okay to cry. (Though he rarely does and it is a quiet cry.)
- The stroller isn't so bad after all...boy what that a struggle getting used to though! (Best thing I did was to get him used to it from day 1...)
Bit by bit, he started opening up and responding and I got a glimpse of the little boy underneath...
More coming, I promise! I've gotten a couple questions to answer (thank you K.) and will get to those next as well. The 'after' is quite a transformation in just a few weeks!