Saturday, March 20, 2010

Thinking Outloud

Something I don't do often. I'm sort-of an introvert. But I guess this is the point of blogging.
So things are going really good with the boys. I mean, to an outsider looking in everything seems great and I think it is. Nick and Alex got up this morning and played for over an hour by themselves while I slept off a Nyquil hang-over.
Here are the hard things...
Some days it is hard to watch Nick try so hard with Alex and not get much back. Honestly, I would say Alex has mostly attached to Nick- above anyone else. Nick loves Alex unconditionally. He was so thrilled to get a brother and at first was in a little shock that Alex wasn't quite what he had expected. Now he tries to give Alex hugs and says I love you but Alex doesn't respond. Sometimes Alex will play with him and sometimes he goes off to do his own thing and that really frustrates Nick. It is hard for Nick to understand where Alex comes from because Nick's experience at the orphanage was very different. Nick was very attached to his caretaker which makes it much easier to understand how to relate to others and feel close to them. Maybe it is true that Alex's personality is just more independent but we also noticed a world of difference when we got Alex. He let us just carry him out. He never looked back. Never cried.
Alex is five years old and has caught on to our language quickly. Sometimes, he probably doesn't understand me and ends up getting into trouble. Sometimes, I know he understands me but is smart enough to play dumb so he doesn't have to do what I say. Lately, Alex has been very clingy with me. At first when I hugged him at night, he turned his head away. Then I showed him how to put his arms around me. I told him this is what families do. So he started to let me hug and kiss him. Now he has decided he wants me to hold him and comfort him. But he hasn't really done that with anyone else. It will just take time. I guess my point is that everyone looks in and thinks wow things are so great with them and Alex just acts like he has always been a part of their family. But I see the little things that still need work.
I'm thankful that most people seem to be understanding of Alex's need for time to adjust to all the newness in his life. Sometimes I feel like there are people in his life who don't accept him because he is so independent and isn't affectionate. I understand it is easier to respond to the kid who is constantly asking for attention and giving affection. It is hard for Ryan somedays because he comes home when both boys are tired and crabby and sometimes they reject him even though I know they are so excited to see him. But Ryan really is an incredible Dad. Even when I can tell he is exhausted from work, he doesn't let Nick and Alex see that. He runs around the house chasing them or plays in the yard with them. He tickles them and lets them climb all over him.
And for me the hard part lately has been not to fall into my little pity party. I have so much to be grateful for and I know God has blessed us beyond our wildest imagination. There have been lots of new babies lately and lots of baby talk. I've really appreciated that my sister has let me hold my new nephew Tyson and feed him his bottle and get to experience taking care of a new baby. And she doesn't just tell me everything about babies and treat me like an idiot because I've never had one. Of course, Jackie is pretty much the best listener in the world so she would never just talk about herself. She always listens to me about my life and it is always fun to talk to her.
I'm thankful for new friends that have come into our lives when we needed them. At this point in Nick's adoption, we were already starting the paperwork for our next adoption. This time, I know there is no way we can do that. The medicial procedures for us to get pregnant would probably be less than 5% what it would be to adopt a baby girl from China but I just don't know if that is the path for us either. I don't want to become pregnant just to be in the club so I can contribute the conversation when I am with my friends. If I wait a couple of years the talk will change to kids in school and maybe stuff that doesn't always involve our kids. I mean, I love my kids but there are other things to talk about. For now, it has been nice to find friends who do talk about other things and seems to be good for my emotional state.
In conclusion (I always think it is funny when people say that) my life really is great! God is good and the joy and hope of knowing Jesus is the foundation I stand on.

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