My husband went back to work today--though he did get up early with Jiushu and go in to work late--so today has been my first day alone with four children. I won't say we're thriving, but we're surviving, and I'm content with that.
We have been teaching Jiushu to feed himself Cheerios, small pieces of bread, and the little steamed bun crackers he ate a million of in China. He has no pincer grasp, and when his fingers reach his mouth and the snack has dropped, he doesn't even seem to realize it. When I help him to try again, he throws a colossal tantrum. And this is the tricky part--is it grief? or is it a tantrum? I'm sure it could be a mixture. To our experienced-in-birth-parenting-only eyes these fits sure look like tantrums from an indulged child. Ironic, I guess, but we really suspect that Jiushu's nanny (we think he did have only one main caretaker) babied him, perhaps pitied him, and so expected almost nothing from him.
I say that because, as we've attempted to lovingly turn play into therapy, we've found that this boy absolutely can bear weight on his legs. And surprise, surprise...can now do it with a smile on his face! And he's sitting up like a champ, though it's clear to us that lying down has been his default mode. I'm no doctor, and I'm not claiming to know yet whether or not he has nerve damage, but if you've never ever worked with a child to help him learn to stand or sit, how could you possibly make that claim? He has no strength in his legs (as the staff wrote)? Well, no, not if he lies down or sits in a stroller all day. Do I sound a little ticked off?
Anyway, we took a nice walk to the park after lunch. Big brother on his scooter, big sister walking, and the two littles in the stroller. Jiushu was almost asleep by the time we got there, and I quickly picked him and woke him up. Again, his default mode = go to sleep. (He had already taken a two hour nap.) He enjoyed the change of scenery and took his first (I assume) ride in a baby swing. He LOVED it...smiled the entire time! Stayed awake for the return walk home, and had some quality sitting/playing/bearing weight on his legs time. He's taking another nap now as I could tell he was genuinely tired. Maybe because of his heart, I don't know. He also sweats like nothing I've ever seen. When he wakes up in the morning, there is a one-foot diameter circle of soaking wet sweat under his head on his crib sheet. I look forward to getting some answers when we have our first appointment at the international adoption clinic later this month.
I have been so blessed by the encouraging comments and prayer going up for us in this crazy time of transition...thank you! "Weeping may last for the night [or many nights...whatever], but a shout of joy comes in the morning." Psalm 30:5 NASB