Wednesday, August 10, 2011

2 months home and my post on WAGI

Jiushu came home two months ago today...two months that have both flown and slogged by, if you know what I mean.   

Sad, or just serious?  Hmm. 
We are moving toward each other...that's the phrase that best describes the current state of our union.  Moving toward love and familiarity.  Moving toward "this-is-the-way-it's-always-been."  J's heart is opening to us, which makes it so much easier for ours to open to him.  And as he relaxes and trusts, he is realizing that learning new skills is no longer cause for anxiety, fear, or anger. 
a few moments of voluntary tummy-time...gasp!
First Steps evaluated Jiushu last week.  In gross motor skills, he is developmentally an eight month old.  Which saddens my heart, since he is 15 months old, but if he'd been assessed immediately upon coming home, he probably would have scored as a five month joke.  He's made tremendous progress in two months!  He is tolerating food with more texture, no longer cries through every diaper change, goes to bed and wakes up calm, and is trying to actively engage with his world, a very different child from the passive, weak child we first met.  We confess that we've already made some mistakes in valuing his physical progress above his emotional security in our eagerness to catch him up (excellent post about this here), and have made positive corrections in how we relate to him.  Thank God for new mercies...and Jiushu has shown us mercy too, it seems.  He is definitely demonstrating attachment to his mama!  (That's me!)

His very first "chocolate sandwich cookie".  Was interesting watching him gum it into submission.
In other news, he has an MRI on Thursday...sort of a baseline to make sure there's no teratoma regrowth and see what exactly was removed in his surgery as a newborn.  In case you missed that part, Jiushu was born with a large sacrococcygeal teratoma which was removed in China when he was two weeks old.  Then we see a neurosurgeon the following week, to discuss the MRI, maybe?  At the end of the month he'll have surgery to repair a hernia (or two).  And that, my friends, should be the end of our doctor visits!  As for First Steps, although Jiushu fell just a hair short of the requirement of a 50% delay, he may receive services anyway thanks to the efforts of the physical therapist who evaluated him, who just happens to be a gal we know from church. 

Swinging with sis

Practicing his standing skills, post cookie.  In the background is my good friend, also an adoptive mom.
To those of you following behind, I hesitate to pontificate that things will get better!  Because 1) It's so very generic.  "Better" means different things to different families.  And 2) When you are in the thick of it, struggling with exhaustion or fear, and trying to meet the needs of a traumatized child who is a stranger to you (not to mention those of the rest of your family), those words ring a bit hollow.  At least they did for me. 

So I'll just say this:  we are all much happier, stronger, and less afraid than we were even two weeks ago!  

And now, as if this post weren't already long of my earlier posts, written when things definitely were not going so well, was chosen for We Are Grafted In, a fabulous adoption blog and forum.  I'm so honored!  Please follow the link to check out my post along with dozens of others which have inspired, encouraged, and informed.  I even get a very special button!


Amy said...

It sounds as though your family is beginning to find your "new normal." That's wonderful! I'm so happy for you that Jiushu's heart is opening up- it's a beautiful thing when that happens! I so appreciate your openness & candidness. I often find myself censoring my posts on my blog (not that many people read it!) just because I worry about potential comments. Reading your blog (& a few other honest bloggers) gives me the courage to post what I need to post without worry.

The daily struggles are hard, but the reward can be so beautiful & worth the hard work!! You are in my thoughts!

Krissy said...

go pleased j, so pleased. how is
'more" coming along?

thank you for your precious blogs... sometimes i read them on my phone and it wont let me comment - but know i ALWAYS read them and love to watch the growing that is happening!

is there someway to get notification that you have posted? ive tried to figure that out and have been very unsuccessful...

love you dear friend!

Rita and John said...

You're famous! I'll have to go see. It's great to see how far your little guy has come in two months!

Captain Murdock said...

Just saw your post on WAG. Thank you for being so open and honest!

connie said...

Hi, Jerusha! We adopted our now 15-year-old son from Nanjing SWI 21 months ago. I was just wondering if your little man was also from there. Just returned home from Nanjing 2 months ago also with our two newest Treasures.
I just wanted to say thank you for your very honest and transparent post on WAGI! I so get that! And the wise response of your friend is amazing. Her friendship must be a blessing to you. Hang in there and continue to lean on the Lord!

Sara said...

Thank you for giving hope to those of us struggling to adjust to the new family dynamic! As someone "in the thick of it" having been home 2 weeks, I *abhor* when people tell me "it will get better" - that does not help when your child tried to bite you at bathtime and just cried out for baba for the nth time in her sleep and not mama....I need to read your posts only because they help me see that THIS is normal for adoption and now the fuzzy warm rainbows that some people post - most people struggle and most people are like you and I who have to work really, really hard to get a good solid attachment. Here is to more hope for you and your family!

The Raudenbush Family said...

It's so important to share the struggles as well as the HOPE of adoption. So glad that you are moving towards each other by His grace!

Jen said...

Thank you for sharing yourself. I enjoy your posts and how honest you are. Sounds like your are getting into the groove of your new normal.

Blair Family said...

Oh how great are those pics! He looks so much more at ease than at first. Love it!