I wrote a great post 2 days ago but Verizon Broadband and blogger decided to send it to cyber space.......cry.....
Our boys are 4 yrs old. But they are like babies. Tom met them in March and in watching and observing them move around and play with toys he thought they were not as delayed as they are. He probably should have asked our attorney's opinion! LOL! She has had years more experience! But he didn't think of that. He thought with his heart. :o) Tom had the love in his heart for these boys, but he does not evaluate the functioning level of children or adults well. That has literally been my job since 1977 as a Child Foster care and Group home provider. Since Tom knew he loved the boys and could handle bringing them home, I knew I could evaluate them better after I saw them. :o) We have always worked well as a team. Regardless of our differences. (Unfortunately some of my adult kids don't know what real team work is. I thought I'd address this since they love to critique my blog.)
So our precious boys are in diapers. Do not talk. Do not reach out to us. Do not feed themselves and pretty much get into everything dangerous. We thought the last 3 boys we are adopting would be like babies. Worries of 5 boys all unable to walk entered our minds!! But we saw a recent picture of our Jacob (we can't share it) and he looks like he can stand and walk around- but his report said he could barely sit up un-assisted!!?? Jacob looks huge compared to Moses. Noah looks much more delayed, but that we had kind of expected. Now the Lord is teaching me- not to expect, just do!! LOL!!
Will Julius & Paul heal to the level of functioning that I had hoped they would? Only the Lord knows. But the level of care they need is more than we expected and we have alot of adjusting to do ourselves. Our 4 yr old baby boys are who they are, we need to adjust for them. :o) Whether they learn to care for themselves or not doesn't matter as long as they can function socially in a world that they must depend on to care for them in one way or another. Sadly adults with disabilities get better care if they are socially well adjusted and cooperative. We know, we've cared long term for two women who were/are not easy to get along with and we are/were their last stop, others chose not to care for them.(one passed away in our care)
Pauly's autism causes him great anguish living in a large family. He does not like alot of attention. He is so frustrated to be camping in a small trailer next to his Bulgarian brother, with 4 other siblings and mom. (Dad, our 2 clients & 2 teenagers are in the bunk house) If Pauly wakes up from nap he needs an hour to lay quietly and adjust to getting up. I can't fold up his blankie or hand him a toy- until he is ready. He can't transition from one activity to the next easily. He still can't handle much touching. If I rub his head gently he cries. If I talk too much, he cries. (I'm usually talking to someone on the phone- not to him) He sleeps alot. If we wake him up early he is frustrated for hours. He won't go to bed earlier if his nap is cut short. He wants control over everything and this causes him and us much frustration. We'd gladly allow him more control if we knew what he wanted, but he keeps us guessing. Tom and I sadly shake our heads- why is he so angry? Will we reach him? Of course we believe we will reach Pauly, we have hope, but as I said before we have 2 adult children we have not been able to reach.
I was asked recently about bonding. Yes, we have bonded with the boys. They are our boys and we love them. Does that mean we feel like we know them- no. Does that mean we feel the same way about them as our other children? We are bonded to them in a parenting way, loving them regardless as our own, yes. But in a human way we need more time to get to know each other. I can't say they love us. They don't trust us, and they don't know us. They need time to heal. We are older and wiser, we can love children who don't love us back. They don't know how to "love" as we define the word. (Love= patience and kindness) They need to learn the meaning of love on their own. I hope they are open to learning it. Our 7 1/2 yr old son we adopted (now 35) was taught a very different meaning for love. He does not know what love is. That's the hard part of parenting, allowing them the freedom to become part of our family or not. Just as God gives us the freedom to follow Him or not. We will bond with them more and more to the point of forgetting they were ever somewhere else. But it takes time! Four year old babies don't heal on time schedules. We adopted to give to them- not to receive from them. :o)
Would we do it again? You bet- after all we are going back for 3 more unknown little souls. We know God has a plan for all of us that we have yet to see, and boy are we excited about seeing it!
p.s.As I typed this Julius watched 15 minutes of a Barney movie!! "I love you-you love me-we're a happy family!" I have been singing that song since my precious 21 yr old came home from TX!!