In one week the boys will have been home 6 whole months!! *shock*!!
Where has all the time gone?
I made these 2 collages for Bulgaria. The top one is Julius. Top left corner photo is from March 2011. First visit with Dad. The rest from home!
The bottom collage is Pauly. Top left with Dad 3/11 first visit. The rest from home.
In 6 months we still see spitting, teeth grinding, and Pauly still bites. But not with the frequency and intensity of September. We encourage Pauly to "chew" on chewie toys. Sometimes he tries to take a bite of us too. But now it's slow enough we can stop him!
They both used to be very LOUD!! If they were afraid to be out of the house, they hummed and groaned loudly. It was loud enough that we could not hear other people talking to us! Now Julius just has short outbursts of loudness. We think he's using the tone of his voice to get attention. And Pauly is pretty quiet unless he's cranky!
Julius attempts to "talk", but does not like to mimic or copy sounds and words with us. Pauly doesn't attempt to talk, but he sings! He sings and sings and sings! He is an extraordinarily happy boy. He loves to laugh and be ticked and hugged and kissed. Julius likes affection too, but his trust issues cause him to hold back. Pauly just melts. Even with Pauly's autistic behaviors, he'd rather melt into one of us than do his autistic gestures with his head, hands and feet. Every once in a while Julius lets his guard down and shows us his happy side!
They both know we are family now. They don't say our names or call us anything, but when they hear our names they know who we are. They don't fear new people as they did before, they seek us instead for comfort.They now love and trust us. And as my sweet Sister in Christ Sonya mentioned in a comment- "love grows". Their love for us grows each day. Oh what joy it brings us all! How did we ever live without them? Our love for them is HUGE!
Our 8,8,9 and 11 year old thank us every day for their brothers. We tell them God sent us these boys/blessings! We thank God!
Julius still likes to rip and break things. We can now predict what will catch his eye and re-arrange, that helps stop the damage! He fools Dad easily when he grabs things he shouldn't and laughs when he does something naughty! He is a stinker. He doesn't dare do that with Mom! He likes to "pretend" cry when he can't have his way. He'll stop when I tell him no, otherwise he'd cry all day- he thinks he should get his way all of the time!! LOL! (hmmm has he been watching me??? LOL!)
Pauly doesn't really do anything "naughty" other than drool and spit food. He even spits out foods he likes if he doesn't want to cooperate! He'll drool and slime his toys. One thing he hates is a room temperature wipie on his face to clean off the spit. A wipie near by helps deter him from coating himself and his things with spit and drool.
The boys tolerate each other much better. No hitting or hair pulling. They sit side by side during church. Julius may take Pauly's toy, but Pauly doesn't seem to mind. Julius does not share his toys, he holds them with an iron grip. During church Pauly loves the singing. We live stream church on our computer because we are miles away from a Church of our faith. The boys sit nice and are quiet for the sermon!
Too bad they can't tell you how I have improved as a mom since they have accepted me as their mother. Too bad they can't tell you how much I've grown in understanding little boys who come from orphanages! Because I think they would remind me that I had alot of challenges in the beginning with trying to reach them and calm their fears. I wasn't always successful in explaining "why" spitting, grinding teeth and biting was "ishy" and something we shouldn't do! They had to teach me things that I wasn't expecting to learn. Things like it's o.k. if little boys don't like cake or sweet treats. That it's hard to "sleep" at night without making your bed party central when you previously lived with lots of kids! That the way to a little boys heart is sometimes just sitting next to them, without expecting anything from them. And that when they are ready to trust, they'll let me know!
We've sure come a long way in 6 months! And I'm so glad that they put up with me AND love me too! I just know in the next 6 months we're going to learn lots of more fun stuff about each other!! :o)
(((HUGS))) to all! :o)