Julius will watch us talk or watch us do things and we encourage him to try everything with us. But he's just not interested. He can come hug me or kiss me if I ask him. He likes to make his brothers and Mercy do what we ask by pushing them toward us if we call their name. He likes to be the "rule" keeper. And yet he's our biggest rule breaker! LOL! Julius doesn't like to be told no! Lots of normal behavior!
What's different is that none of the boys know or care what Holidays are, or why we celebrate a thing called a Birthday. They have no interest in TV/Movies or popular children characters. They don't care about music, or singing or dancing. They have no favorite toy. Julius may hold Mercy's baby doll like a "real" baby. And then he'll throw it on the floor and walk on it. They don't know what stuffed toys are for. And dolls mean nothing to Mercy.
We don't eat a lot of sweets, but the older kids always enjoy them when we do! Not the 5 boys! Nope, they do not like ice cream, cake cookies or candy at all. They get a "pained" look in their eyes. "If" they will even take a bite! So no Birthday cakes. Mercy had been exposed to sweets so she will eat them, and of course prefers them! And my Julius unfortunately eats lots of non-edible items like carpet fuzz, stickers and kleenex with great glee.
Pauly (6) is Autistic. He likes a toy lego only to tap on his teeth. He hates to give anything eye contact. He'd be happy just to sit and snuggle and laugh chewing on his hands. (he always chews on his hands when he laughs??!!) I could hug and squish him all day! But I have to push him to grow and learn.
He's curious but fearful. He must have a strict routine or he has no idea what to do and that upsets him. He doesn't like anything new or different. If you call him he has to build up the courage to come, because he'd rather sit, it's security to him. If I get him to come with me, he waits his turn patiently, but if he can't wait he just does what he wants hoping it is his turn!
Moses (9) wants to run. He's figured out how to use Noah's gait trainer (walker) to run and he can manipulate it in any room even though it's bigger than him. Physical activity is everything to him. He is free from the orphanage- free from the crib, free from weighing 15 pounds with little strength barely able to sit. He climbs up the front of Daddy all day long! Tom holds his hands and he climbs! If you walk past him he grabs your pant legs and pulls to a stand and walks "with" you! He's always on the go. He's always curious- especially of the bathroom!
Jacob (9) likes to tear, rip break and destroy! He's the only boy who can manipulate certain electronic toys to stop working, every- single- time!! He also kicks, hits and pinches his siblings- and then laughs. He only wants to do what he wants to do or he cries and "yells" at you! Jacob does not like to be included in activities.
But you can't help but love him. He's a little lost soul trying to find his way- on his terms. He prefers us to strangers and shows us he appreciates all we do by that. He has always been fearful of people, for good reason. So his trust is prized here!
Noah (10) is just love. He always makes each day a happy day for himself and us! But he chews, and chews. He chews his clothes and our clothes, books, toys, rugs. He's a chewing machine. He likes to be included in everything. Sometimes his feelings get hurt and you can't console him. That's hard. He's kept the most behaviors from the orphanage as the oldest. He still rocks on his back arching his neck rubbing off hair. He still pokes his eyes and chews his hand. We let it go, except for eye poking, because he's such a good natured boy, and he does these things without thinking. It was how he survived 9 years.
Mercy (6) does like one baby toy that pops balls. She'll pop it in anger, or just pop it to comfort herself. Almost an Autistic behavior. If it is missing or a brother has taken it she SCREAMS!
Mostly she prefers ripping pages out of books and catalogs that are not hers. And getting into her sisters things.
Some days I feel sad. I feel a loss for some of the behaviors we tend to think all children have, or should have, but these 6 children don't. I expected them to appreciate what our other kids did, even our older special needs kids. Like having an interest or a favorite something- anything!!
Getting excited that their Birthday is coming- they don't get excited about, they don't understand. The Birthdays come and go with a favorite dinner made for them and a small gift of a toy or book that they throw aside with no interest.
They don't want "things". So what to buy?
If a new animated movie or cartoon character comes out- they don't notice or see.
If a fun/popular song like "Let it go" is sung/played over and over, it means nothing to them.
If we buy them a shirt with a cute picture/character- they don't pay attention.
If we buy them cute clothes and shoes they don't really care.
If we have something new in the house, they aren't interested.
If we go somewhere fun like shopping, out to eat, the park, up north they fret over the change/changes in their schedule. They don't enjoy it.
If we celebrate good news they watch us.
If their older siblings have fun things- they don't notice.
You might think, with time this should come. We did too. But Julius and Pauly our youngest boys came home at age 4, and both have been here almost 3 years. The only things they've really picked up on enjoying is us and our relationship with them. Of course those are the most important things of all!
Noah, Moses and Jacob have been here almost 2 years, they came home much older. (7,7,9) They actually appreciated us faster and earlier than the younger boys. But with time they are even less interested in "things" than the younger two.
And then there is Mercy our Sleepless Beauty! She always has to trump all 5 boys! *wink*. She has only been here a year and now she's ready to move on since a year is the longest she's lived anywhere! She doesn't appreciate us yet, but we have hope that she will! We certainly appreciate her!
I hope I don't sound like I'm complaining! I'm not complaining. It's just hard sometimes. I just miss sharing the excitement of Birthdays and Holidays with them. Or getting them something special. Or asking them who a popular character is like Barney. Or where the toy cars are. Or playing with a toy with them that they enjoy.
I wouldn't change them for the world! They are perfect in every way. And their LOVE of us is the only thing that matters. And they do get that. They do understand that. Now I need to toss these cultural expectations and enjoy what we have!
I thank God for what we have!