Sunday, October 30, 2011

3 months home....already! (by joel)

Wow, I have literally not had any spare time over the last 2 months!  My business has expanded into another field after my sign installation work dried up.  So, we have added a family, started a new job (12+hours a day, 6 days a week) and have tried to start bible school (just not the right time for it right now).  Being a new dad has put my priorities to a test, I have a huge desire to make this new job work because I have 2 little boys counting on me.  Before, I knew Rachel and I could make it even if it meant beans and rice....seems a bit more pressure filled now!  :)

Rachel is doing amazing with her role as a mother!  The DS clinic doctors and the early intervention lady were all amazed by the vocabulary of Jackson and now of Josiah!  Yep, Josiah is now signing and saying a few words!  Looking back, that absolutely blows my mind.  The little baby that had no muscle tone, little or no expression and no vocalization.....well, He's worming around at break neck speed, he can stand with just a little support at the waist and this kid has attitude and lungs to match!!!!  This all happened over the last couple of weeks, like God just flipped his switch to ON and now he's full speed ahead!  He even says Jackson, penny, dadda, momma, and a few others that come out of left field...He just signed "thank you" to me after I changed his diaper tonight!

Jackson is not only suprising us with his language skills, but his mind is amazing.  Yesterday, we got a little tikes slide given to us and he went to town on it.  The neat part was watching him figure out how to swing his second leg around and not fall down!  He is so adventurous and quite the dare devil!  He loves playing "jet man" where I pick him up at the thigh and raise him to the ceiling, then let him fall like a rock until I "save" him at the last second, flips and twirls and climbing on daddy are on the to-do list every day.

Looking back, it seems odd that we have only been home for a little more than 3 months.  The sleep to coffee ratio is quite different with a family and I was just thinking how much of my life was wasted before the boys....I don't think I ever had productive hours between 4-8am before....  And I can't figure out, for the life of me, how the heck the boys can be in bed at 7:30, asleep by 8, up at 5:30-7 and we can be so sleepy!  The boys are sleeping 10 hours a night, sometimes more!  And how is it they take two naps a day and yet I get none!  :)  Please read this as just amazement, not complaining...because, with all said and done...these boys bring so much life to this house.

So, business is going good and the hours are starting to normalize.  Momma is doing great with everything she is teaching these little men.  IT IS HARD THOUGH!  Every day is different than it was before, for all of us.  We don't see the boys as any different than "normal" boys.  I kind of struggle with this.  To me, they are two little boys.  Others see the DS or notice they are different some how.  They do great when other kids don't treat them as different, Jackson tries hard to do what anyone else is doing and Josiah follows suite by copying Jackson.  Jackson can count to 5 and knows some of the ABC's in the ABC song, has a huge understanding of the English language and is speaking fairly well and signing quite well....he can communicate with us very well.  If one method doesn't work, he'll switch tactics until you understand!  It is amazing!

But with all that said, they both get over stimulated.  Unfortunately, very few people actually get what that means.  They don't understand some of the rules we have, or why they/we don't do this or that.  They see the boys as normal boys, and they pretty much still are.  It isn't the DS that is the problem, I'm thinking it is just the adjustment from the orphanage.  We were given some amazing advice from a couple that were going through their second adoption from the Ukraine.  They told us to grow their world slowly, as in one room at a time, one place at a time and for a limited amount of time.  Since we have no other children, this is the approach we have decided to take.  Their world is growing, but we are growing it slowly.  Sunday school, a couple trips to the store per week and that's about where we are at.  It is very hard on them to go to another place and be there for a while.  Most don't understand or see what is overstimulating about it because the boys don't show any signs of anything being all happens over the next day or two, even the next week some times.  The staring off into space, the naughty behaviors, the lack of sleep or restless sleeping or the 4+ hour naps the days following.  Then there is the upset stomach issues, whining, crying, and other actions of acting out that the boys don't experience except after having their little world upset.  They are still trying to figure out why people are paying attention to one has ever done that before and they don't know how to deal with it.  So, we simply ask for patience!  For those who don't understand, please trust that the Lord that took us on this amazing adventure is still in charge of our lives and we are listening to Him, seeking His advise.  As brother ken preached today, It is Rachel and I that will stand before God giving an account of how we raised His children.  Knowing this, we are seeking His guidance, and He has given us some amazing people to help lead us in this endeavor.

Trust us, we know how much everyone just wants to love on these guys...and we are going at the pace that God has set for us.  As it was explained to us, the more the boys can trust us the less the over stimulation happens.  And for that to happen, we need to be their everything right now.  Our little house has to be their world, and the adventures out of their world have to be limited (but with the goal of expansion being worked towards).  These guys still need your prayers, as do we!

I will do my best to get some more pictures put up!  Please, keep the other families in your prayers.  There are many who went before us and are going after us....we all need support of some kind.  Pray, give time, give money, advocate.....I am working on a "Just save one" project for churches and hope to roll that out in the next few months.  Pray, Pray, Pray.....

Thank you to all who helped!