The Day Between

Today is the day between our new children’s Gotcha Days.  And earlier on our Facebook Page I wrote this update…

For some reason I can’t access my blog. *GASP* Hopefully will be getting that resolved soon. In the meantime, we are doing great here. We had one little meltdown from Jacob leaving the playground and besides the bedtime craziness everything has been smooth sailing!

I am so proud of how well our new son is taking every new thing in stride and learning so quickly how family dynamics are different than in the orphanage. His interactions with his new siblings are already getting softer and less defensive, although we did have to have a lesson in hugs today! Lol!

Jacob and Hope also met each other briefly and all five of us were together for a brief few minutes! Tomorrow it will be forever!! Can’t wait! Stay tuned for a more in-depth update hopefully in a few hours. If my blog lets me in….

So here is the more in-depth version! I did get the blog problem resolved obviously. :)

We are doing really great. I expected these two days to be so much rougher than they have been. I won’t lie, it has been stressful with everything going on and there have been moments of panic on my part. It hasn’t been especially pretty all the time, and in fact, sometimes it’s downright ugly.  But our newest addition is blending in fabulously and he seems to be having a great time!

We just left the playground, though, which he did not want to do at all. And he cried most of the walk home, but by the time we got to the apartment it was clear he was just milking it and he wasn’t getting any attention so he gave it up. Nothing like the tantrum we saw at the orphanage last week; it was a very mild normal kid tantrum. I’ll take it!

He did have a really difficult time going to sleep last night and that was exhausting for everyone. I am praying for a better situation tonight.  If he spends three hours fighting sleep for the rest of the week we are going to have a really long week.  (Wrote this earlier in the day, he actually had a fabulous night and was soundly asleep with the others right away!)

Evangeline and Stephen are doing marvelously with their new brother. They’ve had to learn some new boundaries, as Jacob really needs his space.  Yesterday, whenever one of the kids got close he would go straight into defensive mode and start hitting at the air and yelling. I have a feeling he usually got attacked when other kids got that close in the orphanage. He’s not used to this hugging and affection stuff coming from other little ones.

But Stephen has been thrilled to have him here so far, and he was the first person Stephen thought of this morning. He woke up and asked “Uri?” And later that morning he went over to give his new big brother a hug. Jacob was not appreciative of this and pushed him away, which I used as an opportunity to have a family hug lesson.

I said “Jacob, nyet.” And I sat him on my lap and explained (in English with lots of hand gestures and example hugs) that hugs are good things and Stephen just wanted to give him a hug, and that it is nice to let people hug us. Then I invited Stephen over and he got his hug and Evangeline gave a hug, then Evangeline and Stephen gave each other a hug, and lastly Stephen proceeded to give hugs to the rest of the room.

It ended with lots of laughter and smiles all around. He tolerates Stephen’s touches now. Stephen likes to occasionally walk up and hug people or pat them on the back or look over their shoulder to see what they’re doing. It’s really very sweet, but Jacob had a hard time with it at first and we had to really watch to make sure no one accidentally got hurt by reflexes. But this afternoon Stephen patted him on the shoulder and there was absolutely no reaction! Things are getting better, he is learning so fast.

Jacob is also quite the cleaner. I think the nannies are pretty strict about that at the orphanage. He made his bed and tried to make mine too, lol! He also loves the playground, but gets super preoccupied with cleaning all the garbage off of it (and here there is a lot of trash). Needless to say he got a thorough hand washing when we got back inside! He also seems to have designated a night stand as his shelf. Whenever we would give him a clothing, a toy or a book to look at he immediately went to that shelf and put his things in the drawers. We’re also getting better at sharing! Slowly but surely!

We had paper chasing for Hope today and everything didn’t go super smoothly, but it all got done on time and we are still on schedule for the week! She had to get passport pictures, and since I wanted to have time to visit her at the orphanage before Gotcha Day, the kids and my mom and I drove there while Jake was doing paperwork.

I was nervous about whether she would be ok or not since we haven’t seen her in so long, I should not have been concerned! As soon as she heard my voice she got a huge smile, and when she actually saw me she was giggling and kicking her legs she was so excited. It was the best reaction, and my heart was so full to see that kind of joy from my little girl!

FabFiveWe got to watch the nannies feed her so I know how much she eats at each meal, and then we got to walk out with her! We went back to the apartment where Jake was waiting, as he needed to take her for passport pictures. So all five of us were together for about fifteen minutes. It was great! And tomorrow it will be for forever!

By the way do you see how handsome my husband looks in that lovely pink carrier?!?!  How manly is that!  The things a doting father does for his little girl.  I think I fell in love all over again just seeing it.  :)

Poor baby girl had a hard time with the pictures though. She didn’t like it one bit and it took them a while to get one that would work. Jake said he saw quite a few of her anxious behaviors on the trip back to the orphanage, which broke my heart as she was just all smiles on our drive in. I hope it doesn’t make her nervous during Gotcha Day tomorrow!

And I’m off to pack AGAIN and to do some Embassy paperwork before bed!

Please continue to keep us in your prayers. Here are some immediate prayer requests we have…

Prayer of thanksgiving that Jacob is doing so well AND that he fell asleep in minutes tonight!! Also prayers that this ease in transition would continue for him as we make the long journey back home.

Prayer for our family as we separate for several hours tomorrow so that Jacob can be in Kiev on time for his first Embassy appointment and Daddy can finish everything up in Hope’s city.

Prayers that the Embassy would have soft hearts tomorrow as we ask for special timing on getting Hope’s visa. We will need them to be open a little later Friday in order for Jake and Hope to make their Saturday flight.

Pray that all would go smoothly in the morning so that Jake and Hope can make their 1:00 pm train.

Pray for patience and strength and wisdom for Jake and I as we learn how to parent these two new precious ones along with our others and make the adjustment to a family of six.

And, of course, for safe travels!

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