Friday, December 23, 2011

5 weeks home!

Can you believe the new kids have been home 5 weeks now?!  I can't.  It feels as though they've been here forever.  Really does.  How are they doing?  I think fantastic.  I truly thought it would be at least 6 to 8 months before things could be normal here.  Nope, was I ever wrong.  And glad about that too.  See, in Bulgaria, they were a handful.  Okay, so that is a drastic understatement.  Go back to November posts to get filled in if you don't believe me.  It was insanity at best.  Horrible, horrible. Came home and they just really fit right into the family.  They play like sibs who've known each other forever, they fight like sibs who've known each other for awhile.  It's not all cakes and roses.  Don't get me wrong.  But for the most part, it's really good.

Today, Logan proved he has much to learn.  He spray painted our reindeer outside.  I'll translate later.  If it's something bad, he'll be punished further.  For now, his punishment is going to be to scrub the front porch off (very small front porch) and then paint it since he wants to paint so badly.  We don't put up w/ that kind of garbage around here.  Funny who ratted him out.  Any guesses?  His sister!  Reni.  Yep.  I knew it had to be either him or Nik.  Neither can spell.  Limits our choices.  But, being that the can had been there the whole time before Logan came home, it was obvious who did it.  However, Reni pulled me aside.  I give all my kids a chance to fess up.  With FASers, there tends to be lots & lots of lying.  Something I HATE and disdain w/ all my being.  Logan is not FASD.  however, he is an older child from an orphanage.  A boy at that.  And, their habits in the orphanage when they reach that age are strictly survival in nature.  If it means you need to lie to protect yourself, they do.  Has to be unlearned first.  Another hurdle yes, but we'll get there.  Hey, if we can get RADishes not to steal, we can teach an older PI child not to lie.  Takes patience, determination, and consistency.  Did I say patience already?  LOL.

Back to how they're doing.  Pretty dog gone good for 5 weeks home.  Really am pleased with it all.  Logan is not a bully any more.  He's still working on the melodrama of crying when he gets hurt.  That took my other kids a few weeks to learn so still early.  Eats fine.  Sleeps fine. Plays with his siblings fine.  Fights with his siblings fine too.  Gives us hugs.  Politely introduces himself to people and shakes their hand.  Does not laugh and make obnoxious comments about people w/ disabilities any more.  Curious about them yes but not mean.  Not scared of dogs.  Walks the dogs like he's in charge of them.  Walks down the street by himself and back.

Reni.  She can finally see!  Her eyes are straightening out for sure.  She is a tattle tale.  Working on that one.  It really is a Cindy Brady type thing.  Maybe I should add that to my annoying list.  Anyhow, she's come a long way too.  Not afraid of the dogs any more.  Loves her sisters dearly.  Very independent.  Gives us hugs and kisses.  Talks to Dad on the phone.  Changes Summer's diaper.  Gets mad at Alyona.  Plays with her sisters all day.  Loves to do school work and likes someone to read to her.  Goes to bed okay.  Eats okay.  Though, she keeps telling me she's allergic to chocolate and she'll break out.  I keep assuring her that is NOT true.  It's not.  They did this to Irina years ago as well.  Told me she had asthma b/c she was allergic to chocolate. Nope.  And, Reni has indeed had chocolate.  Reni is learning how to cope with her past.  She is learning to conquer fear head on.  Big time.  She still cowers but not nearly as bad when she first came home.  Reni realizes she will NOT get beat here.  Just today, she grabbed a long stick from outside and explained to me how she used to get smacked with the stick.  I asked if she was losho (bad)?  She laughed a bit.  She continue to explain how they let the window drop down & it broke.  That's when she got in big trouble she told me.  I'm sure I will continue to hear more stories.  She remembers the rock incident too. I know once she speaks more English, I will be able to understand her fears more thoroughly. Otherwise though, she is doing very well with everything.  She has no trouble speaking her mind any more.  Reni has learned she does have a voice and it does matter around here.  Can't wait to see where the next few weeks take her. 

Summer.  My oh my what a little spitfire!   This little one has every single person wrapped around her finger.  Max dances with her almost every single night now.  She loves him dearly.  Summer was a child w/ many layers.  They've been peeled away.  She is not scared of us any more.  She is not scared of things around her.  She talks up a storm.  Summer is lively and active.  She does not just sit there.  She has conquered her fear of water.  In fact, she has unfortunately mastered it.  She is my little princess and loves the color pink.  She hates to go to bed.  She is still not potty trained.  She is still clumsy at times when walking.  Has trouble figuring a few things out but is higher functioning in others.  This is a very, very loving little girl.  We can not imagine our lives without her in it.  She lights up a room still when in it.  Her smile makes you just want to squeeze her and not let her go.  Still can't believe she's here at times.  

All kids have learned to go out in public.  They don't touch everything in site.  They don't whine.  They don't run away.  It's pleasant.  It's okay to go out to restaurants and have manners.  They've gone to church.  It's normal.  Now, mind you, I didn't say quiet.  But, it feels like a real family that has been together for quite some time.  We are home.  All of us.  Safe and sound.  Warm and ready for Christmas.  I have heard stories of how they celebrated Christmas in Bulgaria.  Santa did come.  They got some chocolate.  I think this year they'll be absolutely stunned I do believe.  Just wanted folks to know how they are doing 5 weeks home today.  We really can't imagine them not being here.  yes, there are days where they drive us nuts.  But, that is any one of them (including the other 7!).  All have fit right into this family w/ not too many bumps.   Hope the road keeps staying smooth for the most part.  I have no rages to contend with, no screaming, no punching the walls, etc.  No signs of RAD and that's a huge relief.  When Yana and Alex came home we dealt with these things for years.  We were prepared to do the same.  Thinking we'd have to focus all our time on the 3 new kids, especially the older two & adjust them.  We prepared our other kids for that.  Now, not doing that.  Instead older teens were helping me wrap presents and make cookies.  We're all talking about how the spring will be and what activities we'll do as a family.  I have time to spend reading to Summer, Reni, and Nik.  I have time still to do Nik's phonics.  Have time to kick the ball around w/ Alex from time to time.  Not too often though b/c he knows I'm not good.  Told Irina I could take her any time to re do the driving test.  So, there is time for everyone despite us only being home 5 weeks.  In the past, we've had to focus all energy on new arrivals.  This time, I actually think it helps to have the older ones home and helping along as well.  Process has been okay.  Now that I said all this, watch something come to a head tomorrow.  LOL.  I'll have more posts this weekend on adjustment and things for sure.  Got to go.  Not all roses.  Too much stupid candy & cookies today.  NONE are going to sleep.

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