Life with 4 kids 6 and under. Our trip to pick up Tonito in China is: mid-March 2008 through April 12. Our trips to pick up Ricky in Ethiopia are in June and August of 2010.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Settling In

This week has been our settling in week- the kids are finally on a "normal" schedule of going to sleep around 8pm, waking up around 7am, and taking a nice 2 hour nap in the afternoon. The (seemingly) insurmountable goal is to have all 3 kids sleeping at the same time-- and a couple of days I have actually achieved that!!!:) Aaah, the tranquility of watching my Oprah while folding clean clothes on the couch. Another overwhelming task accomplished- I have caught up on laundry! The last of our traveling to China clothes are now clean, folded and put away, and being recirculated in the endless cycle down the chute to be washed and back up the stairs and hopefully in the dressers before being used. I am so glad that mountain of clothes is not haunting me anymore!!!

This week we continued to play ouside A LOT. Tonito absolutely loves his Little Tikes car, and his legs move like Fred Flintstone trying to keep up with Vivi. Both Vivi and Tonito have magnets in their knees and attract the cement several times a day. When one falls down, the other reminds me of their previous owies and I end up kissing all of the scars from the past week:).

Words Tonito uses now:
choo-choo (for train)
coche (car)
más (more)
leche (milk)
agua (water)
"pease" (please- only once in a while:)
Thank you
and all of our names, including Boudicca and Mingo, our 2 dogs and his BEST friends/toys- he LOVES loves loves the dogs and they are the first thing he looks for in the morning.

In China, they told us that Tonito was a little delayed in his speech. This history, combined with us being a bilingual household, is probably the reason why he isn't speaking as much as other kids who are adopted at the same age. We are not worried at all though- I would say 90% of the time we know what he wants either through what he says, and mostly because of his body language (pointing and grunting:). We have an amazing preschool through our public school district that he will start in the fall and provide him with speech and OT and I am confident that he will slowly develop his communication.

Tonito has been really progressing in so many ways- it is amazing that in only 2 weeks time he has grown so much! He will try to repeat almost anything we say, and he sits longer and longer on the couch cuddling and reading with us every night before bed. The first couple of nights he would last not even 5 minutes, and tonight I read at least 10 books with him sitting with me. His favorite was Jane Cabrera's "If you're happy and you know it"- nod your head, flap your arms, spin around, etc. He and Vivi acted out all of the verses, laughing and anticipating the next action.

He says a lot of other words that might be in Chinese, although sometimes we think he is trying to say something in English/Spanish. He adores Tonio and his face literally lights up and he screams 'baba" and "papi" when he sees Tonio. He really, really wants to hang out with and imitate everything Tonio does- from cleaning the garage, to using tools, bathing the dogs, or working on the computer. He wants papi to kiss his owies, eat with him, and more than anything wrestle and play with him!!! He loves me and is bonding with me as well, but papi is his #1 best friend:). I love to see them together and watch him just smile and laugh with papi- and it kind-of works out well because Vivi is a mama's girl who needs her hugs and kisses from me:).

Speaking of the two 3 year olds, they have their adorable, tender moments and then 5 minutes later they are fighting over the same toy (the toy that didn't really seem interesting until the other one started playing with it!). We are refinishing our wood floors upstairs and so we have all of our furniture in the girl's room and we pulled Vivi's mattress down into Tonito's room. So they took their nap together (that was a miracle, they actually fell asleep in the same room and slept for 2 hours!). Vivi woke up first and came to play in the family room. After a minute she burst into tears and starting saying something that we couldn't understand. Finally she cried "my friend! I want to play with my friend Tonito!" We told her he was still sleeping, but she wouldn't accept that. "But he needs a snack with me!" So we went and got him so that they could eat their snack together and play (play and argue over the same toys).

This week we got to visit with grandma and grandpa several times. He loves grandma and grandpa and really tries to say their names. He shows them his toys, laughs at Grandpa's antics, and relishes Grandma's kisses. Overall he is a really happy kid that thrives on attention and love, and just wants to play play play.

We are so fortunate to have Tonito as our son!! If anyone is in the adoption process and is wondering if they should look at the file of a "Waiting Child"-- I wouldn't not hesitate for a minute. Obviously every family has to determine what special needs they are able to handle regarding time and money (dr appt's, PT/OT, hospitalization for surgeries, etc)- but I would encourage families open their hearts boys and girls, and these amazing kids that are a little "older." So many families I know started the adoption process with a certain age/gender in their head, but just glanced at a list of waiting children and suddenly they fell in love with one of the kids that didn't fit their original plan. Just have a look and you might hear a little voice calling out to you!


Yvette said...

Thank you so much for sharing your blog!! I have been following your journey with such joy and making mental notes of the various things you experienced while in China. We leave on Wednesday to go pick up our daughter from the Jan WC list!! Your blog and the links to the others in your travel group were my favorite daily reads. Thank you!!

Ray said...

Being bilingual seems to result in being a little behind at the beginning, but kids catch up fast after they start school and it's a great gift to give! A friend of my daughter's, High School Freshman, did not speak English when she first started school. She grew up speaking Mandarin/Taiwanese. Now she's one of the top students in English at her school.


Ray, Owner - Learning Chinese Products for Kids

Sallymander said...

i totally agree! we look forward to picking up our son, benjamin, who is a "child of promise" with a minor physical correctable need!