Saturday, December 29, 2007

Settling in

I always swore I wouldn't do it--take my newly adopted kids out and about right after getting them home. But how else am I to wear out two very active little boys? :)

We've been taking them to the playground twice a day, but then the weather got bad so on Thursday we took them to the St. Louis Science Center. One of the great things about the Science Center (there are many) is that it's free, so we can come and go as we need to without worrying about cost. Thursday morning we just barely went in the Science Center--in the Planetarium and across the bridge for those of you familiar with it. There are several building stations with blocks and gears and all kinds of fun boy toys just across the bridge, so we spent about an hour there then went home.

The boys had their first visit from family this weekend when my dad and stepmom came up to visit. The boys did well but some of their reactions are making us think we need to wait before we introduce too many new people. We need a little more attachment with us as mama and papa and a little more clarity for them as to what that means. :) They did get to go to the zoo, which I think they enjoyed. It's hard since so many of the things they see have no meaning for them--they don't know the English words and they've only seen a few animals before. They enjoyed watching the sea lion feeding and the ape exhibits (insert appropriate boy-behavior/similarity-to-apes comments here ;)).

We have been careful about watching their overstimulation. Dima tends to get very excited and hyperactive when he is overstimulated, whereas Zhenya tends to shut down. Being aware of it helps us to know when to head home or change to a calming activity with one-on-one time with us. We've noticed some issues with attachment with Dima being entirely too comfortable with strangers, and it seems to be the worst when people come to our house and visit with the boys. So we're going to be cutting back on that for the next while (not sure how long). It's hard because people think it's great that he's so friendly, but it's not great if it's going to lead to family problems. So if we seem a little standoffish over the next few weeks, I apologize. The boys and their transition into our family come first, and then we'll have lots of time to hang out with everyone. Just pretend we're still in Ukraine. ;) Consequently, I will be going to church tomorrow to help interpret but Mark and the boys will be staying home. There are just too many people who want to love on them and we've got to get our relationships established first.

A big thanks to everyone who has fed us (and those of you who plan to!). I've included a picture of the boys enjoying one of the "treats" that came with dinner this week. Here's their first experience with pumpkin pie:


Julie said...

Congratulations? (I'm not sure of the correct term to use :) Anyway, so glad you all are home and the adjusting is going so well! You've got a handsome group of boys!

Tami said...

I think you're spot on to take it so easy. When we first brought Q-ball home we had family over in droves...and his lack of attachment was so obvious. Thankfully they all live out of state, so once they left we were able to set up a routine and over time he became very attached. I would like to encourage you though that while it's not going to be an one month thing, or a two month thing or even a six month process. It's going to take will slowly build. Be patient. It will happen. I just takes time.

Mandy W said...

Congradulations Mark! I'm so happy for you and Courtney when I see the pictures of your boys! I still remembered the time when we were in the 4444 building and you shared about you prayer request of having children. May God bless your family!

Kathy & Matt said...

We appreciate reading your comments about taking it slow and making sure attachment issues are covered. It's a good reminder for us.
Glad things seem to be going well.

Anonymous said...

It sounds as though you are being very wise! You just need time to be a family first. As long as you keep posting pictures and updates here, it's no problem at all! LOL :-D


cara said...

We've had Matthew home for 2years now and we still have to make a conscious act to do something to wear him down -everyday. Ukrainian kids are just more physically active! Cara in SD

Kara & Karl Krekeler said...

Wow, your boys are so cute! My goodness! Congratulations to all four of you.
As far as the attachment stuff goes, I know it takes a while. One of my brothers and both of my sisters had issues with it for quite a while; it took one of my sisters almost three years to fully attach. (Of course, they were still waiting for the adoption to happen during that time.) Either way, it just takes time.
If you need any help with the attachment stuff, let me know. My parents have learned a LOT about it over the past 9 years.
Anyway, congrats! How long before you've got them playing base ball, Mark?