Friday, September 11, 2009

So how is Steven doing now?

I have been wanting to blog for days but just haven't found the time to do it. Now, I am in my house all by myself with all 6 of our kids at school. Caleb and Steven both started preschool on Wednesday the 9th and get to attend every afternoon from noon to 3:00. For those who don't know, my purpose in wanting to set Steven's birthday ahead by 6 months was to buy him a year in preschool and I am so thankful that our school cooperated even though he will turn 6 in March. (One rather humorous thing about the new birthdate is that Steven's baby immunizations show as being administered before he was born!!) Both times that I've picked Steven up from the teacher so far, he has cried and kind of backed away from me. I wonder if he's trying to tell me that he was sad that I left him. It must be so confusing to him. Poor guy. But he is not at all hesitant about going--even got on the bus readily today (the other 2 days I've driven) so I really think he likes school.

I know when I was in the adoption process I was very interested in knowing how various newly-adopted kids (whom I'd 'met' on Reece's Rainbow) were doing once they were home. I'll try to put this into words.

Steven is much less out-going and bubbly than Caleb. He is quite hesitant around strangers and often gives them a scowl, sometimes even a raised fist (though not so much lately) He still has not really warmed up to my parents whom he sees quite often. He is also more hesitant around Kevin than around me. He sometimes comes up to me when I'm seated and lays his head in my lap. When I'm standing he hugs my legs or raises his hands to be picked up. He does like to be carried and actually holds on with his arms and legs (unlike Caleb who is gawking all over the place and leaning back) I have seen him try to hug Caleb and vice versa. Steven can say 'hi', 'bye', 'me' He can give high-fives and knuckles. He can pray before he eats. (It was hilarious one day listening to him bossing Caleb that he needed to pray before he started eating) He knows quite a few signs, though doesn't use them spontaneously too much--except 'play'. I did actually see a look of delight in Steven's beautiful blue eyes about 2 weeks ago. That was encouraging. That gleam is not there everyday but I do know it exists.

Steven and Caleb are definitely partners in crime. Before Steven came Caleb was pretty laid back but now the two are Mess-Making Machines, Inc. and are amazingly fast in their efforts. Like most kids they do way better when there is something or someone to keep them constructively occupied but when left to their own devices . . . . well, beware!! I'm not talking really bad stuff, just little annoying stuff like pulling all of the dress-up clothes out of the closet, turning the faucet on in the tub where the dirty clothes are, pouring my pop into the toilet, applying lip gloss, putting some unknown paper into the shredder, throwing stuff behind the couch, throwing their blocks ALL over the dining room, taking off their clothes, trying to shave. I really blame them for our plugged up toilet that absolutely would not come loose with a plunger. I believe--but can't prove--they had emptied the trash can into the toilet. I really think their favorite occupation is watching water go down the drain full blast in the bathroom sink. Steven's fave used to be unrolling toilet tissue and stuffing it in the toilet. We no longer put our TP on the roller so it isn't as fun. Yesterday they got into the chewable vitamins--and that could have been very bad. The time when they do all this stuff of course is when I'm on the computer or on the phone or trying to monitor James' homework while giving Billy ideas on where to find his lost shoe while fixing dinner while cleaning off the dining room table while talking to the girls about how their day went, etc. They really don't fight too much. I don't think I've ever seen them intentionally hit each other but they do raise their voices when one gets something the other wanted. Usually they are giggling and laughing and chasing and pretending like they are shooting each other and . . . Oh, I forgot to mention how much Steven LOVES to sing. He will strum a badminton racket to accompany himself or hold a soft bowling pin up to his mouth as a microphone and just let it rip.

Steven had tubes put in his ears on Sept 4 by Doctor Mayes and came through great. I just picked him straight up out of bed about 5:30 am and carried him to the car in his jammies and off we headed for same-day surgery. It kind of reminded me of heading to the airport there in Kiev. Steven did well but could tell something was up and was really clinging to me. Thankfully he didn't even have an IV. All the prep we had to do was dress him in the hospital jammies, and put the 'funny hat' on his head. I've been through tubes 3 times with Teresa so am pretty familiar with the routine but it was still so hard to finally lay him on that bed and smilingly tell him "Mommy will be right back" and walk away hearing him cry as they wheeled him into surgery. Steven was the 7:30 case. It couldn't have been much past 8:00 when I'd already talked to the doctor (who said the right ear was pretty good but the left eardrum was quite retracted and had fluid behind it and will need to be watched) and headed from the waiting room back to same-day. Steven was wide awake, he guzzled down his glass of apple juice with zero nausea, we walked across the hall to the potty and he went pee, and I got him dressed. The only glitch at all was that we were originally handed antibiotic EYE drops rather than the necessary EAR drops and had to wait for the correct bottle to arrive from the pharmacy. (I had to put 5 drops into each ear twice a day for 3 days) We were back in Hansen shortly after 9 am!! Hopefully this procedure will improve his ability to accurately hear English so he can learn it as well as possible.

Steven is no longer so protective of his food and there have even been a few times when he didn't finish his plate. I think he is figuring out that there is plenty to eat. He sleeps well. When he's in a familiar setting he almost always keeps his pants clean and dry---he just walks to the potty and does his thing. However, he doesn't ASK to go potty so this can be a problem when he doesn't know where the potty is.

One thing Steven does that I think is pretty impressive is that on the trampoline he can bounce down on his bum and land on his feet.

Steven is a precious little boy and I am so thankful that he is no longer a picture on our fridge but our real-life son.


The Keno Family said...

Thanks for sharing about Steven with me Joy. I wonder what I will be sharing about Aiden in a few months? It's kind of like Steven and Caleb are twins spurring each other into mischief! I love hearing your story of the boys' antics as our David does this sort of thing all day long, everyday. I am hoping Aiden will stop him! I have high hopes I know!
Mary Ellen

Lyndi said...

It sounds like Steven is doing so well! Thank you for the update..I have wondered many times how he and you all are doing.

I would love to talk to you a little bit about how he is doing in school, could you e-mail me sometime your number and a good time to call, so I can ask you a thousand questions??


Amy L said...

Oh my, they sound hilarious together! Caleb and Elijah are not so much partners in crime yet, more like a professional and his understudy. Anything Caleb does, Elijah laughs so Caleb does it again. That's usually not a good thing! Then there are the times when Caleb will set Elijah up to do something he isn't supposed to do. It's all cute though, they really do enjoy each other.

Carson's Mom said...

It does sound like Steven is doing well. Unfortunately at this age I am sure he has seen way more than any child should have and that is making him leery of others motives. Hopefully all of that will change as he is around you and learns that you love him and want to help him. I am laughing at all of the mischief that they are getting into, but thankful that that is not going on at my house.:) Thanks for the update!


Arizona mom to eight said...

It must have been his life in the institution that changed him, he was never quiet or leery when we saw him. I knew the change to the insitituion would be terribly hard on him, he truly was the orphanage favorite. I am so thankful he has you as his parents, he will thrive in your love and care. In time he will forget his old life and only remember his life with you!