I cannot believe Eli has been in our family for two months today.
As compared to the one month mark...I can now honestly say that I cannot remember life without him. It is still really hard at times but we have hit a new normal.
Overall he is doing great. Really great.
His vocabulary is really starting to pick up and he is able to string together several words..."Daddy's car or Eli night night or Ezra no touch". He still gets really quiet whenever we are in public or around an unfamiliar person, but is slowly starting to open up even outside of home. He has really gotten the hang of the word "no" and is not afraid to use it! (Therefore we are also working on "yes ma'am" now). I would say he is 95% adjusted to his new name of Eli. He doesn't even respond to being called Chala now. And just this week has started calling himself Eli when he sees himself in the mirror or in a picture.
His gross motor skills continue to improve. We still have a long way to go but he is getting stronger every day. He actually will get on the trampoline and jump now...which is such a huge improvement over clinging to the side and crying in fear. I make sure he gets a lot of physical activity and we ride bikes, jump on the trampoline, take walks, and go to parks every single chance we get. Jeremiah has been known to wrestle with him a time or two as well.
We seemed to have hit a plateau for his tantrums at the moment. I would say we average one to two a day. I can now see one starting to form and have gotten pretty good at short circuiting them when possible. If not possible (when I have to be firm and discipline because of deliberate disobedience) then I just hold him very tight and I rock him until he has calmed down. Usually they last only a minute or two at the most. Once he has calmed down I always tell him "Mommy loves Eli" and we move on. They can be exhausting (for both of us!) and the few times they have happened in public...embarrassing as well.
I cringe when I remember how I used to think that my kids would never act like that when I would see a tantruming child. You know...before I had kids.
Ella continues to do incredible. I cannot tell you the number of times she has humbled me with her sensitivity and compassion to Eli. They are best buddies.
Ezra continues to be Ezra. A lot of the jealousy issues have resolved...but the fact is remains he is an extremely onery and active little boy with a new brother less than six months older than him. I capitalize on every opportunity to create positive experiences for the two of them together. Again, exhausting. But the moments of them playing happy together (as few and far between as they might be) make it all worth it.
Jeremiah and I are doing well too. We are feeling more and more like Eli is "our" son and not just a friend of Ella and Ezra who is having an extended slumber party with us. I never realized just how much attachment is a two way street in adoption. I was prepared for it to take a lot of time for Eli to attach to us. I was not however nearly as prepared for how much time it was going to take for us to attach to him.
Our choosing to love him is slowly giving way to not being able to help but love him.
I was kissing his cheeks the other day and telling him "oh, I just love kissing your cheeks" (you know, as only a mom can do) and I realized...I really mean it. I didn't have to fake it. I love kissing his cheeks.
But I shouldn't be surprised.
The God of this universe has lavishly poured out his love on me. It fills me and up and overflows. And he just as lavishly loves Eli. And has worked in my heart to help provide him some of that love.
I cannot explain the privilege it is to be his Momma.
To be allowed to show him the love of his creator.
Happy two months home Eli!