I thought it was (past) time for an Eli update. How crazy is it to think that he has been here for 15 months now. I truly cannot remember life before he was a part of our family.
We officially completed our re-adoption of Eli this summer. This means we officially changed his name and we have an official NC birth certificate and social security number for him...woohoo! (that's a lot of officials, huh) I had no idea it was going to be such a long process, but we are finally done with the majority of our post adoption paperwork. Now all we have left is the COC (certificate of citizenship) to work on, but we are in no hurry to do that just yet.
He continues to grow taller and even chub up a bit in places. He wears the same 4t/5t size as Ezra although he is much slimmer. He gets stronger and braver with each passing month. He continues with his once a week speech and occupational therapy where he is making slow but steady progress. We have realized that repetition is key with Eli...going over and over and over a new concept or word or function until finally something clicks and he has it. For example, I worked for months and months on him recognizing all his colors. Some days he would know them and some days not. Until about a month ago...and now he KNOWS them all of the time.
Two of the little things that have changed in our little guy these last few months...
1) He loves to wrestle Ezra and actually "wins" the majority of the time now. I know, shocker...right. Especially considering the timid little guy that we first brought home. He is timid no more!
2) He can now jump from my dresser to my bed. I know, sounds silly...but this is something he has watched Ella and Ezra do since coming home but hasn't been able to do it. Until this week! And we all hooped and holler'd so loud in excitement for him that we woke the baby up, ha! (And please, no judgement at the fact that I do allow my children to do crazy things like jump from my dresser to bed.)
(yes, i know the quality of this picture is terrible...but i was running to catch the jump and didn't have time to focus...)
We have (obviously from the above paragraph) been able to relax a lot about keeping him protected from hitting his head in the last few weeks. We are almost at the 3 month mark since his surgery and blissfully it seems like a distant memory. Praise God that we are on this side of it!
He seems to be noticing (or at least finally able to verbalize) the fact that his skin color is different from mine. He told me this week that "you not black like me." He also points out on a frequent basis that Zoe's hair "matches" his. It has spurned a lot of conversations and dialogue and I think we are working through this process in a positive way.
A lot of people have asked how he has transitioned to the new baby in the family and my answer is always "seamlessly." He was by far the easiest to deal with during the transition. Sometimes too easy and I have to remind myself that he still needs a lot of opportunity for attachment with me and to make sure I prioritize some individual time with him. He is so sweet and affectionate with his little sister and loves to help me get a burp cloth or give her a paci or throw a diaper away.
He is a joy to our family and I still am awed by the fact that I am allowed the privilege to be his Momma. My memories of the day I met with his first momma are always in my mind and I continue to carry that responsibility with gravity.
I love you Eli Cade...