Just to start the blog off right - this morning Jack had a diaper blowout that made us wonder if the Red Cross was going to show up to assist us with the disaster area he left behind. The Red Cross never showed, so we did the best we could, but it did require an impromptu bath. After that he was super happy and seemed to be laughing at Daddy (so was Mommy) because after looking at the diaper, Daddy looked as though he had seen a ghost.
A few updates on our son’s development for our family and friends are in order. First off, bath time. He does a really good job during bath time overall. We started very slow. Daddy got into the bathtub, and he showed Jackson how fun it was to take a bath. Then we would slowly work him into the tub with Daddy. We did this for the first 2 nights. The next 2 nights Jackson bathed alone. He seemed to do well, although at the end of the 2nd bath alone, he seemed to get really fussy. We weren’t sure if this was because he was afraid, or just because he was fussy. So, just in case – bath 5 was with Daddy again. For those of you reading this blog that are unaware – our son has never had a bath before because the orphanage he was in didn’t do traditional baths. Since this is totally new, we are taking it slow and trying to make it a positive experience.
Feeding is going overall very well too. He eats at 6am, 12pm and 7pm. Snacks are at 9am and 3pm just before naptimes. Since his entire world changed, we kept his feeding and sleep schedule identical for now. Jack gets upset just before feeding time, and wants to be held the entire time while I am making his food. We have been feeding him porridge every meal, but supplementing with veggies, fruit and meat (all baby food). He has a very sensitive gag reflex, and still does not chew (even though he has teeth). The baby home only fed him pureed foods so we are taking solids easy because he seems to choke. All of his food items are put on his tray with him, and as he finishes one item, it is removed from the tray. He watches this very closely and knows when one item is about gone. If we are not feeding him fast enough, he stretches his neck out and gives us a dirty look until we get him another bite. A few times, after the food is completely gone, he will cry some – but can be redirected. On fluids, he is drinking a bottle for 9am and 3pm snack. We are giving him juice cut with water for these snack times. When we first got custody, he was so dehydrated that his urine was almost gel like. He loves juice and water so we are good there too.
The bonding front is going as well as can be expected. He likes to play with us, running back and forth between the two of us to be picked up. He likes to play with Daddy, and snuggle with Mommy. During meals, he doesn’t make eye contact with us unless we hold the spoon up near our eyes, and this is how we get him to make eye contact during meals – otherwise – food is his priority. When playing, he makes below average eye contact overall. We are working on this, but for less than one week with his new parents we are proud of his accomplishments. We do plan to enforce the no holding rule for a minimum of 6 weeks for family and friends, and play the rest by ear. He tends to go play alone and ignore us so we have to really work to interact with him.
He babbles some, mainly “ba – ba”, and mainly when he is alone. He has started to babble more lately, and it is really cute. Yesterday he said “da – da”, and I am hoping it was the start of Daddy, but probably just more babble. He is laughing out loud now much more frequently, and seems like a happy little guy overall. We didn’t hear him babble hardly at all at the baby home.
Physically he seems pretty healthy. He was pulling on his right ear and had a snotty nose going on – so we started him on an antibiotic. It was a fairly traumatic event to try to give it to him through the syringe that the pharmacy gave us, so now it gets mixed into his porridge. He does have Intermittent Strabismus and at times it is severe (with his left eye). We spoke to a lot of families who adopted children with Strabismus from Orphanages, as well as several doctors – and they all feel this is a treatable issue. He has beautiful blue eyes and long eyelashes. When he bats those eyes at me I melt.
Overall, we are thrilled with the way he has opened up and adjusted. We know this is such a change for him, so we are taking everything slow. We push him a little, but not too much. When we get back to the States, we will set an appointment with his Pediatrician to address all his shots, development, and some tactile deficiencies he is having. We will also set him up with an Ophthalmologist that has dealt with Infantile Intermittent Strabismus before. We have a whole team of specialists just waiting to help us make Jackson a healthier child.
Well, I guess that covers it! We are thrilled to be a family of 3 and are blessed to have this time alone to bond and just be together as a family. We just have 1 full day left here in our son’s place of birth. Very soon, he will become a U.S. Citizen!