We had a really good weekend!
First, we've been sleeping MUCH better. We cut down on the hours of our daytime naps (he was napping two hours each nap, and now they are about 1). Some of this was our doing, but quite often the past few days, he's been self-regulating and only snoozes for about 40 minutes before he's up and ready to go. He's still quite tired after about 2 1/2 hours of activity though, so he often takes at least 3 naps a day.
All that translates in MORE SLEEP AT NIGHT! Hooray! For the past 4 nights the only time he's woken is when he needed to be changed or time for a bottle. And then....he goes back to sleep! Not sure if his jet lag is finally passing or it's the change in napping hours during the day, but we aren't complaining. Our longest stretch without a wake-up was 5 1/2 glorious hours.
The rest of the weekend, we just hung out, took walks, and enjoyed some of the spring-like weather we are finally getting.
The highlight of the weekend though was on Saturday. We took a road trip this weekend to Madison to meet with a group from Families Through Korean Adoption. This gathering was a mentoring meeting where several families who are familiar with the traveling/transitioning process met with a group of us who have recently, or will soon, travel to bring home our children. There were 15 children (mostly Korean born) and 14 adults!
Little Man jumped right in on the action of playing with others and it was so fun to finally have a kid in the mix! He's fearless about groups and very friendly with everyone.
As always with FTKA events, it's so invigorating and positive to be with others who have had similar experiences in parenthood. Three of the families, including ours, have brought children home in the past month. A few were still waiting for referrals. And several have older children and shared their experiences about the things we are encountering after bringing our children home. Parenting advice from this group is such a valuable thing for us, because they have all walked the exact same path we have. We might have slight variations about how we handle the transition, but we all essentially have to work through the same stuff. While LM is a typical 10-month-old in some ways, he has some special needs, and these guys
On the drive home, I had two really big *lightbulb* moments. The first is that I have to change my mind-frame a bit to focus more on my family and their needs. I think being in the professional world, you tend to base your performance off what you see around you and how others are doing. It doesn't mean you are necessarily competing, but you are always evaluating what others are doing or have done to determine where you are in any given process.
But right now, our only measure needs to be what is working for us. For example, although many families co-sleep with their children when they come home (because that is how most of our kids are used to sleeping in Korea) that doesn't mean it's the *right* way to do it. More importantly, it doesn't mean that we are screwing up or making things harder with Little Man by not doing it. I use this as an example, but you could follow that logic for a plethora of other things, such as how to promote attachment, eating, bottles, etc.
I know all this, and it sounds terribly simple, but there is an emotional factor in all the decisions we've been making and suddenly I feel as if I've lost a bit of my rudder. I'm normally a very confident and sure person, but I'm not comfortable or sure when it comes to being a parent yet! I always like to do things the *right* way, but I'm learning quickly that it's only *right* if it works for us!
I'm trying to let go of that mental yardstick I've been holding myself up to, and try to concentrate instead on figuring out what is working for our family.
The other huge, HUGE thing I realized is, a lot of the things that have been getting in the way have been my own hang-ups. I didn't think I had hang-ups, but I guess I do. My worries about being a good parent, or guilt about taking him from Korea, (or fill in the blank) have gotten in the way of getting to know Little Man and his needs. I have to put my stuff on the back burner for now. The big picture isn't as much of a factor as the here and now. I've always been a big picture person I guess. And that's why I fuss over those type of details. But the immediacy of learning all about who this tiny human is, is what is going to help us achieve those big picture goals.
Again, makes so much sense and sounds so simple, but it really just *clicked* into place for me after talking with all those other parents.
We can't wait until we all get together again! It was so wonderful for us, and I know LM had a super fun time too. We aren't sure how often this smaller group will be meeting yet, but we are sure looking forward to seeing them all again soon.