I have no idea where these past months have gone. Wait...yes I do. They've been spent changing diapers, fostering a sibling relationship, trying to carve out some time for me, finding a nanny, returning to work, struggling to stay ahead of the never-ending laundry. You get the drift.
So, here we are, nearly four months post-placement and we are surviving! Sometimes I even think we are thriving! The boys get along (mostly). We are getting onto a solid schedule (usually).
We took another trip back to Washington state to visit family. This time Little Brother did much better with the flights! Yay! He also seemed to handle staying away from home easier and understood that it was a temporary thing.
We've completed two of our three post-placement visits with our social worker. And at the end of the month we'll have our court date to formally re-adopt Little Brother in the state of Wisconsin. We have to do that to get our state issued birth certificate. Sort of a pain considering he's already a U.S. citizen and legally ours. But that's the process for you.
We received our Certificate of Citizenship. It's so nice having this step of the process completed automatically. It's one benefit of the recent changes in Korea regarding international adoptions. However, the downside (must there always be a downside??!!) is that the COC is in his Korean name and we'll have to resubmit to get it in his American name. More paperwork. More time. More money. Sigh.
As for family life---Little Man has probably struggled the most through all this. He's had some potty training set backs. Expected, but still frustrating for us. He's pretty good about dealing with his new brother overall and is very forgiving when he gets hit or scratched (which is often). I'm so impressed with this! Little Man is an incredibly emotional kid so I figured he'd be completely out of control when these things happen. But he seems to take them relatively in stride.
The biggest surprise with his was the change in his sleep patterns. He's always been a rock solid sleeper and slept through the night for years. Until now. I'm sleeping in Little Brother's room and Little Man has taken to getting up in the night and crawling in with Daddy. He's never slept with us before so this is a bit of a surprise, but we've allowed it with all the huge changes in the house.
Ah...sleep. It's sorely missed. Little Brother is not as good of a sleeper. One night I started counting how many times he woke up crying, needing a change or wanting a bottle. I lost track after 17. To say I'm exhausted is an understatement. We've tried breaking some habits that were inhibiting his sleep but it's still a daily challenge.
The lack of sleep wasn't a huge issue while I was off of work. But after four months, I finally returned. This week was my first back. Tough to be away from Little Man and I miss our daily routine. But sort of nice to be around people all day who can feed themselves and don't need diaper changes.
We decided to use a nanny instead of sending Little Brother to preschool with Little Man. He's much more fearful than Little Man was and our hope was that staying in his home each day would ease his anxiety when we are gone. He also needs the consistency of caregivers and at preschool there are 3-4 teachers in the classroom each day. So...we hired a nanny. Which has it's own set of challenges. Mainly that we needed the house to be clean enough for someone else to come to it! We found a nice girl who is compassionate and gentle. Little Brother really struggles when we we leave each morning and throughout the day. I make sure I'm the first out of the house each day or else I'm a puddle of tears listening to Little Brother's wailing as I head out the door.
There's another huge change ahead for us. I'll fill ya in more on that shortly. I'm still working through a lot of feelings about it because it seems we've had one giant change after another lately. But I think it's gonna be good for us. Fingers crossed.