A year ago today, we stepped off a plane and introduced Ben to his new family.
This has been a year of getting to know each other. There were more changes in our family during Ben's first year home than I had hoped. I specifically remember asking for a quiet year! But, it is what it is. Ben has rolled with the punches, and has adjusted amazingly well.
When we started this journey to Ben, we didn't know exactly what to expect. What will it really be like, day to day? Are we really, truly crazy for doing this? Books can only prepare you so much.
FAITH=Fantastic Adventure In Trusting Him
I can honestly say that having him home has put all of our fears to rest. He felt like one of the family right away, and I just feel like his Mom. A very lucky Mom. My love for him vs. each of our biological children is no different. Well, maybe I love them all differently. They are, after all different people, with different needs. But, you can be sure they are all loved with the same intensity, the same ache in my heart. He is not loved any more or any less because he was adopted.
Now, I don't want to build him, or our experience up unrealistically. Of course, there are times, days even, that are more challenging than others. It's meant a lot of hard work for all of us, and been a daily practice in patience. He is often loud, squirmy, and uncooperative. I haven't always handled it with grace. We are no longer an inconspicuous family. For better or worse, we make a lasting impression where ever we go. :) Ben has received more than his "fair" share of our parental attention at times. Despite all this, adopting Ben has exceeded our expectations by a mile. The amount of joy he brings to our lives is beyond measure.
Watching Madeline, Marney, and Owen welcome Ben into our lives with open arms has been a gift to all of us. They are learning that we make adjustments for the special people in our lives. It's not a sacrifice or an imposition, it's what we do for people that we love. It's what we do for everyone at times when we all have special needs or concerns. We all fall and need help getting back up. They love him more that I could have ever hoped. They do not resent his presence in our lives. This little guy has no clue how deeply he has penetrated our hearts, and changed us all forever.
So, what has this little wonder been up to?
Gross motor- Ben was crawling when he came home, now he is running, climbing, kicking a ball, and trying to jump!
Fine motor- Still not using a pincer grasp, this is a goal for the next few months. Doing great at stacking, shape sorting, and the like. He loves to learn and be challenged.
Self care- Self feeding, making good progress here. Not completely independent, but progressing nicely. He is biting and chewing well. He can remove all his clothes independently :/ working on redressing! Loves to "help" brush his teeth, learning to sit still for this process. Loves the bath tub and everything that goes with it, does not love to get out!
Speech- Since we started working on learning his ABC's and starting sight words and numbers, he is attempting to say lots of new words. He uses about 10 signs regularly and appropriately. His receptive language is better than he would like us to believe. He understands everything!
Social- Does not need any encouragement in this area! He is our little ambassador, making friends out of strangers where ever we go! Sometimes needs a reminder to be gentle, and use a quiet voice. Also working on, hugs are for family, high fives or hand shakes are for friends.
Education- Working on learning his ABC's and sight words. Lot's of flash cards! Lot's of reading and play time going on here too.
Ignore my closed eyes, I just love this shot of Ben!