Okay, quick update about our cutie (no time to talk much about site seeing...this kid is active!). It may sound like rambling because I am writing as things come to me, and I just want to get as much info on here for him to have down the road. Also, it is 6:40 a.m. here, and he is due to wake up any minute (few squirms here and there). So, I guess I will start there; he is a wonderful sleeper. Has gone to sleep each night about 10:30 pm (will have to start pushing that back later on) and wakes up about 6:30 or 7 for the past two mornings. He usually stirs 2-3 times during the night and whimpers a little bit and needs to be patted back to sleep. AND boy can that kid squirm! He did a lot of it the first night (like literally squirmed in circles, laying his head down and picking it up to reposition), but he did not seem to move around too much last night (or maybe I was just too exhausted to notice).
The language barrier does, of course, make things more difficult, but we are working through it and doing other things to communicate too. I know how to say 'it's okay,' 'thank you,' 'I love you,' ' peek-a-boo,' and 'potty,' and some more that I try but am pretty sure I am not saying correctly because he moves on as if I am rambling in a foreign language :-)
BUT he is amazing and learning English soooo quickly! His first word was playdoh, second was duck (one of his favs), and his third word was 'Daddy!' (when talking to Michael on Skype Tuesday morning). He can say 'duck' and 'quack quack', 'goat' and 'baaa' (we went to the zoo yesterday :) , ' he tries to mimic songs I make up, he points to what he wants, he just starting swiping my hand away when I am helping too much or doing something he does not like (uh-oh).
He is leery of other people (Brooke included) and kind of buries himself into me if someone tries to touch him or gets close. This does not sound good, but it is a great sign that he is learning who his mommy is and does not respond to everyone (stranger or not) equally. He wanted to be held the whole time at the zoo. I think he has been there before because he pointed past the park area to the zoo where the animals were. Great zoo, btw...AND free (my favorite kind of fun!).
His foster mom said he watched the video of Michael and me often in the last few weeks, and I think I am definitely seeing blessings from that. He seems to respond well when I sing him the song I sang him on the video (and 'no' you cannot see it...rough). It is "God is So Good" with lines of 'He loves Taylor (or Won, interchanging right now) so' and ' He answers prayer' (boy does He). Your prayers have definitely been felt as I have noticed some elements of attachment that give great hope. He does not seem afraid that I will leave him....sometimes follows me into another room (mostly I am with him anyway). We went to the zoo/park yesterday and he wanted to be held by me the whole time (great great sign...sore sore arms/back)!
It is hard to keep up with his potty training because he does not try to let me know he has to go (could be that we are go go go but also stress from all of the changes). When I take him and put him on the potty to pee pee, he always does (drinks a lot of liquids too), but is not potty trained for BMs yet. Thinking we will focus more on that in a few weeks when he gets more comfortable. I have read that several adoptive parents (and I am sure for parents of bio kids) have had trouble with dressing/bathing become the child is resistive, but we are not seeing too much of that with him. When watching a children's program during the first clothes changing, I undressed/dressed him and he just held out his arms the put in the sleeves at the right time and stepped into his pants when held for him (all while watching the television)...so cute. His foster mom sent about 9 Korean children's videos that we have on most of the time when we are in the apartment...a great buffer, and he loves to sit and watch for sometimes 20-30 minutes at a time. He usually glances at it for a few seconds and sings all with the songs (saying similar sounds here and there...hand motions included) while we are playing with different toys. He is a very good-natured little guy and has a happy and laid back personality.
Speaking of foster mom, I will probably write something on that later on. It is still a little too fresh, and the whole experience was a difficult and emotional one. I do want to say that he was wonderfully taken care of and obviously so loved. He grieved hard for the loss of his foster family on Monday, and I got to experience watching him with them (with video for Tay when he gets older) and with two of his aunts and cousins and could see that he was dearly loved and certainly as Appa's (his foster father's) boy.
He was pretty grief-stricken and stoic during the first several hours after getting back to the hotel on Gotcha Day and just seemed to be in a trance as I carried him around. He completely avoided eye contact and only laid on me loosely (i.e. loose fists, tense posture) when I held him. He did NOT want to be in the hotel room at first and seemed to calm down when walking around outside (thank goodness for good weather).He fell asleep while walking outside when in the carrier (life-safer that carrier, btw...really helps to calm him down) and woke up upset for about 5 minutes in the hotel. We went down to the lobby to eat our first meal (a place that is a great friend to us as it is so convenient and has both Korean and western foods). I put a little of everything on our plate to see what he wanted. He ate galbi (basically a beef that tastes a little like beef jerky to me). His foster father said that he loves meat...I agree! He also ate a little rice and some other things I cannot remember right now. Oh yea, kid likes him some goldfish, and it took him some hesitation before he decided to share...at which time, he thought the best way was for him to feed them to me ;) Basically, he is a great eater...likes fruit, some rice, meat, hamburger (yay!), etc.
It helps that his foster family referred to us as mommy and daddy (sometimes they do appa and umma) because it is understand who we are and does not get confusing or trigger his getting upset when we try to teach him who we are. We Skyped with Daddy Tuesday morning, and Taylor showed out! Blew po pos (kisses) and waved. They placed 'do what I do' (Michael imitating Taylor of course), and he even said 'Daddy!" (his third word)!
In other news, I have been healthy so far and just exhausted from chasing him around (and of course with the emotional part of being in unfamiliar environment, trying to bond with Tay and form a healthy attachment, being sleep deprived (even though he sleeps okay there is some jet-lag to deal with...also, I am not sleeping very deeply and wake up frequently to make sure he is okay...welcome to motherhood I guess :-). Sometimes I am overwhelmed with the wonder of what is happening, and sometimes I am in some sort of state of shock still processing everything.
Can I just say that my friend, Brooke, has been a God-send. She has been my right hand, helping with things like strapping him in the carrier, ordering room service (oh yea! hamburgers...it felt wonderfully like home. Tay likes them too...but I digress), carrying all of my stuff and hers while I pack him, chasing me down at the zoo while we are go go go to see every animal there is and being guided by Taylor's pointing to the next location after 1-2 minutes making noises at each animal (totally forgot to video, oops), carrying my plate and fetching drinks at mealtime (I am getting a little more proficient at finagling that one), and on and on! I am forever grateful for her and how to understands the importance of loving at a distance during this transition time. I know there are many different emotions and thoughts that she is dealing with as she is also in process, and I pray that God would fill her up with peace and joy from all that she has learned/experienced during this trip. Love her and pray blessings on her ten thousand hold the blessing she has been to us.
Okay, that is it for now. Thinking I should brush my teeth and get dressed before those little almond eyes start fluttering :-) Thank for so much for following us and for your prayers and encouragement. Flying high!
Pictures below. Gotta go...buddy is up :-)
Playing with Pororo camera :)
Loves to jump and climb.
|Little nap on the way to the zoo/park|
|Arriving at the zoo/park (that is Mina, yesterday's tour guide and new friend)|
|Heidi and her new daughter, Yee (her and Tay share the same Gotcha Day!)|
|Loves animals...especially lion/tiger and ducks.|
|A refreshing treat...|
|...and one of my few opportunities to sit down while we were there :-)|
|My baby loves to go bare-chested (a cultural no no, but he was sweating so much :/ They usually layer about 2-3 layers, even in 80 degree weather. Yikes!)|
|The problem was trying to get him to put a shirt back on! First glimpse at a little stubbornness...|
|Meeting new friends (Meet Hannah and her Daddy, John)|
|And her Mommy, Jessica...see the difference 4-5 weeks make :) They are staying with her in S Korea until they are cleared to leave.|
|The greatly anticipated ducks...he learned how to say 'duck' and 'quack quack' yesterday and kept letting me know he wanted to see the ducks...loved them!|
|Pick me up to see the ducks, mommy.|
|Tuckered out! Didn't even make it out of the zoo before he was zonked out. And yes, it is hot and sticky here, and that is sweat running down my face.|