Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Six Months Straight

Six months ago today, Xiaofeng officially became Ian Straight forever! He was so very scared on that Gotcha Day back in May, even though he was fully prepared. Not really sure how actually "prepared" one could be to change their entire life. Ian did it, and has come through like a champ embracing his new life as a Straight.

Of course the past 6 months hasn't been easy. Ian puts on his smile every day for sure; however, we learned very quickly that his "smile" is just his go-to face. He smiles when he is happy, smiles when he is sad, smiles when he is doing something he shouldn't do, smiles when he is nervous, smiles when he is in trouble. So even though on the outside Ian is always smiling, that doesn't mean Ian is always happy. Fortunately though I think the good days have outnumbered his bad days the past 6 months.

The whole family is getting used to having Ian around now. The first couple of months were really bad in terms of Ian's irritation level on everyone's nerves. Thankfully Ian has dropped some of his most annoying orphanage behaviors. We are still working on a few, like not eating like a camel with his mouth wide open, or talking so very loud all the time. Things have definitely improved. To step back and remember that he has only spent 6 months of his entire past 9 YEARS with us, well he has come a
long way for sure.

Hoping the next 6 months we can all work on real family bonding now that some of his annoying habits are fading. It hasn't been his fault, we all understand that. However, when you live it day after day, well the reality is that it is hard to love someone who annoys the daylights out of you. So all of us, including myself, really need to start trying to bond with Ian now that we are all more comfortable with each other.

 Attachment and bonding has proven to be very different with an older child. I tried to prepare accordingly, and I was prepared. So admitting that it has been very slow, is actually quite normal. I need to remember that when I tend
to beat myself up about it sometimes. I know that one day I will feel the same way about Ian as I do all my other children. Hopefully all the kids will also come around and start to love Ian for who he has become too. It just takes time with older kiddos. I can't wait to see how much we have
all changed in another 6 months!

1 comment:

Noreen, Emily and Abbey's Journey for a Son and Little Brother said...

Donna, your honesty and heart are your greatest assets! Yes bonding with older adoptive children is hard as you know from my journey with Dayn. Your strength and weakness have been my support and inspiration. Much love my friend,