We’ve been home for one month. Kind of hard to believe and kind of feels like longer. Like really, Miss Lena was such a little terror just one month ago? All of her behavior has improved so much with routine and time.
Like I mentioned, Lena is really adjusting. She rarely gets upset at all anymore. And when she does, it usually because a need needs to be met… sleep, food, too hot, too cold, scared, etc. It is no longer out of grief or for attention. She is thriving. Every night, she sits on my lap and cuddles with me and asks for kisses from me and her papa. Throughout the day, she frequently climbs on my lap. When it is just the two of us, she is often content to just sit on my lap and watch me work through emails. Or like she did tonight, just sit on a chair waiting me while I screenprinted a t-shirt. One of her challenges is that she hates being left out. So even if she is happy playing with me one minute, if papa and Ilya are taking the dogs out, she wants to go too.
Ilya is still adjusting, yet he is also flourishing. As the rest of us sink back into life, he is still figuring out his place. He is still learning what we expect of him. His vocabulary continues to grow like crazy as he repeats everything we say. He talks or sings non-stop, in a crazy mix of Russian and English. He is so creative too. He sometimes calls us “Mommy” “Poppy” and “Lainey”. Other times, she is just “Len”. He adores his Papa so much that when Papa comes home from work, we girls are deafened by ear drum pounding screams of “Papa’s home! Papa’s home!” He asks his Papa to carry him constantly, which led Papa to ask me one day, “when do kids no longer want to be carried?” He can really be fun or really wear us out or both.
One of the biggest challenges for us, adopting two child who are very different, is how we treat them when they are together. Despite just 11 months apart between them, they almost always have very different reactions to situations. The way we treat them needs to adapt for each of them, but that does not always go over so well. For example, Lena needs to be carried more often, which makes Ilya jealous. With Ilya, he will take the time to play with toys like puzzles by himself and Lena likes to copy this behavior, but gets frustrated when she cannot do them without one of us helping her. And sometimes resorts to trying to get in the way of Ilya doing his puzzle.
We’re still just chugging along, trying to figure out what makes each other tick…