We are still just living life and not doing much organized intentional anything...I am leaving that for the fall when I will get busy with challenging my little ones to learn new skills and filling in the gaps of what Ben has missed out on. For now, the focus is still on learning obedience, trust, social skills, the language, self control...all important things that need to be learned in order for educational learning to take place. No rush...
We had our first required Post Placement meeting with our social worker on Monday. That went much better than I anticipated, not knowing what to expect and all! I look back at pictures from our Gotcha trip and Ben looks like such a baby. He has changed so much. He's a happy, healthy, silly little boy now and seems to be enjoying life in his new family.
One special highlight of the past month was getting to reunite Ben and one of his former orphanage group friends...you may remember a little princess? She is doing wonderfully...beautiful and blossoming. Surprisingly the kids did not speak any Bulgarian to each other! I am not sure what Ben thought of seeing her again but he definitely remembered his friend and has asked for her many times since they went back home. I hope we will be able to get together again.
Language is improving. Ben is now giving confident and direct 'Yes' or 'No' answers to questions. He still mainly talks when he wants something and still labels lots of things...how many times can a boy say or ask 'daddy's truck' in the space of 5 minutes? I lost count. A funny...he asks me "What do you need?" in order for me to ask him "What do you need?" So I do and then he tells me what he is wanting. He has learned how to tattle and is quick to let me know if someone does something wrong or if they go outside without permission. I am able to give Ben multiple directions at once and he will follow through..."put the pajamas in the black laundry bucket and shut the door". I am beginning to introduce choices...of toy to play with, movie to watch or clothing to wear or snack, etc and he is getting what that means and picks which one he wants.
He has learned the theme song to Thomas and Friends, though it is mumbled, and he sings it any chance he gets. I will try to record that one...still working on enunciation of words, but he has the tune down perfectly. Wrestling with big brother is the newest favorite activity, and is great at wearing the boys out! Ben's loves to count everything. He understands that 4 means 4 of something, and can count up to 20. Still working on number recognition.
We attempted a trip to the eye doctor due to some distance focusing issues we noticed Ben having and that was a disaster. He has some very deep fears of small rooms, people in white jackets and strangers trying to look at or do anything to him. Not quite sure how to help him get past that other than frequent visits so he will get used to it. Not my idea of fun as that was exhausting.
I had hoped to get a picture and will add it in but we have our first loose tooth! Two actually, both top front. These have made chewing difficult and will leave him with only 10 teeth once they fall out. I did notice a far back molar making its way through so he will manage.
Still struggling with Ben acting different around others outside the immediate family, not listening to me, etc. It is subtle at times when this happens and not always apparent to others but feels like I am losing all progress made. I don't know how to explain it. I know I can not let up and just let it go when he acts that way. We are still dealing with the spontaneous laughter, like he has an inside joke that no one can figure out but is hilarious to him. He was wide awake at 9:45 one night due to a late nap laughing at something. He still laughs when I tell him no with a serious voice or to not talk when we are in church.
Another struggle I am having is how much to share of Bens story in situations so people will understand why he is acting or reacting to things the way he does. Or do I just let them think what they want and move on.
Daddy found a frog but no one wanted to touch it.
One of his favorite things to do now that he has the strength to hang on and pump his legs.
Tractor bucket rides! Faster the better :)
Playdoh in the play fort...he is no longer afraid to touch playdoh.
Now that summer is here, we are filling our days with playing in the pool.
A big hit with Ben, who loves anything to do with water.
Until he gets in trouble for splashing...again!
It is already so warm, that it's hard to get the kids to stay outside for long
so they want to come in to watch movies and have bouncy ball wars with daddy.
Getting ready to hide from big sister who has the ball.
Ben has a great throwing arm-watch out.
Just chilling with his brothers while playing on the ipad. Notice the arm around the shoulder?
Little brother may be a bit of a bully to him but there are also many sweet moments like this.
He scooted all the way over next to me so he could put his arm on mine.
And a little announcement...
Due to join us in time to celebrate Ben's 1 year home anniversary!