As many parents know, adding a child to the bunch creates a bit of chaos for some time. For us-- we added a toddler to the mix instead of a baby which was hard in an entirely different way.*
One of the many pros regarding the adoption process is the great preparation you need to do in order to bring a child into your home. As I have written before-- it is a much more deliberate path toward parenthood. Instead of maybe reading "What to Expect." You are mandated to read books, take classes, do online curriculum and more importantly document the pants out of the effort. Now this is something I have complained about in the past** but in reality it was really, really helpful.
We had a good understanding of attachment issues and likely set-off's but I don't think I fully realized the specifics of Simon's issues. For example, I remember spending entire days practicing nap time. How do you practice nap time? Well, you put your sweet baby in a crib and read through the bars or play peek a boo so that he doesn't feel abandoned when you try to put him to sleep. CRIBS ARE FUN!*** As a working mom, I remember my inner dialogue saying--- this is your job right now. You are having fun in a crib and it's okay if this takes all day.
Thankfully, we gave ourselves quite a bit of time to nest at home without too much outside distraction. I know some people were hurt by the fact that we went into hiding for a while-- and many of our friends still haven't met our new man. We were cautious about Matt and I maintaining key parenting duties like feeding and diapering which is hard for folks when that is how you can often help a new family most. For what it's worth--I think it has paid off. We feel that we are finally hitting a stride. We are trying some adventures like watching Matt run a marathon, going to the orchard and saying yes to more social things. Life is fun as a family of five and we are enjoying the experience.
I have heard that 4 months is a magic turning point with adoption and we are creeping right up on that mark. I am back at work full-time, James is in pre-school and we have the fall routine underway. Simon is continuing to thrive and grow. I do notice from time to time, that he gets a very straight face which I equate to some internal processing. Unfortunately, he isn't speaking yet so I can't just ask what is going on his head but we give lots of hugs and kisses just in case they are needed. We have come a long way in the last 3-plus months and are proud at how much closer we have all become. All in all though, it's fun to emerge from the family cocoon and start to explore more and more.
*Simon can sleep through the night whereas a newborn doesn't for several months however Simon is fully mobile and can unpack our kitchen in under five minutes. We are now a SUPER SAFETY household-- every cabinet, drawer and handle in this domicile is locked up. We had some child-proofing before but our other kids weren't as curious about the contents behind the doors. We now live in a subtle state of fear.
**See as I talk out of both side of my mouth.
***This was a common enough game with us that I have noticed that many of the pictures of Simon's first month involve the crib. If you don't know the back-story, it looks a little like baby prison. Don't judge.