Thursday, December 6, 2012

Update Dec 6, 2012

I can't believe I haven't written anything since November 21st. Holy cow - a lot has happened. Most days I'm just caught up in the moment of what Mihretu wants and needs and trying to manage it all. Honestly, I've learned a lot about myself these past 5 weeks. I am not as patient as I thought I was. Things I have thought were cute in the past when babysitting have now become extremely frustrating. Babysitting and being an auntie is so much more fun than being a mom. I know that sounds horrible to say. I'm just being honest. When you're not the mom - you get to be the fun one. When you're the mom - you have to be the one who creates boundaries and enforces rules and changes diapers and works on potty training and wakes up all throughout the night and is "on" all the time even and maintains consistency when you're tired and you've said "please close the refrigerator door" about 2 million times. You can't hand em over to someone else because you ARE the someone else. I'm not saying I don't want to be a mom because I do - I'm just saying it's different than I anticipated. All my babysitting and experience with kids surely has value but this is a whole new ballgame. And man, I wish I had a husband right about now. Ha ha  Just keeping it real folks!:) And trying to maintain a sense of humor too.

Even though there are still plenty of daily challenges and adjustments, overall things are SO much easier, and SO much better than those first few weeks. Praise the Lord for that. Mihretu is hitting, biting, digging and spitting WAY less. He's learned an insane amount of words in English (I listed them below and there may be more that I am just not thinking of right now). He is no longer afraid of the dog. Now the challenge is keeping him from going super hyper crazy on the dog so she doesn't get stressed right out and snap at him. He even did well with our friends little dog at small group two weeks ago. He's a super well behaved boy in Sunday school class and in preschool. He just started school this week on Monday and has done really well. He cries briefly in the mornings when I drop him off which is actually a good sign of our attachment and would be a concern if he didn't. But he doesn't cry long and he's following instructions and being super helpful with throwing away his trash and rinsing his dishes and using the potty. He loves one of the teachers and sort of follows her around a lot. I love this school because they have experience with adopted kids so when I called and they said "he cried at nap and wanted Ms. Charee to hold him but we don't want him to attach too much to her so we had Ms. Andrea hold him for a minute instead" - that was huge! I am so thankful they know to do that!! Plus Montessori in general seems like the perfect fit for Mihretu. He seems so happy when I pick him up and he's blowing kisses and saying "bye bye" to everyone when he leaves. Yesterday when I picked him up, as I was putting him into the carseat, he said "mommy hello, mommy bye bye, mommy hello" which was awesome because that's his way of saying he recognizes that mommy leaves but she comes back. This is super huge and amazing. What a smart boy!!! He's adjusting so well. When we get home after school, he's crazy hyper and loud. Maybe because he's so well behaved and quiet all day - he can't hold it all in any longer. Maybe it's because he's excited to see me. Or he's just over tired. Whatever the case, I hope that evens out over time cause he's like a little tazmanian devel ripping through the house the last few nights. He's doing every single thing he knows not to do, is jumping around and spinning and yelling and acting like he ate like a whole cake by himself or something. It's kind of funny but also really over the top and pretty annoying. I end up repeating myself a million times and sounding like a total nag. Not my favorite way to sound. Other parents tell me their kids are that way the first week or two after summer break so I'm hopeful it'll simmer down:)

Last weekend, my cousin Heather came to stay from Friday to Monday. Oh my gosh - having her here was awesome. She was so much help, Mihretu LOVED her and because I had that help, it allowed me to get to do more of the fun stuff and not focus SO much on each task at hand. I was even able to go to the bathroom by myself:) It's the little things people. We went to the zoo on Friday and saw ALL the animals this time and even ate lunch there. We had so much fun. It's just so valuable to me to have another adult with me. Merrill watched him for a few hours on Saturday so Heather and I could go see the Twilight movie. That was so great. And he had a blast at the park with Merrill. He loved playing in the sand! I was so thankful Heather came. Plus when I go to Michigan in a few weeks, I will be seeing lots of people so it was nice to have this one on one time with Heather. And when we go and he sees a familiar face, hopefully it'll make him that much more comfortable to be there. I can't wait for the whole family to meet him. They are gonna love him. He has such a fun personality.

Mihretu loves to make faces and roll his eyes and be silly. He loves elephants and bubbles and playing in the water and spinning in the swing in the backyard and showing you how many pictures he knows the word for in his favorite book and baths and hugs and running around naked and eating yogurt and having ranch on his pizza and ketchup on his eggs and avocados and mac & cheese and slides and skype calls with his buddy Sitota and her family and walks with Auty and helping feed Auty and letting her out and going places and doing the buckle on the seatbelt, stroller and swing all by himself and wearing shoes at all times and seeing animals at the zoo and cleaning up and putting things in their rightful place and all his aunties - Heather for sure and all the Nashville ones he has seen a bunch of times - Deb, Jessica, Merrill. He's doing so great and learning so much. When I take a breather and reflect on the fact that it's only been 5 weeks since we came home - I'm shocked at how far we've come. Although it's still hard and he's still a toddler and of course he tests boundaries and has meltdowns like all kids at 3 - he's doing amazing and I couldn't be more proud of him.

And speaking of proud, here's a list of all the words I could think of this morning that he knows. Whoa!! As I started thinking of more and more, it made me even more amazed. I might even have forgotten a few.

Words Mihretu knows
Good to go
Thank you 
Bye bye
Auntie Merrill, heather, Jessica, deb
Kitty cat
Come on
All done
Good boy
Pee pee


  1. I miss u both sooo much already!!!!! I cant wait too see u guys in a couple weeks. I had such a good time getting to know MJ & he is a really good boy. As overwhelming as motherhood can be Autumn, you're doing so well, other moms have infancy to get to know their little ones & all their uniqueness. You've had 5 weeks & its a toddler with a well developed personality & attitude to match! LOL :) He's learning and adjusting so well, its amazing & really loves're a good momma. Remember : Deep breaths, dont sweat the small stuff & most importantly when situations are beyond frustrating ...This Too Shall Pass.
    LOVE YOU & MJ to the moon & back sista ;)
    Hezi <3

  2. Hi Autumn,
    I can't tell how much I am enjoying your blog and especially I am so thankful for your honesty! I am a "expecting " single Mommy currently patiently waiting my referral from Vietnam ( I live in Canada which is open to adoptions in Vietnam ) While the waiting is hard.... very hard I am trying to do everything I can to prepare myself ( as much as I can ) for when I finally get to bring my daughter home. While there are so many books and experts out there full of advice nothing is as helpful as hearing the experiences and true emotions of another single mom who has been there. Your Son is beautiful and seems to be doing so well, looks like all your hard work is paying off! What for you has been the most unexpected or surprising thing about the reality of having him home? Any advice for enduring the wait?

  3. Laurie - I think the most surprising thing about the reality of having him home is just how hard that adjustment would be for me going from single and independent all these years and then having 24/7 somebody needing me. Those first weeks were really hard - he was attaching really well which was great but also meant he wanted to be held non-stop. I couldn't even turn around and walk two steps in the other direction without him screaming as if he'd been abandoned. He was going through so much loss and unfamiliarity and I'm sure a lot of fear. Everything was new and unknown and he clung to me. I'm so thankful but I don't think I was really mentally or physically prepared for how tiring that would be. So thankful we made it through and are in the swing of things now. I can't believe it's only been 2 months. He's so well adjusted now - it's truly amazing how resilient he is!!! Blessings to you on your adoption!!



By definition Perseverance is: steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, o...