Baby Steps

It’s been another hard week.  We’re doing better with sleep, but still not as well as we’d like (I’ve probably averaged closer to four hours a day than two); the boys have been sleeping through the night.  We’re still struggling with food–in part because we tend to eat supper late, in part because our American stuff is just not what Junyong is used to.  Turns out he does like green beans, especially ones he picked himself from the garden, though.  Thank you, Charity, for keeping them watered while we were gone.

Speaking of watering, that is one of J’s favorite activities.  He also still enjoys baking (He did a lot of the work on Craig’s birthday cake yesterday).  We’ve also enjoyed playing basketball together—and just tossing a beach ball around the house.  J and K are connecting a bit over some of these things.  He and B seem to mostly ignore each other at this point.  I think that if we could get them onto some kind of shared computer game, they’d connect well, but so far that hasn’t happened.

On the other hand, J has been very reluctant to leave the house for any reason at all (part of this is that he gets quite car sick, and feels particularly queasy in our little car.  My parents have graciously given us a good deal on their minivan, and are driving it out before too long, so hopefully that will help.  In the meantime, we’re going to try biking down to church today.  We’re very glad we picked a place that is near enough to get to by alternate transportation modes.)

J also gets upset by the mention of school, showers, changing clothes, or any kind of scheduling, and when he gets upset, he tends to yell, destroy things, and avoid us.  He went so far as to barricade himself in his room yesterday.  The founder of our adoption agency, Josh, came by to chat with him–and that seems to have helped at least some.  We really appreciate the support.

We are also thinking we need to get the lock removed from the boys’ bedroom door.

When J gets in a state, it’s hard to talk him down, and hard to know what exactly to do.  We’re gaining a bit of experience, and we’re seeking some counseling (for him and for us), and hopefully that will help some.

B is also finding the transition tough.  He tends to withdraw into computer time, only surfacing for meals and a few chores (which he has been fairly diligent about doing–a great help to me.)  He tends not to want to talk about how he’s feeling.

K has been engaging more with all of us–I think she has more natural social skills than the rest of the family, and seems to have a good instinct for what we’ll enjoy doing together.  But sometimes when we’re working on something together (cooking; gardening), J tries to stop her from participating.  I’m not sure if he’s craving the parent time, or the opportunity to learn skills he’s never learned, or if he doesn’t think she’s old enough to handle the jobs.  (She is, but it’s possible a Chinese kid of her age wouldn’t have been allowed to do them.)  It may also be a culture clash thing–K, as an American kid, feels they’re more or less equal; J, as an older Chinese boy, sees a huge distinction between himself and his kid sister.

Still, on the whole, this week (with the notable exception of yesterday morning) went a touch better than last.  Perhaps, in another few months, we’ll find everybody living in a state they at least consider tolerable.

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