One Year Anniversaries
This post was written on September 7th and I’ve just now had time to revise and post.
Like any parent, time with our son has flown. This week has been an emotional one for me as K has not only started daycare (three days a week at an establishment with the other two at his grandparents), but this week also marks our one year anniversary of when we arrived in Kazakhstan and met our son.
I can only imagine that parents who have given birth go through the same sentiments remembering the joy when a new child entered their lives. For them, it is the child’s birthday. For the adoptive parent, there are many milestones in the steps to become a parent and it is sometimes hard to decide which day is the one that stands out in significance. Either way, at some point, the pain of childbirth and frustrations of pregnancy are long forgotten just as our struggles to adopt and the years it took (three for us) to finally become parents seem to blend in with teething issues, potty training, and the thrill of seeing the world for the first time through the eyes of your child.
This blog has been an incredible tool in which to record our journey to parenthood. As I look back over entries written in Kazakhstan I’m reminded of how much I actually “sugar coated” the reporting of some of the difficulties that we encountered. Not being sure of who was reading my blog at the time, I didn’t want to record anything that may have interfered with our process while in Kostanai. There are still things I need to write about before they become another faded memory.
But, as with most adoptions, and as I have said in many, many, posts and probably will again, somehow fate is working in your best interest and you are blessed with a child that is meant for you. We truly feel that way with Kairat.
Kairat turned 19 months on September 5th. It doesn’t seem like he can already be that old yet every day I’m amazed at his new feats of achievement. For instance, he began clapping his hands in excitement the other day as we were driving home at dusk. When I asked him what was so thrilling he pointed his little arm repeatedly and shouted, “Moon! Moon! Moon!” Because he goes to bed around 7 p.m., the moon isn’t something he has had a chance to observe other than in his books. Without ever being shown in the “real world” setting he realized what it was that he was seeing and, obviously, loved it!
K is walking, running, and climbing on everything. Fixing dinner or doing dishes is now done with my little assistant who insists on pulling his toddler sized chair to my side and standing on it to get a better look. Yesterday he mixed eggs for scrambled eggs while perched in his typical viewing area. He loves being given jobs and does great with follow through.
Counting to three and recognizing the letters “O” and “E” are recent achievements and his vocabulary blows me away. It is as if we are living with an almost three foot parrot who repeats the final word of every sentence. K is also constantly coming out with words that I had no idea that he knew. A few days ago he was playing in a bucket of water outside with some of his toys when he came up to me with one item and said, “Dry.” He wanted to dry it off. Amazing. I’ve also become, “Mummy,” instead of, “Mama,” which I think is so cute. Speaking in two word sentences, “More, please,” versus a one word demand and filling in the words in some of his favorite books are also recent developments.”No!”, however, remains his favorite phrase at this point in his life.
Trucks, cars, and motorcycles seem to be some ingrained male interest. However, we spend a lot of time identifying the natural world and studying trees, the sky, flowers, bugs, and many other outdoor phenomenon. Kairat loves being outside and we are there as much as possible. Coloring, trains, building with blocks, and helping “Mummy” sweep or clean also tend to be high interest areas at this time right now. Of course, books and balls are still obsessions. Kairat loves to read (Baa, Baa, Black Sheep is a current favorite nursery rhyme/song) and he is actually getting pretty good at catching a tennis ball, adding to his skill in kicking and throwing.
Slow to teeth (at one point we didn’t think he was EVER going have teeth), K’s bottom chompers are finally coming in with a total of six fully formed (that’s on top and bottom) with another six poking through his sore gums.
Our son remains incredibly social in large gatherings, yet a little fearful of strangers in more familiar settings such as home or at a relative or neighbor’s. Last Wednesday I took him to the annual 6th grade cookout at my school where I teach. It is an event to welcome the incoming 6th graders and their parents to King Middle School and takes place in the front driveway/yard of the school. We parked in the back and walked through the building to the where the celebration was taking place. As we exited through the front doors and saw the throngs of parents and children, Kairat began clapping and bouncing in my arms with excitement. He instantly wanted to get down to run and play in the crowd. Through my gregarious son, I met more students and parents than I typically do at these events. He attracts attention and loves it!
Life is fun and Kairat is wonderful but we are also beginning to see what can be described as the “Terrible Two’s”. Stubbornness, throwing, swatting at people, occasional tantrums (mostly when he has to come inside), and testing limits will not pass us by. Like all parents, we’re reading books, talking to friends, working on strategies, and figuring out what works best at this stage. Overall, however, we can’t complain. Kairat is such a good little boy…most of the time.
I’m finishing this entry before Kairat awakes. (6:30 a.m. is his typical rising time with a 7 p.m. bedtime.) Today looks to be another busy day with grandparents visiting so I have some time to help with the insulating of our addition. A walk around Freeport and playing with my son, laundry, and then an evening of lesson planning before going to bed as early as possible will round out the day.
Throughout out most of the next few months I’ll constantly be thinking about our time in Kazakhstan and where we were in our adoption process. This fall will certainly be reflective of what our past year has brought us and constant realizations of the fact that, LIFE IS GOOD!
Time to go…I hear my son singing in his bed.