Blogging about life in Minnesota, raising our six kids with Down syndrome while battling Breast Cancer.

Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the floor in the morning the devil says, "Oh shit! She's up!"

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Too much of a good thing?

Every day people email me or post comments on my blog asking how Axel's transition into the family is going and how Angela is doing.

Is it possible for it to be going "too well"?

The first day I had custody of Axel was rough. I was expecting the worst, so I wasn't surprised. That said, it doesn't really matter how well you prepare yourself, when it comes down to it you have NO CLUE what each child is capable of dishing out until you finally have them in your care. What surprised me about Axel was that he didn't cry or act upset. HE LAUGHED. He laughed as he pulled my hair, and he laughed as he threw my glasses. He just laughed.

It took a few days of him testing the my limits, but each day was better than the one before. By the time our travel date rolled around, he was perfect 90% of the time. The other 10% were very typical, developmentally appropriate issue to deal with, that I would expect to see from any child stuck with a new mother he couldn't understand.

I warned Dean that when we got home Axel would start testing the limits all over again with him, and he did. Those issues are also mostly gone.

Our days have progressed to having two kids home, (Angela is out of school for Christmas break) listening to them play together, then shifting them to a different activity when they start getting carried away, working with Axel on some of the million learning things he's missed out on, and getting them both out in the world to experience it.

This transition has gone so well thus far, that it has be worried about what I can't see. Like there is something waiting around the corner. I know I shouldn't throw stuff like this out there in the universe, but I can't deny that I have these thoughts going through my head once in awhile. I mean...this has been too easy so far.

Next week we have several doctor visits lined up. (PLEASE PRAY we hear about his insurance by Friday, otherwise we'll be paying for all these visits out of pocket, and we don't have that much to cover all of them right now.) Monday we have an appointment for Angela, Tuesday both Angela and Axel will be seeing the dentist, and Weds we'll be going to the International Adoption Clinic. Sometime during the week I'll be hearing from the school district about what day they want to start his assessments which have to be done before he can start school. I can't wait to get these done, as they'll give us a baseline to compare to a few months from now.

Angela has been adjusting very well. We arrived home on Weds, 12/16. The next day I gave Angela the choice of going to school or staying home with us. She chose school, but by mid morning it had proven to be too much for her. She asked he teacher to call me, and we were able to talk her into staying for the rest of the day. The next week, on the last day before Christmas break, she couldn't hold it together. Her teacher had gone home unexpectedly so there was a sub for her along with subs for some of the aids. It was Christmas mayhem at school, and there was a new brother at home. School called me at 10:30 to tell me they were seeing behaviors they hadn't seen in well over a year. It was time to bring my girl home to just hang out with her brother.

She has done great since then. We had a minor incident yesterday but other than that they've been great. Angela makes it clear when she needs some attention, and we oblige her with that, while also trying to notice other things she's doing BEFORE she feels the need to ask for attention. I think the newness of Axel is wearing off and when school starts up again next week Angela will be ready to go back to her normal routine. it possible for things to be "too well"?


Twilson9608 said...

I'm glad that the transition has gone so smooth for you and your family. I completely understand about expecting something to happen. It's Like you get use to the chaos and when things settle down you don't know what to do. Keep being positive. I pray for you and your whole beautiful family often.

Linnea said...

So nice to hear they are doing well together. Praying for insurance stuff.Maybe if it doesnt come they can back date it, they did that with Noah.

be blessed

Tamara said...

I've been kind of amazed at how well it's going from your posts. You know, as well as I do that there's always something around the corner with any kid. And you also know as well as I do that kids with DS have a huge gap between receptive and expressive language.

So, here's what I've been thinking. You've done a heck of a good job preparing Axel for what lies ahead. You've done some "little" things - like the talking photo book - that have been "huge".

Will you be able to prep him that well for the rest of his life? Probably not. Will you miss something? Probably. Will you have something to deal with at some point? Most likely.

BUT, and I realize I'm only seeing things from blog posts, but I really think Axel is happy.

I can't imagine that the time he spent in the institution was "happy". And even if the foster family was good to him, don't you think he "knew" that it wasn't forever? Who knows what he heard and processed around people who maybe didn't think he understood.

So, I think he knows that he's home now, and I think he's happy. So, whatever is to come, I'm thinking it's just going to be stuff that you're well prepared to deal with. Just stuff - like any other kid.


Marianne said...

That's wonderful that the transition is going so well! Our did, too, with Darya (though she's only 2). About your insurance, we had some trouble, but by law they have to cover him starting by the day his adoption was official. They WILL retro it. My insurance company tried to say Darya wouldn't be covered until the first of the following month of when she got home. When I finally got her insurance card in the mail it was back dated to "gotcha" day. Anyway, I'm looking forward to blog posts about the antics of your two kids!