A few weeks ago, a very good friend of mine called me. We hadn't talked in awhile because life hasbeen...well...busy. She finally asked me, "How are things really?"
I had to chuckle. She knows the potential for a really rough transition bringing a new child into the house; the potential for severe behavioral issues from any one of my kids, but particularly the one most recently added. A quick thought of my blog came to mind. Am I open enough here about the difficulties? I think so.
I have to say, things really are really good! Of all the kids Angela is probably the most difficult, but she was tricky to deal with before the boys joined us. If there is ever a problem with her it's stuff I would consider very normal sibling issues (like when she tells Axel, "Don't look at me!") which are minor, but more often it's just her own "stuff" that rocks the boat. Like when it's time to turn off the T.V. to come eat dinner. I don't argue with her, as there is no point in engaging her at this point, so I just unplug the t.v. and and leave the room. Most of the time she comes to the table then, other times she stews about it for a few minutes. If that's the most severe problem we have with Angela, I can handle it. LOL
Axel is really a very easy kid. He occupies himself with a variety of toys and activities.
He loves most new activities I present him with, provided they don't require him to THINK. He it's something has to learn, or put some type of effort in, then things are not quite so easy. Eventually he gets it and can be found later initiating the activity on his own. Right now he's very interested in numbers and the calendar, and spelling words. He now finger spells several. It's so fun! The only time Axel really gets into trouble is if he and Angela are playing together and he gets over stimulated. When they play together I keep a very close eye on things, often having them move their activity to the living room.
And then there is Asher. Could God have given us an easier kid? I don't think so! Unfortunately the fact that he's "easy" is because he doesn't really know how to do anything. Getting him to engage with toys is very difficult. He'll do it for a few minutes if you're right with him, but he had 7 years of laying on a floor with nothing at all to do or play with, so that is his default now. Several times I day I have to go looking for him, and most often find him in his bedroom laying on the floor in a patch of sunlight, lounging like a cat. Old habits die hard! Even so, every day we see changes: discovering a new toy he'll play with himself - for a couple minutes anyway, a task he can now do himself, a new food he can eat without my pureeing it, etc. When he starts school in a week we're upping the ante a bit and will be requesting more from him. ;-)
So yes, things are THAT easy. Really. Yes, adopting one more does put us at risk of getting a really difficult kid. We know that. We had the same quiet fear when we were in process to adopt Asher. Our house was (still is) very peaceful. What if we wrecked that???? I think every adoptive parent probably has the same reservations each time they decide to do it again. We'd all be a bit crazy to assume every adoption would be as easy as the two we've already done.