I'm going to be brutally honest here. Most of my posts are pretty positive so I think I deserve some grace with this post being a bit less than "puppy dogs and rainbows".
We were prepared for Kepler to have a hard time on the plane. He doesn't like loud noises or elevators and a plane taking off resembles those two horrors in one scary ride. We prepped him ahead as much as we could and he seemed great up until boarding. We did carry on luggage only so Amos and I both had our arms full of luggage. Kepler was bopping along until we entered the plane. As soon as he saw the row of seats ahead of him he freaked out and tried to turn around. It was like something triggered his brain that this scene means a change in life! He was sandwiched in-between Amos and I, thank goodness, so he didn't get far. We told him, "It's okay, follow mommy." He made it back to our seats with a LOT of coaxing and then after throwing our luggage in it's place I scooped him up, held him tight and calmed him down. I'm sure people watching think I was a bit harsh but they don't know Kepler. Gentle is often NOT the way to comfort him when he's reached his "point of no return". He responds very well to someone being in charge and letting him know what is expected and that he is safe when he's scared or has gone overboard. Maybe other adoptive parents can relate? I don't know. I've tried it both ways and he seems to take comfort in the more 'no nonsense' approach even when he is scared.
Anyway, this began our journey. He made it through the plane ride pretty well.
He did great riding in an unfamiliar rental car as well. We explained things as we went and he seemed to be fine. He conked out before reaching the hotel. However, the combo of him getting a bad cold/cough, us being in an unfamiliar place with no set schedule was A LOT more difficult for him than I thought it would be. He is so flexible at home and I really thought he would just roll with it because we were with him. NO SO. He freaked out and did strange crying/yelling behavior every time we met up with Amos' family. It was so embarrassing. I felt so bad that they didn't really get to know the real, sweet, easy going, people loving Kepler. Every transition was a struggle. To make it worse I had NO patience left because he wasn't sleeping hardly at all, thus we weren't either. He woke up every hour crying and thrashing and kicking during the night. It was an angry, fitful restless night every night. It was AWFUL. I am used to getting sleep. At home he sleeps in his own bed for 11-12 hours every night with no interruptions. This was horrible. I'm guessing it was a perfect storm of him being sick, therefore not sleeping soundly and waking up in an unfamiliar place with new people around. I honestly think he thought we were dropping him off with a new family. Amos' family was so gracious with his horrible behavior (Thank you Jimmy and Alexis!) but our dreams of them getting to know him and having fun with him were crushed. I was horrified every time we met up with them and he screamed and cried/whined. It was so unlike our Kepler. After a couple days of no sleep, my patience was nonexistant and I'd had enough. I wasn't as understanding as I should have been for sure but Amos was there to take over when I'd had enough. This was the hardest week with Kepler that I've had.
We had some good times sprinkled in there with the ocean and sand and Cousin Cora and the play ground and the zoo but every single transition was so bad. He was so stressed out with the unknown and I think he was just terrified the whole time that we was going to be handed over again.
Okay, I'll stop whining:)
He was great once we got home again. When we entered our house he ran inside his room and played with every toy he owns. He was so glad to be back. He had made a comment while gone about his boots being in the "garbage". He thought we were gone from our home forever. You should have seen his face when we came back!
Since being back, his cough has gone away but a nasty cold took root a week later. His good ear starting oozing and I took him into the doctor the next day. They saw a hole in his good ear drum:( Appointments at Children's Hospital are in the works to figure out how this is effecting his hearing. Holes in both your ear drums is not good for hearing thus language development. So sad.
On top of all that, the last day we were in California Amos got a high fever. We got home to find out he has pneumonia, again. He was hospitalized for 3 days but is home now. It's been a roller coaster to say the least. Last week I thought I was going to loose my mind. Thankfully, I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel!
Kepler's language is exploding lately! Here are some of our favorites:
"Pet-a-pony pizza"- Pepperoni pizza
"Teemawmow!"- Time to eat (dinner time)
"Umpty Umpty"- Humpty Dumpty
"With you"- I want to come with you
"Need it"- I need it (for anything he wants)
"Bama and Bampa"- Grandma and Grandpa
He has been such a joy since being home. I taught in Kids Church today and couldn't believe how great he was. He is used to me being busy with kids while he is around. He has had to learn to be patient and share me. This is HARD to do for a 2 year old and he has come so far!
Today was a landmark day in the social world. We took him to a park and he actually made a friend on his own! He was interacting with another little boy. They were climbing up the slide and sliding down on their tummies while laughing at each other. It was so cool for Amos and I to witness this!
Here Are some pictures for you to enjoy!
|Cousin Cora and Kepler running from the waves!|
|Kepler with Auntie Anesia on her Big Day|
|Cousin Cora, Kepler and Bama Audrey|
|Big "peanut" on the elephant!|
|Kepler and Johannes Kepler, whom he is named after.|
|Kepler and Mommy RUNNING!|
|Daddy and Kepler|
|Mama and Kepler getting some giggles in on the beach.|