Isaac has already been home 3 weeks now. Unofficially, I think we first laid eyes upon him irl on Thursday, July 29 somewhere around 12:15 am. Time flies. Of course, Karen has written about him a lot already. I do want to include a link from a photographer/friend of Karen's who took pics the night he came. Great pics, great entry. So touching.
About that night, everything was fairly routine--friends, family around, waiting on the flight, construction going on in the terminal right next to where we were, trying to keep Kate occupied. It all hit for me when I first got word that the people walking by were from his flight. After that, we only looked straight ahead where people were coming from the flight. I looked at Karen, she was crying. Emotions were stirring. Then he came around the corner with the escort. So calm. We talked with the escort, she handed him to Karen, mom translated some but the escort spoke a decent amount of English so we communicated a little bit directly. Not too long after, he got a hold of one of the balloons we brought and that seemed to help calm whatever discomfort he may have wanted to express. The escort left and we began our new lives as a family of 4. I mentioned before that it's so surreal. Being after midnight made it even more surreal. One minute we're standing around minding our own business, the next minute a child from halfway around the world ends up in our hands. Who are you? What is your story? How did you end up with us?
Isaac has adjusted remarkably well. In less than a week, his sleep schedule seemed to be back on track from the 13 hour time difference. He eats fairly well, poops well (always important). Karen's gonna get mad at me for sharing but his routine is to get down on all 4's and grunt loudly (and I mean, sometimes, loudly!) in order to evacuate the sigmoid colon. She won't let me video it so this is my payback. If I remember correctly, Kate would just get red in the face and make a few noises but not quite as loudly as Isaac.
Kate has also adjusted to Isaac well for which we're very thankful ... for. Don't get me wrong, she doesn't exactly like to share with him. When he has something, she'll just go over and take it from him (in a loving way) and either say "no, no" or "that's mine" or something similar to that. When she does this we tell her she has to share and give it back so now, if there's something she wants, she'll take it from him or us and say "you have to share." Well, at least she's being polite about it.
Isaac has taken well to his noona/nuna (big sis in Korean). It's funny to watch him chase after her. He can only do that by crawling so he has to hustle but he'll keep following her. He usually wakes up before she does so sometimes either in the morning or after afternoon naps (when Kate takes them) I like to put him on her bed and let him crawl over to her and wake her up. Instead of being cranky about it, she actually seems to enjoy it and will greet him with a "hi brother" or something similar.
He can be a cranky eater at times, not wanting to stay in his high chair, continually turning around. Amazing that the kids aren't related genetically but share some (many) of the same habits and behaviors.
The first few days he was very clingy. Not a surprise. My guess is that he was afraid we would leave him as others already have. He has gotten better about this. If he's not ready (like if he just woke up) and you put him down, he will start crying. However, after holding him for a minute, usually he's ready to explore as evidenced by him squirming to get down, and if you put him down at that point, he's fine. He'll go chasing Kate around, go to the toy room, kinda go wherever and explore. He's definitely in the "oral" phase and pretty much everything goes into the mouth. The teething isn't exactly helping, several coming in, so he's drooling like crazy. It's funny how he'll put blocks, blankets, puzzle pieces, and many other things into his mouth to soothe the teething but he won't chew on his teething-specific toys.
Initially he hated diaper changes and bath times. Overall, he's gotten better about diaper changes and usually doesn't cry now. Thanks to the baby whisperer ("bw," that is, me), he now enjoys baths. I do credit Karen a bit because we went to the spraygrounds in Roswell and he at least didn't cry while he was there. Then I thought it was time for the bw to strike. The next bath night, I took him to our bath in case there was trauma with the other bathtub. Then I put a few things in there he might like (toy, straw, etc.) and stood partially in the tub, holding him over it. He then indicated he wanted to play with these things so I put him down (sans clothes by this point) and turned on the water slowly. He did well. Now we can have him in the kids' tub and tonight he was splashing around and having a good ol' time. Yes, I am available for consultations at a discount friend/family rate.
My friend Burt and his wife came by last week and we were talking about Isaac's personality. He's a serious kid. Doesn't smile much although he's warming up a little bit. Doesn't really laugh much either. He's got a lot on his mind you know, how to solve the world's ills, etc. Now, he does love a good balloon like many kids. Recently he got a hold of one and bounced it around like crazy, laughing. I remember when Kate was a similar age and she got a hold of a balloon for the first time and she went wild! She was laughing and screaming so hard while bouncing the balloon around, it was hilarious. We had not seen her like that before. Same with Isaac although to a slightly more subdued level. It's also funny that when you look at pictures that came with him, he has a very serious look in many of them. It's like he's thinking, "I can't believe you guys are playing with dolls and trucks when we have famines and war going on out there, people!" However, I can always get a smile or even a laugh with "upside down kisses" just like I can with Kate.
In other mundane news, he does do well (so far) in the car seat. He's starting to stand unassisted for a brief couple of seconds. He's got a big head and protruding ears, in a lovable way of course. All in all, we are blessed.