I posted about my husband's first meeting with Barton. Since then he has continued to knock our socks off. We were fully prepared for him to be nonverbal, withdrawn, highly autistic. He is doing things we didn't know if we would ever see, and he isn't even home yet. He takes turns playing with other kids. He makes jokes that other kids laugh at! What?! Yep, he missed the ball when he was playing soccer with my husband and the other kids, and he said something that had everyone cracking up. He can follow a storyline in a comic across and down the page, then on to the next page. We don't know if he can read, but he can clearly follow the pictures.
And all of this that he is doing, he is doing with severely impaired vision. At his age we don't know if straightening his eyes will be able to improve his vision, but we are going to do everything we can to help. His vision is better than we initially expected, but he needs to hold small things within a couple inches of his face to see them well. I don't want to give the impression that he isn't very delayed. He is, but he is a 16 year old who has spent most of his life with no stimulation. That is the framework we expected going into this. The place he has been transferred to is worlds better than where he was before, and I think that is part of why we are already seeing so many things we weren't sure we would ever see him do.
Barton likes playing with modeling clay.
We are hoping to hear about a court date for him within the next week. This is the first international adoption for his court, so they are double-checking at each step to make sure they are following the law the way they are supposed to. Hopefully we will know more soon for his date! We do have a tentative court date for the other boys in a little more than a week! Yay!
Next, Orion. He is so full of joy and energy, and occasionally mischief. When he first met my husband he was hugging him and saying he always knew he would have a papa. When he found out that Theo was being adopted too he ran over and hugged him. He wants to know if he will get tall like his papa when he gets to America. I bet he has a growth spurt ahead of him, because he is only in 10/12 clothing now. He likes to play soccer too, although he would rather score goals himself than pass the ball!
He loves looking at all the pictures of his new home and new family members. I have talked to him on the phone and he tells me he loves me. He doesn't understand the time difference so there have been a few times he didn't believe it when my husband said he couldn't call because mama was asleep. Then sometimes he doesn't want to give his papa the phone back! He loves the phone, both to talk on and to play with the touchscreen.
Orion is going to need consistent boundaries the most out of all the kids. He is very curious and definitely "all boy." We love it. It is going to take him so far, but first we will need to channel it! You know how it's easier for kids to follow directions after they have burned off their energy? We have lots of space here for him to run around and tire himself out, but we aren't sure if this boy ever gets tired!
Theo and Orion are looking at pictures together.
He also loves to sit with my husband and say papa, papa to him while he pats his cheek. He is very sweet and cuddly. That is what he will spend the longest time doing if he can. He doesn't have a long attention span for toys or games yet, but he will sit with his papa and watch tv or the other kids playing for a very long time! My husband said he is very heavy, but he doesn't mind at all. Theo has been asking when mama is coming, since I will only be there for the trip home. I wish it was now!
He is really good at getting out of his bed and up into his wheelchair on his own. There are so many little things we can build on to make it easier for him to do things for himself. We are also going to work a lot on learning to play! Yep, mean mama here is going to make him play. Seriously though, Montessori is perfect for my boy. I've said before that we love them all just the way we are. We do, because they are perfect just the way they are. Our whole family is going to be doing lots of hard work together though, and have lots of fun doing it!
And lastly, Evan. Sweet, sweet Evan. There is so much I could say. His very first visit he was scared and uncomfortable. If that was how things were always going to be, we still would have been bringing him home. My husband said, "I would rather he cry every day in my arms than in a crib where no one hears or cares." Now he already recognizes my husband and his voice, and is so excited to see him. He will have the biggest adjustment out of all the boys. There will be a lot to it that is hard, but it will be so worth it. There are already so many changes since his first visit.
Evan is holding his papa's hand.
Any child from Orphanage 50. Seriously. Every one of these kids is special to me. So many of them have such small grants. These are older kids who need every opportunity to be seen. They need families.
Here are a few of my favorites:
Kendall is gorgeous and has so much potential. She is learning to stand independently!
Denzel needs a family very badly. He is very alert, and he laughs at the things the other children in his room are doing!
Miriam is a sweet little ball of energy! She is just so much fun. She needs a family with lots of brothers and sisters to keep her busy!
Phoenix has the sweetest smile and laugh! He is such a handsome little boy and so tiny.
Vance loves to give hugs and he has just recently moved into the group home. This is going to give a family a huge head start on him adjusting to a family! He is such a sweet boy who needs a mama and papa.
Gideon loves to play and dance and sing! He is a great kid and I can't believe he is still waiting!