Well, we've now been home for 8 weeks with little N. I intended to post the journal entry for our return trip home, but haven't yet. It seems I'm busy or something--ha!
N is overall doing quite well, but we've had a lot of sleep troubles. When we first got home we had to work on adjusting to our time zone (plus he was sick, so that didn't help). He finally started figuring out when night is, but wakes up a lot each night. He also doesn't nap very well during the day.
We've had some nights where he'll only wake up once, but many others where he'll wake up 6 or more times. His average is somewhere around 3 times though. This all makes for a very tired mama and daddy the next day!
I must say that my wonderful husband is truly being wonderful and handling a lot of the night wakings (one of the few advantages to bottle-feeding!). This has really helped me have the energy I need to be a good mom during the day.
It is really hard watching N cry and cry, feeling him cling to us, seeing his very nervous look when we're in a group of people. This baby is definitely not feeling very secure yet! He's bonding and attaching with us pretty well, but is very nervous about it. He wants us to be in his sight at all times, and he'd prefer us to be right next to him playing on the floor.
We've been doing a lot of praying for N. During the first couple of weeks he couldn't get to sleep without screaming and flailing his arms and legs, arching his back, etc. We would rock and rock and sing and shush, etc, but nothing seemed to really help. In order to stay calm myself I would hold him very close and tight, rock him, and pray out loud for him. It definitely helped my sanity level to remember that it wasn't about me, it was simply him expressing all his grief and anxiety over all that has occurred so far in his life. And knowing that God cares for this little guy way more than I do is pretty amazing, too!
When we got to Ethiopia, we definitely experienced a bit of culture shock--and we're grown adults. Just think about what a little baby was experiencing coming to the US with 2 people he'd only known for a week! And all this after dealing with malnourishment, being placed in an orphanage, moving to another orphanage, and then meeting us. It's not hard to see why he would be scared and anxious!
All of this one-on-one time with him has been great for bonding, but not so great for getting anything else done around my house! Thankfully my mom and mother-in-law volunteered to help and they're coming every other week or so to help me get caught up on laundry and house-cleaning. We tried to start school with A and D but put it on hold for a few more weeks until we get a bit more settled.
I know this isn't the most exciting post ever, but honestly--returning to life and trying to get into a "new normal" after bringing home a baby via adoption is not the most exciting this ever either. We're so very happy to have N home with us so we can begin the bonding and help him heal from the traumas he's experienced, but it's very tiring at the same time.
Would we do it again? Absolutely! But probably not until sleep patterns are a bit more established, lol!