Thursday, February 22, 2007

5 Months!

5 months ago today we picked Logan up to bring him home. It seems like he has always been here but then again it feels like just yesterday we held him in our arms for the first time. He is doing fantastic physically, growing like a weed and getting better emotionally everyday. He is getting so comfortable at home, it's such a nice sight to see him lay down on the couch with his blankie, something that has just started within the last few weeks. He does not like loud situations, noisy restaurants, other kids crying, etc. He has been having some separation issues lately, so something new as other things fall into place. Kim (traveling partner in Russia and friend) said it best, 10 steps forward, 2 steps back.

The cutest boy in the world :) :) :)

Aunt Chris stopped by for a visit and brought Logan this Duck, Thank you. As soon as he seen it's face he got the biggest smile. He is sooooooo darn cute.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Happy Valentines Day!

Future Heart breaker

Blowing kisses your way, Happy Valentines Day!

We just wanted to shout out HAPPY VALENTINES DAY.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Attachment Parenting

OK, I told you this was going to be long. I have wanted to write about this subject for a while now because I believe that any baby/toddler/child that has had multiple care-takers or has lived their whole lives in an institution (no matter what their age)are at a great risk for attachment issues. It is my belief after all of the research I have done and now having Logan home, that ALL children should be treated as if they have attachment issues for at least the first 6-8 weeks home. I do believe that people can take this to the extreme and that every child is different but for a few weeks it is only going to help them adapt to ALL OF THE CHANGES that have just taken place in their lives. DO NOT let ANYONE make you feel bad or change your mind. DO WHAT IS BEST FOR YOUR CHILD not the adults that don't get it, to bad for them, they can take care of themselves. Your child cannot and his/her needs should come first, before ANYONE.

Jeff and I went through all of the info gathered and the one thing that was EVERYWHERE we turned was to not allow ANYONE besides the Mommy & Daddy to do any care-taking roles. Physical contact should be limited to only the Mommy and Daddy. We have limited our outings with Logan to maybe only 1 or 2 times a week, he gets whacked out if we go any more than that. We had some BS happen when we first got home and Logan pulled himself away from me, it took about 3 days for me to be able to hold him again. He started "mommy shopping" he wanted any other woman but me. We could be at the store and a lady would walk by and I was no longer there until he could not see her anymore. This did stop after about 3 weeks and he started to reconnect with me but it was a lot of work to get back there.

I will never say that his attaching to us has been easy but a lot better than some have it. We still have issues but they are getting better everyday. His sleeping has been great since day one, don't get me wrong we have had our fare share of long nights but over-all pretty good. Logan is a great eater, he eats fruits w/every meal and veggies at lunch and dinner. I try really hard to make good meals and to not order F-Fries when eating out, instead mashed or other veggies they have to offer. It's funny that people actually pick on us because we don't give him any sweets. I find that alarming, do people not realise we ARE THE FATTEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD and we have an alarming rate of juvenile diabetes. He does get sweets but in the form of yogurt, fruits and cookies designed for toddlers that have very little sugar in them.

I think he is finally starting to get that neither he nor we are going anywhere, he is getting more comfortable everyday. It use to take a lot to get him to laugh, not anymore he will just be sitting there and start laughing for no reason. I carried him a lot, still do, I even went for long walks with him in a Hip Hammock so we had face to face contact and I believe that really helped him to start bonding with me. With the great back that I have carrying around a 20 pounder was not easy but very necessary and well worth it. He has just recently started to lay down next to me, only for a few seconds and then he has to get up, even if it is to just walk around me, he will then lay down again, he is definitely showing sings of trusting us.

The one thing I think is very important is to have a strict routine/rhythm/schedule for any child bio or adopted, kids thrive on it. Any shopping, play-dates or errands are done around his schedule. Logan eats and naps at the same time everyday. Our bedtime routine is the same every night, PJ's first then we play for a while, have about 10 minutes of down time before we read our books and then it is off to bed at the same time every night. He knows what is going to happen everyday and nothing is a surprise, it is very hard to follow this routine but he is doing so well because of it.

Someone actually said to me "You just keep doing what is best for you" they were referring to us not allowing others to hug and kiss Logan(I am still not sure why this was all addressed to me, as if I am Logan's only parent and only I wanted this for Logan). I find that funny because this person has not been around and has absolutely no idea what Jeff and I have done for Logan. I would give my life for him, just as I am sure that any mother would do for their child. I would NEVER put mine or Jeff's best interest/needs before Logan's, HE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE. I would however put his needs in front of others and have, that is how I have lost relationships. We have still not allowed anyone to hug or kiss him, I am hoping soon. We now treat him like any other kid just with out the affection from anyone besides us. We are scared to start introducing affection from anyone else after what happened before, I know that was right after coming home but he is doing so well we are scared he will start pulling away. We have still not left him alone with anyone. I would feel comfortable leaving him with my Mom or my friend Tania, he knows them both well enough that I think he would be OK but I am not sure that Jeff and I would be, LOL!

I have followed a lot of blogs and chatted with many other adoptive folks out there and most of them have done some form of attachment parenting. Most of them have limited physical contact from others just like we have. There is one blog I follow her daughter was adopted from the same baby home as Logan but she has been home almost a year. She has just went back to no affection from others because her daughter is just not where she should be in attaching to her and I have read this happening over and over again so we are taking NO CHANCES with Logan, it is just not worth it.

There is a little girl, I will refer to her as "P" that was adopted by a family about 6 months ago. When P came home she was 18 months old, that is the same age Logan was when he came home. Unfortunately the family that adopted her from Russia decided to disrupt their adoption and place P with another family because of attachment issues. I couldn't understand how this woman could just GIVE UP her child, I read her blog and it sounded like the normal attachment stuff that we had seen Logan doing, crying for no reason, not showing us love, hitting and so on. This family has 3 bio-children, the youngest being about the same age as P. I think this mother was stretched to the max and just couldn't give the attachment commitment fully to P as it was affecting her youngest bio-son and as she put it "I will not sacrifice him". I do feel bad for this girl, here she is once again being dis-placed but at least she is in a family now that is willing to do what-ever it takes to help her form an attachment so she can live a normal healthy life and eventually be able to LOVE. It must have taken a lot to let her go but THANK GOD they did for everyone in the family.

Some people say "just give them love and they will be fine". I have to dis-agree, love is not always enough just like in any relationship. Love cannot cure all. To give a child love who has never had it can scare them and even make them pull away further.

I am going to end my post like this because I could go on and on about this topic and the importance of it. ATTACHMENT ISSUES ARE REAL and I recommend to anyone thinking about or in the process of adopting an older baby/toddler/child weather it be from an Orphanage or Foster Care to do the research and read, read, read. Follow your heart and do what is BEST for your child not others. And yes you most likely will get "I didn't raise my children that way and they are fine" and the people that say these type of comments usually gave birth to their children. BIG DIFFERENCE than taking a child out of an institution who has multiple care-takers and their needs were never met consistently like a child that has had one main caretaker since birth. FOLLOW YOUR HEARTS not what others say and you and your children will most likely end up with a wonderful rewarding relationship!

I know I am no expert and I have only been parenting for a few months but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure most of this out :) It seems like what I/we are doing is working wonderfully, Logan is a beautiful, happy, thriving little boy.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Pee-Pee On The Potty

I had to add this to my earlier post.

Logan and I went shopping with our generous gift from Aunt Chris welcoming him home, thank you. We bought him a few things that he was going to need soon, one was a potty seat. Well, my little genius went pee-pee on the potty :) right after putting it together. He wanted to sit on the big potty last week but he did not go, maybe we will be out of diapers way before planned. I will not EVER force him to sit on the potty but hey if he wants to I am not going to try and stop him.

Growing Like A Weed!

I cannot believe how much Logan has grown. When we went to the Pediatrician about 2 weeks after we came home he was barley on the US growth charts, only at 3% for his height and weight. That means 97% of kids in his age group were bigger than him. We took him to the Ped about 2 weeks ago, he was getting a cold and it sounded like it dropped into his chest, it didn't thank God and only stayed in his head. He had went from that 3% to 50% in weight, his height was still low but making progress, he went to the 10%, wahoo! Well yesterday when he woke from his nap he just looked taller to me so we went into his closet and measured him on the wall (we have been doing a height chart on the inside of his closet wall, too cute) he is now 33 inches, he was 32 2 weeks ago. He has jumped to the 25% for his height now, WOW, you go Logan. He has really started to say words, yogurt, cracker, Mom, Dad, Papa, Cheese, Oprah, Happy, Russia (SSSSShia) sssssock, sssshoe and he is starting to try and repeat us. We go for a speech evaluation on Feb 26th, I really hope he qualifies for this free service thru the school's, I think it will be great for him. He really has made such AWESOME progress in 4 months.

It is funny I have had people say to me that I must be very proud of myself and that it must be so rewarding to see how well Logan is doing, all of the signs I have taught him and how happy he is. I never looked at it that way, I am his MOM and it is my job to teach him and to make him happy. BUT, after I have been hearing this from people I started thinking about it and yes it is a wonderful feeling to know he is THRIVING.

We had our first PPR (Post Placement Visit) last night. This is a requirement by the Russian Government, we have to do one at 6 months home, no it has not been 6 only 4 but it has to get written, the proper signatures, a notary stamp and then a state apostilled on it and then sent to CA to get translated. It will go from there to the Kemerovo Region in Siberia, Russia. I cannot wait for the officials to see how GREAT Logan looks, as our travel companion Kim said, He is a far cry from the "Chicken Man" that we picked up in Russia. Thank you Lisa, it was great to see you, hopefully it wont be so long next time.

Look for my next post. I need a little more time than I have now to write on the subject of Attachment Parenting and the importance of it. I have been criticized for it and have even lost relationships with some people because they do not agree with it. But any ways, more later, I gotta run, I have a munchkin demanding my attention :)