>>Tuesday, September 05, 2006<<
This was over 4 months ago in Russia....

And here we are now at the beach....oh...you thought you were going to get a pic with me in a bathing suit? Oh, I think not! I embarrass myself these days!

I think of the song by David Bowie "Changes" when I think of what the last 4 months have been like since we have been home with Nikolai and back from Russia. There is so much to say. First, it seems just like yesterday when I was riding on the Metro and visiting the desky dom everyday. Fast forward and no one can guess that Nikolai had never been a part of our lives for his entire life.

He bonded to me really well in Russia because I was there by myself for a couple of weeks, and then when B and sis S came out, he quickly bonded to them. Now, when we got to the states...you best forget him going to ANYONE other than B and I. We have not had a date yet since being back from Russia. N is like a cat if we are out of his sight. His claws come out and he hangs on to anything that he can find. He will not let you out of his sight. If you do make it a few steps, his lung capacity is to the maximum limit. Surrounding countries can hear him. He would not have anything to do with my parents until a couple of weeks ago. FINALLY!. It broke my Mom's heart. I tried to explain his life and bonding. But, I have learned that those that don't understand an adopted child...they assume that child should act just like anyone else. Let me tell you...it does NOT work that way.

Case in point....with our two girls...we do time outs for when they get into trouble. We put them in time out for the time period of their age. We explain what they are in there for. We can walk away from them during that time period. As for Nikolai...nope, nope and then nope again. He likes to throw his food, toys, basically anything. His hand might be malformed...but, I truly believe it to be a bionic hand, because he can throw things as far as the eye can see. He loves to slap me in the face. He definitely has serious temper tantrums and they get intense. He didn't want to be consoled in the beginning. I read in one of the books to stay with him during his time out. I would sit with him and keep talking to him in a calm voice. That seems to tick him off more :) But, when he goes into a rage...I just hold him and he fights me like you have never seen. But, when he realizes that I am not leaving...he calms down and rests against me. He has finally learned to show affection. He gives hugs and kisses now. He runs to me and B now when he falls down. Before, he would sit by himself and rock and cry. He didn't want you to console him when he got hurt or sick. It was hard on me in the beginning. I am such a nurturer. So, not to be able to cuddle with him when he so needed it was hard.

I fully believe though if you remain calm and keep showing them that you are not going to leave..things suddenly click. He is very active and into everything. The girls never stuck their fingers in every hole in the house, including the toilet. I spend more time chasing after him. He is so fast!!!!

But, he has such a sensitive heart. He hates it if you are sad or the girls are crying. He will go over and lay his head down on them. He loves our dog and cat. He says "Awww" and pets them in his cute little way. He wants to be a big kid so bad. He is beautiful, a true gift.

It has been hard, I can't lie. Not so much because of Nikolai, but, the fact that there are three little children that need every morsel from you. I thought that N would need me the most. But, since he has been home, the girls seem to crave extra attention too and act out if they don't get it. I feel like a punching bag with the kids. But, I know it is because they are adjusting to the fact that there is another child sharing our love. We explain that we have enough love for each of them. The girls love being a big sister to him. Sometimes too much. They try and dress him up in girls clothes. It drives B crazy. He went out and got him all of these boys stuff. N wears a Boston RedSox outfit...go figure, right?!

Your marriage tends to take a back seat when a child comes along. I am very aware of that. I try really hard to make sure that B knows how much I love him. I look forward to when N can seperate from us a little and we can go out on a date. A Date?? What is that??? :)

I am sure that I will be writing a lot more about what has been going on. It has been a whirlwind at times. Sometimes I wonder if God was right in choosing me to be a Mom of three. I feel so inadequate sometimes. But, I am truly honored that I was chosen.

Oh yea...one other thing that Nikolai loves....computers. I am always on mine. I was working on a project not too long ago and he crawled in my lap and he hit the right button and deleted the whole thing. He lives to push buttons on the computer when I am on it.

I would love to hear from others your challenges and adventures since you have been home. And if you have any questions for those of you waiting that want to know what is going on....ask! I would love to give insight anywhere that I can.

Glad to be back!!

Talk to everyone soon!


P.S. on a side note....I am deeply saddened about Steve Irwin..the Crocodile Hunter. I am not sure why that has hit me so hard. But, it has. I guess because he was a young dad with a wife and two children. But, he also was living out his dream in life and he loved what he did every single day. Most of us dream of having that. Then poof...in a freak accident, he is dead. It really hit home and made me think about what I have and how quickly something freakish could happen in my life. I guess we all need to remember to let those that we love KNOW that we love them every single day. Don't let a day pass.
Blogger Margaret said...
Glad you're back blogging, Caroline! I almost emailed you several times to check in, but I figured you were probably crazed and didn't have the time.

It sounds like things are going well. Tiring... but well.

Anonymous Michelle said...
I miss you, Caroline! :o(

Blogger Debbie said...
So glad to see you're back. I've missed your insight and your stories.
Glad to hear Nikolai is doing well and the rest of the family. And thanks for sharing your true experiences in the first months home. I am so glad I am able to learn what it will really be like before it's our turn.

Blogger Debbie said...
Oh and you're still on my blog list. :-)

Blogger sandy said...
Caroline, I'm so glad to see you're still out there and that everything is going well. You have a new kindergartener too! How exciting, and how bittersweet... as my two started kindergarten last week too. Does she like it? The pics of N were very cute! He's thriving! Welcome back. =)

Blogger sandy said...
Hi again. There's a "four" tag thing going around and so I've tagged you. If you'd like to join in check out my blog for the questions. Have a good weekend!

Blogger 6blessings said...
I can't believe the difference in the pictures. That gives me hope for my boys. He has grown so much and is cuter than ever.

I am an exhausted mom too. Sometimes I feel the same way you do-if I'll survive and if I'm doing everything right. My family has experienced many of the same things. My two I just brought home from Russia take so much time in the discipline arena (we time-in with them too, for the same reasons). My other four have seemed more demanding of my time because they want an equal share.

Everything really is going really well, but it is good to hear that someone else out there is experienceing the same thing.

Every day is precious. Good to have you back in blogland.

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Blogger Denise :o) said...
Thanks for posting the reality of adoption. We are waiting for trip #1 and I keep trying to figure out how to let my Mom know that Evan may not want to be around anyone other than my husband and I. I don't think she understands that yet. I know she's expecting him to fall head of heals in love with her right away. I may have her read your blog so she understands. Again, I'm glad to see you back. Nikolai is so adorable!!!

PS. You're on my blog list too!!

Blogger Rhonda said...
I really liked reading about your reflections after four months. It sounds like N is really making progress, even though there are hard days. I hope you get your date night soon!

Blogger On Our Way said...
I knew where you were.... :) And am happy you're back. I commented while you were out. Loved the beginning of your adoption blogs b/c that is so where we are. It is fun to see the pictures - he is adorable!

Anonymous Traci Burnam said...
The journey continues and it is sometimes all uphill for a long span:-) I am hoping to continue to tag along on your path as I make my way on mine. Keep me posted on your way and I will be thinking of you. -Traci

Blogger Gaye & Andrew said...
Caroline...little A looks amazing! I can't believe how different our little boys look from when we brought them home! He is thriving! Best wishes...gaye

Blogger Elle said...
Welcome back! I check in to see if you've posted every so often. I was starting to get worried about you though. Glad to see you back and at it. Nikolai looks precious!