Jet lag was a major difficulty during the first week at home. Babies don't get over jet lag quite as quickly as adults do. The first night after we got home, Benjamin was wide awake and ready to go at 2:30 am! We were not quite so ready to go... Each night after that he began to sleep a little later than the night before. He is now sleeping until 5:45 or 6. I'd love an hour more sleep in the morning, but really I can't complain. :)
Gradually, we have been working on a daytime nap schedule too, and he is now taking two one-and-a-half to two hour naps at fairly consistent times. AND his afternoon nap coincides with Madeline's naptime. Woo hoo!
Napping on Mommy and Daddy's bed
During the first week that we were home, Benjamin was pretty fussy. He didn't want to ever be put down, even for a minute, and he cried a lot even when we held him all the time. It was pretty exhausting. On Friday we had our first appointment with our pediatrician, and his advice was to feed him constantly! That was not what I was expecting to hear! He explained that to Benjamin food means security and love. Because of his past he needs to feel certain that he is going to be able to eat all that he wants to eat, then he will relax and be able to bond with us more. Our pediatrician is a Christian, has an adopted daughter from China, and sees many adopted children, so I take his advice to heart. He was absolutely right! We started offering food or a bottle at his first whimper, and it has made a huge difference. We now have a happy baby on our hands again! And we are able to leave him on the floor with toys to play with for short periods, and he is just fine.
Learning how to hold two in my lap at once :)
Benjamin is fitting into our family so well. Now that we are past the bumps of the first week, he is great about going with the flow. We've been on several outings - to the zoo, shopping, to visit family, to the doctor - and he has done wonderfully everywhere we go. He loves his big sister, and he is already very attached to his mama and daddy. He clings to us whenever strangers are near, and he doesn't like for anybody else to hold him. That makes me so happy. The initial attachment period has gone faster and a lot easier than I ever expected.
Madeline is gradually getting used to sharing attention with Little Brother. It's hard when you are two years old and don't fully understand what is going on. She has been an only child and only grandchild (except for one out-of-town cousin), and the world has pretty much revolved around her up until this point. Considering that, I think she is doing great. We've had a few moments (like when she smacked Daniel in the face because he had transferred his attention from her to Little Brother), and she has been clingier than usual. But I have tried very hard to give her lots of extra love and hugs and reassurances of how treasured she is, and I think that she adjusting quite nicely. I give her opportunities to help take care of B as often as possible and then make a big deal out of what a good big sister she is.
At the zoo on a hot Tennessee day
It is so fun to finally see the two of them together. I've had a modified version of the first line of Nicole C. Mullen's song about inter-racial families running through my head ever since we got home: "Brother looks like coffee, sister looks like cream...." :) (The song is Black, White, Tan, by the way.)
Daniel had been saving up his vacation for some time, and so he was able to stay home with us for several extra days after we returned home. What a blessing to get to be together for an extra week and a half to bond and to get used to handling life as a family of four! Today was his first day back to work. I was a little nervous to be on my own, but everything has gone great.
Thank you, everyone, for your prayers and continued support during this adjustment period. We have also been blessed by so many wonderful meals brought by friends and family since we have been home too. Thank you! The pizza man would have been to our house every night if it wasn't for you. :)
First time on a swing!