March 7 2004

Before I tell you about our week, I would like to address something that Colene had posted in our guest book. She said "What may seem like day to day for you is amazingly interesting for us" and "am learning alot about the settling in process". The second statement had me thinking all week. I would like to share my experience with all of with regard to the 'settling in'.

Anthony, as we have already stated, acts as if he has been with us his entire life. He does not suffer from insecurity, detachment nor attachment disorders, signs of lacking enough attention, physically normal, no food issues, no fear of adults, no fear of the dogs or other kids. Has minor sibling jealousy issues with both Katherine and Ryan. These are all the things that are associated with biological children. Like I said, Anthony is a Delmedico and in his mind has always been. I know that when he is older and we discuss his being adopted, he may encounter some issues, but we will deal with that when the time comes. The day to day routine with Anthony goes something like this; wake up, eat, get dressed, play, go outside depending on the weather, eat, sleep, wake up, eat, play, eat, bath, sleep. Throughout the day there are times of whining and crying, usually associated with tiredness or hunger. He does not like being either of those and 'Look out world if he is both at the same time'. This again is normal stuff.

Katherine on the other hand is a high maintenance girl. She suffers with attachment, jealousy, envy, control, did I say control, and an overall insecurity complex. While this sounds like a mouthful, it is not. She is a wonderful child and I would not give her up for the world. Her day is a bit tougher for Ann and I, sometimes more Ann than me and sometimes the other way around. Katherine is very clingy, all day. We have been creating boundaries around her and us giving all of us the space we need. She is definitely more clingy to Ann. I feel bad for Ann sometimes and am grateful I am the Dad and not the Mom. This is very difficult to deal with at times. If, for example, Ann goes to the bathroom, Katherine will cry and have a fit because Ann did not take Katherine with her. I know that time is the healer of all wounds and Katherine will come into her own as she learns the words that go along with the emotions she is feeling. Katherine likes to be in charge and has the typical, "mine, mine, mine" syndrome. We are currently using our words and time outs as the main form of communicating unacceptable behaviors. I tried yelling and coercion, neither worked. Katherine was still in control as opposed to a joint effort in her behavior modification. It is times like this that I need to say, "She has come a long way from where she was". She will interact with Anthony and Ryan like a sister. She loves her bedroom, toys, clothes, dogs, baths, books, going outside and all the stuff that does not involve her emotions to a great extent. When it comes to the receiving love from us, she is very unsure of what to do. We have come to the conclusion, "Love is all you need". We need to be consistent in our love for her and show her what love is all about. This seems to be expressed best when we are loving on Ryan or Anthony. With hugs and kisses, she gets to see how they react to the love. I believe that all of this is new to her, I do not know her history, except for medical, prior to our meeting her. I leave that to my imagination, sometimes it runs wild, and try to love her even when she seems like she is mad at us. I know that Katherine is not unique but I have not read this on any of the e-loops or other websites of Kaz adoptive families. This is just my interpretation of my experience with our orphaned Katherine.

With that!

Ann took the plunge this week and bought new panties for Katherine and actually put them on her. Ann and I both agreed to let Katherine be the one control it. There have been no "accidents" and Katherine is using her words a lot more for toilet stuff. She is so proud of her panties. She seems to remember wearing them at the orphanage and she certainly remembers wearing diapers/pull-ups. She has chosen to wear the panties every day this week. There is no going back at this point. We will invest in rubber pants if needed. No more diapers for her. I think that these 'little things', such as panties, are big steps for Katherine's ego. She seems to lack ego as we understand ego.

Katherine also has a sore throat and congestion. Ann took them to the doctor and both kids got Amoxicillin. Go figure. I think that amoxicillin is the cure all. I may to invest in the makers company. The amoxicillin gave Katherine a bad case of the runs. Not one 'accident', I thought that was amazing. She is still congested, much better though. We are down from 20 to 3 tissues a day. I am so happy that she will blow her nose on demand. I am not sure she would take kindly to having the snot sucked out of her nose several times an hour.

Ann, Katherine and Anthony took a trip to the new Day Care this week. Ann had to fill out some paper work and the like. Ann said that Katherine disappeared in to her room with her new teacher for about an hour or so and seemed to be ok with it. I do not think that Ann was within eye-shot. Ann will be going back to work part time this week. I will have Anthony at home with me on Wednesday's and Thursday's, until April. They did not have 3 day spot for Anthony until then. I am taking 1/2 days off from work until Anthony gets in to the day care. I do not think I would be able to work from home and care for Anthony at the same time. It only makes sense for me to take some time off. I am actually looking forward to spending the time with Anthony.

On to Anthony. He is also sick and on Amoxicillin. It does not seem to affect him the same way it did Katherine. The doctor said that Anthony's throat appeared to be very sore. The doctor also asked if he was still eating? Ann said "That boy doesn't miss a meal". I was surprised that Anthony was 'sicker' than Katherine. He really doesn't seem sick at all. He just keeps going and going and going. I am a lot like that. I will not stop when I am sick, I just keep going and going until I pass out.

Anthony is also cutting 2 new teeth. He is getting 2 molars on the bottom. Again, not too cranky about it.

Anthony is walking around and mimicking everything he sees and hears. If the dogs bark, Anthony barks, if Katherine says 'done', he says 'done'. This is the beginnings of speech. I remember him at the orphanage making no noise, not moving. He would just sit and cry. I look at him today and he does not seem like the same boy. I even look at the old pictures of him and am amazed at how he has grown.

He is the funniest kid going. He will sit and start smiling at you. It is the biggest grin ever. The best part is, he knows he is being funny. He will crack himself up with food, drink, barking and saying 'done'.

I almost forgot. The urologist update. Anthony is fine. He does not have any problems with his penis. This is good news, no surgery, thank God!

He is sometimes very stubborn. If you are walking with him outside and wants to go in one direction and you want to go in the other, he will stand and grunt at you. He will try to slip by you, turn around, crawl on the ground and pretty much do everything he can to do what he wants. This can be quite funny and at the same time very annoying. He is pushing his boundaries the way he is supposed to. It is a wonderful thing to watch him discover his limits and boundaries. I use some of this with Katherine, sometimes it works sometimes not.

Ryan will be playing little league baseball again this year. He is on the Pirates. I will be coaching again this year as well. Ryan says he wants to try pitching, short-stop and second base. Last year he did a little pitching and mostly played 2nd. He is 9 so I am trying not to drive him. I want to let him steer his athletics ship. My job is to help when asked and where needed. He is adjusting well to being a big brother. It must be really strange going from 'the only child' to sharing your house and being a big brother. What is a big brother and what do they do? These are good question's. I have been working with Ryan on setting boundaries and limits on brothering. No diapers, no baths, no discipline. Just play time and reading a book if the Katherine asks.

This morning was a great morning for Ryan. His father dropped him off about 10:30 and Anthony went nuts for Ryan. Ran up to Ryan and gave him the biggest hug ever. I don't even get those kinds of hugs. Katherine is a little gun shy of Ryan's father. She is gun shy of some people and none in particular. It is like some kind of radar she has. I will help her fine tune that for future use. I too have that radar, if you have it you know what I am talking about. It is the ability to walk into a room full of strangers and know who is who and what is what! It has served me well in my short life. Anyway, Ryan was so full of himself because this is the first time either of the kids have freely expressed a feeling that resembles love towards him. It was great to watch. Ryan is on top of the world.

With that, here are the pictures from the week!

© Bill Delmedico 2013