3 Months Home
3 months ago, on May 26, 2018, our plane touched down in Kansas City. We stepped off of that plane to find our two daughters (who we hadn't seen for 23 days) and so many family members and friends waiting to greet us with cheers and signs and hugs and support. Thinking back to it, it is still so surreal. We stepped off of that plane carrying a huge answer to prayer in our arms, and we finally became a family of 5. In some ways, that day seems like so long ago. At other times, I think, "Wait, weren't we just in India last week?" Either way, the calendar tells me that it's really been 3 months since we came home from India with our son. He has changed and grown so much, and it has been one of our greatest joys to be able to see it all unfold.
First, let's just look at some stats:
May 26, 2018 August 26, 2018
*13 months old *16 months old
*16 lbs. *19+ lbs.
*25.5 inches *28+ inches
*3-6 month clothing *9-12 month clothing
*3.5 teeth *8 teeth
*0 words in English *5 words used correctly
*crawling, cruising *running, climbing
God has been so gracious to answer our prayers for health, growth, and development for our son. We prayed and prayed that Judah would miraculously THRIVE in the orphanage, and by God's grace (and thanks to his caretakers in India), he has overcome so many odds. His transition home and our family's transition to becoming a family of 5 has gone much more smoothly that we could have ever hoped it would be. Our baby boy has been very happy and easy-going from day 1. Thank you to everyone who has been and continues to pray for us because it is not always this easy for everyone post-adoption.
Judah is showing great signs of attachment so far. After 3+ weeks in India with him, we spent another 6 weeks at home "cocooning." Our goal was to keep his world small, limit the number of new people who came into his life, and make sure that we were the only people to meet his needs for those first several weeks. It was hard, but it was worth it. Marcus and I feel like this (combined with that horrible hospital experience in India) helped build Judah's attachment to us and dependence on us. He's doing all the things parents WANT to see from their kids: giving hugs, reaching for us, giving kisses, allowing us to hold him, smiling, laughing, and playing with us.
He is also doing things that most parents probably DON'T WANT to see, but that we are so grateful to see from him. He cries for us when he wakes up in the night, which means that he knows we are there for him and will meet his needs. He fights with his sisters over who gets to sit in our laps. He cries for the first few minutes when we leave him at daycare or in the church nursery....which obviously breaks my heart, but it is a good sign of attachment. He now cries and runs to us when he's hurt, which means that he knows we are "his people" and that we are here to help him. (When he first came home, he would not even cry when he bumped his head or did something that must have hurt. He would just sit there and rub it by himself.) We cheered (and I teared up a little) the first time he left food on his plate and milk in his cup because it meant that he felt safe and that he trusted us to provide him with his next meal. (When he first came home, he would eat and drink until he puked and still keep signing "more" because it was his way of hoarding food.) Now, he will also share food with us and with his sisters, which he did not do when he first came home. We are grateful to see these small signs (and even hear these cries) as he begins to trust us and allow us to love him and care for him.
In the past few months, Judah has been to an International Adoption Clinic, an Infectious Disease Clinic, a Neurologist, a Urologist, a Cardiologist, and a Pediatrician. Every single test came back with perfect results. This is a MIRACLE because India is a medical needs (or older child) adoption program. That means that Judah was either misdiagnosed in India or God healed him. Either way, his file was wrong, and we are praising God for his health and development.
First Steps, an early childhood intervention program, also came and did a developmental screening on Judah, and they were very impressed by how well he was doing after just 2 months at home. His receptive language skills are very high, and he is picking up English pretty quickly as well. By God's grace, Judah was on track or even above average in most areas, but they were able to give us a few things to work on at home with him. Before coming home, Judah had not had much exposure to solid foods. He did not know how to bite or chew and would often gag on anything that was not pureed. With a LOT of practice and modeling (which is great because this kid likes to EAT), Judah has now learned to chew soft foods. (I know it's a funny thing to celebrate, but we are so grateful for this new skill!) We are still working on taking bites out of things though, and we are slowly introducing him to things that are not quite as soft. We are also trying to help him catch up on the development of his fine motor skills. Thankfully, God gave him a teacher for a mom - who also has access to Pinterest. Judah Mahesh seems to be a quick learner, so I'm confident that we will get there soon.
Judah loves music, baths, putting things in buckets, rolling cars across the ground while making a vroooom noise, throwing balls, and chasing after his sisters. He's never met a food he didn't like, and his laugh is one of the most amazing sounds we've ever heard! He's still not a big fan of shoes, but we have some time to get there before winter, right?! Marcus and I are so humbled and thankful that God would allow us to be a part of his story. Like all children, he truly is a miracle.