Sunday, June 10, 2012

Outdoor Water Fun

Some good strides have been made this weekend as Henry is starting to show that he's getting a little bit comfortable with life in America. Lots of Cheerios have been offered and consumed in our quest to show him that he can count on us to meet his needs, and this has helped him relax in a number of situations in which he was previously anxious and fearful (e.g. changing diaper after naptime, bathtime, and generally throughout the day when things aren't completely meeting his expectations). While the constant availability of food runs completely against the Ryan & Jenn Gates Grain and flies in the face of our biological child-rearing philosophy, it is a necessity for building trust with and raising adopted toddlers. Don't argue with it, just accept it and play the game.

One piece of fruit that has yielded is Henry's comfort in the bath tub. Last evening I got in the tub with him, and he fussed at first, but because he was able to keep touch with me, he relaxed and eventually began playing with his bath toys and splashing in the water. This is a dramatic improvement over mid-last-week, and it is signs of progress such as this that serve as stress relievers for Jenn and for me. And before we take the credit, I've got to say that when significant progress has been made, it has followed an evening of intense, earnest, specific prayer. It's quite faith-affirming to see the LORD work in Henry's development.
Church, we feel, is something we feel for which Henry is not yet ready. To busy, too many faces, too many people wanting to get too close for his comfort. We need to cement the bonding at home for a while longer. So Jenn took Lincoln and Lydia today and I hung out with Henry and did church on the internet, but it was clear that L & L had been out of routine. Lydia cried a bunch when going to class, and Lincoln just wouldn't go into his classroom. Such is life right now. Not only are Henry, Jenn and I on the edge of being worn out, Lincoln and Lydia are also physically and mentally tired.

And that's why our pre-lunch activity and lunchtime fun were so important. We set up a buket full of water and the sprinkler for the kids to enjoy the hot weather outside, and they had a blast, then everyone ate a good lunch and went down for a good nap. This is how we're getting everyone back on track: set up a routine, and mix in a bunch of fun.

No comments: