My heart has been so full today, just busting with love for my son. I know I have said this before, but the longer he is home, the more I think, "Okay, THIS is good now". It really does take time to settle in and adjust. Our experience with Charlie has been much better than we ever could have hoped for, but I truly feel that now things are normalizing. He is becoming much more affectionate on his own, less distracted by toys, better with other children, and finally seems to cling to me a little when in public. I don't shake inside every time I have to discipline him for fear of ruining our bonding. I don't think I panic as much on adoption issues vs. toddler issues...anything we are going through are "our" issues and we deal with them as a family.
All this leads to me, settling in to my role as mom. I am finally shedding the awkwardness of feeling like everyone is watching, waiting for me to screw it up. I know what he likes to eat for snacks, his favorite toys, juice, movies, and what all his funny faces mean. I know how to make him laugh the loudest. In turn, he is learning more about me, kissing my head when I say I have a headache, defending me if he thinks someone is hurting me or taking something of mine, giving hugs and kisses on his own. It's more amazing than I ever imagined, even after we were just home. I truly did not understand the impact that 6 months together would have. Charlie has been with us longer than he was at the Care Center. He knows this house inside and out. He remembers EVERYTHING we say, and he is always listening. He will ask me questions about a conversation I had with Adam or a friend that amaze me. And while I am bragging, let me move on to...the music.
I think we have a prodigy situation. Several weeks ago, we were in the car and Sweet Home Alabama came on. CF immediately calls out, "Patty Poo phone!" (That's my mom, and that IS her ringtone). I was so impressed! A couple of weeks later, we were watching his video lifebook. The intro has a greeting to CF and in the background is an instrumental piece of music. Charlie hears it and cries "Nemo!". I listened, and boy, it does sound like the score from Nemo. We pop it in, and I am no expert, but it is amazingly similar, if not the very same piece. After that, in the car again. Not five notes into a Green Day song, he shouts "CooKooLoo Movie!" (Surf's Up...yeah we are a movie family). Sure enough, there is a scene with that song in it. THEN Adam was singing a song from Shrek, and he got it too. He can also recognize some They Might Be Giants songs. Okay, this either proves that we let him watch way too many movies, or the kid is friggin amazing. I prefer the latter.
Earlier this week, Adam was wrestling around with Charlie and taught him the magic word to freeing himself from Daddy's clutches. Open Sesame. Well, Charlie took the magic and ran with it. Now he uses "Sesame" for everything. Example: As I type this, Charlie is dozing off in his crib in the next room. Ten minutes ago, however, he was calling, "Come 'ere, Mommy Sesame"....Of course, the magic worked on me, and I went in for one more good night kiss.
I am just. in. love.
Anyone who is having a hard time getting here, please take heart. It will happen, it will get easier, and the love will almost knock you over. Our amazing journey is living it's own happy ending, and so will yours.