We have also found this to be true of parenting and to a greater degree, Ivan. Sure, we had our ideas. As a counselor, I have learned much from my work with families. And I have been amazed at Ryan's intuition as a parent. Absolutely blown away. But we have had much to discover, and still do, about our boy and how to parent him.
But here is what we have discovered:
He is a world-class cuddler (All hearts rejoice!!!)
He loves to share Mommy and Daddy's cinnamon swirl bagels
He's open to eating most things but shows particular affinity for noodles, bagels, rice cereal and seems to enjoy mixed fruit packets the least
He loves music
He is curious and observant
His stress-response is to freeze (we saw this slightly during our first meeting and much more so during the adoption ceremony yesterday/Tuesday morning)
He has his daddy's affinity for building things - he can build a world-class mega blocks tower and then fit in the back of his dump truck!
His left hand is where he holds his extras; usually extra cheerios or bagel pieces!
He's got dimples which could melt the hardest of hearts
He doesn't love water...swimming or bath time (see below)
He has a sweet and joyful spirit...
EXCEPT for diaper changing, which he loathes most of all
He seems to be grieving more since the adoption ceremony yesterday morning; but we paradoxically find this hopeful as it means he had love and care at his orphanage worth missing
He is a great sleeper...he slept a solid 11 hours the first night and 12 hours last night with only one wake-up.
He readily receives cuddles for comfort...something we are immensely grateful for
And there is so much yet to learn...
Here are some of the highlights from yesterday (Tuesday - adoption ceremony day) and this morning (Wednesday morning):
Morning cuddles yesterday (Tuesday morning) - what a delight!
At the adoption ceremony yesterday - each of us, including Ivan, gave a right thumb print in red ink!
He seemed to struggle quite a bit seeing the orphanage workers (they were administrators - we mistakenly originally believed they were his nannies). Sweet boy melted to the ground a couple times.
And then there was swimming. The first strike against the experience was the pool's requirement of swim caps. As you can clearly see, Ryan's didn't fit. The second strike against the experience was the MASSIVE blowout which occurred upon our arrival at the pool during our charades-correspondence with the pool attendant. The prunes had done their job. We dropped our stuff, signed that we would we would return, returned to our room for a diaper change which Ivan thought was the end of the world, then regrouped, returned to the pool, dawned (sp?) our swim caps, and jumped in. Ivan was not so much of a fan.
This morning Ivan was less smiley initially, but was still generous with cuddles. Today we plan to head to an indoor play area nearby and have lunch at McDonalds!
We would appreciate your continued prayers. If we sound like a broken record in this regard, it is because we know God answers prayers...we have seen God's faithfulness and we are so encouraged by His heart for Ivan and for us.
We love you!