K has become such a part of the family that I forget he has been with us for less than a year. That explains why I'm a week late with this post. Unlike with TM, I just don't keep track of those monthly anniversaries.
K has made amazing progress in these last 8 months, which is good since he ages out of Early Intervention at the end of March. When we first met K he had some significant delays: low muscle tone in the upper half of his body (which included skirting of his rib cage and his shoulder blades not being in the right position), he could not sit up straight and looked like the letter 'C' when sitting, shaking of his hands and arms when doing anything involving fine motor skills, no language (we will never know for sure how much Vietnamese he understood, but he spoke no words and did no babbling), he was still being fed from a bottle and didn't know how to eat solid food, and he was extremely small for his age (our not quite one year old niece was bigger than K was at 2 1/2 when we came home). It was as if we had a baby who could walk. In those first few weeks, while a pleasant little guy, he was obviously in shock.
Fast forward 8 months, with physical and occupational therapy he has developed a lot more muscle tone...the skirting is gone because he now has muscles to hold the rib cage in place; his shoulder blades are now in the correct position, also because of the new muscles; he can sit up straight; he can tall kneel on his knees (he couldn't kneel at all); the shaking of his hands and arms has disappeared because he has enough muscles to help control them; cognitively he can do all the tasks that a 2 1/2 year should be able to do; he eats all types of food and feeds himself; he has definitely grown taller moving from a 9 mos. size in clothes to 2T which fit him perfectly; he can drink from a cup without letting the water run out of his mouth; and recently, he has been adding at least a word a day to his vocabulary. It's still not really clear, but those of us who live with him understand what he's saying. My favorite is "Love you!" which his brothers and sisters taught him a couple of weeks ago. Surprisingly, he still doesn't say B's name, even though B is often K's favorite person.
The repair on his lip is still looking good and the plastic surgeon is pleased with it. We don't have to go back for a follow-up with her for another year. His next surgery will be for a bone graft when he is around 8 years old. The last doctor-type thing we need to do is see a geneticist which happens on Friday. This was recommended by the plastic surgeon just to rule anything out. The only markers that he may have a syndrome are his cleft lip and his funny folded over ears, but since there is nothing else wrong, the testing is merely precautionary.
I can't imagine not having this child in our family. He is so happy, and funny, and loving. (It's so easy to forget, though, how much chaos a two year old leaves in their wake.) And attachment...it's been almost a non-issue. He had difficulty looking at people in their eyes for a while, but even that has corrected itself. He is content to be cuddled and gives kisses and hugs. I feel this is a huge gift from God. When his adoption was stretching out longer and longer, my continual prayer was that God would protect his heart so that K could freely attach to us without any grief or trauma. I truly feel that God has answered that prayer. We are blessed.
One funny K story...he loves to look at family pictures and name all the people in them (except for B). When we point to a picture of K and ask him who that is, he happily says, "You!" I guess we've pointed at his picture and said, "That's you" one too many times.