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The expected & unexpected transition (4 months)

Oh my, we have been staying busy, busy, busy around here! Caleb and I have two more days of school left until summer vacation and we are very much looking forward to being home and spending more time with Tope. Jon will officially then be back at work - even though most of this last month he has already been there every day - thank you to his Mother for watching Tope!!! He's not excited to get less cuddle time with Tope, but I think he is happy he will be back into his routine again. We have had Tope in our arms now for 4 months! Time is already flying.

We have been pleasantly surprised by some of the development Tope has been showing in the last month. He is definitely becoming part of his surroundings and seems to be more and more comfortable. Lately he is quite adamant that he do everything either instead of us or by himself. We hear the words "me, me, me" quite often. It is fun to see him challenge himself and try new things. Tonight we got out the Rainbowloom, a contraption that you loop small rubberbands onto in order to make bracelets. It takes a lot of patience and fine motor coordination to use these contraptions and by the end of it, Tope was really getting it down! He was so proud of the bracelet he made.

Tope has made some really nice strides in his language development. Until just a week or two ago, he most often only said one or two words at a time. He also did not like to answer open-ended questions, so after silence we would finally ask a yes/no question of which he would always answer. Recently however, he is now answering open-ended questions. So fun! I have come home the last couple days and he has told me at least three things he did with Jon during the day. I can't even get Caleb to tell me three things he did during the day!!! Ha! Tope is also willingly starting to tell us some short stories and longer sentences. Tonight we saw a picture of the Pastor from his orphanage and he suddenly told me a story of how his friend was yelling the Pastor's name after he had driven away in a car. I was absolutely amazed and thrilled. We are communicating with our son! Not that this wasn't already happening, but until now, a two-sided conversation was not happening. This is such great progress!

Last week we had our very first IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meeting for Tope's schooling next year. We knew it was coming, but were pleasantly surprised that the only thing his IEP will address at this time is his speech. A year ago when we looked at his bio, we were told he had global developmental delays, which meant he was behind in every aspect, but this is very untrue for where he is at right now. He is growing right on target and developing normally, other than his speech. We may find in the fall that he struggles with academics and then may need to also address this on his IEP, but at least we know he is a healthy boy right at the point where he should be. Although we were prepared to work with Tope if he had other developmental needs, it is kind of a sigh of relief knowing that he is doing better than his reports had shown. Like I said, we are pleasantly surprised.

And for one more fun new development...he peed sittingn on the toilet! Yes, you heard me right! He SAT DOWN and wanted to try to go to the bathroom that way, versus standing up or squatting. Not sure if he will attempt #2 sitting down anytime soon, but he was very excited to sit just like Daddy and Caleb. LOL! Oh the random things this child is learning each and every day!

By the way, we are completely smitten with Tope. Even on the rough days, and believe me, we have them, we can't imagine our world now without him. He brings a new type of joy to our family with all of his jokes and big smiles. He has brought out a mischievous side, for better and worse, in his older brother. Tope expresses his words, his emotions, and is quite the actor which makes me excited (another child to get on the stage sometime soon!!!). And oh his cuddles are becoming longer and stronger. I love how he can just cuddle up next to me and I feel his little body relax and melt... best feeling ever.

Very much looking forward to this next month together. We will have long summer days to learn more and more about each other as a family. Have a feeling we will have our share of struggles and frustrations, especially with both boys home all day, every day; but this summer is going to be amazing. I will have both of my boys home with me, sharing fun-filled long summer day. Yey!

Happy beginning of summer everyone! Go make some memories!

~In Christ


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