Challenges have been many over the past few months... It can be easy to fall prey to our enemy's subtle attempts to lapse into negativity about things that go on around our household. I really don't want to do that. We have come a really long way in the past 2 months. Hopefully I will have more of a chance to blog about that in the 2 weeks we are taking off for Christmas vacation. But, for tonight, I wanted to at least get a quick post done here, and let it be a good reminder of what we have NOT had to face at all during the 4 months that Jonathan has been home with us.
When we started learning about adoption and what all we could be up against, I remember several things standing out to me. One was sleeping problems. Night terrors are very common in children who have been raised in institutions. Sleeping problems in general are to be expected. So, I mentally prepared for the months after Jonathan came home to be sleep-disruptive times. Praise the Lord, it was not to be! He sleeps wonderfully well. I can only think of three times that I have even heard a peep coming from his bedroom, and that was actually more like talking in his sleep than any type of distress. He not only goes to sleep well, he even sleeps LATE!! Wow-- He's always the last one up every morning, and on Saturdays when there is no reason to get up, he will usually sleep much later still. Amazing!
The second issue of which we were highly warned was about eating habits. Many children who live in orphanages have sensory problems that affect the way they like or dislike food and its textures. So many (who have been raised in institutions similar to the ones he was in) have had very, very limited diets, mostly of mashed foods like porridge, and things with any varied texture turns them off. Finding foods that the kids will eat can be a challenging situation. OR -- these kids might react to having been hungry all of their lives by consequently trying to eat everything in sight.... gorging until they actually throw up, and hoarding food in their bedrooms. I was anticipating time at the table being times of concern. However, (praising God again on this one!!) Jonathan will surprisingly eat basically anything we put on his plate!! He was only used to bland-tasting things, and even calls regular ketch-up "spicy", but he will still eat it, because his brother and sister eat it, and he wouldn't dare be left out on anything!! (O.K. -- so occasionally that strong tendency toward comparison works in our favor!!.... not that I care if he eats ketch-up, but it works great when Leslie and Justin call broccoli 'yummy', so Jonathan thinks it is, too!!) We saw right away on our "Gotcha Day" that -- given the chance -- Jonathan would definitely gorge himself with food. But, it doesn't seem to be as a result of having faced a lot of starvation. He just doesn't know when to quit. He WILL choose to quit if everyone around him is finishing up with the meal and is choosing to go on to do fun things. Remember, he doesn't want to be left out of anything, so he's learned that if he doesn't keep filling his plate with seconds and thirds, he can finish faster and go join in on the fun!! He is typically a very slow eater, and that works in our favor, too..... except on mornings that I'm trying to get him to hurry and he is eating his Cheerios one by one (which is OFTEN!!) By the time he finishes his first healthy serving of whatever is for dinner, everyone else is usually long gone, and he'll finish up just to go find out what Leslie or Justin is doing.
So, while we HAVE had a fair share of troubles in adjusting to other areas, issues with sleeping and eating have been conspicuously missing from our household, and I am VERY grateful!!!