The hardest part about this post was the title.? Or was it the content.? Or was it picking from the thousands of photos.? Who am I kidding, it’s all emotional.
2 years ago today we walked into Baby Home #2 in Khabarovsk, Russia as two people traveling on a journey.? We walked out parents (and now I’ve started to cry).? I look back at that first photo of us, as a true family, and think about how far we’ve come.
The little boy that was placed in our arms was quiet and scared.? His world was turned upside down.? He didn’t speak, but at 22 months could drink from a regular cup.? He would get entranced by shredding paper.? He couldn’t deal with transitions.? He perseverated on the smallest things.? He hated to be held.? It was rough.? Parenting a post-institutionalized child has been the biggest challenge of my life.? But at the same time I wouldn’t trade it for the world.
In two years my child has far surpassed his age group in speech.? He had to learn how to drink from a sippy cup (although he’s given those up).? He still likes to shred paper, but likes to do it with scissors now.? He still struggles with transitions, but we no longer get a red rage.? He is finally begining to cuddle into me when being held and life is getting a little easier.
It breaks my heart to think about his life before September 5, 2006.? But I try not to forget.? It is a part of who he is and does have a residual impact on who he is.? That is evidenced by the fact that 2 years later he still rocks himself to sleep.? It may just be his thing and is no longer a big deal to us, but it is from never being picked up as a baby.? He is still frightened by loud noises and still has a fear of close face to face contact.
When I looked back at all that we’ve done in the past 2 years I am amazed.? Beach trips, visits from friends, farms, pumpkin patches, Alaska, Disneyland, throwing rocks in the Sound and the best is yet to come.
Here is a little journey down memory lane for you.? The slide show is a little long (probably 5ish minutes, 114 photos), but it will give you a good idea of how much Oleg has grown and changed from that first referral photo.
Happy Gotcha Day my little man.? I’m the luckiest mama in the whole world.
(you can click on the slideshow and it should take you to the big one in Picassa)