We've had ten very full weeks at home with our adopted son, Silas. He had shown affection on day one. He did so many normal, son-like things. He called us mom and dad. He called his brother “brother.” He obeyed instructions and let us hold him. He even slept in the same King-sized bed with us in the hotel. They were all beautiful, healthy signs. But they weren't entirely authentic.
After a couple of weeks, we saw more of his personality—and independence—coming out. He was much more like a two year old. He whined and cried and asked for things. He was very attached to his dad and would cry hysterically without him. Again, progress.
At four weeks, and at home in Minnesota for the first time, some defensiveness crept up. He was obviously adapting to much, and perhaps realizing for the first time that this was a permanent deal. He'd take out his frustration on his older brother, not on us. He was aggressive and miserable. Sometimes he'd walk around the house in circles, weeping. But he was still showing affection, still going with the flow, still playing and sleeping. As difficult as it was to see him act out, we knew it was part of his adaptation. Given the surmounting number of changes he was working through, we couldn't ask for more of him.
Suddenly, after five weeks, things mellowed out and we began feeling like a cohesive family. It has only gotten better. Silas is integral. His older brother, Ezra, at first loved him for all the hopes he had for a cuddly younger brother, now we see him appreciating him for who he is. Silas is coming into his own skin more and more, showing affection in appropriate ways and at appropriate times. He is silly and loves to be the clown we had read about in his orphanage reports. I love where we are at as a family. His separation anxiety has subsided. He's gotten “the hang of things.”
I wonder what I will report at twelve weeks or even twelve months. Perhaps I'll say the same but with a deeper, resounding meaning. And that's how this process has gone. We could have said, “he is adapting well” at any point of this process, but it rings truer and truer. He is our son. No qualms about it.