Sunday, February 15, 2009

What free time?

Where did all of our time go? What did we do with ourselves before Manu? These are the deep philosophical questions we're asking ourselves these days. That, and why did our grocery bill nearly double, and why does health insurance cost so much more, and is it legal to charge that much for day care? LOL. I've been trying to get an update posted for several days now, but Manu isn't ready for daddy to have any free time yet. I've managed to convince Leslie that I'm researching information on Manu's recent cough (he's fine) so I've got a couple of minutes to sum up our first few weeks back in KY:

Manu seems to be adjusting well to his new home. He likes his room, his animals and his parents, in that order. He likes us most at 5:00am in the morning, just before the alarm goes off, and least immediately after a bath, when he won't look at daddy for about 15 minutes. Actually we've had a breakthrough recently. Although his first few baths at home were as bad or worse than those in Delhi, he's recently started coming around. First Leslie got in the tub and held him in her lap for a sponge bath. He seemed to handle that OK, and then a few days later when he and daddy were home alone, he let me put him in the tub and, while he wasn't enthusiastic, he played with his ducky quietly while daddy got him all nice and clean.

Manu was also not impressed by the children's menu at Chez Jeff. Unfortunately, we've had to alter his diet several times in the last few weeks out of necessity. At Ashraya he was on 2 bottles of Cow's milk a day, plus a porridge of rice, lentils, greens, butter, sweetened milk and Indian spices; a hard act to follow while living out of suitcases. We had to switch him to formula and cereal while in India, and of course those brands aren't available here, so we had to switch him again. All of this played havoc on his little system for a few days. He's now tolerating a mixture of Enfamil and Lactogen and seems to enjoy it well enough. As for cereal, he let us know pretty quick that the brands available here we not up to his high standards. After tasting some of them I don't blame him. This boy likes spice, especially curry powder. We've taken to spicing up just about everything he eats. Lately we've just been blenderizing a little of whatever we're eating and he seems to really like most of it. He'll be a gourmet for sure; he's even fascinated watching us cook dinner every night.

One of our biggest obstacles to overcome has been Manu's dislike of being strapped into anything: car seats, high chairs, grocery carts; you name it. I guess most little ones get used to it gradually without knowing anything different. We didn't see a single car seat being used in either Bangalore or Delhi, and we simply held him in our laps when traveling by car. At first this was a little bothersome, until we saw a child about Manu's age being held by the arm hanging off the side of a small motorcycle with three other passengers. Suddenly we felt much safer! For the first week or so he would cry every time we put him in the car seat. He literally screamed the whole trip home from the airport. Gradually he has gotten better, to the point that he doesn't fight us when we're strapping him in. He seems to have discovered that there is usually something interesting to see/do if we're taking him for a ride; same for the buggies and the high chair.

The bonding process is going well. After the newness of mommy and daddy wore off a bit, he seemed to be in a funk. He was still a pleasant little kid, but not quite as enthusiastic as before. We think it was probably a little bit of mourning for his aunties and the other children he left behind. But the last week has seen a return to his playful self most of the time. He's now constantly wanting to be held, and reaches for us when he's in his crib or playpen. He's becoming a momma's boy, as there are times when daddy cannot console him, but momma has just the right touch.

He has developed a dry cough lately that comes on every 30 minutes or so. Last night he woke us several times with what sounded like a dieing goose hacking in the bed with us, but it didn't seem to wake him. Otherwise he seems fine and has no fever. We have our first doctors appointment on Wednesday, so if he doesn't get any worse, we'll wait 'till then to check it out.

While the hardest part of the adoption process is now over, namely the waiting, we're far from finished. We'll have three post-placement visits with our adoption worker and then we'll go to court in Fayette County to complete the adoption, at which point Manu becomes a US Citizen. Right now he is a legal resident and we're expecting his green-card to arrive any day. Although we are looking forward to completing the formal adoption, to us it is simply a formality, as we are already an inseparable family.

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