Overall, Sarah is doing well, but we have our moments — mainly related to sleeping and the car seat (occasionally). These two areas were challenging for Ethan as well, but for both of them, sleeping is/was the biggest challenge.
Sarah’s (morning and afternoon) naps are normally easier than putting her to bed at night. My theory is that it’s more difficult at night because she was laid down for naps in Korea but slept beside her foster mother at night (in Ethan’s case, he not only slept beside the foster mother, but also took 2-3 naps/day on his foster mother’s back). As we did with Ethan, we place Sarah in a crib for naps and nighttime sleeping (she doesn’t like that very much).
Sarah will usually fall asleep fairly easily while we hold her, but wakes up and cries immediately as we put her in the crib (in Korea, she was described as a light sleeper, which we’ve discovered is usually, but not always, true). It sometimes takes up to 30-60 minutes of consoling and reassuring her until she falls back to sleep in her crib. Since the long term goal is for Sarah to become a self-soother (as Ethan has) we know that things might be a bit more difficult in the short term. Fortunately, once Sarah is asleep, she usually sleeps throughout the night.
The added challenge this time is that Sarah’s sleep (and car seat) difficulties effects Ethan. Ethan seems to handle it well most of the time, except for the end of an hour-plus drive home tonight from Grammy and Pappy’s house; the last twenty minutes of the trip finally got to Ethan as we got close to home. Sarah, who didn’t sleep much at all today due to the trip to Williamsburg AND not being able to sleep in an unfamiliar place (actually, she fell asleep two different times in my arms this afternoon, but she didn’t want anything to do with the pack-n-play I tried to put her in!). She slept a little on the way home, but got awake for the last twenty minutes and cried and screamed till we arrived at home.
Ethan is a major part of this bonding/adjustment process (we wrote about that in the post from three weeks ago). We believe we’re moving in a positive direction but it’s a slow process — sometimes it’s three steps forward, two steps back, or some variation of that. Learning how to live with another child and how to play with an 8 month old is process for Ethan.
But we can tell that Ethan is processing stuff. Recently he asked Mommy, “Do you have two babies?” And yesterday morning, he told me a while after he got up (he’s been getting up early and coming into our room before Sarah wakes up), matter-of-factly, “I’m getting bigger … I’m growing up.” I asked him if he was okay with that and he said yeah. I assured him that it’s good he’s growing up, but added that he doesn’t have to do grow up too fast! 🙂
Well, I’ve long thought that the difficulty in posting photos on the blog is that they’re just a few pieces of the puzzle (and then, only the pieces we choose to reveal). While they don’t give the whole picture, we hope these photos from the last several days give at least a little glimpse into how things are going.