Sunday, November 16, 2008

In Conclusion

Okay, so we are nearing the end of our story of Mateo's adoption. About 9 months after he came to us, things began turning for the better. Ironically, that's also when we finalized the adoption. On May 23, 2008, we legally adopted Mateo. It was around this time that he stopped his extreme rages, tantrums, and aggression.

I wish I could say everything is perfect, but that is not the reality. Mateo still has some self-control and impulse issues. He has very little tolerance for being out of his routine, being hungry, overwhelmed, or over-tired. He has quite a temper and gets frustrated easily. This interrupts his development because he doesn't have the ability to problem solve through situations. He still hits and scratches when he's mad, this problem goes along with the self-control issue. But he responds well to time-outs and we continue to work on this. Mateo also becomes overstimulated easily and then he gets very hyper, loud, and rough. We have to use a lot of calming down techniques when he gets this way. And we always have to be conscious of the volume of our voice and emotions. He also has a significant speech delay, partly to do with the cleft/lip but not entirely.

But the difference between parenting him now versus just a few months ago is amazing. And it just gets better and better as time goes on. I can take him out in public and not feel like I have to explain why he is acting a certain way. Our attachment is that of a normal parent and toddler. We are most definitely his mom and dad and he loves us!

But Mateo is also very sensitive to loss and sometimes overreacts to certain situations that trigger some memory or negative feeling. I can't always pinpoint what it is or why, but sometimes I can just tell he's having an emotional purge of something from his past. I wonder if this will always be with him, showing up when normal childhood hurts happen. The loss of a pet. A friend moving away. Changing teachers in school. Will this elicit a huge emotional response? Will he wonder if we're gonna leave him too? I guess we'll see.

In a way, I envy other parents for being able to bond with their child so easily and naturally. Especially since I feel like we had to go through hell to get what other parents have for free. But in another way, I am glad we had to fight for his love and trust. It makes our bond stronger because it wasn't given freely. The fact that we did go through hell proves to Mateo the commitment and unconditional love we have for him. And we all know that we can handle anything he throws our way. And that is actually a comforting thought.

I am falling in love with him more and more everyday. Now when people ask me if I love being a mom, I can answer truthfully, yes!

Tomorrow I'll post another video. And for the rest of November, since it's still National Adoption Month, I am going to promote adoption through foster care. I'll give more information about it and how you can become involved. After November my blog will go back to it's original intent of being a place to vent the frustrations and humors of being a parent.

Pictures from Adoption Day!

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