I missed posting that Fuad has been with us for 2 months. Day after tomorrow is the day that he's been in America for 2 months. The change in this child is unbelievable. Do you remember when we were visiting him those first few days and we were very nervous because we couldn't get him to look at us? Now, he will not only make eye contact (of his own accord) he will continue that eye contact for an extended period! *I should add that his eye contact is pretty much reserved for us. Others that he sees only occasionally are not worthy it seems. :) He is currently trying out that eye contact accompanied by a shy smile.....usually when he is being fussed at for something. He understands so much more English that Vlado did at this point. I talk to him in full sentences and he does what is asked...well, most of the time. LOL! He is 7 after all. He still jabbers away in Serbian A LOT! But, when my friends (who know Serbian) talk to him, he just repeats what they say instead of conversing. He did this in Serbia too though. As far as using English, he is still pretty much in the identifying stage. He can identify so many things though! Some of his words are truck, bus, tractor, airplane, boat (do you sense a theme here?), water, juice, eat, drink, (he also uses a sort of sign for eat and drink), more, please, all done(again he uses signs for those), dog, cat, Mama, Daddy, let's go, shower, and careful. He also knows how to say and can point to eyes, ears, hair, mouth, teeth, knee, leg, finger, and arm. I'm sure there are more that I just can't remember right now. Getting him to open his mouth when he speaks is a struggle. He keeps his mouth shut almost like a ventriloquist! But the result is a whisper and mumble at the same time and it is pretty frustrating. I think he has very little confidence and is still a bit shy with us. I can imagine that he was told to "be quiet" so much before that learning to project his voice is something that will take more time. If Vlado is an example though, we will end up having to tell him to use "quiet voices" in no time at all.
He has finally gotten past the bolting his food and drinks. But he has now become the pokiest eater of any child I have ever seen. It takes him 45 minutes to eat lunch. The funny thing is that he takes the smallest bites. He nibbles the edge of a sandwich like a bunny but then chews that tiny bite like his mouth is full. We are teaching him "big bites" and he is finally opening his mouth a bit larger to take in more food. He eats most anything we put on his plate, but I think he's taking cues from Vlado....thankfully! We are so super blessed that we have two children that will eat what we give them. We occasionally have small struggles with him not wanting to eat at all, but when he sees Vlado eating desert, he manages to eat something. :) Funny thing how much of a motivator a fruit cup can be.
The boys both start ESY (extended school year...a fancy term for summer school) tomorrow. We put Fuad in school pretty soon after we got home. We know that many would discourage that, but he was so unhappy when Vlado was at school and he was at home. Getting him to engage when he is not happy is nearly impossible. He did GREAT at school! He learned to count to 10 in less than a week...I was impressed! He is a pretty intelligent boy....it's amazing that his paperwork had him listed at moderately mentally retarded. I don't like that word.....but that was their words. It's astonishing how much children in orphanages are held back by someone's opinion of what they can and cannot do.
He has such an imagination! Just now, I saw him playing with two dog bones on the floor. When I looked at what he was doing, I noticed that he had positioned them to look like a see-saw. He was moving it in the see-saw motion and making little sounds for up and down. He came to us not knowing how to hold a pencil. He still has some work to do, but he has improved so much! He loves drawing on his magnadoodle and is very precise. He did an phenomenal drawing of an airplane the other day. We were amazed at his detail. I didn't realize that I had not even introduced coloring to Fuad until we were at a restaurant last night. Vlado doesn't enjoy coloring, so it didn't even dawn on me to let Fuad try. He held the crayons so well and did a pretty good job of staying in the lines. He even made a color pattern on a butterfly...green, yellow, green, yellow - on its belly.
Potty training is going pretty well. That was the thing that I was least looking forward to. When he is at home, he is in underwear pretty much all the time. I still haven't tested underwear in public. I really should try though because he does a very good job of taking himself to the bathroom and he stays dry almost all the time. He is learning the other part of potty going pretty well too. I'm not sure what the school will want to do. If he is wearing a pullup, he doesn't even try to hold it. So, I guess we will talk to the teacher and see what she wants to do with him. I will not be sad to see pullups gone from this house!
When we first got home, Fuad was terrified of the dog!! If she was in the room, Fuad would not do anything but stare at her with a look of horror. Here's the bad part....the dog quite often lays down under the kids' table. She and Vlado have been buddies since the get go so it was only natural for her to be close to him. So, when Fuad came....it was just another set of feet to rub her belly (in her opinion). But, in Fuad's mind, she was under the table to eat his toes and he would NOT SIT there if she was so close. Now, however, they are friends. We are blessed that our dog is very easy going. Fuad will lay down on the floor right by Bailey's food bowl to watch her eat. The other day, the dog was laying on the couch. I looked over to see Fuad's head right by the dog's and he was twirling her tags on her collar and giggling at the tinkling sound.
I'm sure there are things that I am forgetting....strides he has made and boundaries he has pushed past. He is a great kid....I can't believe we have been blessed again with such an easy going child. I wish more people would take a chance and adopt an older child. They just need a chance to blossom. I'm so happy that God gave us the opportunity to help him reach his real potential! I'm sorry there are no pics. My camera has been MIA since we got home from Serbia. :(