We arrived back home at 10:45 last night from New York, after an eventful day. Saturday we spent half the day at Dr. Gindis for the speech evaluation, which was nothing better or worse than expected, as we had already recognized that his speech needs were pretty serious. The interesting thing was that the speech pathologist, also a Russian native, had nothing but praise for Toktogul, talking about how gentle and sweet he was, how he was unlike many of the older kids they often see who have a bitter attitude and a toughness about them that Toktogul doesn't have. She said he uses kind and respectful language that also is not as common. These things were so nice to hear, especially in light of the huge challenges in so many areas that we have ahead of us. We know and can easily see the wonderful child that lies within, and I hope that others who will work with him in the future will see it too, rather than simply seeing a little boy with huge deficits.
I also realized that we were very, very blessed as I read through one of the parent checklists and was able to list "not at all" to many of the behaviors that are attachment disorder related. I sent up a prayer of thanks to be able to honestly answer in the negative to so many issues that I know many families of older adoptees are struggling with daily. Having experienced so much intense attachment stuff with Josh, and knowing where it could have led us, I am deeply grateful that we are not seeing any serious signs with Toktogul. While I am not claiming at all that we are firmly bonded...that takes far more time than this...I feel justified in saying that we are definitely headed down the right path and I actually think Toktogul is feeling pretty connected to us in some ways. It is not what it will be in a year or so but certainly no red flags have been raised in my mind yet about attachment.
Sunday was an eventful day, as we deliberately took a 10 hour layover so we could attend a picnic for our agency's Kyrgyzstan families. Our coordinator was here from Kyrgyzstan, and Tokie was VERY excited to see Saule. Karen, our Kyrgyzstan coordinator here in Denver for Adoption Alliance, kindly offered to pick us up at the airport and then had arranged to take us out to another adoptive family's home for an introduction and horseback ride for Toktogul. You should have seen his face, what a grin he had! He loved the ride and it was a highlight of the entire weekend for him. Seeing Saule was like seeing an old friend, and though I didn't have the chance to visit with her as much as I would have liked it really was wonderful to visit with her and the other families, a few of whom are in progress. I also had the opportunity to get to know Tami better, the woman who provided us with Toktogul's baby photos, and I so enjoyed her and her daughter.
But frankly, the best part of the weekend was coming home. Man, I love my family! Seeing the other 3 guys there waiting for us at the airport was so heart-filling. Hearing "Mommy!!!" yelled out, and seeing Toktogul run into the arms of Matthew and Joshua and all three boys are tumbling over one another like bear cubs playing together under mama bear's watchful eye. Although I was speaking about attachment with us as mom and dad earlier in this post, it is not at all the same as the attachment that is obviously forming between the 3 boys. Every single time I called home, Tokie wanted to say Hi to Matthew and Joshua, and when he was given his "reward" from Dr. Gindis which was a battery operated jet and helicopter combo unit, almost the first thing he said about it was that he couldn't wait to show it to Matthew and Joshie...and he repeated that over and over the entire weekend. He even asked to talk to Matt so he could play the sounds it made over the phone to him! While we were in Denver he repeatedly said he wanted to go home to see Matthew and Joshua...so I guess it is safe to say that the Brother Bond is coming along quite nicely.
We will settle down at home for a couple of weeks, and then Matthew, Toktogul and I are off to La Foret, our church's youth summer camp. I think we all need a couple of weeks of Maxin' and Relaxin'! Matthew, of all the kids, is a real homebody and loves to just hang out doing his thing. I'm with him, enough world travel for awhile! I want to be home long enough to hear "I'm bored!!" out of the kids...but even as I write that I realize that I don't think that thus far, in all our 7 years of parenting, that I have heard that uttered even once at our house!