6 months ago today, this tiny, fragile, scared little baby was placed in my arms in Zhengzhou, China.
He was sick and skinny and starving.
He never cried unless he was asleep, and then he'd cry inconsolably.
He didn't respond to being tickled or played with. He didn't seem to hate us, but then again, he didn't appear to really notice us.
We were nervous for what life would be like. Would he ever come out of his shell?
Would he ever be healthy? Would his breathing be so labored all the time?
Would he ever feel safe, or had the trauma and neglect from his early life scarred him too deeply?
Well, today as we celebrate Milo's 6 month gotchaversary, I can hardly believe this is the same boy! It feels like just yesterday we were filling out endless paperwork and the wait seemed like it would never end. In other ways, I scarcely remember life before Milo was part of our family!
Milo has fit so seamlessly into our family that I'll admit I was waiting for the other shoe to drop for several months. I was prepared for a difficult transition. Bonding issues, post adoption depression issues, a struggle for our other children as a new child joins the family, etc. Nope; everything is awesome! We've had very minimal growing pains.
Milo continues to amaze all of us with his easy going, happy personality, his resilience, his strength.
He is happiest at home. He tends to tune the world around him out when he leaves the house. He used to do this at home, too, but slowly and cautiously he has let his guard down. He is engaged most of the day long, now. I know he's comfortable here.
As his ability and desire to make his needs known has grown, so has his trust in us. He knows when he needs something, he'll get it.
He knows he's safe. He knows he's loved. He knows Dad is funny, he knows Mom gives loves. (Don't you just laugh at his jack-o-lantern smile with those crazy teeth!?)
He knows his belly will be full and his diaper dry. He knows bath time is fun and reading books is relaxing.
He loves nothing more than being sung to and rocked, and he gives the best cuddles around.
He has become interested in the world around him, and has really started to play with toys.
He loves drinking his bottle while gazing deep into my eyes, and I enjoy feeding him his bottle while staring into his. He is a gentle and loving soul, and we are the luckiest family on earth to claim him as ours! (He had an infection on his face in these pictures. Luckily some antibiotic cream cleared it right up!)
Milo is funny and shy. He's cautious about who he gives his smiles to. You have to earn his trust first.
Milo is becoming a more adventurous eater, but still loves his bottles of home made formula the best.
To our amazement, Milo has mastered the art of going from laying down to sitting and back down again all on his own.
He's pretty much a rock star. He loves being on the move and, even though he's not technically crawling yet, he can get wherever he needs to go.
He's resourceful and clever and very much a wiggle worm!
Milo has gone from a tiny 12 pound baby to a 19 pound toddler in 6 short months. It's absolutely astonishing what the love of a family can do for a child.
It's magical. I don't know a better word for it than that. I am brought to tears almost daily in amazement of this child. He was so scared and closed off to the world when we got him.
To explain the experience of watching him become a son and a brother, grandson and nephew, cousin and friend is beyond my ability to describe with words. The love of a family has changed this boy's whole existence, and he has changed everyone in return.
Milo had a follow-up appointment with the ENT the other day to determine whether he needed his tonsils out and airway stretched. The last appointment we had was in May, and the doctor could hardly believe it was even the same child. He has grown and changed so dramatically that the surgery is no longer necessary!! He needs another sleep study to see if something needs to be done for his sleep apnea, but, once again, Milo amazed us all with his progress.
It's a rumor in adoption circles that 6 months home is a huge milestone for adopted children. They start to let themselves feel loved and safe. I had my doubts, but now I've actually seen the truth of it.
Milo has suddenly decided he LOVES this adored son gig! He has been extremely vocal (like yelling at me all day long) in expressing his needs and desires. He has become super duper smiley, and is engaged like I've never seen him before. All in the last week and a half. I keep waiting for him to revert back, but he doesn't!
Last night during our family scripture study, Milo became giddy. He started laughing every time we said our other son's name. He'd throw his head back and laugh hysterically. He then tickled his brother and started making his funny faces to make us all laugh. Oh boy, did we ever. The whole family. Tears streaming down our cheeks laughing.
He is nothing but pure and complete joy.
I simply can't wait to see what the next 6 months brings!!
We love you dearly, Milo Yang!! Happy 6 months; here's to months without end!
If you have ever considered adoption, I implore you to further explore the option. It changes lives. Yes, it can bring struggles, but it also brings joy the likes of which I've never experienced before. There are SO many children waiting for families. As if I didn't already know it, it's reaffirmed to me daily that children belong in families. If you ever have any questions about adoption, please feel free to email me! I'd love to answer any questions you have! My email address is email@example.com.