Wednesday, September 3, 2008

6 Months Home and Proud as Can Be

When Andrew first learned how to roll over as an infant, I swore the heavens would part and a dove would descend with an offer for a Fulbright scholarship grasped in its beak. On that day, I was so full of pride that I immediately emailed the grandparents to proclaim the good news. I would've shared it with more people if Andrew hadn't interrupted me with one of his colicky fits. Good thing it was because I'm sure I would have caused many folks to roll their eyes and snort behind my back.

Stop and think for a moment: why is it that many of us get turned off by braggartly parents? To take pride in our children's accomplishments is only natural; after all, they are our kids and we delight in seeing them grow. We cheer with them when they succeed because we're madly in love with them. There's nothing wrong there.

On the other hand, the cynical side of me suspects that we sometimes take undue credit for their achievements. After all, our kids - at least the biological ones - bear our genetic imprint. It's so easy to flatter ourselves in light of their progress, even though their accomplishments have little to do with our parenting and everything to do with the grace of God. We can so easily wrap our identities and self-worth in what our children can and cannot do.

Considering William is of no blood relation to me, it's much easier for me to look at his development and to see the hand of God at work. Hubris doesn't - can't - get in the way. Looking back on the last 6 months William has been with us, God really has done a lot. And in that, I take great pride.

(Now say the following in your best, booming Charlton Heston voice:)

"Behold - the hand of God..."

Walking. Every day, William walks further and further. You can witness the difference for yourself in the video below. Compared to the video 3 posts ago, he's gaining more distance and now walks about 60% of the time, crawling the other 40%. Whenever he falls, he fusses, not because he hurt himself, but out of frustration. He wants so badly to walk well.

He is also getting proficient at turning as he walks and can even pull himself up to a standing position without support. What a far cry from the slithering baby we brought home 6 months ago.

Talking. To date, we've counted a vocabulary of 8 words: "Ma," Da," "Gege," "Andrew," "Gou" (dog), "Dien deng" (light), "truck," and "Elmo." I don't suppose that "woof!" counts as 9? I'm surprised William has picked up this many words at 13 months since we are trying our best to raise him bilingual. From what I've read, many children who are raised to speak two languages often experience delays in picking up any vocabulary simply because they have twice the number of words to learn.

Comprehension. In tandem with his newfound speaking ability, it has been wonderful to see William beginning to understand the things we tell him. From time to time, he still tries to bang on the television when Andrew is watching, but at least he now understands the meaning of "no." You can see the comprehension register in the thoughtful look on his face and the "Should I? or Shouldn't I?" glances back and forth at the t.v. Of course, this doesn't mean he always obeys but the fact that he often does is something to shout about.

In other news, William has learned to hold his own bottle. When he finally figured it out, he was so proud of himself. Weeks later, he still sets his bottle down just to cheer and clap for himself. He's also getting better at using a fork.

There's so much more to report but I'll save it for another time. I'm aware that even adoptive parents can begin to sound obnoxiously proud after a point. And anyhow, I think I hear the sound of fluttering bird wings descending from somewhere above. Excuse me while I go check.


Mel said...

William just gets cuter every day! Congrats on his progressing vocabulary and walking skills. He always looks like such a happy boy...and I know he is!

I've been thinking of you guys today. Six months is such a milestone. Glad we share it with you!

Tell William that Odin says, "Hey!"

Amy from Occupation: Mommy said...

I think each of these milestones in our children are miraculous! Well worth being proud about. Happy six months home!

Tsang Family said...

Happy 6 month anniversary with William!! Time does fly! He is doing so well and adorable as always!

Lori & his former roommate Samantha!

Tami and Bobby Sisemore Family said...

Happy 6 months home my friend! Wow, our boys are coming home 6 months apart. Who would have thought!

Big hugs
Noah's Mommy

Paul and Heather said...

Oh I just love how proud he looks when he makes it all the way across the room!!! You rock on with your proud self!!! You deserve to be proud of your kids!!!

momwithfaithandhope said...

As I prepare to come home, (prayerfully today) it's refreshing to see a "6 months home post" - And I appreciate how you've addressed this from both the bio and adoptive perspectives. Hugs to you! Tiff

Sarah k said...

Too cute! AND You are right my dear. We do take credit for way too much! I use to joke with people when they would compliment my friend on her daughter.. I would go "ah yes, we all sat down one night with a catalog and picked out her eyes, her hair, her nose.. "..LOL... they gave me the oddest looks! BUT none the less.. here it comes.. HE IS TOO CUTE!!!!! Congratulations Little SIR WILLIAM for your accomplishment of walking!!!

Sarah k.

mly95014 said...

Happy 6 month Anniversary Judy, William and family! I've been meaning to send you a private email but chasing a growing toddler has been much busier and hectic than I thought :) Matthew, William's buddy says hi :)