Adoption Finalized

It’s been a while since our last family-related post. With everything else going on, we forgot to mention that we had our final court hearing last Wednesday (the 8th). It was really a formality, but a requirement in order to get birth certificates issued for the boys from the United States. That just makes some things simpler, such as registering for school. It isn’t really a big deal. Anyway, this was technically the “finalization” of our adoption.

The judge is an adoptive parent himself, and likes to keep the proceedings informal and fun. He asked us three simple questions, and said, “OK”.  We spent the rest of the time playing around in the courtroom. He let the boys climb up behind his stand, pound on the desk with his gavel, and sing into the microphone. They also had balloons set out for the kids. As you can see in the pictures, they enjoyed themselves.

The boys continue to make their adjustments. Evan learns more English every day. Today he even wrote out his name without have to trace on top of an outline. Lara and I were both impressed. He has also started to understand the difference between English and Russian. Every once in a while, he’ll point to an object and say “in Russian, that’s…”, or he might ask us to please speak to him in Russian. It’s pretty cool watching a little kid learn to distinguish languages.

He’s also starting to show some signs of confused feelings. We’ve received a couple of calls from school about him throwing his shoes or hitting his teachers. It usually seems to happen around “quiet time”, which he has never really handled very well (though that’s no excuse). He’ll occasionally say something like, “I want to go home to Russia”. We don’t take it to be anything serious. It’s like a lot of kids who might say they wished they lived somewhere else when not everything is going their way.

Alex is starting to feel his oats as he approaches the “terrible threes”. He gets more and more testy, which as frustrating as it can be, is actually kind of encouraging too. He started off a little too compliant for a two year old, so we’re glad to see him developing a sense of himself. Alex has quite a bit going on. He’s going to have tubes put in his ears, he is starting physical therapy to improve his strength and gross motor skills, occupational therapy to improve his fine motor skills (especially chewing), and speech therapy. It seems like a heavy load, but at the same time, it’s hard to deny him help if someone is willing to offer. We’ll just see how all of this goes.

Both boys have taken to spontaneous signs of affection, which has drawn a few tears from Lara. Out of the blue, they’ll walk up and give one of us a hug or a kiss. Evan will even say “I love you”, for no apparent reason at all. Needless to say, that’s one of the most encouraging experiences of all.

In another first, the boys celebrated Valentine’s Day at school on Tuesday. They came home with a bag of cards and candy bigger than what they had for Halloween. Hey, America is an awesome place! In the pictures, you can also see that they were pretty excited to get a stuffed Valentine’s bear from Grandma Judy and Grandpa Gary. They now have new sleeping partners.

That’s about all for now. We’ll be off to swim lessons again in the morning. Now that Christmas is past, Target started stocking pool toys again, so we got each of them a pair of goggles. We’ll get to try those out for the first time tomorrow. It should be fun!

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