Monday, July 17, 2017

Getting to Know Samuel

(Katie)
***

Monday was the day Samuel met his forever family. I have a lot of anecdotes to share from Mom, Dad, and Allie, as well as a lot of pictures.

Monday Morning: Pre-Samuel
Last photo as a family of three

Monday Morning: During the initial meeting with Samuel
AllieMeeting Samuel this morning was magical-- to see in person the little face you have loved on a photo and in your heart for more than a year. Having him join us felt complete. Like we were missing a piece and he walked right into the space as the right fit.


Samuel is called EnCi [pronounced Un-suh] here and we are trying to call him that as well as Samuel. He doesn't seem to have any idea yet that "Samuel" is referring to him. 

He came with a backpack full of toys and clothes and books. He has the book we made and sent him as well as a change of clothes and pj's. He has hardly let it out of his sight.

Monday Morning: Samuel says goodbye to his teacher
AllieWe had a chance to ask his nanny questions. As she told us about his habits and needs, I started to worry that I could not do it all well enough for him. That I am inadequate for this job. I know that will pass and I will grow more confident each day, but today is day one. 

Dad: Samuel's teacher was so very sweet. She told Allie and Mick about Samuel and how to take care of him. She said every day in the foster home they told him, "I love you" and "Your Mama and Baba love you." She also said it was a Christian home, and when it was getting to be time to leave, she told Mick and Allie "God bless you." So sweet.  

Before she left, she bent down to talk to Samuel one more time. I don't know what she said, but she was talking very earnestly. I was mesmerized by those sweet, intimate moments. Through it, she was touching his little arm and talking very closely to him.  What was in her mind?

It was sad watching her say good-bye to him and turn and walk away.  How hard that must have been for her!



AllieHe was so brave, walking in with a beloved nanny and then walking out with us. 

Monday Afternoon: Unpacking at the hotel and an unsuccessful nap
Captain Awesome-- he hasn't taken the hat off since Allie gave it to him!

Allie: I showed the boys where their shoes go and he happily put his there. Then he found Mick's shoes and told him where they should go, next to his. 
Little brother's shoes, right next to big brother's


This afternoon we tried to take a nap because we were all exhausted. After almost an hour we gave up. Samuel would not lie still and kept playing with everything he could reach and even getting up. Isaac was on his case about it and declared it was frustrating that he wouldn't mind us. I chuckled. He's like a little mother. So instead we pulled out the toys and the boys played Legos and cars. 

Brothers
Mom: Isaac is a Brother Hen, always holding Samuel's hand, laughing at his antics, making sure his parents know what Samuel wants.  Isaac, though still bouncing off the walls, is being witty with his comments and making us laugh.


DadIsaac watches out for Samuel as he walks a little unsteadily.  Samuel fell down a couple of steps while walking with Isaac, and Isaac quickly bent down to help him. 



So far, Isaac seems comfortable with sharing his parents' attention with his brother.

AllieSamuel is a little shy but not too much. Sweet and quiet, not pushy and loud. But he can be pretty forceful when he has something in mind. I saw him push Isaac's hand away as they were playing on the tablet earlier. That was the first moment I thought, "Yes, this sweet gentle child will not let his big brother run over him." 


Isaac is enthralled. I can hardly get any Samuel time because Isaac is between us, wanting Samuel's attention.


Misc Moments
MomSamuel does not want Mama out of sight, just like Isaac was at first. 


DadSamuel is a hoot-- he is a great linguist and mimic.  He will copy whatever you say and do, and he can say it pretty darn good.  He is a cutie.  


AllieMy feelings are vacillating right now between confidence and panic. He is easily calling us Baba and Mama. He hasn't said "Isaac" but calls him "big brother" in Chinese. ("Ge ge" I think is how you would spell it.) If Isaac wanders too far away, Samuel calls out, "Ge ge?"

So far no tears from him, but I can feel the uncertainty. I feel helpless to comfort him since we don't speak the same language, and I don't want to overwhelm him with touch. We are overwhelming enough-- three of us talking to him, watching him, trying to get his attention. 


Case in point :)

***
I just spoke with the Schaefers via FaceTime, and they all seem to be doing well. Samuel is ridiculously adorable and really will repeat anything you say. Isaac was intent on showing us his dance moves and eyebrow-raising skills, so, yeah. He seems totally normal. 

Today, Mick, Allie, and Samuel head back to the office where they met him to sign more paperwork. Then Allie plans to shop a little, since Samuel is a little more teeny than she expected. :)

I'll let you know what the next few days entail when I find out!

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