Friends are requesting updates on the children. Ajay and Smita are a bundle of non-stop action. I will tackle Ajay first since he is the oldest...then Smita.
We are in awe of how well Ajay and Smita are adjusting to life in our American family! Given that we knew very little about the children other than photos and a short video clip, we prepared ourselves for the worst-case scenarios and set no expectations for the children. The bonding and adjustments are going better than we dreamed possible.
All four of our children are getting along great. Ajay and Smita anxiously anticipate the arrival of their sisters when they return home from school. It is sweet to see the big embraces when they walk through the door. They all love to jump on the trampoline together for at least an hour every afternoon, even in the cold! Two days after the children came home, Ansley (9) walked into my room carrying Smita (9) in her arms like a baby and said, "Mommy, I wasn't excited about the adoption at first (two-years-ago), but now I am soooo happy about it!" That was an awesome moment!
So after having the children home in America for about 10 days, here is a little update:
Ajay is happy, affectionate, and full of energy. His morning begins with lots of hugs, kisses, and "good mornings" for everyone. It's hard to get up grouchy with his smile in your face! The orphanage labeled him as "naughty." He does tend to get into "trouble" sometimes (dumping red melted Scentsy wax on the carpet, running across the carpet in muddy shoes, breaking a Christmas ornament, spilling his drink), but a lot of his mischief is due to curiosity. When he realizes his mistake, he is usually sincerely apologetic and does his best not to repeat it. Overall, his desire is to obey and to please his parents. Ajay is an entertainer. He loves music and is attracted to every instrument that he sees...guitars, keyboards, pianos, drums, kazoos, recorders. He sings beautifully, and he has Bollywood-style dancing skills! Ajay has a sense of humor and likes to tease and joke around. At the Hindi-speaking pediatrician's office, the children received a flu shot. When the doctor explained that they would get an injection, Ajay said in his best macho voice, "Give me the big one!" The doctor said that he definitely has a sense of humor. One afternoon, I was finishing off a candy cane when Ajay said that he wanted some. There was no more left, so I took a piece out of my mouth and offered it to him. I think I offended him, because he screamed, waved his hand in the air and said, "no, no, no, no." He loves to give me a hard time about that incident. Every day, he holds his fingers up to his mouth like he's taking something out of it, then acts like he's offering it to me, then says, "no, no, no, no," then we both laugh. He won't let me forget about it! Very cute! When Ajay doesn't get his way, he will whine sometimes, but that is becoming less frequent as he is learning that it will get him absolutely nothing. Whining is common in orphanages and usually caregivers will give into it just to get the children to be quiet. Ajay shows compassion to others when they are sad. If his new sisters are crying or pouting over something, he will give them hugs and kisses. We are starting to discern between three different kinds of hugs from Ajay: loving hug, apologetic hug, manipulative hug. The last one comes when he is asking for something that he wants (toy, tv, candy) that he thinks he might not get. We're on to his ways...haha! Ajay likes to play with all toys including Barbie dolls and kitchen sets. In an orphanage of 100 children, there were only 5 boys, so he basically lived with women and girls. If the girls are wearing boots, he wants boots. If the girls are wearing a necklace and bracelet, he wants those, too. He squeals and flails his arms like a girl because that's all he's ever been around. Ajay likes fashion and enjoys accessorizing all of his outfits with belts, hats, sunglasses, etc. However, in lots of ways, Ajay is all boy. Jeff looks forward to eventually training him in Jui Jitsu...Jeff thinks he has the perfect lean limbs to twist up like a spider man on the mat. Ajay is flirty (probably due to all the movies he was exposed to in India), he is romantic (gives flowers, gifts, kisses, compliments), and I think he will be a heart-breaker one day! Ajay is the size of a six-year-old, due to malnutrition and probably some genetics. His maturity level is also like a six-year-old. He definitely does not act like a typical ten-year-old boy. This does not come as a surprise due to the number of years that he was institutionalized. We are still unwrapping all of the layers that make up Ajay. He is fun, loving, peaceful, and affectionate...a dream come true. When we were trying to decide whether or not to accept the referral of the children, Ajay was our main concern due to his age (older than one of our bio daughters) and a label of delayed speech. No one could tell us what the issue was with his speech. We ordered psychological evaluations for him plus an IQ test which really told us absolutely nothing in the end. The test results took four long months to get back. During that time, we flip-flopped repeatedly on whether to accept the referral or not...we had no idea what we would be up against. In the end, we felt that they were our children and that we were supposed say yes to them regardless of the test results. When the doctor's report finally came in, their was a middle name given to Ajay. We knew he had a middle initial of A, but didn't know what it stood for... His name was written "Ajay Ashokbhai." I love researching the meaning of names, so I hurried to find the meaning of Ashokbhai. Bhai is often attached to the end of male names, means "brother," and shows respect or affection. I translated Ashokbhai to mean "brother who will not cause sorrow." In other words, we would not be sorry for saying yes to Ajay. Speaking of names, name meanings must be very significant in India because several times when we mentioned the children's names, they would share the meaning of the name with us. Several men (taxi drivers, tour guide) got excited when they heard the name Ajay. Ajay means invincible and unconquerable. All of the men said that Ajay was a strong name and meant "champion." Interesting! So far, Ajay radiates joy, and we are all falling in love with him.