One thing I'll be really grateful forever is the beautiful, really lovingly made scrapbook and the over 1200 selected photos P's previous family gave us of the 14 months he lived with them. P also seems to have a great many photos from the 5 years he spent in the group home in Hungary, as well as a handful of baby photos from the infant home. P's two biological half sisters still live with the family, so we all intend to keep in touch on a level that all the children feel comfortable with.
This evening after showers and before bed P pulled out the scrapbook and set down with Kevin and I to look through it. I believe the mom made this scrapbook in the last several weeks as they were deciding to disrupt, because the scrapbook is not about their family, really: it's about P.
P's first visit to the Zoo.
P's first time in a restaurant.
P's first Christmas.
P's first time to the cinema.
P's first birthday party.
P's first this, P's first that.
It seems it's all P's firsts.
Except... they weren't.
To be honest, most of them weren't his first anything. P says that they used to go to the Zoo in Budapest and the wildlife park in the city where he lived "aaaaall the time", and that while they only went for Sunday early afternoon shows at the movies, they regularly went to the puppet theatre, the children's theatre and even to the opera, which P found boooooooooooooooooooring. I don't blame him, if I were a 6-year-old not-yet-reading Hungarian kid dragged to an Italian opera in the original language...yeah, I'd find it boring, too. He also told of birthday parties with his school friends at the group home and McDonald's, and so on, and so on.
"They never cared about what was before," he said. And I completely understood.
P has been very open about his life in Hungary. He hardly ever talks about the last 14 months, but he talks about his friends and caregivers and "home siblings" and classmates and neighbours all the time. He mostly talks about them to the boys, as they swap stories of their lives in Hungary, but he lets us hear it, and today, after two weeks, he purposefully sought us out to share. Which was a first.
Oh yes, we do have less shiny bright moments. Like when whatever we ask of him, his first response is always no - even if he is already starting to do what he was asked. Or when he purposefully uses meat dishes for dairy or vica versa. He is seriously testing his limits at times, but he is doing well in our crazy but pretty well structured days. We are all about structure for the kids, though the pillars of the day are modified over time to accommodate their needs.