Well, I started this post this afternoon while I was trying to stay awake, and now everyone is in bed and I’m falling asleep at the computer, so it will be short.  I wanted to try to get some pics up and just let you all know that we are doing well.  The days are good–Asher does not seem sad at all during the day and we don’t have any trouble keeping him up.  Trent and I, however, are nodding off by late afternoon.  Asher has been playing, copying and following the sibs around with lots of smiles and laughter while interacting with all of us.  It’s so great to see. We are still working to firmly/gently correct some undisciplined/learned behavior from his life before us.  He has a tendency to bite, spit and hit (and was genuinely SHOCKED when we told him NO).  The hitting and biting are hardly ever out of anger or even frustration, just misguided excitement or playing. We were told by many–including the agency–that the parenting style in thailand is much more laid back for small children.  They are not disciplined and behavior like this is often just laughed at or mildly reprimanded with no consequences.  We’re trying to exercise plenty of grace while still maintaining our household rules.  He’s doing better and better each day.  We’ve especially seen improvements with the way he interacts with Sydney.  They took a bath together last night and he was mesmerized when I washed her hair.  The hair he had previously pulled, he very gently was patting and saying “WOW” and running his hand on her head.  It was pretty cute.  He was rough with her at first, but now has been being very gentle.

The nights have been pretty rough.  I think we all are fighting the jetlag–our bodies think we should be awake!– and this is also when his grieving comes out.  He goes TO sleep like a champ.  10 minutes tops.  However, for the last 3 nights he’s struggled, been awake and sad or very agitated between midnight and about 4 or 5am–off and on.  He starts in his crib right next to our bed, then we’ve moved him into our bed, where he seems calmer, but even in a dozey state, he’s an aggressive little sleeper–kicking and whatnot. (Again–not out of anger, just unfortunate sleeping style.) So we’ve been taking turns leaving the bed and sleeping on the bottom bunk in C’s room.  It’s not an ideal situation, and it’s made for long nights and tiring days, but we know it could be worse.

My friend Diane asked a bunch of questions and I won’t be able to answer all of them, but I’ll try.  🙂  Syd and Carson are still doing great with all of it.  Carson lost a tooth within hours of our return, and when one of his BFF’s called for a congratulatory conversation, I was eavesdropping and Carson said, with all intonation of a rehearsed teenager “Oh, sorry.  That noise is my little brother.  He’s APPARENTLY having a very loud bath right now.”   I’ve heard both of them drop the term “baby brother” or “little brother” several times in conversation.  They have heard us using several Thai terms to talk with him, but often get it mixed up.  So sometimes they are scolding him and all he hears is “HELLO!  HELLO!”  or when they are snuggling up to him they say “let’s eat!  Let’s eat!”  But they have been very patient and loving.  Sydney struggles with being TOO loving.  A couple of times she got whacked in the face by her precious baby brother, and I kind of didn’t want to correct him, b/c she was totally all up in his space!  We say “Back away, Sydney!” many times a day.  But I wonder if all that loving on him is why he’s made such great strides in treating her more gently.

Asher babbles a lot, and I wish I knew more of what he was saying, to know if it is actually an attempt at a Thai word.  We know he says “kai” which is chicken, and to him it means “eat,” and he says “naam” which is water and “mae” which is mom for his foster mom.  🙁  But he’s picking up a few English words and is getting good at mimicking our voices.  He called Sydney “NEE”, he calls Mommy “MEE” and Daddy “DEE.”  So far he’s still working on the hard “K” sound in Carson.  He says Buh-bye, Uh-oh, and NO. 

Right now we are really not having any visitors other than people who are bringing our meals. (http://www.takethemameal.com/meals.php?t=HBZJ6896)  Which, btw, has been a LIFESAVER.  I’m barely functioning enough to shower, let alone prepare meals.  I’m kind of thinking about stopping this post right now so I can sleep.  😉  But I’ll finish up.  We decided to start having some family members over in small numbers, and just spend a casual hour or two interacting with our family, including Asher, of course.  So far, that is working well.  We really want to try to focus on just establishing our routine and our family dynamic before introducing our wonderful world of friends.

OK, really, I need to go to sleep.  But one more question Di asked was what souvenirs we got in Thailand.  🙂  Trent got each of the boys some Thai boxing shorts.  That is a very popular sport there, and Ashersaran’s foster family said he liked to watch it sometimes on TV with his foster dad.  We got Carson a hand-carved chess set, b/c Trent is teaching him to play.  We got Syd 3 different little dresses/tunics made in Thailand.  I got myself some silver earrings, a traditional Thai sarong, the Starbucks mug and a Thai silk scarf.  Trent didn’t really get anything for himself.  Other than a new son.  😉  Let me know if you think of any other questions–about the trip, Asher, or adoption! 

Here’s several pics, but I don’t have energy to caption each one.  You are smart…you’ll figure them out.  😉 I will say, this first one is of that monumental milestone: first happy bathtime!

Forever linked to sweet Layla!  Someday he won’t be so quick to shun those kisses.

The beloved Pantip!  As one other friend said: “If these walls could talk!”  Oh, the intense emotions they have held.

OK, I’ll caption this one too.  It is our teeny-tiny hotel room in the Seoul airport.  We paid for 9 hours of time.  Worth every penny!
First night and morning home: