Though there still are stressful moments, I find myself more able to focus on the joy in being a new mama now. My intuition says that the boys are really starting to love their mama, not just need their mama. Signs of more attachment are coming.
Though clearly not their favorite thing, they are sometimes willing to go to the time out chair to talk to mama about what just happened and what they will do differently.
And if they are pushing too many buttons, struggling to listen, I have begun to ask- do you love mama? and now Erik will say yes.
They play nicely together almost all of the time. THey wrestle each other safely. They compete to sit together on mama's lap. And they are excited for "bible story" time in the evening with pop up pictures in the book to help. They compete to pray at the table at all meals and again after bible story. Primarily it is thank you for this and that- but it has moved on from just listing our family members and food to thanks for birthday gifts and people who have visited and whatever else they remember and appreciate. (I wonder if I prayed aloud spontaneously at that age)
The thing that still bring out the fierce competetiveness is the special shopping carts with cars they can sit in. If there is only one or there is only one parent, it is a very complicated and delicate situation. After a very loud tantrum this week a store employee came up this week and said- hey if your mama is so bad, why dont you come with me- here come with me. Well then mama was not so bad and he clung to mama for all he was worth.
There are also family moments of going for a walk, all 4 holding hands. Or all 4 sitting to watch a film.
And there are memories they relate from the past experiences with orphanage staff that bring them joy and a sense of accomplishment as well.
And now they relax against my body for comfort. This was one thing that was noticably missing at first. They might want to be held, but it was not a relaxed trusting thing, especially at night. And not to be able to comfort your child is a bit stressful as a parent.
We're getting there!