He's just so stinking cute, I can't resist sharing more pictures.
First of all. WHOA. Like, you hear that kids change a lot after being adopted, but I just NEVER foresaw the scale of what they were talking about. It is unbelievable how fast he is progressing. And not just in one area, in everything. For example, let's talk about his speech. His file said he could say 10-15 single words. When we got him he was obviously saying about 30. But only single words and not very clearly. I just now tried to count his words and I got tired at 150. In only three months! And never mind this single word stuff. He regularly rattles off very long speeches, that are usually something along the lines of, "Baba is going to school. M is going to school. E is going to school. G is staying home. Mama is staying home. Baba is not staying home. Mama is staying home." Now that's not a lot of unique words, but when you consider that three months ago he could only say one word at a time, it is mind boggling. Also, we're talking about two languages here. Most of those 150 words are Chinese, but a good chunk of them are English.
Also, his gross motor skills. When we got him, he was so small that he had almost no muscles. He could only jump with one foot, could only go up stairs with his right leg leading (only the left was strong enough to hold his weight), and he could only walk about 20 yards (veeeeerryyyyy slowly) before getting tired and asking to be carried. Jumping on our trampoline, running with actual speed, climbing up slides and swinging on our swing were totally out of the question. But in these three short months, he can do all of those things! He even jumps off of things that he wouldn't have even been able to climb a few months ago. And his running is MUCH faster.
So many other things have shown such drastic improvement. He's gained the equivalent of ten months of average weight gain in just these three months, he can eat big bites of the exact same food he choked on just a few months ago, and he has learned how to actually play with toys instead of hoarding them in bags. But my favorite change is in his overall mood. He was obviously terrified when we got him. At first he was like an empty shell, making no sounds and showing no expressions. Then he was super hyperactive and didn't stop moving for weeks. Now of course, most of that is just because of the adoption, he probably wasn't like that all the time in the orphanage. But there are other behaviors that have changed too.
He doesn't have meltdowns about how much food we're giving him like he did at first, when he thought there wasn't enough. He doesn't (as often) try to answer our questions with only what he thinks we want to hear, but actually says what he wants. He has stopped sucking his fingers to help him fall asleep. And I actually don't even remember the last time we saw a full-on tantrum. He's not withdrawn, and he's not the hyperactive charmer he was at first, but now he's calmer, happier and more expressive. We knew that the books say that that happens to kids once they come home, but boy we thought this kind of difference wouldn't be showing until at least a year in!
We are so, so, so grateful for the changes we've seen! His orphanage really did their best to give him the best they could, but kids need to be in families. Seeing the way coming home has made him blossom has been one of the most remarkable experiences of my life. It's kind of like how in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis describes the thawing of Narnia as "the whole wood passing in a few hours or so from January to May." That's how it's been with G. All of his growth is normal, but to see it at this pace is just breathtaking.