Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Who They Are -- N

N was so close to being 10 months old when he arrived, we might as well have called him that. As I finally find time to write this post, he is 11 months old, having been here for over a month.

He is super sweet -- he hugs and snuggles and "kisses". He lights up when the people he loves appear....and he has quickly attached to me and to our oldest biological child. He is attaching more slowly to Mr D and the other two kids. And when I say "lights up", that almost understates it. He grins with his whole face, his sparkling eyes nearly disappearing in chubby baby cheeks, and his chin lifts up towards the person he is greeting. He waves his arms excitedly or lifts them towards me in request to be held and he kicks his feet furiously. (He's not standing alone yet.) If he's in crawling position already, he will head towards me (or Peter) at all speed.

I'm not as concerned about his attachment to me as I was at first, because he has shown some normal, age appropriate "stranger anxiety" as well. When I drop him off in the church nursery, he cries as soon as he realizes I am leaving, but he is fine in less than 5 minutes. When strangers in the grocery store try to talk to him, he stares at them blankly for a few minutes before maybe granting them a smile, a "word", or some hand clapping.

He does not like to be left to play alone, which is also age appropriate. He will entertain himself with toys for short periods if someone stays nearby -- I see him checking periodically to ensure I haven't snuck off -- which at least makes it possible for me to put his clean clothes away in his room! Mostly, though, he likes to play with someone or to be on the go somewhere.

We've had an assessment for developmental delays, and he is very slightly behind in motor skills and on target every where else. So, we will begin physical therapy soon.

He sleeps amazingly well and wakes up happy. Although I can tell that he likes some foods better than others, I've still never had him refuse one. (He will refuse food when he's full, so I don't think this is a "history of nutritional neglect" symptom; I think he's just what my mother used to call "a good eater.") Seriously, still the easiest baby I've ever had.

The CPS investigation into his injury is "complete", but everything is in something of a holding pattern because the police investigation isn't finished. I'm a little confused by all this, because I don't see how a child abuse investigation can be complete if we still don't know if there will be a criminal complaint filed. This is our first case in which child abuse charges have been considered. I suspect we will never really know if his injury is the result of some terrible accident or the effect of someone reaching a breaking point at which they snapped and hurt him; it seems to be clear that it was not part of a larger pattern of consistent, regular abuse.

I am finding it easier than I expected to set the "why" aside. I have trouble imagining him being difficult enough to lead anyone to that point (and I'm not naive about how difficult infants can be -- I had one with colic), but I've discovered that I just don't think about that all that much. The "what happened" and "why" are not our part of the the process. Our part of the process is to love on this little guy; to care for him and to ensure he is safe for the time that he is in our home. And that is what we will do. 

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