Diego and I spent a good part of the morning wrestling. It seemed like a particular guy thing to do. He was full of energy, I was full of energy, so we decided to try some WWE moves using the sofa. He loved it, even when he got a tiny shiner when his eye hit my knee (he tried to do a body slam from the armrest). It was fun, lots of laughter and yelling and hugging.
For so long – three years – Diego has been an abstract thought, the “what if” person in the family. When we adopted them, the girls didn’t know they had a younger brother, much less that the Bienestar had asked us to consider adopting him. So we taught them to pray for him (Let’s pray for Diego. “Quien es Diego? Tu hermano – your brother. Oh, ok.”), but waited until the adoption process was well on its way before telling them we were trying to bring him home.
Now – finally able to play with him, cook for him, teach him, hug him, and laugh with him – I’m struck by how natural it feels. Perhaps this is because we’re already parents, capable (somewhat) of dealing with the ups and downs. Perhaps it’s because he’s been a prayer on our hearts for 3 years.
But part of it is how easy a kid Diego is. I feel that I should qualify that statement because this is way too early in the game to make such statements. That said, any adoptive parent worth their salt prepares for the worst and is happily surprised when the worst doesn’t manifest. In the nearly 2 weeks of being a family we’ve had to do very little discipline nor have had any major meltdown (which, truly, surprises me to no end).
That said, Diego finally cried today. He’s pushed a few boundries (gotta see where the edge is after all) and got a significant timeout. The parenting skills kicked in (try agains, lots of practice, clear communication, natural consequences) and by dinner we were back in shape.
Tomorrow we’ll play some more. We’ll walk, maybe swim a bit, try out new English (Ren’s sneaking in some schooling). I really, really miss my daughters. But I’m happy to wrestle with my son.