Monday, August 13, 2012

Happy "Gotcha" Day

Today marks 5 years since Cainan became part of our forever family.  5 years ago, Mat and Aunt Betty stood in a waiting room in Chenzhou, China, waiting to meet the little boy we had only seen pictures of.  A little boy that at 10 months old had a full set of teeth and LOADS of hair.
Mat spent the next week with Cainan in China getting to know him.  Cainan was mistaken for a girl several times because he had such long hair.  He was a good eater, a good sleeper, and a happy boy.

When he came home, he fit in pretty easily.  He did have some struggles from the orphanage.  He had never been exposed to much, so everything startled him, and his first year he was unsettled a lot of the time.  He had never been in grass, or sand, or a stroller, or really outside.  You don't think about it, but he was terrified of everything.

But he could eat!  And he would eat a TON.  He weighed just 14 pounds at 14 months old, but within a few months he caught up.  He didn't walk when we brought him home.  He didn't even know how to crawl.  but he quickly learned.

And of course, because of his cleft lip and palate, he didn't speak.  He said his first word after his surgery "mama".  It was great.  By the time he had his palate repaired at 18 months, he started talking in earnest.

He had a flat head, he wouldn't let anyone but me touch his legs, and his thumbs were tucked in his palms at all times.  We later learned that he was tied in the bed for many hours because they had no way to keep the kids from falling out.  And they would wrap the kids hands to keep them from sucking their hands.  He had no idea how to use his thumbs.

For a year, Cainan wore braces on his hands to stretch his fingers.  He had countless hours of therapies.  He had 6 surgeries on his mouth.  He had tubes placed in his ears.  He had a helmet for 6 months to help round out his head.

And then......once all that was past.....he blossomed.  He settled in, and has become a very easy going, normal 6 years old boy.  He runs, jumps, and laughs.  He loves super heroes, cars, legos, and Toy Story.  He is a blessing to our family.

You would never know this was the same kid Mat picked up in 2007.  I looked at him tonight before he went to sleep, sitting in his bed flipping through a comic book, listening to Magic Tree house on CD.  I wondered if his birth mother thought about him.  I wish she knew what a great kid he is.

Happy "Gotcha" Day little man.  You make us happier every day.


Laura said...

We are so glad Cainan and Jonathan were in Mrs Hurley's class! Even more excited that they will continue to learn together next year!
Happy Gotcha Day Cainan!

The Kovalls said...

It's unbelievable how great he has become. Good job, Pletchers! We love Cainan so much!