Teddy and my weary world-travelers are home – praise the Lord!
Today is day five and I feel I am only just starting to get a sense of what things might be hard about our new normal and what things are going to be awesome. And it will likely all change again by this time next week.
The first few nights, Teddy was jetlagged, which meant he was wide awake in the middle of the night. This was when we learned (well, we sort of already knew) that Teddy is a great collector and relocator of things. He helped himself to a few of the sweets Trevor had brought back from China to share, but not as many of them as we initially thought – he hid a second box in Niko’s bed. The next morning, he had stashed a few pieces of (fairly important, undealt-with) mail in the puzzle cupboard in his room, my Borax and Trevor’s shaving cream in the fridge, and all the pens and pencils we keep in the kitchen in the big crayon basket in the boys’ room. We can chuckle about it now, because as he’s slept later each morning he’s had less time to devote his item relocation program, but it was pretty unsettling.
He is mostly very happy and sweet, game for whatever the kids are busy with. He does have a very strong stubborn streak, which I’m sure we will see more of as time goes on, but for now, he is mostly happy to be with us and do what we’re doing.
He immediately adored Coraline, having apparently identified her as a smaller, squishier version of Bea. He is fascinated with Delia. They both love to give each other hugs, but usually only at times when the other doesn’t want one. It will be an interesting dynamic to watch! Lewis is enjoying him tremendously and suddenly seems like the resident big kid in charge, excitedly introducing Teddy to all the fun things about being a Young (“Teddy! Tuppon (Come on)!” All of the kids are just really excited he’s finally here.
Teddy is super affectionate. He was uncertain about me when he first got home on Saturday, but I got my first bear hug on Sunday morning just towards the end of our church service. I then got my second through twelfth bear hug, along with hugs and kisses for Niko, Bea, and Pippa. At first, we could hear “aww”s from the pews around us, then “aww”s gave way to giggles as he kept relentlessly smothering us with hugs and kisses. It was pretty sweet, but it got less entertaining when I finally had to try to peel him off his siblings, and that was no easy feat!
All things considered, we’ve had a good first week. Going from 8 kids (I got a little bit comfy there!) to 11 was an adjustment for me. I think I had prepared myself for Teddy being hard, but forgot what an adjustment it would be for everyone else. As always, God’s grace has been huge, I just need to learn to lean into it more. We are so thankful for the incredible gift He has given us in our new son. Welcome home, Thaddeus Merit. You’re officially a Young now!