things are going well! it's hard at times, of course, and we're all adjusting to being in this newly formed family, but the kids show all the signs of developing perfectly healthy attachments. There are some fun orphanage behaviors that we're working through, but nothing serious at all. Trying to figure out how to make more time for big kid stuff, when the two little ones need to be watched and have my attention 24/7 at this point, and they seem to feel that they need to eat anytime we're near the kitchen -- we need to set up a good space for learning that isn't in the kitchen, because nothing but serious eating can happen there! :) and honestly, it's hard to find time to crack open the art materials when I'm keeping the house clean, but if I'm not keeping the house clean, there is nowhere to crack anything open. finding the balance... ;)
I am so thankful for everyone who has taken care of these little ones in their lifetimes -- they may hit and spit and bite when they're mad, but they have been loved, and it has made all the difference for them.
We did, in the end (after we got to know them) decide to add first names for them. We mostly call Naomi Rose "Rosie" and Zachary Marvin gets it all -- Zachary Marvin, Marvin, Zachary, Zach, Z, buddy, bubs, (even 'Dexter' when my mama reflex jumps to tell him to stop doing something :)) and he always seems to know when we're talking to him. I notice that he still refers to himself as Marvin (or "Maviney", I think because we call Rose "Rosie" he added an "ie" to his name too. :)) when he sees photos of himself or is referring to himself or something that is his... We had gone around and around about changing or adding a name for him, since my uncle is named marvin, and it just isn't a name I would ever name my kid, but we had decided that it was his name, and we weren't going to change it at all. Then I met him, and began using the name all the time, and when I was feeling affectionate, it was fine -- it's beautiful the way Ugandans say it, and I tried to coerce my husband into spelling it Mavin and calling him that, but he wasn't crazy about that idea, and I admit, pronunciation would be a constant issue for people...
anyway, this little man was claiming me as his mama in all sorts of physical ways -- hands up my shirt, fingers in my mouth and nose, sleeping directly on top of me all the time, (or alternately screaming at me if I touched him at night. :)), trying to get me to touch tongues with him, and just being super, super affectionate yet testing me like crazy all the time, seeing how he could piss me off. It was during that phase that I struggled with sometimes feeling less than connected with him, and more often wondering what the hell we had gotten ourselves into. calling him a name I just wouldn't name a child and hearing my kids call him that name when we were cranky with him just made me feel less in love with him -- something I've never heard anyone else mention happening, and wasn't expecting. I have heard people say "I just don't like the name, so I'm changing it" and I've always felt that those people should grow up and do what's best for the kid. I wouldn't say I don't like the name Marvin, because I have grown to like it and even love it, but somehow using it when I'm upset with him makes me feel like I'm babysitting someone else's kid. I think I needed to put my stamp on him, as he was (and continues to) put his stamp all over me, all the time. :)
I mostly call him Zachary Marvin, unless I'm rushing, then it's Zach, and he responds to everything we have called him, and loves to say "Zachary Marvin" and seems to like the sound of the name, even if he doesn't really inherently think of himself as Zachary. We'll see what he most identifies with once he can speak english a bit more -- at this point he still thinks of himself as Marvin, and that's fine, we'll keep using both names, and my goal is for him to feel equally comfortable with both names so he can choose for himself as he gets older. I'm realizing that lots of people have several names, nicknames, etc, and it's really not such a big deal for kids to answer to more than one thing. I hadn't ever expected to want to change his name simply to speed up the attachment process on my end, but it definitely has that effect to call your child a name you love. And I love both names, when used together especially -- we chose the name Zachary specifically because it goes well with Marvin -- couldn't really think of any other names that we liked that would roll with Marvin well enough to use them together until he decides for himself. I do tend to pronounce Marvin the way he himself does, even if it does sound like I'm putting on a fake accent. :)
I try to use Naomi Rose, and do sometimes (sort of under the same circumstances you might use a child's middle name) but she is just Rosie through and through... we wanted to make it the same for both of them though, and I do love the name Naomi, and it does suit her, but "baby rose" is hard to shake! :)
just thought I'd share, since the name change conversation happens so often, and we decided to go that route...
thank you to everyone who has followed our journey, it's been long and crazy, but worth every minute!