The boys have had a truly wonderful Christmas. Excitement was palpable on Christmas eve. We took the boys to the nativity service at Church in the afternoon, Joe dressed as a shepherd and Charlie as a donkey. They went up the altar at the appropriate time and Joe was picked to put the shepherds in the crib. My mum would have been proud! G and I had some friends round for dinner in the evening, and I disappeared to collect them whilst G did bath time. When we got back I thought the boys were going to explode they were so excited! We put out a mince pie, carrot and glass of sherry and hung up the new stockings that G had hand made for them, and I didn't expect much in the way of sleep. However they were asleep within 10 minutes of us saying good night, and on Christmas morning it was G and I awake, waiting with excitement for the boys to wake up! We are so lucky with their 12 hour sleep pattern!
Christmas morning was just the four of us at home. The boys are at a great age, still believers but old enough to take it all in, and of course they have no reference point for our family Christmas, so everything was a surprise to them. They opened their stockings with joy and then helped to open ours. They thought that was it in terms of presents and they were so pleased. So when they came downstairs and saw the pile under the tree they were beside themselves - however even with all that, Joe walked past his present pile to go to find the gifts he had bought for me from the PTA sale at school!
We set up the new Scalextric that Santa had bought
We spent two nights at Nanny's house before heading back home, car laden with new toys, the day after boxing day.
Our time in-between Christmas and New Year was fairly quiet, and I absolutely loved it. The boys were chilled and we had lots of laid back family time. Plenty of time watching Christmas films and playing with new toys and games. The boys behaviour was fantastic and they made our Christmas so much fun. I love school holidays. Term time, a lot of parenting seems like a job - you get up with them, feed them, wash them, dress them, make their bed, take them to school, pick them up, entertain them, feed them, bath them, read to them and put them to bed. School holidays it's much more fun, we don't have to get dressed until midday, we can watch films, be more flexible on bed times and be in no rush to get out of the house - which makes us much more laid back too.
On the 30th December, we went for lunch with a family from Charlie's class. We met Claire and Jon on a night out for reception class parents, and they told us that their little girl was also adopted. They have good friends also with an adopted little girl, in the other reception class in Charlie's school. So we were sat there with three sets of parents, and six adopted children. We felt like we had known them for ages! We had a great time, shared stories and experiences in a way that only parents that have been through the adoption process can. The children all played together brilliantly too, and I am so happy to know that the boys are going to grow up knowing lots of other adopted children, it really should help them make sense of it all as they get older.
On New Years eve we travelled to my brother's house where the whole of my side of the family gathered to recreate Christmas day. The boys had another day of great excitement, and even more new toys! Again the kids played well with their cousins and it was great to feel that we are creating family memories.
On Wednesday night Charlie was poorly and spent most of the night throwing up. We got about 2.5 hours sleep - we adopted older children and I don't feel prepared for going to work after a sleepless night!
And that brings us up to this weekend, Charlie's 5th birthday. We spent Friday evening wrapping presents and getting everything ready for his party, and we filled his room with balloons, much to his amazement when he woke up on Saturday morning. He came in and opened his presents in our room, Joe was as excited as he was and it was a struggle to hold Joe back from opening everything! Just when he thought he had opened everything, we bought him downstairs where he discovered his main present, a shiny new bike!
After breakfast, Aunty Sheri, Daisy and Harper arrived and the kids went off to play whilst Sheri helped me make the final sandwiches for the party, before loading the car and heading off to the church hall.
We had an hour to get everything ready before the guests started to arrive. The boys were hyper and did several time outs before it started, but once everything got going, they had a ball. We had an entertainer who did an amazing job, meaning that all we had to do was the food. We also laid on cheese and wine for the parents, which was really well received, and the whole event was really sociable. Charlie was of course, star of the show and he thrived under the spotlight!
In the final few minutes of the party, both boys got really clingy, they were exhausted. It's nice to know that even though they are quick to hold anyone's hand, when they are needy, it's us they seek out, and that's a fabulous indicator of their attachment. Charlie loved the party, but in true Charlie style, he was at his happiest when he could get a bin bag and start clearing up.
We had a pile of 30 presents to bring home, it was overwhelming so we are drip feeding them over the next couple of days.
Today we went out on his new bike for the first time and had an extra birthday cake just the four of us.
A really magical couple of weeks, for us as well as the boys, we just get closer and closer. Tomorrow the adoption case goes back to court to see if birth mother will be given the right to appeal. All advice suggests it will be dismissed outright, but it will be a relief to know one way or the other.