He loves to ride bikes and scooters. Soccer is by far his favorite sport and he is really good at it too! When he plays he puts on Jacob’s adidas shorts and Messi jersey. He loves power tools and was trying to drill holes in the garage wall. I stopped him just in time.
Car rides are a treat. His favorite car is a “Moostang” as he says in his Latvian accent.
He loves to help do anything. You never have to ask him to do anything for himself. He is fully capable of taking care of himself and needs no help. He has amazing patience when he is trying to figure something out. He is methodical and calculating. He is a great problem solver, very creative, and incredibly bright.
Whatever he does he does it fully and completely and in a particular fashion. He is neat and tidy. He cleans up after himself. I’ve never had to ask him to put away dirty clothes or dishes. He just does it naturally.
My movie box is a disaster because I just throw movies in with no thought to neatness. When he saw my disorganized box, he sat down with it and organized the box neatly stacking everything so it fit properly. He began really speaking my language then!
He is the best eater I’ve ever seen in my life. He has not turned down one thing offered to him. He eats everything our family eats with zero complaining. This is amazing given how sweetened, salted, and processed American food is.
He loves rap music. We compromised and I put Christian rap on Pandora. Honestly, he doesn’t know the difference since it’s in English, but rather than hearing lyrics of hating people we are hearing lyrics of loving God 🙂
On Wednesday we were riding home from picking the boys up from school when I turned the christian rap up really loud. Through the rearview mirror, I saw Jacob’s eyes about to bulge out of his head, so I quickly turned and told him it was christian music. He let out that breath he was holding and started bopping to the beat. I almost cracked up when a song came on and Jacob said, “Oh this is my favorite song.” He’s never heard one of those songs a day in his life! But it was so fun watching those boys with sunglasses on bouncing around the car.
His bond is deepening with Steve. When steve is at work, he is asking how much longer. He gives thought to Steve throughout the day. At Walmart he picked up a pack of gum and asked me to buy it for “dad”. When he made an ornament, he wrapped it and gave it to “dad” as a gift.
Most things I offer he says no to, but I just begin doing it and he joins me. “You want to help me cook?”
“No,” he says initially. Then he slowly moves towards me and picks up a spoon and starts to help.
“You want to play cars?”
“No,” he will respond as he watches me rolling cars back and forth. 30 seconds later he is joining me on the floor.
He will give anything a try for the most part.
I watch his eyes while he is watching family life take place all around him. It’s all soaking in. Likely something he has never seen before.
During a Christmas cookie baking activity, I had a job for each of the boys. His natural reaction is “Me.” That is natural of most kids, but particular an orphan who is visiting America and experiencing all of these fun things for the first time.
He reached his hand out and tried to take Zachary’s measuring cup away from he saying, “Me.”
Zachary quickly gave it to him, and I was on the verge of stepping in to explain that we must take turns and not to take from each other. But I didn’t have to. An expression came over his face as his hand stopped in mid-air with the measuring cup. He turned back to Zachary and said, “You.”
The two boys went back and forth insisting each take a turn until I told Zachary to please allow this opportunity for Viktors to allow someone to go before himself. Zachary felt uncomfortable with this, but Viktors felt a sense of what he sees in this family. A give and take. And for the first time he was on the give side. I imagine he felt warm inside.
During family movie night of Polar Express, I passed out candy to each of the boys on fun Christmas plates. The Mike and Ike’s Viktors had been begging for since the moment they entered our house. When I sat down, my child who will share anything with anyone (Zachary), held his plate out to me to offer some candy.
“Aww, you are so sweet, thank you for sharing.” I smiled and savored that tiny piece of candy. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Viktors watching closely. 5 seconds later he held his plate out to me and offered a piece of his own candy to which I graciously took a piece.
It’s all soaking in. Family life is being absorbed into him like a sponge. This child can do family life.