I wanted to give you some tips that have helped us in transition with Micah since I know there are so many others adopting older children ( praise God!) A lot of this I gathered from other moms and it has held true and some I have just had to trial and error it. I have only been at this 6 weeks so I can only tell you what is working for us so far.....
Expect to deduct a year to two years from their age and that is how they act. Micah is more like an 8 year old than a ten year old. In some ways,,he is an old soul, but others, he gets excited, pouts & plays like someone much younger. He likes things fair. Even if it is not his way as long as he sees it as fair ( like taking turns choosing a video game with his brother) then he is ok.
When in country, we took an ipod loading with worship music and earbuds and also sunglasses. When he was out and started to get overwhelmed with all the changes happening he would put the glasses on and the earbuds in. It was a lifesaver. He was able to process and what better way than with praise music in your ears? I shared that with another mom and she agreed it was great for her two as well.
He will literally watch tv or play video games all day long. If there is a choice that is what he wants to do. It has been SO HOT that we have let him do more of that than I really like, but I just have to tell him to go outside and ride his bike or play soccer or he will be a real couch potato.
He likes to watch the same movie over and over. In Ethiopia it was The Jungle Book and the Incredibles. It about drove me crazy, but he picked up quite a few english phrases from those movies. I think it is just safe to know the ending of a movie. Anyway...chose carefully what you want to have to watch 10 times over. :)
Routine is so important. Like making beds in the morning and bedtime stories and prayers at night. We can see security in that.
Avoid big places like walmart and malls. At least for Micah, he will shut down in big places.
It seems like all kids will favor one parent or the other. For us it was Greg that Micah clung too. So I became the food/gum lady. If he wanted snacks or gum, he had to ask me...that helped me win trust and favor.
I had another mom that was over in ET before us inbox me about some of Micah's behavior that was not so nice. It sent me SPINNING IN A PANIC. 6 weeks home and he is not the angry child she described. Now, I can see where he could get that way if things are not handled fairly, but you just cant judge them by what is happening in the TH and especially if you are not there to witness it yourself.
The famous Ethiopian pout will rear its head now and then, but we will just say, that is fine just take it outside or in your room...pout all you like, but when you come back to the family area, we want you to be happy and no pout.
Charades really do work. :)
Foods he likes best are taco meat, chicken and rice, bananas, eggs and soft tortillas, ice cream are his favorite.
I hope this helps those preparing and if you have any other tips to add, please feel free to leave them in the comments.