Thursday, January 5, 2012

2 weeks in

Before I get into the last two weeks, here are a few more photos from our trip.  Now that we are in a fixed position and I have all the pictures we took together in the same folder, I can finally find them!  Here is our 'red couch' photo, taken at the White Swan Hotel where many another group of adoptive families has taken their new child's photo.  Usually the group of babies is sitting on the couch together.  Inevitably there is one or more who is crying, slumping, uncooperative.  We had one of those in our group.  No crying, but no sitting prettily either.  There's always one.

Lunch at Lucy's on Shamian Island.  Turns out spaghetti is a big hit with our newest.  She's a noodle girl no matter how you fix 'em.

Hanging at the hotel.  We did alot of this.  Found an empty corner on the 4th floor of the Garden Hotel where we could burn a little energy without disrupting guests or staff.

We've been home almost two weeks now.  Things continue to go very well.  Faith continues to seem to be delighted with her new environment.  She was enthralled with the house, her room, the things we had waiting here for her.  It made me aware all over again of just how affluently we Americans live, even those of us who are striving to 'live more with less'.

We all seemed to get over the jet lag within five days of being home.  The first night home (after 25 hours of traveling) we slept from 8pm to 8am.  The kids would have slept longer, but it was Christmas morning and we wanted to be to church by 10:00, so I woke them all up.  They stayed up all day, went to bed late (with a aid of  little melatonin) and slept until after 10 the next morning.  One of them may have slept until noon.  From there we were on regular bedtimes, and they gradually woke earlier each day. We had no trouble being up for school on Tuesday after more than a week of adjusting.  This seemed so much easier this time than the last time, when Melinda and I seemed to spend a good two weeks up from 1am to 5am before she finally shifted her nights and days.  One of the benefits of older child adoption.  :) 

We are seeing alot of the expected regression behaviors and I am surprised to find myself gritting my teeth through them.  I know the behavior is all completely normal.  I know it will pass.  And I am surprised at how hard it is for me to be at peace with this stage and this process.  When she finally started speaking, every other word uttered was 'No'.  We're now to every 4th word, so progress is being made.  But oh! how it grates on me to hear her telling me no endlessly.  Her: Momma?  me: Yes? her: No!  Me: Hungry? her: No! Banana.  Her: Game? me: OK her: No!  My mantra has been "ok we're in the 2 yr old stage and say Yes!"  She also calls Mama mama all. day. long.   I've started responding with Faith! rather than Yes?, since the answer to What? or Yes?  is No!.    Baba suggested she just likes to hear the sound of her own voice naming her (finally!) mama.  Maybe so.

This week it has been baby noises that are getting to me.  Shrill, shrieky baby cries, followed by giggling.  Crawling up the stairs instead of walking.   Last night I held her in the rocker like an infant and rocked her, singing Hush Little Baby.  Last week she would have bolted out of the chair after the first three words.  This week she stayed put all the way to the end of the song.  Fabulous progress!  I know she needs this and I'm happy to oblige.  But I gotta be honest, it feels a little weird to be singing lullabies to a lanky 9 and a half year old.

We are playing lots of board games, card games and dice games.  She is loving them.  When we are not playing she is asking to.  We are doing lots of object naming and English learning.  It has been really helpful to have learned how to perform a running dialogue of everything we are seeing for our visually impaired son.  It is second nature to me to be naming - out loud - every single thing we see and do.  And so she hears and sometimes repeats lots of nouns and verbs.

So while things are going very very well, one other surprise I've had these last two weeks is the adjustment it has required of me.  I find myself mourning the loss of the threesome we were all day while Daddy worked,  and that has been a surprise.  Something I didn't expect.   I am praying for God's grace, that this will be a short lived battle not evident to the little ones.

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