Monday, May 12, 2014

6 months

When we were in China adopting Sarah I remember thinking I couldn't wait for her to be home six  months.  I love seeing the transformation these children have after being home and I was anxious to see how she would blossom and grow.  Well it's been six months!  I can hardly believe it.

This picture was taken just moments after they handed her to us.  She was tiny and frail and so much a baby.  She was so thirsty - she just drank and drank from the cup of water I had brought with me.  She didn't shed a tear.   They told us later when we visted the orphanage that she never made any sounds or words but as soon as they got in the car headed to Guangzhou she started saying "Mamamamamama" over and over.  They were amazed.  Now I don't think she understood or was actaually saying "mamma" but I do think she knew she was leaving.  I prayed for months that God would show her me in her dreams and give her a desire for a mother through her dreams.  She can't tell me that right now, but I believe He answered that prayer.  

This picture was taken a few days ago.  She just looked so cute that day.  She likes to hold on to the food when we grocery shop.  She is no longer so baby like and very much like a preschooler.

This was also taken last week.  Such a beautiful girl.

I was going through her clothes the other day changing out seasons and I pulled out the clothes she wore while we were in China and it made me sad to put them away.  Those are the closest things to baby clothes I will ever have for her.  Her gotcha day clothes are her going home clothes.  I  mourn the things I don't have for her.  Baby pictures, baby clothes, first steps.  But I rejoice for the firsts I do get to see.  And I am so thankful she is here!

Before I recap the last month here are some highlights from the first six months!

*She has gained 11 pounds and grown 2 inches!  Tonight she is wearing pajamas I brought to China that absolutely fell to the floor she was so skinny.  They are a little snug now.

*She is gaining some language slowly, slowly, but it is coming.  Her words are:
"Mama" - this is an all purpose word but she has a definite different tone when she wants me.
"GO!"  This is done along with the sign and it sure is cute!
"Let it go" Like every other five year old in America, mine is obssesed with Frozen
"All Done"
"Mouth"/"nose"  Sometimes we get these, not consistently.

*She tested at an 18 month level 6 months ago, last month we retested and she tested at a solid three years old.  I'll take it!!
*She can run, climb, jump and catch a ball.  She could not do any of those things 6 months ago.

*We have had all major tests, surgeries and evaluations done now.  We get her AFOs tomorrow and that is the last thing for awhile.  We have a good set schedule of speech and PT.  

*We have made a decision about school for next year.  She is going to go to Covenant preschool a few days a week to the three year old class.  She could technically go to Kindergarten but I just want her to be able to be a preschooler and we have worked very hard to get in wth the therapists we are seeing and want to continue to see them as we continue to evaluate what she can hear and work toward speech.

*Sleep continues to be an issue.  She is sleeping in a twin bed next to ours.  She is finally over a cold and is beginning to sleep a little better.  She does nap, but only if I lay with her.  I fought this for awhile, but have decided that this is the Lord's gift to me.  An hour each afternoon to rest and snuggle with her.  

We are just so proud of her.  She especially seems to be loving the warm weather and getting outside.  We try to get her to the park once a week or so.  She loves it!  She seems to be growing and passing through stages so fast.  We continue to work on some food issues and expressing frustration in a better way - as in spitting isn't nice!  We will get there!

Here are the highlights for the last month!

She rode a speial adaptive bike in PT for the first time.  You can tell from her face how much she loved it!

She stayed up on current events.  We are trying to teach her to be an informed citizen.

She hung out in the hammock with her cousin Holt.

First Easter!!  Four Egg Hunts, egg dying and cookies and of course the annual egg toss.  Pretty sure she thought we were crazy!

First Egg hunt at the City of Madison egg hunt.  She did not get this at all.

Mom and me at the egg hunt

Showing off my climbing skills

Next egg hunt at the Lake- did a little better. Brothers are awesome!
Church egg hunt!
Making cookies!

Dying Eggs!

Easter Morning.  

Egg hunt at Lulu's- now she's got it figured!!

I'm supposed to throw the egg??!!

First time to sing in church.  Precious!!

First tornado.  

                                                             I've got the bacon pillow- now what do I do?

We went to Birmingham for an MRI and she was casted here at UMC for her AFOs.

 It is has been an exciting, exhausting, challenging six months.  I can only imagine what the next six will bring!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Forward movement

You would think I would be better at waiting this time around but the truth is I'm just not. We received PA for Emily on February 20 and started our homestudy update immediately and although it was more like starting conpletely over than just an update it went pretty quickly. I had the finished homestudy in my inbox before the end of April which was my goal but for whatever reason it took two more weeks for it to get approved and signed and back to Birmingham. 

Our immigration paperwork was at the Agnecy waiting on the homestudy. My goal had been to have that off by the first of May but we missed that deadline. Finally on Thursday afternoon I received an email from our social worker that it had arrived and she had been able to get the immigration paperwork mailed off. So glad!!!

Now we wait again. Hurry up and wait. This immigration step should hopefully not take quite as long as it did with Sarah because our approval is still good. We are simply asking for an extension and an addendum to include an age change to what we are approved for. We were approved for two children ages 4-6 and now we need to be approved up to age 13 because Emily will be 13 before we get there. We are hopeful that this will take 3 weeks instead of 6 and then we will authenticate and be DTC mid June hopefully!  That puts hopefully on track to travel in November again. 

I'm getting ready to send her another care package. I want to continually remind her we are coming!