Introducing our budding family. We hope you will enjoy watching us grow... and everything else under the sun. ;)

One Day at a Time

It's been almost 3 months since my last posting... and we've been home almost 4 months. I never wanted to be one of those adoption blogs that told people all about our journey and then fell off the face of the Earth. What matters most is that I am here now. I hope to try and come back more often... "try" being the operative word. ;)

No one ever prepared us for what this new beginning was going to be like. No one ever said to me, "Mel, she's going to be like an infant in a toddler's body... don't expect to sleep, pee alone, clean, or get anything done for a long time". Maybe if I would have heard that a few times my expectations wouldn't have been so high. Maybe if I would have done more reading...

On the brighter side, the bonding is MUCH better. Over the past several weeks there has been a big improvement when it comes to Deeana showing love and affection to her Mommy. What's even better is that she shows this love when Daddy is around as well. Now if we can only get her to continue this "love" when friends and family are around. Otherwise she mostly skirts away from me and prefers Daddy. She has a tendency to say hi, etc. to strangers, or even fall into their lap (that is a work in progress, but still hard with a language barrier).

A continuing struggle of ours is her anxiety of Mommy or Daddy leaving the room. Because of this I sleep on an air mattress in her room at night (have tried a zillion other combinations for sleeping, and this seems to be the best one). Though the air mattress is horrible on my back, it gets her to sleep just inches away in her bed. I sneak out when she snores, and then come back when I am tired. We wake up together in the morning. If I try to sneak out and she's awake - she panics - literally.
We have gone back to potty training basics as she has "un-trained" herself. Actually, we have just let it all go out the window. She's wearing a pullup - unless she says she wants to use the potty, we don't force it.
Independent play is almost impossible, though I see it emerging. I'm not surprised she hasn't learned this skill. But it is frustrating when trying to wash dishes, or any other mom jobs.
Her word count is amazing! (as is her memory!) We have lost count at how many words she knows and can now tell us what she wants to eat. (If only she would tell us when she needed to go potty.) She can recite the majority of the ABC's and we even heard her count past 12 one day! Short paragraphs are no problem for her.

And with Hayden, yes there is some jealousy there. They fight over silly things, and yell "YES!", "NO!" over who knows what. Hayden has become a great help though, and is happy to have a little sister.

A few milestones I have failed to mention. Deeana thoroughly enjoyed Halloween. She loved dressing up in her "Bat-arina" costume. It was chilly weather here for trick-or-treating, but we V's still managed.

Deeana also had her first Thanksgiving. We decided to have it at home and invited some friends to celebrate. Hayden and Deeana enjoyed playing with my girlfriends children and us adults got to relax. I made my first turkey and I heard rave reviews (that or they didn't want to hurt a woman's feelings). Deeana chose her outfit for the day, and as usual... the girl likes to look fancy.

And most recently, we decorated the tree and the house for Christmas. She was tickled pink that she got to "help Mama" with such a beautiful task. Hayden and Deeana had some kid ornaments set aside and loved looking at the ornaments and finding just the right spot for them. The following day Hayden set up the train around the tree and Deeana was mesmerized. It was a very stimulating couple of days and we had a bedtime meltdown.

Now my weeks are spent taking Deeana to occupational therapy (for some minor concerns) and physical therapy, also minor. We also participate in Theraplay. I have nothing but rave reviews for Theraplay - as they specialize in helping children form a bond and attach to their family. A great part about our therapist is she is able to come to our home and she was once a developmental therapist for a short time when Hayden was young.

I know I need to remember to take each day as it comes, one day at a time. Things are a lot harder than I imagined... I think we are all still adjusting. ;)

Please be patient with my lack of blogging. I hope to get back into the swing of things as Deeana becomes more independent - or enjoys TV more. YAY! for TV!

Lastly, please view our Daily V's page for a bunch of pics. Hope you enjoy!!! *EDITED 9:04PM - sorry, hasn't been working all day. I will try to get the pics online when the site is back up and working.
Happy Holidays!



Kelly and Sne said...

It does sound like you have your hands full! And the first few months or so are always the hardest. All of the issues you describe are very normal and will subside given some time. I'm glad to hear that you are putting bonding ahead of 'discipline' right now as this little girl just needs love. I would say that it took at good year with each kid to form that really deep trusting bond. And our girl used to drape herself across strangers and she stopped that once she understood who was family and who was not (or boy used to run up to any older man and say "Grandpa!" until he figured out that Grandpas are actually relatives not just nice old men!). Oh, and did I say that your daughter is just beautiful?

Annaliese said...

sounds like things are going well! your bonding, etc sounds soo much like our process! it was hard for us because a lot of the reading i did would mention how hard it could be, but then i would hear about all these amazing stories where everything would just fall into place for all the other families and it would really get me down. our son would show all his affection for me in front of other people, then completely shun me when we were alone. it made me feel almost like a "battered wife" because no one could believe that this sweet, loving child could act the way he did to me. i felt so lost and some days wanted to give up altogether! we've been home almost 3 1/2 years now, and after finding a great play therapist, and working with her on my own to help with the issues i developed, we're finally pretty settled and fully bonded. there are still days where he prefers daddy over me, but i'm sure that's true for any birth family. hang in there, and keep loving her with all your might. i think back and wonder if maybe we should've given more love instead of as much focus on discipline, but man our guy's a stubborn one! :) she's a cutie & i wish you and your family all the best!