5 months ago from today, we waited anxiously in the Guangdong Civil Affairs office for Sophie's arrival. There were many other families waiting with us.
Sophie was the first to arrive. Dave recognized her, but I wasn't sure as the most recent picture we had of her was over a year old. I wasn't so sure she was our "girl", because they seemed to do all they could to make her look like a little boy! They dressed her in a little boy's outfit with boy sandals and a blue superhero backpack and of course the shaved head little boy haircut. Come on...couldn't they have put a little sundress on her for her gotcha day? They had some...I saw them on our SWI visit.
Her gotcha day was quite the opposite of Ella's. Ella was 14 months old when placed into our arms. Sophie was 2 1/2 and fought us with all of her might. She was terrified, of course. She "escaped" from me and ran right to her new sister's side. She grabbed hold of Ella's hand like they were sisters from day 1...and that is where she found comfort.
Because They Waited is an excellent DVD series for adoptive parents to watch as they wait to meet their new child. It goes into detail about many of the issues our new children can have all due to the fact that "they waited". They waited in an institution and they waited for a family and they waited for the nurture they so desperately need to develop into happy, healthy little beings. They waited for the love of a family that no institution can duplicate.
Sophie came to us very ill and very malnourished. We could see from photos the SWI gave us from 2 months earlier, that she had lost a significant amount of weight recently. She came to us with pretty much ALL of the possible issues a newly adopted child could experience. She exhibited many autistic like behaviors most of the time we were in China. I was prepared for all of this... knowledge wise, but it was still intimidating to actually deal with it. I prayed and prayed as this was His plan and He was in control. I had to walk around our hotel room repeating that to myself for the first few days.
We got Sophie back home and did the easy things first. Gave her meds for the Giardia that she had and was making her so sick and then we fattened her up. The autistic behaviors went away after about a few weeks, but were replaced with such an intense anxiety that completely took over our home. Her anxiety made it appear like she was a child that was sooo hyperactive. She had such control issues that it seemed to consume all she did. She HAD to have the upper hand and it took every ounce of strength I had to teach she is/was not in control. That took at least 3 months and every waking minute to achieve. The attachment work began. She had HUGE rage and self hurt like nothing I had ever seen before in such a tiny person. And then her sensory issues...her sensory system was so out of whack that she did not register pain. At All. I could keep going and I am always happy to share our story and what has and is working for us. Some people have e-mailed me and I am happy to go into more detail there.
They say that it often takes a child to be with their new family equal to or longer than their time in an orphanage for them to work through everything. That will probably be the case here. Sophie has made much progress, but still has a long way to go. She has a strong team of people/specialists working with her to achieve that and more importantly many of you keep her in your prayers!
The areas that are still still a struggle are the sensory issues and the anxiety around people. The sensory issues cause her to have no sense of body awareness, meaning she does not realize where her body is when she is moving about and this creates her to have MANY falls and crashes.
The people anxiety...Sophie came from a SWI where many of the nannies really loved her and cared for her, but she has shared with us that one of them hurt her. She has created a safety triangle that includes Me, Ella, and herself. Just in the last few weeks, she is occasionally creating a square and including her BaBa.
Praising God for the baby steps and for entrusting us with another one of His precious children!
5 Months Ago-Then
Monday, December 31, 2007
Friday, December 28, 2007
Look at the cute scarves that Robin made us for Christmas! Please check out her sewing blog(above) and don't forget to enter for your chance to win a quilt and help bring Nan Nan home!!!
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
WE LOVE OUR SISSY!!!
Sissy and Sophie
We had a very happy Christmas Day! Everyone was healthy, the weather was nice and we were able to celebrate the day with our family. Hope you all had a great Christmas day!
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Make custom Glitter Graphics
Things will be very busy the next couple of days, but I wanted to post so that I could wish you all a very Blessed Christmas! Also, I have received so many e-mails checking in on us to see how everyone is feeling and I want to say thank-you, thank-you, thank-you all for caring!!! The little ones have been spared so far and I hope will remain so. We found out that we had the Norovirus that is becoming almost epidemic in NY City right now. Dave works in the city and he is the one who was first sick, so that makes sense. I spent over $50.00 stocking up on Lysol and hand sanitizers, so hopefully that will do the trick. You can find a can of Lysol anywhere you go in our home right now. LOL!
Below you will see the girls visit to Santa. We were at the mall and Ella was quite brave and told me she wanted to go sit on his lap like she saw the other kids do. That was her story and she was sticking to it until....we actually got within 10 feet of him. That's okay-maybe next year.
BTW, if you are wondering why Sophie's face is all marked up, she has a very bad fall yesterday. She is okay, but her face is quite cut up and she has quite a black eye. Poor baby!
Have a wonderful Christmas as we celebrate His love for us!!
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Counting my Blessings one by one and praising Him for all He has done
Well, my biggest thankful this week is this...we have had a horribly violent stomach virus going through our home. It has to be the worse and most brutal virus I have ever seen(and I have seen tons!)It completly wiped out Dave, Chelsea, my MIL and Ryan. I have been waiting my turn and praying that it did not hit me as hard as it did the others, because Moms can't get sick! It took them all at least 4 days to be able to stand on their feet after they had the virus and they all lost 7 to 10 pounds. How could I possibly be out of commission like that? Who would do everything and who would take care of the little ones? Dave has no sick time left.
So, like clockwork, I did get the virus Tues. night, but it did not hit me nearly as hard as the others. I was able to stay in bed all day and have the little ones play next to me. Although I do not have much of an appetite, I am already well enough to be up and about doing my Mom thing. Thank you God for answered prayer and always knowing what we can and can't handle!! Now praying the little ones can miraculously escape this, because it is much too violent of a virus for their little bodies!
I am so thankful to be a Mom. What would I do without my kids?
I am thankful for my garage! Remember in ALL things bring Him praise? The first 12 years we were married, we lived in a home with no garage. Believe me when I say be thankful if you have a garage and you live in an area with bad weather. Everytime we get hit with snow/ice...I am reminded how blessed I am to have a garage now!
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
And now for some pictures of 2 of the cutest little Santa helpers around!
Monday, December 17, 2007
Saturday, December 15, 2007
I usually try to take photos of the girls dressed up on the day of the occasion and usually when we are on the way out the door. So, this time I thought I would get my pictures BEFORE we were rushing out of the house. I also came to the realization that it is close to impossible to get a good photo of the girls together, so took them separate. Okay, so sometimes things come to me a little slower than they should. : )