Monday, December 31, 2007

5 Months Ago Today

glitter graphics


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


...and Now

 

11 comments:

mommy24treasures said...

oh I loved readingthis. How precious God made them sisters of the heart before they ever met, so precious.
Thanks for sharing, I know it will help so many.
Can't wait to read how far another 5 months bring!

Steffie B. said...

This was a wonderful post. What a great sister memory. Thank you for sharing it with us!

Happy New Year....

Carmen said...

The thing I love most about your blog is that its never about your struggles which we all know must be overwhelming at times but its about the girls and their progress. I also love that you share their story with the world and show that while these children may come with deep-seated hurts they can be overcomed in God's strength thru a Faithful mom.

May God continue to strengthen you and bless your family in 2008.

Mommy Spice said...

Wow. I had to share this story with my husband who's sitting in the living room with me. What a precious, yet heart aching story. I can see by the look in her eyes and face that she has been in such a loving home. God knew from the beginning of time that He would be placing your precious daughter in your family. He knew exactly what he was doing. You have done a wonderful job loving, caring for and teaching her. Happy New Year! I hope this year brings wonderful blessings into your lives.

Tiffany said...

A wonderful post... thank you so much for sharing....
I love the then and now picture....
Sophie looks so confident and loved....
Beautiful....

Isabella's Mommy & Daddy said...

Thanks for sharing your journey....
Love it...
It makes me sad to think that those people hurt these children and make them feel this way...
And that is what I don't understand about why they just can't speed up this process and give all of us our babies so WE can take care of them the right way...
You are amazing..
Love the post..
I know now when I need help ... I can count on you...
Thank you again..
Hugs to you..
And I am sooo happy for you and your family...
May 2008 bring more comfort and joy...

Robin said...

Simply amazing! Look at the difference 5 months of loving and nuturing has made! She doesn't even look like the same child. I pray for Sophie every day and for her mommy to have the strength it takes to heal all of her pains. God bless you!

Monica said...

What a wonderful post! Thank you for sharing your story! Your girls are beautiful and look so very happy! Happy New Year!

Monica

redmaryjanes said...

That is such an incredible post. I really am touched when people share the reality of what they have experienced. It helps me to be better prepared for when our daughter comes home.

Shannon said...

This was a good reminder that we need to be prepared for ANYTHING when we meet our new daughter. She will be the same age your daughter was. Thank you for sharing this, for sharing your heart. Blessings to you!

connie said...

Hi Walkers,

Can I(WE) go to the Zoo with ya'll?

Has it been five months? Time flys so quickly when you are back home.
I love viewing your blog. The girls are bounding so well, and Sophia looks so happy with Ella. Paige and Lindsay are doing the same. Your girls and my girls are such a great blessing from God, and he does control all our events in our life and make things happens for a reason (evidence of our story in China).

The girls are so lucky to have loving and caring people like you and Dave to adopt them.

I finally have a chance to write in your blog. I have been so busy, but I made myself sit-down tonight to write so you know I view your blog and remember you four who adopted us in China. And, Thank God for that...

Connie, Paige and Lindsay

Welcome to our blog! We are happy for you to be a part of our "Day by Day" and to share how God is working in our lives. To read earlier posts, scroll down to the very bottom of the page and you can click on 'older posts'. Remember...we love to hear from YOU as well!