Tuesday, November 22, 2011

4 weeks home!

4 weeks ago today our little lady stepped off the plane in D.C. and became an American citizen.  To say time has moved swiftly since then is putting it mildly. It's really hard for me to believe it's been that long. We all were extremely tired and emotionally overwhelmed by everything, I think. But after the jet lag and the newness has worn off, I think we've all adjusted rather nicely.  Let's see, in those four weeks, little miss V. has:

Learned to LOVE the bath  (please excuse the duplicate videos. you know my computer skills are very limited and the other part of my brain - Gabe- is not here to fix it).

Exhibited her amazing flexibility

Been showered with sibling affection and attention. My kids all love her. We are so blessed. I just love seeing what adopting a special-needs kid brings out in our other kids.

Tried lots of new foods ("This shoe is delicious"). Her favorites: yogurt, applesauce, oatmeal, anything with meat.  She's slowly getting used to bananas, berries, citrus. She still can't really chew, so her food has to be very soft and easily swallowed.

Mastered the sippy cup ("yeah, I've got skills.") And she's learning to like water and milk.

Had lots of parties with my BFF Millie in our room

Really honed her wrestling skills

Been to church, a Mexican restaurant, the mall, and the zoo

Helped my siblings makes LOTS of messes.  See that cabinet full of pots and pans?  She and her sister (in the proud tradition of children of all generations) have twice pulled them all out to use as noisemakers. 

And completely stolen our hearts with her extreme cuddliness and sweetness

She also had a 2-hour! doctor's appt. with the international adoption specialist.  Really helpful for us and Vika looks good. She also has to see a cardiologist, an ear/nose/throat specialist, opthamologist and an occupational therapist for a chewing/swalloing study. After the 2-hour appt., she had to have her blood drawn. Poor thing, her veins look non-existent to me. So after the vein in her arm dried up, they had to stick her in the hand. I couldn't watch. But they finally did get all the blood they needed.  The blood will tell the doctor lots of things. One of the things they will check for is what's called "tighters"(spelling?). This will let us know if the vaccinations she received in her country need to be repeated.

The doctor also told me it's best for us to feed her at this time. It's part of that whole attachment/bonding process that's the most important work right now. And I thought I was empowering her by encouraging her to feed herself! Vika missed all those things we all do with our infants so the idea is to make up for as much of that as we can now. It's also important for Vika to be with me or Gabe pretty much all the time. Although at times, we've had to briefly hand her off to someone, it's something we're trying not to do now. All she's known are paid caregivers, not mama and papa. She's got to get used to that whole concept and know that we're the ones who will meet her needs. just so you know.

And here's that crazy video again. Reruns are good, right?

One more thing that Vika is doing more and more of is looking in our eyes.  VERY good thing.  As I mentioned before, previously her eyes would just dart around the room, particularly at the ceiling. She had a hard time focusing on us very long. Now when we sit together she makes good eye contact and really seems engaged with us. She is a little bit difficult to get to sleep, so often after everyone else is asleep, I will get her from her bed and rock her for awhile. It's such a sweet time for us both. I think she's starting to expect it a little bit. I don't mind for now, she's got a lot of catching up to do. What else can I say? We love her! Crazy? Hectic? Stressful at times? Oh, yes! Next time I'll do a post about those things, but for now, I don't have too much to complain about.


Anonymous said...

Love the video clips! Thanks for the updates. I'm looking forward to seeing how Vika enjoys Splash Universe.

Nikki said...

She is so beautiful!

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