Tuesday, January 08, 2013

What We've Been Up To...

Well, I certainly thought I'd be jumping back into the swing of things faster than I have.  I'm not sure why it's taken me so long to get back into my schedule?  If it's adjusting to a third child or the fact that as soon as we came home it was Ava and Amelia starting school, and ballet classes, and Awana, etc.?  It was a lot to jump back into just a few days after we returned home!

Regardless, there I days I feel I'm hanging in there okay, and other days I feel completely overwhelmed!  I have a friend (you know who you are ;-) who thinks I'm supermom!  She can't fathom how I get all the things done in my day that I do.  Honestly though, this is how I feel most days:

Each day gets a little bit better and now that I don't have to sit in the room with Audrey anymore while she falls asleep, I have freed up an extra 2 hours in my day!  It's been a slow progression, but we started off sleeping in the same bed (in China).  Once we were home, she was sleeping in her toddler bed and I was on a twin mattress on the floor next to her.  After a month or so of that, I moved to sitting in a chair in her room and now, I close the door almost all the way and sit on the floor outside her room.  She can't see me, but if she cries out or gets up, I'm right there to talk to her.  But most of the time, I only sit there about 10-15 minutes and then go downstairs.

The other thing that very recently has gotten better is how many times a night she wakes up.  She used to wake up several times a night and cry when she realized I wasn't there.  I had a monitor in her room so I'd wake up from my bed and go up and usually spend the rest of the night in her room.  We have slowly moved to me just putting her right back to bed and sitting there for a few minutes until she fell back to sleep, to now I walk right back out and go back to my bed!  And now, I'd say she only wakes up one time maybe 3 nights out of the week.  

The other activity that has been taking up so much of our time is the numerous doctors' appointments Audrey has been to.  We've seen our pediatrician, pediatric neurosurgeon, pediatric urologist, physical therapists, the Spina Bifida clinic at Scottish Rite and now hopefully, we'll be seeing the Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon at Scottish Rite in March.  Except for the pediatrician and the physical therapist (who comes to our house) all those other appointments have been in Dallas!  So one appointment is an all day affair.

Audrey has had numerous vaccinations, blood tests, an MRI of her spine, a VCUG to check for bladder problems, ultrasounds, x-rays and multiple physical exams.  And I am very thankful for our medical insurance!

What does all this mean?  Well, Audrey has a more complicated form of spina bifida and will most certainly need surgery at some point in the future to address the issues in her back.  But for right now, we are waiting.  Why wait?  Because Audrey is doing fabulous!  And there are no guarantees that surgery at this point would help her walk any better than she does now.  While she was pretty much potty trained in China, she has regressed since coming home (which is normal and expected).  I'm trying to find a few weeks or even a long weekend that we will be home where I can get her out of diapers again.  I'm not sure she's ready but it will confirm to reveal if she has any bladder issues.  


Audrey is definitely a ham.  She's outgoing, gregarious and has the best personality!  I know!  I am just as surprised that I am typing that as you are to read it, based on what our experiences were in China.  She has ingratiated herself so deeply and quickly into our hearts since we have returned home that I've regretted some of the things I wrote.  I would hate for her to read them someday.  So, I'll shield her from that for awhile, but I've decided to let my comments stand as they were honestly what we were feeling and going through and I want other adoptive parents who haven't traveled yet or been through this experience know and understand what it can be like. 

Not everyone has a happy ending - I know several families that continue to have bonding, attachment and discipline problems now that they are home.  However, ours is turning out much better than we expected.  We thought it would be a rough transition but she has acclimated well to our life and home.  


And not that I was worried, but oh my, this girl LOVES her sisters!  And they love her right back.  She copies everything they do and say, what they wear, what they eat...everything!  She understands they go to school during the day, but she usually asks me where they are, mostly for her own confirmation, I think.  And when she spies them from the carpool line waiting for the doors to the school, it's like a rock star was walking out.  Oh the screaming and excited yells at their sight!


Her English improves daily as well.  I knew shortly after returning home that she could understand probably 90% of what I was saying to her but now she picks up new words and phrases every day.  Her favorite things to say are, "What are you doing?" "Where are we going?" "Where's Ava?" "Where's Amelia?" "What is that?" (while pointing to something).  She also said today, very plainly, "My foot fell down!" when her boot slipped off her foot while I was carrying her out to the arena.

Speaking of the arena and the barn and the animals...well, let's just say THAT transition was a little more bumpy!  Her reaction to our docile, loving animals was one of sheer terror!  Like someone was ripping her arm off!  It made doing barn chores very difficult.  But slowly she has come around...


She likes to help me with chores now (in the picture above she was combing Aeriel's nose ;-) but on cold days she is fine to stay in the house with her sisters.  

So we've been up to mundane, yet very good things over the last few months...though I'm still trying to get caught up on laundry, balancing the checkbook, and I still need to get my Christmas cards out!  


Until next time (which hopefully will be sooner than later!)....

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