Friday, August 6, 2010

Small package, BIG personality . . .

Journey is taking a nap so thought I would give an update on how we all are doing. But where to start…

Journey has quite the personality, and while she is not willing to let anyone pick her up except her mama, she is very generous with smiles and throwing kisses. This includes people in the stores who happen to look her way and give her a smile. She is learning how to use her spoon, stack blocks and use the remote for the tv. She loves to talk on the phone and if there isn’t one available, anything that might slightly resemble a phone is used. She is learning new words and can now say “hello, hi, baby, bye, mama and dada”. She understands quite a bit and will mimic many words.

She had her first social outing last Saturday when we took her to a BBQ restaurant where a friend from church was playing with her band. They were playing out on the patio and Journey danced, clapped and visited with people sitting nearby. She really slept well that night so we have learned that if we take her out partying before going to bed, we will get a good night’s sleep. She did so well on Saturday evening that we decided to try our first visit to church on Sunday. She was a little overwhelmed by the number of people who greeted her, but did very well and was comfortable enough by the end of the service to venture off my lap. Several people offered to hold her but she would just shake her head no and grab on tight to mom. She did give many people smiles as long as they kept their distance.

Journey had her first doctor appointment last week and so far the results have been good. We took her to International Adoption Clinic at Children’s Medical Center as they have experience with seeing the medical differences in children coming from other countries and can determine what is “normal” for them rather than different from U.S. kids. On the U.S. growth charts Journey is in the 5th percentile for weight and the 45th for height. The doctor told us that generally internationally adopted kids from institutions are about 3 months behind in skills (motor, verbal, walking, etc.) but Journey seems to be close to her age group with the exception of the verbal skills, which was to be expected since she did not hear any English until she met us. She was surprised that Journey was already saying and understanding English words. We are still waiting for the results from some other lab tests, but overall she is doing well.

Mom and Dad have been learning lots of new things, too. Opening and closing our new stroller presented a challenge but we were able to master it within just a few hours. My second learning experience with the stroller was while shopping at the mall and trying to figure out how to get it (and her) up and down the escalator. We did make it up but I elected to use the elevator to go down. We’re also getting slightly better at recognizing when the crying means hunger, tired, mad, I don’t like this food (used along with flinging it off her plate) or frustrated. They all sound the same but generally we use the process of elimination to narrow down the cause. Which doesn’t necessarily mean that addressing the problem stops the crying. But we do realize that she is going through quite an adjustment and it will take a good while for her to become comfortable in her new environment. We try to patiently meet her needs and give her lots of love and kisses. The crying and temper tantrums are less frequent and we spend lots of time playing and laughing – her laughing because she’s having fun playing; me laughing at her funny personality and the things she does. We’re generally exhausted by the end of the day but it’s well worth it.

The wailing from the bedroom tells me that naptime is over, so more later.