We've been home a week now. Things are going great. We really couldn't have asked for a better transition so far. We know that we are still on the outer layers of sweet Lily's life that we hope peels away quickly. She has 9 years bottled up inside her and I long for the day she can tell me all about it. As she can, I expect even more transition. But I know that God has given us divine grace during this time and she is settling in nicely.
Lily loves people! Especially MEN! Haha. She quickly bonded to Daniel. We thought it was so wonderful but then we realized that when another man who was adopting came near us she would run to him and jump up in his arms and kiss his face just like she did with Daniel. Hmmmm. We thought. Then we realized that this is part of the attachment disorder. For some reason (like living in an orphanage for 9 years with no family) she feels the need to cling onto people, especially men. I think she has never had any male figure in her life. She's only had female nannies telling her what to do (which she probably views me as one). Once home, she has bonded with Daniel's dad and Uncle Tim the same way. I wonder if she's afraid Daniel is going to leave her and she is trying to find someone else who will love her.
She loves to snuggle with Daniel. She doesn't understand that when daddy is working she doesn't need to come in his office every five minutes and play. I think she is a bit mad that he has to work (whatever that is in her mind!). In China she and daddy played every day! She tends to pout when she doesn't get her way. Pouting I can handle. So I am grateful she isn't mean or throwing things or yelling. She just gets quite and pouts and wants to be alone. We give her space sometimes so she can just learn that she doesn't get her way. Other times we tickle the pout out of her. Regardless, we realize it's just part of the transition and we will be patient.
Lily loves to play with cousins! We went to Chantel's house today (Aunt Jimmie) and she asked if she could spend the night! She loves Uncle Tim because he grills MEAT! She loves meat!!! I bet she never got meat in the Big O. Her reports said she ate noodles and rice everyday.
Lily LOVES to play with her baby dolls. We named her China baby doll XiaoMei. That was the name of the baby I almost chose! She knows that. So it's fun to hear XiaoMei's name in our house all day long. Lily is gentle and loving and caring with her babies. She feeds them. changes them, puts them to bed, and bathes them and washes their clothes! She was watching those nannies closely!
Lily loves her new family. She and I have had some really nice bonding moments this week. We do best when it's just me and her and PG and Hope here. All the girls. She acts a lot different and is more receptive to learning. Tomorrow we will get on a schedule of homeschooling and such. I think she will not like it at first. She is not used to sitting still and focusing and has a really short attention span. But already I can see that she has a clear mind, has the ability to learn, and will be able to thrive in life regardless of schooling (these are things we weren't sure of previously). She is witty and silly and outgoing. I know that everyday she will learn to love me more. You know, when I think about why my three biological children love me, I think that maybe it's because I've been all they ever knew. Haven't you heard stories of children who were abused by their mother but they still loved them and wanted them. I think that bond of giving birth and feeding your baby is so strong. So that my 3 biological children maybe love me not because of what I DO for them, but because of WHO I AM to them. I am mom. I am always there. But Lily doesn't know me as that. I am still a semi stranger she calls Mama. And maybe she loves (or likes) people right now because of what they DO for her and the fun they are with her. But mothers aren't supposed to be the clown and entertainer. Mothers are the doers. We take care, we train, we nurture. In China I found myself thinking if I would just be crazy silly acting and wrestle all over the floor with her then maybe she'd like me more. But that's not me. And sooner or later I'd have to say, go brush your teeth, take a bath, eat your food, take your vitamins, etc. I know that in time our relationship will grow strong and true. Cause I'm not going anywhere!
Hope is an easy baby. People ask me how the transition is having a baby again. So far, it's easy as pie. But I didn't have her in that first hard year. And now she is accustomed to laying in her crib and staring at the wall so she hardly ever cries when she wakes up. I love her so much and she is really starting to bond with me. She doesn't reach out for me yet but she cries and looks at me like she is saying please pick me up!
It's so sad to see the effects of being in a crib her whole life with no toys and no physical touch and no stimulation. She has responded wonderfully to our touch and love and she wants it now! I'm sure the days in the Big O will soon be erased from her precious little mind forever. When I look at her and how she has had to learn how to soothe and comfort herself at just one year old I get really sad. But then I look at Lily and realize she has had to do that for 9 years! I'm so glad they are home with us! Lives changed forever!!!!
We are a family of 7 now! Rob asked me yesterday if we were gonna adopt any more babies? We all laughed. I think he wants to. His heart is pure and true. He doesn't like to hear Hope cry! Lily fell down today and he ran over and helped her up and looked at her hands! Precious! Johnny and Lily (the twins) go in a room and shut the door. I hear them giggling. Trouble! LOL! Phoebe is my helper. I'm so glad I'm homeschooling her now. I need her and Lily does too! We start out homeschool schedule tomorrow.
Life is good. God is good.