Monday, February 28, 2011
Friday, February 25, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Livvie had a good day, but has a really tough time when she wakes up in the morning and from naps. Those times seems to start the grief over fresh for her. But we had a HUGE break through tonight with her right before bed. I gave her a bath and found out she loves to have the faucet running a trickle to fill up cups. She filled her stacking cups over and over and was actually having honest-to-goodness fun doing it. She was smiling and giving the cups to me to pretend drink out of. Turtle came in to say hi and the little fart took a cup and splashed him with water. He started laughing and then she did too...it was the first time they've had any interaction together. They ended up splashing back and forth about 10 times and then I got her out of the tub.
I took her in the bedroom to get ready for bed and I could see it in her eyes she was starting to go to that "grief" place. I had grabbed some baby lotion and started putting it on her and all of a sudden, she wanted to help to. I would rub one leg and she would do the other, then I would put lotion on her foot and she would do the other foot. And then the best part, she wanted to put lotion on me too (which was huge in the interaction dept!!!). Once lotion was on, we got Minnie Mouse PJ's on (thanks Annie!) and she pointed to the bed (I was shocked). We laid down and I sang about 100 versus of "hush little baby" to her and she fell asleep without one tear. I wanted to jump up and do a happy dance!!! And by the way, you can make up some pretty interesting lyrics to hush little baby when you have to sing 100 versus and the person you're singing to doesn't know any English. I was singing gibberish by about verse 30 and just making up words. And Annie - just for you a couple of versus about Llama Drama :)
And boy oh boy are we going to have Llama Drama....we we're waiting at a govt office today for our passport interview and to help keep the kids occupied we brought a small set of wooden blocks. There was a very old (probably very expensive antique) coffee table and we were letting the kids build block towers on it. Livvie's tower fell over when she put a block on it and she got so mad she actually tipped the ENTIRE table over on the floor. It happened in the blink of an eye and then she was inconsolable upset because we reprimanded her. Let's just say we magically were next in line for our photo and interview and when we were done, our guide said "let's wait outside for the bus, very old, important furniture in here". So I think we were the Black Sheep of the American adoption community today. :)
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Livvie slept more than 12 hours last night (she was understandably exhausted from the day before). We were very surprised she didn't cry when she woke up with us. She was shy and quiet at first, but we actually got a few smiles out of her. We had her watch us give Lucky a bath and then decided to see if she would let us put her in the tub (she needed a bath something fierce!). We filled up the tub and put her in with some stacking cups and she was great about it. I wouldn't say she had fun, but she definitely wasn't scared. She played with the cups and let me wash her up and rinse her off with no fuss at all.
After the tubby, we got dressed and went down to the hotel lobby for breakfast, The girl likes to eat!!! She will eat anything we put in front of her. The orphanage staff actually cautioned us to take food away from her or else she will eat to much. It's so sad that these kids never have enough to eat and typically feel hungry, you can see it in her eyes when she sees food that it's just a primal need for it.
She was great during breakfast and then we had to head back to the Civil Affairs office to make the adoption official. We got to the offices and they asked us "if we would promise to never abandon her", "if we would give her a good home and education", "if we liked her", and "if we still wanted to adopt her" Yes, Yes, Yes, and Hell Yes. So it was official, in the eyes of the Chinese government, Livvie is ours. :)
During our time at the office, she really started coming out of her shell. She was running around laughing and actually called me "mama". She loves to run and give these coy little smiles and shake her head. I'm going to try to attach a video clip of her to the blog, but I don't know if it will work.
Here's what we know about Livvie so far:
- She's a girly-girl. When she noticed me putting on lip gloss, she went and brought me her Hello Kitty purse and held out her chapstick to me. I opened it up and she put it on her lips and smacked them together and smiled at me.
- She loves the ipod touch - we are going to have to beg, borrow, or steal to buy her one of her own when we get home. Because if we don't, there's going to be a war between her and Lucky (and she's scrappy enough, she just might win).
- She seems pretty ditsy (in a adorable way). She has this way about her that is almost valley-girl / airhead / ditsy. Hard to explain, but pretty darn cute.
- She was SPOILED by her nannies. She doesn't seem to know the word no and is downright stubborn when you try to take something away from her. She is going to be a challenge (Annie - stop laughing!)
So overall, today was a much better day. But things got REALLY rough again around bedtime and she started grieving again pretty hard. She keeps trying to put on her shoes and coat and going to the door and we know she's trying to tell us to take her back. When she finally accepted we weren't going to, the defeat and grief in her was like a knife through the heart. It took about an hour for her to finally fall asleep. You can read all the adoption, attachment, process, books and websites in the world and nothing will prepare your heart for the absolute grief they go through and how completely helpless you feel while their little body is racked by the most heart-wrenching sobs you've ever heard. I'm not trying to be a downer, but I do want to paint a realistic picture for all the followers I have that haven't picked up their little ones yet. This trip has been harder than anything I could have imagined and I would be lying if I didn't say there weren't times I wish I could just pack up and go home. But I have faith that we're doing the right thing and things will get better. Hopefully tomorrow will bring more smiles and less grief.
Monday, February 21, 2011
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Friday, February 18, 2011
Sunday, February 6, 2011
On a sadder note, my little turtle made me cry on Friday night. He's been very clingy and overly affectionate the last month. I hear "I love you mama" and "I need to give you hugs mama" about 200 times a day lately (not that I'm complaining, I've been loving it). But we knew that on a subconscious level it had to do with the adoption. We talk to him all the time about how much we love him and how bringing home Livvie won't change that and we hype up all the positives about being a Big Brother. He always seemed satisfied with our talks and we've been asking him over and over again if he's sad about anything (he always says no).
Well Friday night he said he had a "tummy ache" again (another reoccurring ailment in the last month that magically goes away with some cuddling and attention). So we were snuggling in the chair and I asked him if he was sad and he said no. So I took another approach and asked him if he was scared of anything? He sad yes. I asked him what he was scared of and he said in the saddest little voice "Livvie coming to live with us". I asked him why and he said "because you won't take any more pictures of me then". (which makes perfect sense when you consider that the main topic of conversation with family lately is "did you get any more pictures of Livvie?" and also considering I started adding pictures of Livvie to all our family pictures in the kitchen, living room and bedroom, which meant some of his older baby pictures got taken down). So we had a talk about that and I assured him I would always take lots of pictures of him and we talked more about how our love for him will never change. Then I asked if he was scared of anything else and he said "Livvie taking all my toys". :) I figured that wasn't the time for a talk about sharing, so I promised him that for now, his toys are off-limits to Livvie unless he decides he wants to share them with her (we'll cross that bridge when we get to it).
It's just amazing how their little minds work and I feel terrible I didn't get to the root of it earlier. And funny thing is, we had a tummy-ache free day yesterday for the first time in a month. :)