Sunday, May 27, 2012

Two Months Home

Two months.  Goodness.  I had so many hopes of keeping the blog updated, but let me just tell you: Being a first time mom to an adopted toddler is exhausting.  It's wonderful, don't get me wrong.  But exhausting, nonetheless.  We've been home nearly two months and only now do I feel like I'm finally starting to get my footing.  I'm sure that will change, though.  There have been a couple of other times over the last couple of months that I felt like I started to get my footing and then everything went crazy and I lost it all over again :-)

There's so much I would like to say to catch you up, but it would take too long to tell you every single detail.  But for now, here it is in a nutshell:

  • As you know, not only did the Lord allow us to be with our daughter on her birthday, He allowed us to arrive home the DAY BEFORE her birthday so that we could celebrate with all of our family!
  • Before we took placement, we were able to travel to Gondar, Lottie's birthplace, to see the hospital where she was born, the orphanage where she first lived and the countryside where her birth family lives.  Again, for the sake of brevity (and privacy), I'll say that the Lord gave us immeasurably more than we could have asked or imagined on that trip.  So much of what I struggled through while I grieved her story was resolved and the Lord gave us gift upon gift.
  • The day we took placement of Lottie was pretty hard for the little munchkin.  Due to circumstances, we went to the foster care center and picked her up, instead of them bringing her to us at the guest house.  She didn't cry when we left and was fine in the car, but seemed on high alert, looking around the entire ride, wondering where we were going.  The first hour at the guest house we played with her, but she kept shaking her head back and forth, as if by shaking her head enough, we would go away and she would be back home.  It breaks my heart to think about that now.  BUT, after about an hour, she began to smile and laugh and continued to warm up to us more and more.
  • The first three weeks she was with us, she slept 12 hours straight at night.  Over the last several weeks, she's begun waking up more and more at night, and now it's every night - at least once. I just keep telling myself it's a phase and she needs quality snuggle time.  But I'm not going to lie: getting up at night - sometimes multiple times a night - is rough.  Although, I think I may actually be adjusting to it!
  • We took placement one week before we came home.  We didn't really plan it that way, it just kind of worked out, but one thing I know is that I'm SO GLAD it worked out that way!  It took her a week of going places with us before she relaxed and wasn't on high alert the whole time.  I really can't imagine what it would have been like to try to bring her home after only a few days.
  • She did very well on the flights.  She fell asleep towards the end of our flight from Addis to Dubai and then slept most of the time in the Dubai airport.  She slept the first several hours of our flight from Dubai to Dallas and then woke up at her normal time.  She was awake for about an hour, but seemed to be teething, so I gave her some Advil for the first time.  Guess what?  Advil makes my child REALLY sleepy, so she slept another 5 hours!!  She was awake for about the last 3 hours of the flight, and by then we were ALL ready to be home.  But she hardly fussed at all on the flight and a few other passengers commented about how well she did.
  • Lottie continues to attach more and more to us and each week I see progress.  Because she's home with me all day, by the end of the week she usually prefers me over Rob, and he has to work a little harder for her affections.  But then by the end of the weekend, she's all about her Dada!
  • For a solid 2 weeks, we all had sinus infections.  It was miserable.  And nobody slept.  It was bad.  But thankfully, we're all healthy again and I hope to stay that way for a while. 
  • We've been to church only twice.  We took a month off to focus on getting to know each other and figuring out what it looked like to be a family before we introduced a lot of new people and situations into our lifestyle.  The first time we went to church we were in worship all of 15 minutes, and then just walked around and talked to people the rest of the time.  This week I went to the nursery with Lottie and she did great.  I even stepped out for about 5 minutes to use the restroom and the ladies said she whimpered when I left, but was fine.  One of the things that made me happy was that she did NOT like me showing too much attention to any of the other kids.  Her looks and actions indicated, "this is MY mama - NOT yours!"  So that's good.  She's "owning" me... in a good way :-)
  • Our little toddler is walking now!  When we took placement, she could pull herself up and stand on her own, but that was it.  Little by little, she would take a couple of steps and fall down.  Then a couple of weeks ago she started taking more and more steps at a time, and now she's walking about 90% of the time!
  • So many people have asked us questions regarding language.  We learned a handful of words in Amharic - words like, Good Job, Stop, Thank You, Come - and some others I can't remember off the top of my head.  Very quickly however (within a couple of weeks), she seemed to respond much better to English than Amharic, so we phased it out and hardly ever speak to her in Amharic any more (which actually is a bit sad to me.  I hate that she's missing that.)  She says Mama, Dada, Bye Bye, Hi and tried to say Chicken a couple of weeks ago!  Rob said today he thinks she tried to put together a little sentence.  I was taking a nap when she woke up from her nap and she was cuddling with Rob and looked up at him and said, "Mama Bye Bye."  He brought her in the bedroom and showed her that I was sleeping and said "Mama didn't go bye bye, she's just taking a nap."  That seemed to satisfy her.  Then after I woke up, we were talking to her about our trip to Nashville to see my side of the family on Friday and were trying to teach her to say "Lolli" and Poppy".  She said "La" and then "woof".  Apparently, she doesn't quite understand the distinction between "Poppy" and "puppy" :-).  We got a good laugh out of that one!
So overall, things are going well.  We're all healthy and happy and loving being a family.  And for all the time you've now spent reading our update, enjoy some pictures of our first couple of months as a family.


  1. So awesome! I am so happy for you guys! I cannot wait to see Lottie and you guys in June. Miss you all!

  2. That song is perfect. She is beyond beautiful...and has landed the absolute best mama and dada any little girl could ask for. God must have big plans for all of you! I can not wait to meet her and see you guys. C'mon June 23!! :)