Monday, July 30, 2012

Summer Slowdown

Finally, things are slowing down!  VBS is done, and everyone is recovering from five evenings in church. Now, if I can get Sidney well. My little peanut has a low fever and cough today. Not a fun way to spend a summer day, going to the doctor for antibiotics. However, we are glad to have routine again. Routine is great for Sidney, and for this reason alone, I am looking forward to the start of school!
VBS Finale

But, starting school 5 mornings per week comes with a bit of apprehension after our experiences last year. Her preschool teacher (with many years experience) indicated it was like nothing she’d ever seen. She was fine during center time and working independently on worksheets at the table. But, rug time and lining up were triggers. If she was put in the middle of the rug or line, she was grabbing onto other kids. I looked to other adoptive parents for a better understanding, and this laid the framework for other common behaviors in sensory kids like excessive irritability, tantruming, an  inability to respond to verbal ques, not eating in strange environments, and the list goes on and on.

My sister from another mister and Tom helping me with VBS.

As I continued researching, I came across many different ways of alleviating her behaviors. I think we slipped out of these habits over the summer. Spending so much time outside in the yard and at the swimming pool, things settled down. Then, it started becoming incredibly hot. We could go to the pool for brief periods. Combined was a change in schedule from school. She’s sleeping later and staying up later. VBS was the icing on the cake. So, for now, we are laying low with a calm schedule.
Last night while still feeling good!
And what are we doing to ease her stress? We go through a lot of M**n Dough and watercolor paints. We redirect her with these activities, and they seem to decrease her tactile needs. At one point, we were going through one tray of watercolor paints per week. I give a lot of foot rubs. There's something that eases her tension. We make every attempt for her not to get overtired. She stands at the back of the line in school and sits in the back of the carpet.
Wow! If your reading this thanks for listening and sticking with me! I refer back to this sometimes as a behavior journal.
Hopefully, this blogger will be back on track, writing often again!And as a side note, I'd have more pictures of Eli, but he dodges the camera!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

This absentee blogger is finally back and noticing I've been neglecting my writing! I'm fully vested in Vacation Bible School, and the event is this week. It's the culmination of six months of planning. So, I promise after this week, I'll be back. The hightlight of my week is having my nephew ask Tom's sister to come give me a hug before he left. It wasn't prompted by mom and totally unscripted. After he turned around and left, he started rattling on about all the fun stuff he'd been doing. It made every minute I've spent on this worth it! I was almost verclempt (talk amongst yourselves).

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. John 14:18

I sit here watching Sidney engrossed in a cartoon on Netflix, and it’s nearly impossible to believe three years ago, she was a shy, scared, and withdrawn 16 month old. We are celebrating three years as a family of four. So many days have passed since our first meeting in a governmental building across the world in Changsha China. And on that day, despite the distance I felt from anything familiar, it was obvious to me I was in exactly the right place as I felt the natural ease of Sidney’s slight frame slip into my arms the first time.
Flying to Guanzhou

In that moment, it was blatantly obvious someone larger than myself was orchestrating the events taking place. Our prayers were answered. But, in the same moment I felt the world was infinitely cruel. I thought I had prepared myself for what it was going to feel like seeing children who had survived without parents, but I was ill prepared for my heart.  It was broken thinking about the nights she spent alone without a hug and kiss at bedtime, that cultural differences made her special need somehow separate from the rest of Chinese society, but mostly feelings which mourned her existence prior to the moments we were living in the building where we first met.  
What is this strange furry thing?
I was ripping her away from the only life she had ever known. She didn’t ask to get in a strange van for the first time in her life, out of familiar sounds, smells, and sights to be drive through mountainous terrain to be delivered to this harry faced man and strange speaking woman. This was all over her face as her black eyes studied me through the slats of her crib the first night. Over the next two weeks, we watched her slowly come out of her shell as she experienced the love and attention of real parents.
I’m so grateful; we followed the path God laid in front of our family. My life will certainly never be the same in the most wonderful way.

Monday, July 9, 2012

When it's summertime, and the weather is hot....

As Eli and I were pondering an online photo of S*rena Williams VERY muscled arms, he looked at her Caucasian competitor. “Are they sisters, he asked?” I bit my tongue as I went to point out the obvious difference. I’m an adoptive mom, but there are moments I forget Eli is growing up with an Asian sister. His definition of sister will never be defined by race, and it’s so awesome. I loved seeing his look of absolute sincerity.

On to even deeper topics, we are swimming nonstop. Like everyone else, in the country, we are enduring blistering temperatures. Eli and I tried to fry an egg on the pavement during Sidney’s nap, but we didn’t have success. After our failed experiment, Eli asked if it might be possible to sacrifice the hood of my new car which was met with a resounding no.
Sidney is my little fish. Her confidence is frightening. Too short to meet the height requirement, she and Tom were going down the waterslide today together. She was in such a hurry to get on the slide, she went down by herself. Her slight 27 lbs. frame shot out the end of the slide and plunged under water. Thankfully, she knew to hold her breath, came up with little more than a slight cough, and asked to do it all over again.