Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Teething or Greiving? Heck if I know.
Oh, sweet girl. We had a major hour long melt down at naptime yesterday. My hunch is teething, since a combo of Orajel and Tylenol seemed to quiet her down after we realized she was yanking on her gums with her two little fingers. She's done this a few times this week. Her mad drooling (for weeks, now) and the gum tugging seem to lead us to the teething conclusion.
Lucy hasn't really had any major "grieving" moments yet. There was a few short times in Ethiopia in the middle of the night, when we thought it could be confusion/grief, but they were pretty short lived. We completely realize this doesn't mean it won't happen down the road. For now, she seems quite happy to be here with us.
She is getting so so busy, which we think is a combo of development of physical skills and her growing confidence in her place in our family. Daily, she is increasing her volume and voice...she is quickly learning that when she shrieks loudly it gets our attention. She seems pretty darned pleased with herself when that happens. Again, I think she's becoming more and more "herself" in our presence...while it seems kind of new behavior to us, I think it's the real Lucy coming out as she feels secure in her place here.
Yesterday I also really tried to get her to make good eye contact with me. She has made eye contact with us all along, but for short little burst of about 3-4 seconds. Feeding is the perfect time to really work on it with her since she's laying in my arms, facing me for a good 15 minutes. So, I've been really talking to her, getting her to look me in the eye. I stroke her cheek and speak sweetly and softly to her...and the length of time she'll look me in the eye has really increased over the course of the day. Love those snuggly moments.
She seems to prefer us to anyone. Now that she's been with us for one whole month (today!) I'm feeling better about branching out a tiny bit. (She's hardly been out of the house!) I still am way protective about others holding her, my mom being about the only exception. She is always delighted to see her grammy! Even that, we keep it fairly short. While I'm so glad she's feeling comfortable, I would still like to see more of her checking in with us for "permission" by making eye contact with us. There's no doubt when someone new comes around she turns herself into me or Matt for security. She did alot more of the eye contact "permission" in the first two-three weeks, but is seeming alot more comfortable in the past week. I'm not really sure how long that is supposed to last (I'm open for input here from you more experienced adoptive moms). Really it's only with my mom that she really goes for it without checking with me or matt, which is maybe totally fine. She still will turn back to me after a few minutes and want back in my arms. My mom stayed with us for a week after we came home, and we knew after consulting with our social worker/counselor that since my mom is such a regular and close part of our life, it was ok for her to be here with us and be a part of Lucy's "inner circle" of trusted people. With others, she doesn't really want anyone else to hold her and is happy to stay in my arms or close to me. It's a little tricky because she's so mobile and busy...hard to know sometimes what is personality and what is "adoption" stuff. I think she's doing so good. So much change in her life, and she's adapted incredibly well.
Bed time is interesting, right now our routine is to rock her in her room for about 20 minutes before she dozes off. We've gotten into a pretty firm routine, we walk in her room, grab her blanket out of her crib, give her a little swaddle (which she protests, but then instantly settles down when I pick her up) and then we sit in the chair with the big soft snuggly blanket, which we tuck under her face on my chest (or Matt's). The girl LIKES her softy stuff on her face to go to sleep. We realized in ET that the beds at the care center had these really plush blankets on the mattresses, tucked in around the edges. So did the bed at the guest house. So, she is used to going to sleep against some really soft texture. As soon as we sit and get settled in the chair, her eyes get heavy and droopy, but it still takes her a bit to fall asleep. We've tried putting her in bed before she's all the way asleep, but she always gets more awake and gets herself all playful and takes forever to fall asleep, and usally gets worked up and needs us to come rock her to sleep. We've decided for now, we'll just rock her to sleep. It seems so against all the "sleep experts" advice to do so, but we are feeling fine about. I think for her, and a child in her circumstances, it's healthy that she's showing dependance on us to comfort her and help her fall asleep. We'll deal with her going to sleep on her own down the road. For now, when I rock her, I can't help but think of all the months she's fallen asleep on her own in a crib, without a mama to rock her. At first it was really frusterating that she wouldn't settle down and go to sleep. We fussed around trying to figure out what works and finally settled on just doing a very predictable routine and sticking with it, until she learned the cues that this means "TIME TO SLEEP!".
I have learned to relax, be ok with my boys watching 30 minutes of video or cartoon if that's what it takes for us to have 30 quiet minutes to get her to sleep. Those are 30 precious minutes of snuggling and talking sweetly...which 3 times a day, is an hour and a half of really sweet time with our girl. And, some days, it's really nice to have a forced 30 minutes of quiet relaxing time, in a dark, quiet room. I'm learning to find joy in the menial tasks and being home all the time, which is a challenge for this mom. The Lord is teaching me so much about just BEing. Not waiting. I have to untrain myself from waiting. It's been two years of waiting. Waiting for our homestudy to be done, paperwork to be finished, getting on the waitlist. Waiting for the time to go by on a waitlist. Waiting for court. Waiting for travel. Waiting to get home. Wait. Wait. Wait. Our nature is to be always looking foward to the next thing. For babies to be out of diapers. For kids to be in school. For the next bigger house with a better yard. For life to be easier....and those things will all likely come. But, I'm learning that the Lord is HERE. NOW.TODAY. Life isn't going to get normal like the normal we knew 2 months ago. Even though at times we really wish it could just feel normal, I know that in that normal, we were dying for our third child to be here. My normal needs to be leaning on Jesus for my strength, every day. Easy or hard. My day needs to be centered on his love and joy. The rest, we just have to let go of. Before we know it, we'll be into the next "season" of life, missing the 30 minutes of rocking my baby girl to sleep. My dependance needs to be on the Lord. Not on myself to keep it all under control. No matter what I can do...it's just NOT under my control. I am learning to just keep it cool, ask the Lord for patience and grace for the demands of my day. I'm learning that my joy comes when I stop fighting for what I want the day to be about. The things I need to accomplish (or WANT to accomplish). That my day needs to be about loving and guiding my children through their day peacefully and joyfully. I have definitely not perfected that, but every day it's getting easier to let go of my expectations and just BE. I thought I already had learned that, but I guess we're never done learning what the Lord has for us :) A friend shared this blog post with me that says it so well! (Thanks Trish!)