Haylie has been doing really well, we have seriously gotten very lucky! She is warming up to the boys nicely. Hunter has probably had the hardest time adjusting, it's hard sharing your toys when you never had to before, but then having to share your mom's lap is even harder! He is coming around though, I think they only shoved each other off my lap once today!
Riley is so in love with his baby sister! I was so worried that he had built her up so much in his mind that when he realized she can't talk and wouldn't know how to play with him, that he wouldn't like her. Man was I ever wrong! He plays with her and she loves giving him hugs, it's awesome to watch!
Logan has done awesome too, he was actually the first one (out of ALL of us) that Haylie gave a hug to! What a cool honor for him!
Through this journey people have told me how much they love my honesty, so I intend to keep it that way. The good, the bad, the ugly. Obviously for our family's privacy we won't include everything, but as someone phrased it to me today, I won't "fluff" it all up.
We have had a lot of good times! Thankfully I can honestly say more good times than bad. The bad though, man they can be frustrating! We have to remind ourselves that she's been home for only a week! Sleeping is absolutely our biggest issue. She is terrified of sleeping in her room. We can't blame her though! She spent the first 3 years of her life sharing a room with 40 kids and now suddenly we expect her to be comfortable sleeping alone? Luckily for her, her daddy is amazing and has been sleeping on a twin mattress next to her bed. It's comforting for her when she wakes up throughout the nighy to turn over and see that she isn't alone. Tonight was actually the first night that she has willingly gone to her room, climbed into her bed, and fallen asleep without crying. Praise the Lord!
It's been awesome watching her eat, weird I know. In China she loved whatever we gave her, or at least she ATE whatever we gave her. Towards the end of our time there she was starting to leave her rice and noodles and just eat everything else. Now that we're home we have snacks available for her all of the time. During meals if she doesn't like something she just leaves it. It's nice to know that she feels enough trust in us that we'll keep the food coming and she doesn't need to eat everything simply because she doesn't know when the next meal will come. So even though we've made those big steps, if Hunter goes near her snack cup she gets really upset with him! Hopefully he'll learn quickly not to mess with her food!
So here is the ugly, and every parent getting ready to adopt should read this! Through all of the classes, the books, the articles, no one ever mentioned how YOU the parent will feel. I was so focused on how Haylie would be and how the boys would adapt that I never stopped and thought about me. Let me tell you, this has been hard! Let me also say this, baby blues can come with adoption too! I have spent a lot of time crying and praying and wondering about the faith that pulled us onto this path. But as each day goes on, jetlag gets better, and sleep becomes a more regular thing, I can see clearly again and feel like this was definitely our calling and we did the right thing! I say this so that if anyone else is having concerns, know you are not alone! And when the fog lifts, you'll be able to reaffirm all of your choices! And look at this face, our lives have forever been changed for the better!
A lot of people have asked if Haylie is warming up to Sage any better? I'll let this next picture answer that question...
I think having Sage sleep upstairs with her was actually a blessing for not only me, but for their bond. Sage can now feed her, change her diaper, get her dressed, help her use the potty, pick her up....everything that I can do. Hallelujah!
So we covered good and ugly, just the bad left. Baby girl is your typical 3yr old! Tell her no and she can throw a tantrum like a pro! Between all 3 boys we've never had a kid throw themself on the floor crying, she has mastered it quickly! We've opted to ignore the behavior and gradually the tantrums are lasting shorter amounta of time. I'm sure the professionals wouldn't agree with us ignoring the tantrum, but it's working for us and she seems no worse off when they've stopped!
Another big step that happened today, all 3 dogs were allowed to join the family again! She has been terrified of them so we gradually brought them out for short periods of time through out the day. Finally today we said enough is enough and just let them back in. She spent probably the entire morning on the couch just observing everything, but by afternoon she was back up playing. This evening I even caught her reaching out to pet one as they walked by. Big steps!!!!
I know everyone is anxious to meet her but for now Sage and I will tag team it with the boys activities and just leave Haylie at home for awhile. We want to make sure that she is confident in who her parents are and that she is confident that we'll keep her safe. In time we'll slowly bring her out to events and give her a taste of what our lives are really like! Until then we'll shelter her at home and all learn what our new normal is!
Here are just a few more pictures to leave you with. Also, this Friday is our first appointment with the cleft team. We are really excited to hear the plan of care for our little girl!