Wednesday, December 14, 2011

5 months....

Dariya has been home for 5 months.  I know some adoption stories aren't as easy as ours has been and for that we are truly grateful.

She just fits into our family.  She isn't a square peg that we are trying to shove into a round hole.  I forget that she has only been here a few months, seems like forever.  She just fits perfectly, just as God had planned.

Don't get me wrong life with two preschoolers and an 8 year old (going on 30) isn't always easy.  For example, the GI Joe Dariya dropped in the bathtub the other night and tried to help us scoop it out or that both girls are starting to run so how come I am always the one who is tired at nap time?
Having all three kids is a huge blessing.

We have been told that about 6 months is the time when adoptive children lose their native language.  This obviously causes some language barriers, stress on the adopted child and therefore some unwanted behaviors.

As we get closer to 6 months home, we have noticed that Dariya has lost almost all of her Russian already.   When I spoke a phrase in Russian to her the other night she just looked at me blankly as if to say, "what are you speaking?"  Then Jason tried another few words and she didn't even stop what she was doing to look up or take notice.  

Her sign language is well over 100+ (sorry I haven't counted lately) and her verbal language continues to rise almost daily.  She loves learning and going to school and is doing very well.

We have also seen another rise in her self soothing, rocking behavior during the night which was almost completely gone.  Thankful we haven't seen it during the day since the first few months home.

About a month ago I was thrilled that she could actually say mama and know that was me.  She has been saying mama since we met her but, she never really equated it to me.

However, we have also seen a slight set back in that she started calling Jason, the bus aide, and even a 9 year old girl from church "mama" and probably all her teachers as well.  We quickly redirect her and she moves on but, to say that this isn't a process in our journey would be a lie.

The other week at church she walked up to a complete stranger and wanted her to pick her up.  This is not a good thing in adoption bonding.  I had to politely ask the woman not to pick her up and explained why.  Thankfully this woman works with children with special needs and had some understanding of adoption and bonding so wasn't offended by my request.  Yes, some people are offended when adoptive parents have asked them not to feed, cater to, pick up or show affection to their adopted child.  We have been blessed with a great group of people around us who "get it" and have asked before picking her up and have been thoughtful in not hindering our family bonding but, we know many families that this hasn't been the case.

We continue to work on the bonding and family relationship.  She understands we are her family and would probably choose me over anyone (unless you had food) but she really doesn't understand what a "family" is yet.  We know that time will help her understand and give her the connection to us and help her to feel stable and secure in where God has placed her.

Overall, our months together have been wonderful.  The bond between Aidan, Alayna and Dariya brings my heart joy each day.  To hear the giggles that come from the girls when Aidan plays with them is truly priceless.  To watch the girls pretend play is nothing short of fabulous.

Looking forward to watching the bonds grow, seeing her experience and learn new things and enjoying our blessings along this beautiful journey.


Mud pies and Moonlight said...

5 months...doesn't time fly? I wonder what I will be writing about 5 months from now.... I can't wait to find out. Love you, friend, love you all.

Ashley Gibson said...

Wow! 5 months!!! Crazy to think that I fell in love with sweet Dariya's photo on RR about a year ago! Thanks so much for the update - we feel the EXACT same way about Carter. He just fits perfectly. Completely by God's design. It's fun for me to read your update and wonder where Carter might be a few months from now. I know, each child is drastically different - but it makes me realize that knowing all those signs and speaking words IS possible!

You mentioned a while back something about those straws...would you send me some info on them, and how they have worked for you? We're looking into different therapies like that, and would love to hear your take! gibsons15 (at) sbcglobal (dot) net! Thanks!!

The Annessa Family said...

Thanks for sharing your heart and for your honesty...those who are following you in the process really need it!


Becca said...

Wow, time really flies! I love hearing the ups and downs of the bonding process, and how beautifully she's adapting. A perfect fit!

Lacey said...

When we first got Arina home, she would go to anyone. I know that was because she was used to multiple caregivers. Now, a little over a year later, she definitely knows momma and daddy, and prefers us. It just takes a little time. We say a few things to Arina in Russian. Like no, and bye bye. I hope she never forgets those, as its a piece of her history!