One Month Home with Dragonfly

by Dani

Wow! It's been one month (actually 1 month and one week by the time I finally post this) since we arrived back home with Dragonfly (and 6 weeks since we met her in China). Over all things are going very, very well.

Miss Dragonfly fits nicely into the family. She loves her oldest siblings and all 3 are great at entertaining her. She and Lil'Bug are doing ok. He has really surprised me with how gentle and understanding he is with her. Tonight he made her smile by tickling her and he was so excited and happy that he made her smile. He's sharing me very well and is even willing to share some of his toys. She isn't as willing to share. While she will occasionally hand him a toy, she definitely thinks my lap is only for her and will start to scream/cry if I'm holding him and not her too. Even though the screaming is annoying, it is also a good sign that her attachment to me is increasing.

Attachment/bonding is going well. It's going so well that it is easy to forget how short her time with us has actually been.  I'm sure outside observers could think that she was completely bonded to us, but then there is a moment when I can not comfort her because I have no clue why she is crying or when she obviously does not want me, and I know we're still working on it.

She is usually a very happy child. She smiles, giggles, and sings most of the time. She is smiling minutes after medical procedures that would have my other children out of sorts for hours. She is also very strong willed. In fact, when people tell us how sweet and angelic she is, we just laugh and say just don't tell her no! She is definitely 2 yrs old, definitely knows her own mind, and can throw a good ol' toddler temper tantrum with the best of them! Still she is also a sensitive little one. When you have to correct a behavior no matter how gentle you are in saying no, don't do that, she will start to sob.

She is eating well and sleeping well. At first I had a horrible time getting enough fluids in her. She just won't drink. I tried every kind of drink: juices, water, milk. I tried hot, cold, room temperature, this sippy cup, that sippy cup, bottle, straws ... on and on. Finally I tried an open cup and it worked! She is now drinking enough, and while right now I usually help her, she is beginning to be able to drink from an open cup on her own. 

As I mentioned above, she is a very vocal child. She babels all the time and is starting to talk in English. She babbles along when the children pray at dinner trying to say "God is great".  She will sing songs (or at least the tune) of things she is hearing. Her favorite is the ABC song. She repeats tones of words after us. So far she uses the following words in spontaneous speech: mama, yeah,  Butterfly's name, Cricket's name, Lil' Bug's name, her own name, cup, up, all done (also signs this), more (also signs), bye bye, cat, dog, car, off, stop/stop it, here, go, cracker, shoe, and diaper.  She can also make a number of animal sounds and will pretend to count things.

Some Dragonfly favorite things include playing out of doors in the Little Tikes car, reading books, and taking her dolly for a stroll.

Medically, we are still working through a number of issues. We've been very busy with lots of doctors appointments and tests. We how know of 3 additional special needs which not disclosed to us before the adoption (these WERE known just not passed on, but that's another blog post.) We've already been to Shriners and Dragonfly was fitted for a pair of braces to stretch her hands out at night. (I need to get a pic of them when I remember.) We are waiting on Early Intervention to get her in for OT and PT. I'm especially excited to start PT to address a number of the on going issues. Than next Monday we have an appointment with the Pediatric Gastroenterology which I really hope will help us get to the bottom of the GI issues we are dealing with.

Everyday Dragonfly is with us, it feels more and more like she had always been here. And hopefully soon I will have a good routine down for getting everything done with 5 kids. But that's probably another blog post too!