3 Years of Lil' Bug

by Dani


Three years ago today my tiny, delayed Lil' Bug was first placed in my arms. He's condition scared me, but I'd known he was mine for 9 months. Oh, was I ever right! I can not imagine my life without this special little boy!

I am so proud of how far he has come in the last 3 years. He is now a happy, strong willed little boy who can do anything he sets his mind to. He does not let his limb difference stop him from doing ANYTHING he wants to do. He climbs, rides his bike, colors, does a crazy good front roll, and anything else he decides to try.

His biggest challenge has been his language delay due to his hearing loss but since getting his hearing aid last year his speech has really improved. He is down to only one day of speech therapy a week. And he is getting pretty good at expressing complex ideas with his words. 

Lil' Bug has a way of worming into peoples' hearts. It's hard to not love his silly little self. He interacts well with all his siblings but remains Butterfly's special pet and is learning his role as Big Brother to Dragonfly.

Can't wait to see how the next year unfolds!


3 Months Update

by Dani


Dragonfly has been with us for three months already!! How is that even possible??

She is doing really, really well. A few things of note. She is over her fear of the animals. She doesn't seem to care that much for the dog (but doesn't avoid him either), but she loves to chase the cats around the house! lol

She continues to learn new words and is starting to repeat phrases. She chatters none stop although most of it is baby gibberish.

About three weeks ago she decided to really try this walking thing. As I've mentioned, she COULD walk when she came to us, but she just never really did. Whatever happened to make the switch flip,  flip it did. She is getting stronger and stronger and now walks all over the house and rarely scoots or crawls as before. We are still hoping to have PT take a look at her as something seems off in her gait that might have been the root of the delay in walking, but we are so excited she is doing so well with no intervention!

And in one more huge piece of good news, we seem to have found a medical management for Dragonfly's GI issues we have battled since China. The pediatric GI doctor is fairly certain that she does not have Hirschsprung's disease which was the working diagnosis in China (this BTW was the surprise SN that we were hit with in China without any forewarning).  So no more tests and no surgery! YAY!

She is such a busy little girl and a joy to have around! Here is the little Miss with her baby dolls all tucked in beside her. :)


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!



Ladybug Five Years Later

by Dani


Five years ago today, we were in China for the first time. We were standing in a too small room for the number of families crammed into it peering down a LOOOOOOONG hall way. Waiting. Waiting for a baby girl.

And then there she was. Our little Ladybug.

She's come a long way since then. She's our funny...

Expressive....

And sweet.....

Ladybug. Our lives would be so dull without her happy chatter and dramatic flare!
Happy Ladybug Day
We love you.


Jet Lag and Some Firsts

by Dani


Well, we made it home late Friday night. The trip went pretty well as Dragonfly is a good traveler for a 2 yr old. She slept a good part of the way.

She has done quite well with jet lag, but it has kicked my butt! Dragonfly slept from 9 PM to 8 AM last night without waking up. I was awake from 4:45-5:45. Sigh. Hopefully tonight will be normal.

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Dragonfly is doing quite well over all. I'm sure she will feel more and more secure as our schedule repeats and she realizes that we will not be moving to a new place every 5 days! She is basically over her fear of strangers having been drug all over China for 2 weeks. Her fear of animals... well, that's a work in process.

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Miss D is really loving her siblings. And they are loving her. Butterfly, Cricket, and Ladybug fight over playing with her and are very sweet to her. Lil' Bug is another story. He has done well so far, but I think the honeymoon is over and the green eyed monster is showing it's head. Still they have had some fun playing together.

I tried to get a picture of all 5 kids together. It was a comedy of errors. Someone wasn't looking. Dragonfly looking everywhere but the camera. Cricket picks his nose... twice. I yell "STOP PICKING YOUR NOSE!!!" So Lil' Bug starts to pick his! OY!!!

Today Dragonfly tried something new. I gave her a spoon and let her try to feed herself. She did so well! Feed herself a small bowl of yogurt. She was so proud!