Monday, March 25, 2013

Several weeks home- an update

Tessa (Tizita's official nickname) has been with us long enough now that we're not even counting the time home anymore. I think that's a good sign. This Easter marks two months and it will be a special day of celebration.

Tessa is doing fabulous! She is content and happy about 95% of the time. Some of the biggest areas of growth are....

* She willingly lets us comfort her when she is upset. Previously she didn't want us to touch her or hold her when she was crying or upset and these moments were definitely our hardest during those first few weeks home. This is not uncommon with kids who have been in an orphanage for any length of time. But her trust and bonding with us has grown immensely and it is blissful to see her receive our snuggles and love.

* She doesn't wake up often at night! In the beginning she was up every two hours or so crying, and now she only wakes up 1-2 times a night for a short time. The best part is, she is looking for us to touch her and calm her back to sleep.

* She wakes up happy with sweet coos and sounds. I love just listening to her happy babble.

* She will drink water from her bottle and doesn't need her bottle 24/7. This was a huge step! The bottle has been her constant comfort for the last year- she literally had a bottle of formula in her hand 100% of the time for the past 10 months. But now that she lets us comfort her, she has given up on the bottle addiction.

Everyone asks us constantly how Tessa is doing. And she really is doing awesome! Life is still hard and overwhelming and some days I cry and feel defeated. But my tears and frustrations have nothing to do with Tessa's adjustment. They all center on my own struggle to release more control, become less selfish, lay down my rights, and serve and love the ones around me. It's hard, but a challenge that has priceless treasure on the other side!

Her personality is coming out so much! These four pictures capture her so well.

So talented! Sitting up against the couch by herself AND balancing a domino on her little arm at the same time!

Meeting Poppy and GiGi for the first time.

Merin got her nails painted for the first time by her cousins. She was so proud.

Sweet little spring dress that I had just to document a picture of. Lulo gave this dress to Merin last year and she is finally able to wear it. She would have loved seeing her in it.

Tessa and I were looking at a magazine in a waiting room and when I turned to this page, she yelled "Daddy!!!!"

Stroller derby.