Dare I say….I think I have found a groove?!?! Maybe! MJ left on Monday morning for Reno, and I am here alone feeling triumphant! The laundry is caught up, homework done, house is cleaned, kids are cleaned, books read, and kids are in bed on time! We have reached so many milestones in the last two weeks it is hard to know where to start.
Mae Mae now goes to bed without having to be put into her bed sound asleep. I now rock her a little, and then we walk up stairs, and I put her in her crib. SO EASY!! For the first few weeks, we had to make sure she was really out before we put her down. If we didn’t wait long enough, she would wake up screaming. It was actually pretty cute because she would literally fall asleep with one eye open. Making sure you were still there. Making sure you weren’t planning on going anywhere. Mae Mae continues to have a hearty appetite, and will try anything. She loves playing with her brothers, and meeting new people. She is a little sweetheart.
Elle is getting more confident everyday! She is no longer terrified of Frodo, and will actually pet him on occasion. She still doesn’t like me to leave her sights, but will occasionally go off to play with other kiddos if she feels comfortable. She is slowly letting people other than me help take care of her needs, which is huge!
I have left the kids twice. The first was to co-chair GiGi’s Playhouse “i have a voice” gala on February 23rd. It was such a fun night! MJ and I were surrounded by so many of our friends and family celebrating people with Down syndrome and our son Carsten. What a fun night!!! Gabe, Carsten, Griffin, and Mae were having so much fun with the sitters they didn’t even notice we were gone. Elle handled it really well. She did not have any major breakdowns, but did wake up at 3:00 am, turned on all the lights, and searched the house for me. She never cried, but didn’t want to go back to sleep either. I also was able to leave the house for two hours on Sunday to hang with two of my best girl friends and paint. That was a great creative break! Once again, all the kids did well. When I returned Elle did give me some cold shoulder for a little bit, but quickly warmed back up to me.
Every night Elle still wakes up to check and make sure I am still here. She needs to make sure she hasn’t been dreaming, and her family is still surrounding her. It is such a precious moment. She always gives me a long hug, kiss, and holds me afterwards. To see her so relieved and happy that she is my daughter, puts me over the moon. Any other struggles seem minuet and petty in those moments. I love when she wraps her arms around me, and gives me her smile that is full of pure joy and love. I literally melt!
Now…is all peaches and cream? No. We still have melt downs on a daily basis as Elle tries to process all of the changes in her life, and works through her fears that this all may be temporary. She still lives in a state of fear that this is a dream that she will wake up from, and be returned to the hell she knew all to well. How do you explain to a child what forever is? What unconditional love is? How do I explain to her that I loved her with my whole heart from moment one? I feel like Mae already gets it, but she hadn’t been through all the things Elle had. Her emotional scars are not as deep as Elle’s. We will get there. One loving, patient glance, hug, kiss, meal, story time, bath, bedtime at a time.
Think of how far we have come in a month. Elle wouldn’t let me change her clothes or shoes for days. She slept in her orphanage clothes on top of the sheets. Now she helps pick out her clothes, loves bath time, and can’t wait to snuggle before bed. Mae wouldn’t let us put her down for three days. We weren’t sure she could walk. Now she runs a million miles an hour exploring every corner of this house.
Gabe and Carsten can’t wait to come home from school to play with their sisters and Griffin. Griffin has settled into his role as well. If Elle or Mae are crying, he is the first to express concern for his sisters. Now if he would stop hugging them so much…:)
Adoption is beautiful! My daughters are beautiful! I am so glad we decided to adopt two! We were all destined to be together! I think I am the happiest person in the world right now! I feel so lucky, so blessed, so full, so content! I highly recommend opening your home and your heart to adoption. Again, I will happily talk to anyone who is interested, and share MJ and my’s journey to our daughters! Thank you all for your continued out pouring of love, support, and prayers!