Saturday, January 3, 2009

baby steps UPDATED - see bottom for this evening's addition

Without getting prematurely excited, I'll update the last couple of days . . . Yesterday we were invited to lunch at our friends' house, but we had to stop at the dentist on the way so Joel could have his braces removed. We were running late and after Sofia got dressed, I said "Now we need to do your hair" and she bolted. I managed to catch her before she ran downstairs (if she makes it to the rec room in the basement, then we end up playing cat-and-mouse around the coffee table and drum set . . .) and carried her to the bathroom (she only pinched me once). I stood her on the step stool, as usual, and undid the old braids. The only things she did in defiance were to slap the comb on the counter once and step down from the stool to stand on the floor. Other than that, I was able to complete the job without any fussing. A success!

Another surprising turn of events happened at dinner - she asked for milk! This is the first time she has drank milk since we came home. By the end of the night, she probably drank about 500ml (2 cups).

The most newsworthy of events happened after dinner, while Stefan and I were still sitting at the table. She was in her room playing, and she called for me to come turn over the cassette. Once I got the music started, she wanted me to stay so she could show me some things in her books. She sat in her little rocking chair and I sat on the floor beside her while she showed me several books. Eventually, Joel wandered in and sat on my lap, but they soon got into a disagreement and Stefan took Joel downstairs to play x-box. The rest of the evening she wanted me to be around, although there was an incident when she was playing with the dog and the dog got hurt but no one saw what happened. She felt bad while the dog was crying and hid in another room. Once the dog was okay, I brought Sofia close to her so she could see all was fine, but we talked about how she must be gentle and needed to say sorry. She resisted a lot, and even hit me, but after a few minutes said sorry and we moved on.

Since things were going fairly well, I took on the bedtime routine last night. Pyjamas went fine. Brushing teeth went fine - I even taught her how to use the new flouride mouthwash we got from the dentist for her and she tried it without a fuss. It took an hour and a half for her to fall asleep, and we had our ups and downs and disagreements over what's okay to do at bedtime, but at least she let me be there with her and hold her hand. A step in the right direction. (She usually prefers Stefan to put her to bed, and sometimes I can say goodnight, but not always.)

Today she went to the farm with Stefan in the morning. After they came home for a late lunch, he disappeared back there and she stayed home with the boys and me. We got along fine, she was even a little clingy with me and sat on my shoulders while we watched "Horton". She didn't even notice when Stefan came home! Hopefully tonight's routine will go well, and maybe it will even take less time for her to settle . . .

I'll leave you with a few photos:

{this is our little girl drinking milk again today at lunch - I think she drank about a half litre again today. }

{a picture of how much our skinny Mattias ate for lunch!}

{the workbench is popular with all kids}

{Joel's Webkin (Werfy) he got from the deGraafs}

While I was making dinner, there was a major row which ended with her finally saying sorry to her Papa and then to me. As I was finishing up the cooking, Stefan pointed out to her the scratch she gave me on the arm. She ran away (I thought she felt bad or didn't want to face it) and then came back with one of her Hello, Kitty bandaids and put it on the scratch. Dinner went well, and the rest of the evening was fine. Now, Stefan is reading to her in bed.

Hills and valleys.

Baby steps.


Cheri said...

Well... that's making baby steps and that in turn makes progress!
2009... here you come!!
Lots of love!

Amy said...

Good news for sure. It's all the little milestones that will add up. Before you know it, this will be a distant memory.

Carolynn and Steve said...

So glad to hear that there are baby steps in a positive direction! Hang in there!

Andrea said...

I'm happy for the progress! You know, it's a difficult age for girls. They want their independence, but can't handle most situations. They are so much more dramatic then the boys. (In my experience anyways) Little or no reaction to negative behavour when possible is probably the best! Hayley and Sarah both have short hair for a reason! As far as the taking stuff from the boys rooms... we do not allow the kids in each others rooms anymore. It's a safe place for their stuff. Respect for each others stuff carries over to respect for each other, we were (are) having issues!
Good news on the milk front! We have more snow here today! CRAZY!
Missing you. Love the photos!

Kim Abraham said...

I am so happy to hear things are getting better. It sounds to me like she really wants to have you near but may be still protecting her heart a little. You have such a great attitude and I pray that the transition pain become a distant memory very quickly!

Your skinny boys eat as much as my skinny boys. How do they do it!?!

Anonymous said...

Hi Barb,

Sounds like things are going better. :-) PTL. I agree with Andrea that this age is tricky. Jayde does her own hair (hers is shorter too) and just this morning her and I had a battle over her room which ended in screaming (her not me) and being sent to her room...(her not me) and on the way she said I don't love you anymore. Arghhhhh turned out okay in the end, so i can feel your frustration. Hang in there they really are complicated little people those girls..All our love. Sheri

tammy said...

yeah!!! i'm so glad things are progressing so nicely. it sounds like it was a good evening.

Anonymous said...

Great things going so well! I'm really impressed with how well she seems to be understanding what you say to her...seems her language skills are making giant steps forward :D
Keep up the awesome work!!!

Becky and Keith said...

Congrats on the baby steps... those are what keep us going the next day! :-) You are doing great!

findingourdaughter said...

God Bless you, your family and Sophia as you go through this transition and attachment process. I can only imagine how hard it can be.
Hugs and prayers,
Angie (waiting for a referral...registered in Vlad)

Joy said...

I agree this sounds like progress to me too. Although I am with her it has been years since I have drank milk. I guess if I get a referral I will have to start buying milk and drinking it too.

The story about the braids made me think about when I was a child. I always had my hair in braids too.

Over-Caffeinated x 4 said...


I am so glad that you can celebrate the baby steps. Remember, adopted children are NOT like bio children, so when you are getting advice on how to handle things, just try to keep it in perspective... that, coming from the person who sent you a ten page list of "advice!" :)

Anyway, I want to vehemently disagree with the idea of cutting her hair. As the mother of three boys, I have to say that you've waited a long time to "do hair" and I would shave my own head before I robbed myself of the chance to put a bow in Meg's hair. hehehe (I'm only sort of kidding.)

Just keep up the good work, I don't think you should under estimate what progress this really is.

The Holms

Denmark Road Trip

The outskirts of St. Pete

St. Petersburg

Saint Petersburg: Sankt-Peterburg, Russian pronunciation: is a city and a federal subject of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. The city's other names were Petrograd (1914–1924) and Leningrad (1924–1991). Founded by Tsar Peter I of Russia on 27 May, 1703, it was the capital of the Russian Empire for more than two hundred years (1713–1728, 1732–1918). Saint Petersburg is home to more than two hundred museums, many of them hosted in historic buildings. The largest of the museums is the Hermitage Museum, featuring interiors of the former imperial residence and a vast collection of art. Celebrating the 300th anniversary of its foundation, Saint Petersburg was selected as the main motif in a recent Finnish commemorative coin, the €10 Mannerheim and Saint Petersburg commemorative coin, minted in 2003. The reverse of the coin features a view of Saint Petersburg, with the Peter and Paul Fortress and its three turrets. In the coin the words "St. Petersburg 1703-2003" can be seen.