Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Six months home (plus a bit)

The girls have now been home for 6 months so I thought some of you might like an update.

Danielle: She walks nearly normally now and her legs have gotten so much stronger. A month or two ago when she was walking I could tell that her ankles were turning in due to weakness--even that has now corrected itself! We are constantly getting comments from parents and teachers at school about how much her walking and balance has improved. Danielle is VERY social and all of her classmates love her (the feeling is mutual). She loves school and loves to tell me all of the things she does each day. Her English is coming along really well. We can actually have conversations now and swap questions and answers. There are still times when she says things and I say "what??" and she shrugs and smiles and says "I no know" because she's trying to tell me something but she doesn't actually know the English word for it. She is such a funny girl--her new favorite word is "yeehaw" (they just studied cowboys in school). Danielle has gained 8 lbs in 6 months and weighs nearly as much as her brothers!

Emily: Our little talker is having a language explosion! Her speech is getting much clearer with her obdurator although most people would be hard-pressed to understand much of it. She absolutely loves to sing and walks around in the afternoons asking me to sing with her. Emily wants to do everything the big kids do and they do a really good job of looking after her (and tattling when she's doing things she's not supposed to!). She showers just like the big kids and has gained at least 5 lbs since coming home. She can dress and undress herself with the occasional exception of shirts (she has a hard time getting them off by herself). Emily is our snuggler and we usually spend 15-20 minutes in the afternoon with me "slinging" her without a sling. I hold her on my hip but tuck her right arm behind me and drop her down a bit and she snuggles into my chest. I think this has been great for her bonding. I've debated actually getting a sling (baby wrap, etc.) but since she's already at 30 lbs I'm not sure how much longer we'd be able to use it. We've seen a great decrease in her attempts to hug anything in sight but we still watch her like a hawk and usually head things off before she even gets a chance to try. Oh, and Emily can now run. And I do mean run. When we first got home she could barely walk so it's great to watch her take off after her siblings (although she gets mad when she can't catch them!).

Let me know if you have any questions about where they're at developmentally and their progress since coming home. I tried to hit some of the highlights but I might have left off some things that people would like to know. :)

I should mention that I LOVE the six-month mark. It just seems to feel like things are settling down at about 6 months home. Language is no longer such a barrier and I really start feeling a connection to the kids after 6 months. I felt this same way with the boys. I'm not sure if I need 6 months to adjust to them or they need that 6 months to adjust to family life, but either way it's great to see how far we've all come!


Michelle said...

what a wonderful update! :) :)

Milena said...

Wonderful to read! I warms my heart and makes me so happy to read about both girls' immense progress; talking, walking, attachment! They seem to be two such lovely girls! Thank you so much for sharing!

- I'm blogging for Nadya; to help her find a family -

Audrey said...

Great update! So encouraging ;)

What an awesome family you have!!

Wendy said...

Hi, you don't know me, I lurk your blog but I brought my son home from Ukraine just six months ago too. We have four home grown kids so adoption is new for us but I was just thinking how lately things seem so much smoother, I feel so much closer to him-more like he's mine rather than a little stranger running around my house.
Your post reassured me that maybe these first few rough months were normal?
You hit it right on the head, things are settling down and like you I don't know if it is me adjusting to him or him adjusting to us.
Thanks for sharing.

Bethany said...

Hooray! What great strides, literally, even! Glad all is well.

Courtney said...

Wendy, I would say for me months 2 or 3 to month 4 or 5 are the hardest. It's that stage where they realize they're stuck with us but still can't communicate. And since they can't communicate (but can still be little terrors!) it's hard for me at least to really feel like I'm getting to know them and thus, to bond. You're perfectly normal to me! :)

Tina said...

Such encouraging stuff. Loved this post and so glad you shared it, as it sounds like many other families need to hear it!

Our mission said...

I was catching up on your family...sounds like the girls are doing so welll!
Just wanted to mention that I think the Ergo carrier we got when we went to adopt Sean (Slava on RR) can officially carry up to 50 lbs. That is great how you've been doing therapeutic activities that are fun with them :) Keep up the great work!
--Traci Adamson