Thursday, June 16, 2011

Journey's first week

A week ago right now, I was trying to sleep, but failing. I was so excited because Eric and Journey were on the plane heading home and I would be seeing them in a matter of hours. This past week has seemed like a blur. Lots of coasting and adjusting and not a lot of sleep!

The first couple of days she was on her own schedule, and went to bed really early, meaning she also got up really early. Vivi is a night owl and Eric went back to work right away to save his vacation days for bringing Little Boy home, so I was up late with Vivi and up early with Journey. Thankfully they are now on a similar schedule for bedtime and nap time, which makes life easier!

Journey was a bit confused about all the changes during the first couple of days and wanted to be held constantly. She cried when we put her down, and she cried between bites of food if we didn't feed her fast enough. As the days have gone by though, she has started to cry less, and laugh more. She has a very joyful personality! The first few days she would wake up in the morning grumpy and fussy until she was halfway through breakfast. Now she wakes up cheerful and is (mostly) patient while I make her oatmeal. She has started to feed herself, rather than crying until I scoop more food off of her plate, and she even tries using her spoon and fork. The changes we are seeing in her each day are amazing!

A big part of her adjustment has been Vivi. She loves her big sister and smiles when she sees her. If Vivi is doing something, Journey (or Joey, as Vivi calls her) wants to be a part of it. If Vivi is laughing, Journey laughs. Vivi is doing a GREAT job of being a big sister. She is learning to share and loves to help out. Every morning when she wakes up and sees Journey, she gets a big smile and says "baby sister!" I think she still can't believe she's finally here either :)

I took Journey to the pediatrician this week for her first visit, which happened to be the day after she turned 15 months old. She weighs 21.85 lbs and is 29 inches tall (although I think the nurse measured a bit wrong, she looked about 28 inches on the yardstick today). For comparison, Vivi at 18 months was 22 lbs and 32 inches tall. They are definitely different shaped babies!

We got a prescription for amoxicillin to hopefully get rid of the recurring upper respiratory infection once and for all, as well as referrals to an ophthalmologist (that word has wayy to many extra letters in it, I get it wrong every time!) and a pediatric plastic surgeon. You have probably noticed that Journey has a lazy eye, and may have also noticed that she is missing 2 fingers on her right hand, and has 3 fused fingers on her left hand. It hardly slows her down, and with some reconstructing and therapy she'll be good to go!

Because she spent most of her little life in an orphanage, she is a bit delayed for her age. She was well fed (as you can see in the pictures) and well loved by the many adults who came into contact with her, but there are so many babies that need love and care that it is hard to give enough one on one attention to help them develop to American standards. Journey doesn't walk yet, but she's a great crawler, and likes to pull herself up to standing. She can cruise along the couch, the wall, Eric, etc. Today she pulled herself up to standing using my dad for support and let go and just stood for a solid few seconds. I think now that she is getting more opportunity to practice, she'll be walking very soon!

And of course there are language delays. Besides typical delays from living in an orphanage, she is also in a new country. It could be awhile before she starts understanding and eventually speaking English. She doesn't say anything that sounds like an Amharic word, just babble. Although she has sounded like she's getting close to saying "mama" already :)

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