Friday, June 26, 2009

Doctors



This has been a week full of doctor appointments and blood work.

Lilah saw our pediatrician on Monday and she said that everything looks good and that she is healthy. She is not worried about her weight, just wants us to continue with formula and vitamins. We then went to see a plastic surgeon to look at the shape of her head, which is very crooked. At the age of two it is too late to do any molding with a helmet and he thought by the time her hair thickens and grows, it won't be all that noticable. It is not related to any syndromes, which is good news!

On Wednesday we went to see the pediatric plastic surgeon (who shares an office with Tim and was really excited to see her -- he helped us in our decision of accepting our referral) and he looked at her face. He thinks she has a tessier 4 craniofacial cleft. He will talk to other surgeons and they will plan when to do a CT scan to see exactly what it all looks like and then they can come up with a plan for surgery. We need to see an opthamolagist as well, to check out the eye. He thought the doctor in China did a really good job, that the lip looked great.

There will be a few surgeries in Lilah's future, the first will likely be the biggest.

After one month with her, I rarely even notice the difference in her face anymore. She is just Lilah and she is a beautiful little girl!



Her sleeping is slowly improving as she becomes more comfortable. I lay down with her for her nap, I was missing reading my books and that is my time to do that. At bedtime, we follow our everyday routine, have a long cuddle, reading books and then I lay her down in her crib and she is peaceful and falls asleep. She still wakes about every one to two hours, and by 1am is usually in bed with us for the night. I love her cuddles, she wraps her arm around my neck and swings her leg over my waist. How precious is that?!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Lilah's Shower



Last night my friends threw Lilah a book shower. She loved dressing in her pretty dress (that is her favorite word!) and seeing all the gifts. We received many wonderful books to read to her throughout the years to come! Nancy went to a lot of work (with the help of some friends) and the shower was perfect, down to every last little detail. Everything was in pink and green, the music from my blog was playing in the background and they had even made wontons.



They spent some time praying over us.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Sleep Issues



Lilah has been having some big sleep issues, that don't seem to be getting any better as time goes on. I have looked online for suggestions on what to do, but can't seem to find anyone who has gone through what we are going through...

We have tried many different things and nothing seems to work so far. We co-slept with her in China, knowing that she was scared and trying to attach to each other. We co-slept the first while back at home as well, until she was used to her new surroundings. She was always rocked to sleep and so we are continuing with that (she is very cuddly and snuggles right in), but the minute you get up to put her in her bed, she screams. At first it was a scared scream, now it is just more of a temper tantrum. I sit in the chair in her room, until she goes to sleep (once I get her to quiet down), and that seemed to be working at getting her used to her new bed, but now she is waking every 5 - 20 minutes to make sure I am still sitting in the chair. If not, the screaming begins until I sit down again. I am not really willing to sit in their for 1 1/2 hours every afternoon (I still have my five year old at home too) and I am not really willing to sit in their or go to bed with her a 8pm every evening. I also don't want her to be scared and I don't want to damage her in any way!

So for the adoptive mom's out there who may have some advice... I would love to hear it! For those of you who pray, I ask that you pray that she feels secure and safe, and that our attachment to each other continues to become stronger and stronger. I am amazed at how fast she has attached to Tim and I, but know that can change quickly if we let it.



On Monday, the doctor's appointments begin. She will see our pediatrician first (I am very curious to see what she will say compared to the Chinese doctor!) and then Lilah will see a craniofacial specialist, mostly to get an opinion on the shape of her head and if we need to do anything about that. We expect lots of crying as she doesn't like anybody she doesn't know near her.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The braces are off!

Today Abby got her braces off after three years with them. She looks so different and so much more grown up somehow! She has to wear a retainer for the next while, but it is sure nice to see her bright white smile! Tomorrow she will be going to a photographer to do some promotional modeling for the dentist office she was at. She is a gorgeous girl! Inside and out...

Lilah is doing really well. She seems to be over the jet lag, but is still very insecure and nervous anytime it is time to sleep. I put her down in her crib for the first part of her nap, until she wakes up crying for me in fear that I have left, then I lay down with her for the rest. I guess it gives me time to read, although poor Micah is left to play on his own for awhile! Hopefully, she will soon feel safe and will start sleeping on her own in her own bed, naps and nighttime. She is still sleeping with us at night and wakes about every hour just to make sure we are there. She turns over and wraps her arms around my neck with all her might and whimpers, but goes back to sleep. I think she had a nightmare last night, as she awoke all of a sudden screaming. I feel so bad for her and all she has gone through in her short life. It amazes me how much all she has been through affects her so strongly. I wish she could understand what I say and comprehend me when I tell her she is safe and I am not leaving... She copies many english words, but today on her own kept saying "pretty" when Abby would hand her a Disney sticker.

Lilah is settling into our busy lifestyle. She HATES being buckled into the car seat and screams like she is going to die the entire time we are in the truck! She is in a seat where she can see me the entire time, so she knows I am there, she just doesn't like being restrained. As of Friday, she had probably never even used a seat belt. The boys are still doting on her every minute and Micah is doing better now that the older kids are at school and he gets her to himself. He doesn't like her nap time and asks if I can wake her up to play. They are all very sweet.






It has taken time for me to attach to her, even though the feelings I have had throughout this process have been very strong for her. I think I was guarded because she refused me for the first ten days, now she wants me all the time and she is a very cuddly girl which I love. The attachment gets stronger everyday and I am feeling very protective of her. She is getting attention where ever she goes! She is very sweet and full of personality. The screaming can get a bit much (I had forgot how demanding two year olds can be!), but I remain calm and am trying to teach her to remain calm and use manners. She responds really well. She seems to be attaching to me as well, people try to touch her or hold her (even the kids) and she won't let them if she is in my arms.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Home Sweet Home








Well after a long flight home and some delays, we actually made it home on time. Lilah did pretty good on the flight, only screamed at take off and landing. It was her first time in a seatbelt and she did not like it! We came to the customs area in Vancouver and the line ups were crazy. Luckily, we had a little immigrant with us and so we headed off to our own special line up where we were moved to the front of the line because we are Canadian and it was an adoption. We were out of there in no time.

Coming down the escalator at the Edmonton airport was very emotional. There was a large group of people waiting for us and our children had made welcome home signs. They had balloons and Lilah was laughing immediately.

Since we have gotten home she has played nonstop with her new siblings. They are doting on her every need and keeping her very entertained! She is happy and busy, getting used to our food, exploring our house and TRYING to get into a new routine. Jetlag is not fun! She went to sleep in her crib the first night for a couple of hours and then was up for three hours and then slept in my bed until noon. The second night she slept in her crib for the first few hours (restlessly), was then up for 1 1/2 hours, and then slept until 8am (when we woke her up) this morning. Today, she had a full two hour nap in her crib and hopefully at some point she will surprise us and sleep all night in her crib as well. Well, we can start with at least her sleeping through the night, which she hasn't done since we got her...

Our five year old is feeling a little misplaced. He is very emotional and sad. It will be good on Monday when the older kids are in school and he can spend time with her by himself. Lilah is fitting right in. She is happy and adjusting and attaching to us all.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Last night in China








Tomorrow we head for home and we are so ready! Our kids are missing us and want us home now, we want to be with them too. This trip has been amazing and has flown by. It has been busy enough that we really haven't had time to get too homesick (until today), but now we are anxious to be at home and to settle into a routine with Lilah. She has no idea what our regular day to day life is like! Busy.... But summer is almost here and so camping will begin and the kids will be home to play with.


We took it pretty easy today. It was nice not to have to get up for anything this morning! Lilah had a restless night and she now sleeps next to me, so I am the one to rub her back, and I am the one who's eyebrows she needs to play with (it is a bit of a strange quirk!). She napped with me this afternoon, but then woke up still tired, I stood and she let me rock her and then slept in my arms for another hour and a half. She walks holding my hand. If she wants something she will come grab my hand to pull me with her. She will sit on my lap for food, tonight at Pizza Hut (really really no so Pizza Hut like) she actually sat in her own chair. Her two year old personality is coming out more and more and she, like any other two year old, is testing us. After four kids, I don't think we get too wound up when she wants to throw a fit here and there!


We took no pictures today. So I am posting some of my shots of China instead. It is a beautiful country that is a fascinating place to visit and we plan to come back eventually with the whole family.


Our flight leaves here tomorrow at 4pm (Friday) and we get home to Edmonton at 6pm. Weird! My next post will be from HOME.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Goodbye China Party








Today is the last day in China for many of the families here. Only the Alberta families stay until Friday as that is how the flights worked out. Tonight was the Goodbye China Party at a restaurant. FOI gave all the children a beautiful scroll with their chinese names painted on them. There was a magician to entertain the children and Lilah loved watching him. There was one BC family that I have talked to often throughout this process that were also invited to the party and also received a gift from FOI. It was great to meet them in person and see their sweet daughter Sylvie. They will be on the same flight home.


This morning we went to see The Forbidden City and Tiananmen Square. It was once again very busy and very hot. The history is very interesting and very complicated. There were guards and police everywhere as tomorrow is the 20th anniversary of the massacre that occurred there.


Lilah is now off to bed. She has had a busy day and now that she is more secure she is willing to be let down to run and play.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Day 8




This will be a short post as we are tired tonight and Lilah is already sound asleep in our bed. She is co-sleeping with us. We had decided that if she needed to do that we would let her and so far she is not willing to sleep elsewhere. She usually goes to sleep clinging to Tim, but tonight he rocked her for awhile and then I rubbed her back in bed until she fell asleep. Everyday she lets Paige be more for her.


Today we went to the Pearl Market, which is also a huge indoor shopping market. On the way back to the hotel we went to a traditional tea ceremony at a tea house. It was suppose to be very serious and quiet.... Not with an adoption group! This evening we went to a Chinese Acrobat show that was amazing. Lilah loved the first half. She would raise her arms like the dancers and then her legs like with dancers and clapped very happily. She watched the second half too, but a two year old will only sit in one spot for so long!


All is well and getting better each day. We really appreciate all the comments we are reading from everyone, this is an amazing experience and we are glad we can share it. I am also so grateful to Kim from Kelowna for doing my posting for me since we can't connect from China. She is also coming to China soon to get her precious daughter!

Monday, June 1, 2009

One week with Lilah






So today is one week with Lilah! We have seen many changes in her over the last week. One week ago she cried and cried and now she runs and jumps and plays and laughs. She has a great personality and keeps everyone with us laughing. Everyone is amazed how smart she is.


This morning we went for the doctor's appointment for the Canadian Embassy. She of course hated it. She is only 3% for height and weight and is proportionately small for her age.


We came back to the hotel for lunch in our room and she loved eating the green onion cakes with chopsticks. In the afternoon, we went to the Summer Palace, which was very busy and it was very hot. Lilah slept the entire time. We then went to the silk factory to see how silk is made and to purchase some outfits for Lilah. After a group supper (which is always delicious and cheap) we headed back to our room for a bath and to meet the tailor for one final fitting. After supper many adults were using the tooth picks provided and Lilah grabbed one a proceeded to clean her teeth, properly, with a toothpick. She is a smart one (we hear that several times a day from different people), she will keep us on her toes. More and more clearly she was chosen for us and we are very glad to be her family.


Everyday Lilah opens up to me more and more. She will let me hold her now (as long as it isn't nap or bedtime), she will let Tim leave the room for awhile without her, she wants to hold both of our hands when we are out walking and will look for me if I am not beside her. She calls me mommy. While Tim was out for a bit this afternoon, we played on the bed, her drinking her bottle and me giving her panda bear a bottle. She played with my eyebrows which is something she has done with Tim from day one as a comfort thing.


Her squeaky shoes are a hit with the other couples in this group and now two other kids are wearing some as well and love them!


She is tiny and precious and full of personality!