Hey, Three Months
In just a few days, we’ll be celebrating 3 months since Gotcha Day! I’ll admit, the first few weeks after coming home, people would say things like “oh wow, how crazy you’ve already had them 1 month!” and in my mind I’d be thinking “aaaahhhh it’s only been a month?! How will we ever survive like this?!” In those early days, we were awake for days on end, dealing with jetlag and night terrors and lack of attachment, every single thing was a struggle, and there was no rhythm or structure as we were all trying to hammer out what our new life as a family looked like. The days were LONG (quite literally because I was seeing every one of the 24 hours in a day), and time was moving SO SLOWLY. I used to dread having to come up with ways to entertain them for hours on end and just wished for them to sleep! Thankfully we have moved past a lot of those early struggles, and now it really is kind of surprising to think that we’ve had the girls almost 3 months!
The girls are at the stage now where I am continually impressed by how their brains just soak up knowledge. They are both doing well with English and can much easier communicate their needs. This is SO helpful for us in knowing how to help them feel safe, secure, and loved. They can also count to 10, sing the ABCs and many other nursery rhyme songs, know most of their colors, spell their names, identify a few letters, and of course say “War Eagle!”. At first, it took lots of repetition for them to understand new vocabulary words, but now it seems they only have to hear it in context one time before they grasp the meaning. They’re also potty trained, and I’ve gotta say it was surprisingly easy for them! They’ve also learned the concept of taking turns, which has helped to tremendously decrease fights at playtime (though they still don’t always WANT to take turns).
In our last post, I mentioned a few things we were trying to overcome: still lots of waking at night, Mercy’s attachment to Blake, and Mercy not wanting to eat anything. First the sleep – they’ve gotten SO MUCH BETTER! They still usually wake up one time each, but then they just come get in the bed with us (we are sleeping on a mattress in their room) and go back to sleep, so it’s not that disruptive. We are working towards eventually being able to move out of their room at night, but we just need to see a bit more consistency from them first. But praise the Lord at how far we’ve come! This is the biggest improvement of all!
Mercy has also shown incredible gains in her attachment to Blake. She used to always “pick” me for everything, whether she wanted me to wash her hair in the tub, put on her shoes, put her in her high chair, buckle her in the carseat, etc. If Blake tried to do it instead of me, she’d have a meltdown. But now, she lets Blake do ALL those everyday parenting tasks! At this point, the only thing she won’t let Blake do is get her to go to sleep or comfort her when she’s upset. We’d obviously like for her to get to that point, but for now we are celebrating this HUGE progress.
We are still having some struggles when it comes to food and Mercy wanting to control what, when, and where she eats. I got some great advice from our family counselor, and we’ve started to see some improvement there too. It’s still kind of hit or miss depending on the meal and the day, but thankfully at least now it’s not a battle at EVERY mealtime.
We are gradually increasing the girls’ time outside the house and around new faces. Though there is still a great deal of fear in new places and around new people, they are usually able to warm up to the situation with our coaxing, as long as it’s not too overwhelming or overstimulating. Blake even took the girls to church for a very brief tour of the kids’ area so they could at least see the space and see what kids do there. We are building up to a point where we can eventually leave the girls in the nursery while we attend church, though that day feels like it is still a LONG way off.
Another big change that’s happened in the last month is that I started back to work on July 26th. Thankfully, I work from home so I can still be near the girls, AND we are blessed to have their grandparents nearby who are available to come and watch them during the day while I work! They have done SO GREAT with grandparents so far, and it’s such a joy to see the girls developing a relationship with their Bibi, Poppi, and Sitty! In the beginning, there was definitely some regression with sleep and some acting out as the girls got used to the new normal of me working, but thankfully that didn’t last long, and we are in a great routine now.
Honestly, I’m really impressed by their bravery. Their brains have been hardwired to distrust adults, to fear new situations, and to use whatever behavior possible to survive. And yet…God is good. Truly, their progress and growth has been nothing short of miraculous. God has heard our prayers (and yours!), and I know the Holy Spirit is giving the girls a peace they did not previously know. Praise God!
Pray that the girls can sleep the whole night in their beds so Blake and I can eventually go back to sleeping in our room instead of theirs! Pray that Mercy will continue this great progress of attachment with Blake and will let him comfort her when she needs it. Pray that the girls will do well as we try new experiences, like spending the night at grandparents’ house and eventually be able to go to the nursery at church. Pray for their continued growth, health, and learning!
Thank you for following along with our journey and loving our family well these past three months!