This week has been full of appointments. We met with the foot specialist and he felt that orthotics would be the way to begin. Mei Mei did fine at the doctor and even let them take “pictures” aka x-rays of her feet. They found out that the reason she has such big calluses on the bottom of one foot is because she has one bone that is growing down. If the orthotics don’t end up helping then they will have to go in and break that bone and then reposition it. I’m not sure how good the orthotics will be since her foot keeps growing and the orthotics cost about $390.
We also had a visit with our dentist. They weren’t able to get x-rays, but she did let them look in her mouth and take some pictures of about 4 teeth. The dentist is recommending a pediatric specialist since there is so much work to do. She thinks Mei Mei have 8-12 cavities and will need 2-3 root canals. Our insurance is set up so that when a patient begins visits they are covered 70%, then the next year is 80%, next is 90%, until finally 100% (although there is a limit that they allow each year). So her mouth is really going to cost. I’m glad it is her baby teeth, but the worst ones are those molars in the back and Aminah still has hers, so those hand around for a while. Also her permanent teeth are forming and we don’t want the decay from her baby teeth to affect her permanent teeth.
The next appointment was the hand specialist.
We also had some fun this week. One of our “fun” things was having lunch with my friend Diana, and her boyfriend, Jeff. While Diana was at work, Jeff went shopping. He showed up for lunch with a present for Mei Mei. He gave her the present and she wasn’t quite sure what to do with it at first. I realized that she never had a wrapped present before. She managed to unwrap it and inside was a Cabbage Patch Doll with curly hair. Mei Mei LOVED it and Jeff beamed, he won points with all three of us. Mei Mei was very impressed with the curly hair and kept pointing to her own hair and then her baby’s hair.
Another fun thing we did was out at Hart Park. Although I wasn’t really wanting to go out after a rainy day, it ended up being a lot of fun. Yima Anna invited the girls to a birthday party. The party was a carnival theme and was like something would would see on TV. There was a bounce house, face painting, games, 3 piñatas, a petting zoo, pony rides, and a clown making balloon animals. They also had lots of food! The girls had LOADS of fun, which of course pleased MaMa.
We also had some breakthrough moments. On Tuesday, Aminah goes to M&Ms (music and missions) while I go to Bible study. So far Mei Mei wants to stay with MaMa but this week she wanted to go in with Aminah. That lasted about 20 minutes. Not bad! Our Bible Study group was outside pulling weeds at the church (a service project) and I laughed because my first free 20 minutes in 6 weeks was spent pulling weeds. On Sunday, we went over to the children’s nursery and I sat with Mei Mei while she played. I asked her if I could leave and she shook her head. Pretty soon I asked if I could go to the “potty” while she stayed there and again she shook her head. About 5 minutes later she grabbed my hand and pointed to the door. I asked her if she wanted to go and she shook her head, pointed to me, and then pointed to the door. I was just DISMISSED! I took the opportunity and went into the church to hear the rest of the sermon. About 30 minutes later I heard the back door of the church open and sure enough Heather was bringing Mei Mei back. Her lip was stuck out and as soon as she saw me she cried out for me. I was able to console her and brought her back into the church.
The other things about this week include lots of laughter, and squeals of happiness when she is playing with Aminah. She also likes to cuddle with MaMa and is becoming more comfortable around others. I see less tantrums and hear more English being spoken.
I will have to add pictures later.
What a glorious Easter. I so enjoyed spending the day with my daughters. I’m still amazed that I have two daughters and that we have only been home for three and a half weeks. We had to pack up and leave the house for a few days last week in order to have the house fumigated. This was pretty confusing for Mei Mei but she got through it. She wasn’t sure why we packed up all the food and took it to the neighbors houses and probably thinks that was pretty weird. We stayed at my cousin’s house for two nights and were able to even go to the beach. On Friday, we went to Build-a-Bear so the girls could make their Easter stuffed animals. I know Aminah enjoyed it, but Mei Mei was again a little confused but really enjoys her end product. She made a yellow duck that she named Ducky, but usually calls it Quack Quack, and Aminah made a rainbow bunny that she named Rainbow Friend. Yesterday, the girls and I continued our tradition of dying eggs with our neighbors – Terri, Kaitlin, and Brenda. Mei Mei loves hard boiled eggs and it didn’t seem to bother her that we were decorating them first. Last night we also made Easter cookies. It was a lot of fun having the girls roll out the dough and cut out the shapes. We ran out of time and we weren’t able to decorate them, but we will hopefully be able to do that one day this week. This morning we woke up and the girls found their baskets and then went hunting for eggs. They got dressed in their Easter outfits and we went to church. We actually made it to church on time even with all the morning activities. The church service was great and it was so nice to be able to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord with my girls. I tried to get Mei Mei to go play with the kids, but she isn’t ready yet – soon I hope, because I know she is distracting for myself as well as others. After church we went to my cousin’s mother-in-law’s house. The girls got to play with their cousins Addi and Reagan. This was Reagan’s first Easter so she wasn’t as much fun as 4 year-old Addi, but the girls all had a great time. After a yummy meal, an egg hunt, and lots of bouncing in the bounce house, it was time to come home. Of course Mei Mei kept asking if she had to brush her teeth and go to sleep (using sign language of course) because of our visit to Aunt Sheila’s house. I guess she figured that if we were at someone else’s house we must be spending the night. How confusing life must be for her? She is an amazing little girl and she is trying her best to make sense of all the new things happening in her life. I’m so thankful that I have God guiding me through this process of motherhood. I’m still amazed that He chose me to mother these two beautiful little girls. I’m also amazed that Jesus died on the cross for ME. What a glorious Easter!
I know people are still wanting updates so I will try to add pictures this weekend. We are having some adjustment issues, but it is to be expected. Just about the point that I feel we are making great progress, we end up going backwards again. Aminah is now on Easter Break, so we have 9 days together. I just hope Aminah can handle 9 days with us. She comes home most days and needs “alone time” and closes herself in her room for a little while. So as long as I can distract Mei Mei it seems to be working. I didn’t get much sleep last night so I’m signing off for now.
One month ago today Mei Mei’s world was changed forever. Instead of being an orphan she became part of a family. Instead of living in an Social Welfare Institute, she took all of her belongings (the clothes on her back – a book, pink jewelry, and photo album that I sent her) and bravely began her new life. She has made the best of a difficult situation. Her life has been full of challenges and she amazes me at how she faces these challenges head on.
One month ago Aminah’s life was also changed forever. Instead of being an only child with lots of attention she became a big sister. She takes that role very seriously and strives to be the best big sister she can be. That is her attitude with most things. If she attempts something she wants to be really good at it. She doesn’t do things half way. She takes such good care of her sister and of course this includes bossing her around, but it is done with love and Mei Mei knows that. It amazes me at how quickly Aminah is adjusting, although she can have setbacks. Sometimes she needs alone time and sometimes she needs Mommy time.
One month ago my life changed. I stepped out in faith and watched God’s plan for my life unfold. I knew deep in my heart that this was God’s Perfect Plan but I was still a little nervous about what I had gotten myself into. Even two weeks ago when we came home and Mei Mei was dumping every container of toys on the floor, I had my doubts. Today I have learned that I can train her to clean up, but it takes time. I’m also learning how to balance being a Mommy of two. Last week our dog was basically informing me that she also needed more attention. It is a juggling act and as of right now I’m still learning, but each day becomes a little better. I’m sure going back to work next month will be a struggle as I learn to divide my time yet again, but I don’t want to think about that yet.
I think about how quickly our lives changed. Life is funny that way, sometimes it can change without notice. I’m so thankful to have Christ in my life to help me through the rough spots, as well as being there for the day to day miracles.
For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. Philippians 2:13
I found this verse today in my Bible study and it gave me renewed strength. I know that God gave me the desire to adopt, not once but twice, and He will provide me with the power and ability to raise these girls. Having both girls home all day is a little tiring. We had lots of fun, but man it is a lot of work to keep them from wrecking my house. We walked to the park today and the girls played. At one point Mei Mei climbed up on the play equipment and then started crying. She couldn’t figure out how to go further up or how to crawl down, so she cried out and MaMa came to her rescue. It was good for her to see that I’m here for her. After the park, we came home and got out the Playdough. Aminah hasn’t played with it for a while so some of the containers were dried up, but we still had fun playing with the good containers. I could tell this was a new experience for Mei Mei and she really got into it. Later the girls played outside. Since it was windy I got out the bubbles and then the kites. They did manage to get the kites tangled up once and I was able to untangle them. The next time they got tangled in front of David’s house and he was chosen to help untangle them. Terri and I laughed at how long it took the girls to get the kites tangled and how long it took David to untangle them. Later Mei Mei found some of Aminah’s old skates and she threw a tantrum because I was trying to get some shoes on her so that she could wear them. She really didn’t understand that I was trying to help her, she thought I was taking them away. She was screaming and kicking, but once she figured out what I was doing she calmed down. I tried to remain calm and kept telling her that MaMa was trying to help. Maybe the next time I’m trying to help and she is throwing a fit, she will remember today. Bedtime was a slight challenge and Aminah asked me, “are you ever going to get good sleep again?” because she saw Mei Mei giving me problems. She was pretty mild though and I thought maybe she just wanted to be rocked for a while so I rocked her and then she crawled into bed. I’m hoping to add rocking into tomorrow night’s bedtime routine, in hopes of avoiding her acting out in order to be rocked. The other thing that is a challenge is her clothing. Last night she wanted to wear sweatpants and a turtleneck to bed (at least they matched) and then this morning she wouldn’t get out of them to go to the park. So tonight she put on a long sleeved shirt, a pair of shorts, and a halter top. I can’t make any promises as to what she will be wearing to church tomorrow. I pick my battles and depending on our morning, I’ll decide if clothing is a battle I’m willing to fight. Stay tuned.
After a game of “chase the child to bed” and then “blow, blow, blow your nose for no reason” the girls are at least in bed. I’m not sure if they are sleeping yet, but so far if I can get Mei Mei in bed, she will fall asleep. She is starting to understand a lot more English, which I’m sure is also helping with her tantrums. We have been having much better days. I recently read, “when your focus is winning the heart, obedience becomes a joyful love offering—a heart and will freely given”. This is what I’m trying to do, help Mei Mei realize that I love her and that I’m worthy of her love – I’m not leaving and nothing she does is going to change that. Speaking of leaving, I heard from a mutual friend that another friend thought I needed a day away from the kids, and have some grown-up time. She felt that all the ladies should get together and “kidnap” me from the kids. The thought is really sweet, but that would not be good right now. I have one daughter that is adjusting to sharing her mom and having to learn to share all of her things. She need LOTS of Mommy attention. I have another daughter that just had everything she ever knew ripped away from her. She didn’t have much in her life, but EVERYTHING has changed. Neither of these girls made the decision, it was made for them. Just like bio-children they are adjusting fantastically. I made the choice to adopt again and I knew what I was getting myself into, it is difficult at times, but I know that the outcome is worth it. We have only been in America for 9 days and I’m the only consistent person that Mei Mei knows. At some point she will begin to trust that MaMa will come back, but right now it would more than likely do more harm than good. She is becoming more trusting of others, and doesn’t seem to be shocked by the sea of Caucasian faces. Both girls need me right now and I know they deserve a healthy, happy MaMa and so the best thing for us right now is to have visitors at our house (as long as people aren’t expecting a clean house). Speaking of clean house, I’m cleaning all the time. I have been successful at times, at getting Mei Mei to clean up, but not as often as what is needed. This morning I was able to get Aminah to school (on time) and then Mei Mei and I came home. She played with some animal figurines and then my friend Yvonne came for a visit. Mei Mei played with some dress up clothes and her baby doll. Later we drew pictures, practiced colors and ABCs, and sorted beads and made a necklace. It is preschool over here during the day and LOTS of English Language Development. It is a full time job and very rewarding. We picked up Aminah and the girls played outside, ran through the house chasing the balloons that Yvonne brought over, and found more dress-up clothes. I LOVE watching the girls play together, and feel so loved by God that he is allowing me to parent such amazing girls. I also made doctor appointments for Mei Mei and look forward to finding out what can or should be done with her hands and feet. Next week is a pretty busy week, so I’m going to enjoy the weekend with the girls, as we continue to bond as a family.