One Week Home

Well Saturday night officially marked one week home, Kirsten texted me on Friday to get to posting so I figure I better post 🙂

First off, I want to say that this motherhood thing.  It seriously is the BEST ever.  I have never been so happy in my life.  This week, as Vera and play and laugh, I look at her and think “WOW, how lucky am I that I am her mom?  Wait, am I REALLY her Mom?  Is she REALLY mine forever? That’s right a judge in Stavropol Russia said yes and I am!”.  I pinch myself to make sure its real and then when that little sweet face looks up at me for more giggle time or another book to be read to her, I realize it is true.  I am exactly where I was meant to be.  It’s funny because the first few days I had her, I really felt like a phony.  Like the whole Mom N Me thing was a pretend game we were playing when others watched.  When we were walking thru the hotel, and I would refer to myself as her mother, mama, mommy, whether talking to her or someone else, I felt like the whole thing was pretend.  But now, after 7 days, I FEEl like a mommy and I FEEL like her mommy.  The whole experience, though just a 10 days ago, in ways feels like a lifetime ago.

Vera continues to do great.  She knows I am her mommy and our bonding continues to go well.  She looks to me for her needs.  She looks to me for comfort.  She wants me to hold her close and sing to her when she is tired.  If someone is in the room (i.e. my mom came for a little afternoon visit yesterday) she will watch them and may even stand close to see what they are doing (my mom was putting some non slip feet on a stool) but she will not go to anyone but me to be held.  I believe all of that is good.  I know everyone wants to hold and love on her, but everyone had been very understanding and patient that this is a good sign for her and I in the bonding arena.  And, they know, when she is comfortable and in time, she will feel comfortable in sharing hugs and letting others hold her.

So, some of our challenges that continue….  Bathrooms, Bathtime, Strange sounds like vacuums and toilet flushing.  Now, she has gotton better with the bathroom in that if I am in there using the restroom, she doesn’t cry anymore.  I have continued to reassure her that mommy is OK, she is just going potty, or I am just throwing the stinky diaper out (the diaper pail is in there both up and downstairs).  I know over time, this will get better.  Bathtime, well maybe we have a little less screaming than a week ago, but it is still NOT something she likes to do so we are working on it.  We had some good water play the other day and we will keep doing that every day.  Last night I realized that maybe I should buy a little tub for the counter to bath her on the kitchen counter (where we play with water) in hopes that will help.  I mean it doesn’t help that the bath is in the bathroom which she hates.

Noises, need I say more?  I mean the vacuum is LOUD but it is necessary.  I have been swiffering the hardwood instead and making just a few piles of stuff to vacuum, grabbing the handheld and sucking them up while she naps.  I do however have to vacuum upstairs this weekend so lets see how that goes.  I do remember to hold and comfort and reasssure her that everything is OK and mommy would never let anything hurt her and that does help her some during the 10 seconds of the handheld.  Plus I show her I am taking it out before I use it so she isn’t surprised or shocked.  I hope that is the right thing to do.

Food.  She has gotten so much better with food and is a great little eater.  It really is the cutest open mouth waiting for the arrival of food I ever saw.  The other day at lunch she was literally falling asleep for her nap in the highchair yet still opening her mouth for food.  I was a little worried she might choke and was going to stop, but she was adament to finish her lunch before she slept.  She will also feed herself pieces of food, like the diced fruit or bread I leave on her tray.  But her main meal is fed to her.  The only food issue I guess would be she doesn’t want any milk to drink.  So, I use milk in the morning to make her oatmeal so she gets some of its nutrients.  She presently only drinks water or apple juice.  We have used a bottle for bonding and I love it.  She was used to a bottle at the orphanage but the position she takes in my arms during feeding has become a little more nurturing and I LOVE this time together holding and talking and looking in her eyes.  Now, as for the non milk drinking, any suggestions on that parents????

Vera is showing so much more personality now.  It is so amazing to see her soul come to life!  I am in awe every day at how her smile and giggle can make my soul light up!  Things she loves…. MUSIC.  Any and all!  Our new song “Vera Had a Little Lamb” and her favorite song at the present, Old MacDonald.  She tries VERY hard to say E I E I O and Moo at the appropriate times.  She enjoys her weeble wobble house and spinning them on the floor.  She likes to read and will grab books and sit on my lap.  Mommy did get taught a lesson the other day.  Vera brought a  book to me to read and this book has animals with mouths that open and say Peek a Moo, or Peek a Quack Quack, whatever the appropriate sound for the animal.  Well, she likes ducks and the duck came up, and I went “quack quack quack” flapping the mouth and apparently moving the book too close to Vera’s face and well, that book is Now OFF LIMITs!  I felt terrible to scare her….  UGH!

What else, she loves watching and playing with her cousins Ava and Ryan.  I am considering finding a play group next month because it is clear she misses being around other little kids.  She enjoys walks thru the neighborhood.  We did Tar*get the other day and she did great.  After about an hour or so. she was done with the cart.  Luckily we were already on our way to the register to check out.

We will see the pediatrician the week after next.  I need to get all the paperwork organized for the visit.  I know blood will be taken and my heart breaks already knowing she will scream and cry.  BLAH.

She is starting to “show” me what she wants if I don’t know.  She will point and walk me there and I say the word and once we hit what her need is everyone is smily and happy.  She is enjoying Baby Einstein.  We wake up and watch it once together, then again in the evening.  When its time for medicine she takes it like a champ and diaper changes are a breeze.  She does get cold easily, so I have had the heat on a bit and I do layer her clothing some, nothing like the orphanage.  I think she is used to that.

Saturday we spent the day with my sister, brother in law and the kids.  Vera was excited to spend some time with her cousins.  The weather was great so running around and some sunshine were Dr orders so we complied.  In the evening as it was getting dark, the kids all went outside and ran ran ran.  It was a little nervewracking for me because she isn’t the most stable walker, but she never fell, even with me following behind!

For your viewing pleasure, some pictures from our water play fun.  I am working on a little slide show but gosh I bet I wont have it done for a month!  LOL





12 thoughts on “One Week Home

  1. SO wonderful to have your motherhood dream come true!

    My son has a severe dairy allergy that we learned about at age 1. We get most of his protein from peanut, almond, and sunflower butters. Would she be willing to try milk in the form of fruit yogurt or pudding? Chocolate milk? If you are concerned about calorie and protein intake, you can ask your pediatrician how much she needs every day, depending on where she is on the growth chart. There was a period when our son wasn’t gaining a lot of weight, so we had him on soy-based Pediasure twice a day.

  2. Tracey, I’ve been meaning to leave you a comment for ages… I have been following you since the NWA days, but mainly lurking.

    Anyway, I couldn’t go any longer without saying

    1) OH-EM-GEE VERA IS SO GORGEOUS. She’s such a doll! My partner and i were both just cooing over the pictures, she’s really lovely.

    2) I don’t know if “Vera” is a pseudonym but I hope it’s not because it’s a fabulous name!

    3) Our little guy won’t drink milk either, but he absolutely loves drinking Kefir, which is drinkable yogurt. All the goodness of milk plus healthy probiotics (we give him plain, but it comes in sugary-yet-delicious flavors, too). My friends adopted from Kazakhstan and the baby hadn’t been fed on formula but on kefir, and was just as plump and healthy as you could wish. So maybe try her on kefir? Our grocery store has it in the yogurt section, and Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods also has it.

    4) It is such a joy to see you so happy. Congratulations to you and congratulations to Vera, too. You are both lucky girls to have found each other.

  3. I second the Kefir suggestion. My son drinks that instead of whole milk because the milk gives him a red bottom.

    I’m just loving this update so much! I smiled so much while reading that my cheeks are a bit sore! I still have to pinch myself every once in awhile to make sure I’m not just dreaming this motherhood thing. I hope you’re also taking lots of pictures of the two of you together!

  4. Try getting in the tub with her, that really helped Oliver. We took baths together fully clothed for a few days just to ease into it.

  5. I’m so glad to gear things are going well – you’ve both made HUGE steps in just a week 🙂

    Caleb wasn’t a big milk drinker, but he loved yogurt, cottage cheese with fruit, and cheese sticks… at around 2 he loved to dip waffle strips (i just cut it up) in a bowl of yogurt. BIG mess, but it got him to eat it 🙂

  6. Has it really been a week Tracey? I loved the entry this time! So good to hear you are settling in and that mommyhood suits you. Just from seeing you together I knew it would! Isn’t it absolutely amazing how this crazy journey brings us exactly where we are meant to be with all the crazy twists and turns, ups and downs, etc. I know it happens but every time I am like – WOW! Look at this family that was just meant to be together – you and sweet Vera! So happy!! Keep the posts and pics coming. It helps keep those of us in process going…

  7. We also had bathing issues initially….her pediatrician just kept assuring me that washcloths and wipes were sufficient until she was more comfortable with the tub and bathroom. Finally, after about 2 weeks home, we went to a swimming pool…and she has loved water since then. Might be worth a try…

    Vera is so cute….and i love reading about your new found joy in being a mom!

  8. We actually don’t drink milk in Russia. Kids get it in kasha in the morning (porridge), syrniiki in the evening and a glass of kefir before bed.

    The best thing is “syrniki”,little pancakes made out of cottage cheese or “tvorog” (you can buy it in every store that carries eastern-european products, they are all locally made. Alternatively, you can make tvorog yourself out of milk). Anyway, the best thing is to eat syrniki heated with fruit jam (we prepare preserves by mixing, say, blueberry and sugar. that way it’s more healthy)–295

    We bath kids in kitchens in little bathtubs (usually put on 2 chairs.) now that I think of it, they never regularly use bathroom until they are 3-4 – (bathroom and toilet are two separate rooms, and they mostly use kitchen – go potty in the kitchen and take a bath in the kitchen as well.)

    I’m so glad that Vera has such a great mama!

  9. Wow, what a great week for you! You have to pay for a notary in CA? Luckly we get that for free here in KS. So glad your adventure is over, and a new one is starting.

  10. Thanks for visiting my blog and sharing your love of Twilight!!!

    On to more important stuff – Congratulations on your adoption. Vera is just precious. I am glad things are going well. Savor these first days at home. While than can be challenging, they are such special days. I miss them so!!

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