As I was telling a friend yesterday, Madeleine continues to do really well, but I can't seem to get off the struggle bus. Do parents ever get off the struggle bus? Like, is it even possible?
After the Thanksgiving holiday, I was actually energized for the week, determined this week was going to be different than the last two were. It was better in some ways, worse in others. I'm now in the unexpected process of hiring for an open position at work. One of our dogs has become hyper-anxious the past two weeks (not around or with Madeleine, but maybe as a result of her joining our family). Then my grandma died, which was expected and a relief, but still. And then here I am, wondering why none of this could have happened on my pre-planned and convenient schedule.
I knew this going into the adoption/becoming-a-parent process, but it's apparent that one of the ways God is pruning me right now is to be selfless....because it's something I -- sorry for the language, mom -- really suck at.
But you all came to hear about Madeleine, so I'll stop my pity party.
Madeleine is now walking everywhere. She walked a few steps here and there independently in China, but for the most part, since she's been home, she will only walk if someone is holding her finger. No need for anyone's help now!
She still doesn't say any words, but she has started to make new sounds. I've held off on getting a hearing test. It's still a possibility that she has some hearing-related problems, but her hearing seems to be hit and miss, maybe even a bit selective at times. This can be a sign of attachment, or lack thereof. Once this week, not facing him, CJ used her name to correct her, and she immediately reacted - straightened up, stopped what she was doing, turned to him. But then if we do it another time, she might not do anything. It takes babies 6-9 months to recognize and respond to their own name, and she's only had 7 weeks in an entirely new language, with an entirely new name, so we'll give her a little bit more time.
Our biggest victory though -- we've moved out of her bedroom! There were several days the week of Thanksgiving where she slept several nights throughout the night in a row, so we decided to try out sleeping in our own bed again to see what she would do. And she continued to sleep through the night! Some nights she wakes up in the middle of the night - we think she might have nightmares - but if we rock her, she normally goes right back to sleep. Seriously, this has been a huge answered prayer and blessing for us, especially for me. I now function more like a regular human being and less like a zombie at work!
This is what happens when I go to work. Don't worry. She can breathe. It's just to protect her when CJ takes her on a 4 mile run when it's freezing outside.
Future Boone EDC Executive Director!
Her first Thanksgiving. Check out the turkey pants. And those boots. I'm obsessed with this outfit and bummed she won't fit into this next year.
Picking out our Christmas tree! We decided not to really decorate for Christmas, so the tree just has lights and tinsel, and there are no other decorations around the house. We're just starting to function normally again...no need to add more new stuff this year.
She's really started to love books -- so exciting!
M loved Steak 'n Shake.
Just in case you thought we had the perfect, happy child, here she is after I told her no, not to climb and stand on the super slick end table, which she had been doing a few seconds before.
Up until recently, Madeleine hasn't really paid attention to us. I've written that eye contact has been a struggle, and it's still hit and miss. But it's things like noticing if I'm wearing glasses or not, what jewelry I'm wearing, or even the fact that I have hair -- things most toddlers will reach for, grab, put in their mouth, etc. I took this picture one day after work this week, as this was the first time she's really even touched (and played!) with my hair.
She might be watching us on our cell phones a little more than I realize.
Seriously, we can't get enough of her.